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Category: Meta

Meta posts are posts written explicitly about Arnon on Technology itself. They may include descriptions of major updates, historical anecdotes about the blog, or other self-referential topics.

Posted on by Arnon Erba in Meta

When I left Blogger for WordPress in 2016, I made a deliberate choice to leave some features behind. Part of the allure of WordPress was the opportunity to explore PHP and to take as much ownership as I could over the inner workings of my blog. Blogger, by nature, never provided the level of customizability I was searching for, but the the chance to write my own custom WordPress theme was too appealing to pass up. Suddenly, I had the ability to customize, rewrite, and (more often than not) break almost everything that governed how my content was displayed on the Web.

Taking control did not come without tradeoffs. As previously mentioned, I never implemented comments, and until my massive update in May of this year I had some minor SEO problems like poorly apportionedĀ <h1> tags. However, I had a platform that allowed me to experiment with web technologies on a much larger scale than before.

That was fine, because that was the point. I don’t blog for ad revenue, or to become famous (though I have my doubts that running a technology blog is really the quickest path to Internet fame). Regardless, in the spirit of constant improvement, I’ve been slowly adding features to my blog as I feel it needs them.

Once I finished some SEO work and some performance optimization, the next task was to fix the comments. I’ve implemented the generic WordPress comments template and enabled the discussion section for everything but my archived posts. In fact, I can tell it’s working, because I’ve already blocked dozens of Russian spam comments. Please enjoy.

Posted on by Arnon Erba in Meta

It’s been almost exactly two years since I left Blogger for WordPress, and I haven’t looked back since. This month, I’m excited to announce the first major update to Arnon on Technology since its 2016 reboot.

Ancient History

I’ve been writing about technology on and off since 2012, when I set up a simple blog on Blogger. After discovering that my chosen URL of technology.blogspot.com had been taken, I settled on the name “Technology by AE” and immediately published a rant about the new tab bar layout in Safari 6.

In the years that followed, my blog went through several major iterations. I posted extensively throughout 2013 and 2014 and refined my original electric green Blogger theme. In fact, the header image for this post is the original background image from 2012. However, by 2015, I had become tired of Blogger’s limitations, and was struggling to find time to write and post articles.

Finally, I manually migrated all my old posts to a fresh WordPress blog. Google had recently released its new design language, Material Design, and I built a Material Design-inspired WordPress theme to accompany the new site. “Technology by AE” became simply “Blog – Arnon Erba”, and it entered life as a sub-page under my own personal website.

Over the next few years, I worked on refining the content I posted. I launched the Server Logs Explained series and wrote some exhaustive posts about specific computer problems I had faced and how I fixed them. I rolled out HTTPS and worked on optimizing the layout and design for speed and accessibility. Still, the site felt like it was still hiding in the shadows, not quite used to its full potential.

What’s New

The first major change was to choose a real name for my blog, something I should have done from the start. In keeping with some of my favorite industry blogs — Joel on Software, Krebs on Security, and of course SwiftOnSecurity — I am excited to finally call this site Arnon on Technology. No more esoteric or ambiguous page titles.

I’ve made a lot of other changes, some obvious and some less so. I fixed some issues with the <h1>-<h6> header tags, making the site more accessible and more easily discoverable by search engines. I’ve continued to make some backend optimizations, and have made the site fully accessible via IPv6. But mainly, I’ve substantially changed the design once again.

Ever since rolling out my original Material Design theme (dark grey text on a white background), I’ve always wanted to try a light-on-dark variant. This theme is the realization of that dream, and is reminiscent of my original eye-searing Blogger theme. Personally, I like the new theme, and it comes with a wide variety of subtle improvements, especially for mobile devices. Hey, if Ars Technica can still offer a dark theme…

Looking Forward

My goal has always been to post useful or entertaining content — ideally both. I hope I’ve achieved that goal, at least occasionally, and I have a reasonably large stock of drafts stored up that I’m hoping to finish and post in the coming months. At any rate, it seems like two years is the average life of my site-wide redesigns, so we’ll see what the future holds.

Posted on by Arnon Erba in Meta

(Editor’s note: Less than three months after writing this post, I got fed up with Blogger and finally jumped ship. Now ALL the links are broken, so I have to start from scratch again from the SEO side of things, but I finally have a functioning blog that is completely mine.)

It seems like every six months my blog reinvents itself, at least layout-wise. I think it’s because nothing I do ever looks quite finished in my eyes. At any rate, ever since I discovered Material Design Lite, I’ve been meaning to build my own custom Blogger template using the framework. Now that I’ve hacked together something that could be considered a material design template for Blogger, I can sum up my experience so far in one sentence: I wish I was using WordPress.

At any rate, I’ve made a lot of changes, but there’s still more to go. All the old posts need to be re-formatted (again), and the comments disappeared, partially because I broke them. Expect to see more changes – and maybe some actual posts again – soon.