Blog FM 2.0 Development Diary

9 02 2007

Blog FM will shortly be moving to the excellent FootyGamer Network and in this behind-the-scenes article I’ll take you through the development of what I’m calling Blog FM 2.0.

Thursday 8th February 2007

While WordPress.com offers a fantastic service for bloggers (Free hosting, free software, free support) the only real downside is that you are limited to what Wp.com offer: a basic (although quite varied) selection of themes, plugins and features. Yet as anyone who runs and hosts their own WordPress powered blog will tell you, the downloadable WordPress (available from WordPress.net) is much more flexible for a designer and editor. By moving to the FootyGamer Network, we will be able to keep using the WordPress system that has proved so useful to us, while building up the website and making it more to our style. You may say that Blog FM 1.0 was Blog FMpressed – but 2.0 will be going all Blog FM’ed! (If that doesn’t make sense, don’t worry. It doesn’t to me either).

So what other reasons can I give you for the change over? Quite simply, the fact that the FGN are happy to have us is an indication of how far this website has come. While the site’s hosting services have only just restarted, the network has never been one to accept any old website, willy-nilly. Visiting Blog FM on the FootyGamer Network servers is a win-win situation for all: I get to personalise the website as much as I want; FGN receive my praise and referrals!

So what will make Blog FM 2.0 different?

The site will still retain the blog theme, although we’ll be moving slightly away from this to further develop the other areas of the website to make it more friendly for new readers and casual gamers who are looking for assistance. We’ve already started on a new series of guides that will (hopefully) make some of the games areas a little more accessible for those who need the assistance (And from the google-linked hits we receive, it seems as though people do need help!). The site will have a new design – I can tell you that now – which will look more like a ‘resource-type’ website and less like a blog in order to make it more accessible and easier to browse.

Various other new features are planned and the site will receive a bit of a makeover in all departments: features like the West Brom Nationalist Challenge will have a dedicated main page for them, making it easier to catch up on previous installments.

The site will also be more interactive, with Questions of the Week (or perhaps Fortnight) being revived, and polls and forum discussions being covered.

As of yet, I have yet to finalise a design for the website, but you can take a sneaky peak at what the website may look like below. If you have any suggestions, don’t hesitate to post them below.

So what might Blog FM 2.0 look like? In no particular order…

Was this designed by Sega?!
This is a nice looking theme but the more eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed (well, it probably jumped out of the screen and slapped you twice) the colours: FM’s very own green and blue.

Pretty and a real contender – possibly the FMWC next design
I’ve not mentioned much today about the Football Manager WordPress Community, but this is still something I think could be very useful. However, it needs a new approach, and the whole system may be overhauled to make it more automated. This design would be very nice, and with three columns, one could be used to show each websites most recent additions.

Might need a little redesigning, but…
This one really tickles my fancy. I would need to adapt it a little (some of the centering is not to my liking) but for a resource-type website style, this would be grand.

Again, a little change perhaps…
Another nice site that has potential. A little editing might just make it a good choice.

I have still many more designs to go through, and every time I find a nice looking one that is a possible choice, I will add it to this blog. Blog FM is for you guys – my readers – so why not include you in the future plans of the website?

Friday 9th February

Possible themes:

http://themes.wordpress.net/testrun/?wptheme=747

http://themes.wordpress.net/testrun/?wptheme=543

http://www.deanjrobinson.com/redoable/redoable-11-is-here/

http://www.kapikua.com/theme-leia-en/

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