Before we get into today's post, don't forget that we've got our Father's Day $100 Home Depot gift card giveaway going on. If you haven't already left a comment, be sure to head on other to that post and drop us a line. One lucky winner will receive a $100 gift card to help fund your latest DIY endeavor. You can't beat that!

We've been hard at work on a couple of projects around Old Town Home lately, some that we hope are interesting, and a few others that are...hopefully going to be more interesting once a little more is done. While we've been spending lots of time on various tasks that are not particularly sexy, like insulation and duct work, we've also been quite hard at work on a feature or two here on the blog. It's funny, work on the blog can be nearly the same level of efforts as home renovation, just less dirty. So why not share some of our progress on the blog with you. At least it's way more interesting than what else we've been doing lately...

Now that we've been up and running for over a year and we've amassed quite a few posts on various topics under our e-belts, we just feel like there needs to be a better way to organize some of our more relevant posts. Our old projects page was a complete mess, complete with a smattering of some projects here and there, more crucial projects omitted from the page, outdated material, and just an unpleasing layout.

Ugh. We know we can do better, so we decided to focus our efforts on beautifying this space. If you click on the "Projects" link in the navigation bar you can see the updated layout. It's categorized, more up to date, holds a lot better information, and best of all, lots of pictures. You can click on any given thumbnail to go right to that post, or click on the "see more" link on any category to see all posts that fall into that given category. We'll be continually updating this page as we put up new and relevant posts for each section, so you can easily reference the stuff we do that you care about most from this page. We really hope you like it.

I know, I know, this isn't home renovation, it's blog renovation, but we've been working really hard on it, so we wanted to take a moment to highlight it for everyone (otherwise you'd just go on about your day thinking we still had our old, crappy projects page, and we can't have that). We hope you like the new layout and the organization of information. Let us know what you think, we'd love to hear it.

While we're at it, in other blogging news, I think I've finally figured out the issue with duplicate posts in everyone's Google Reader. This issue only took me about a year to figure out, but I finally tracked down the bug. Honest, I blame Google. :-)

Hear me out through my rambling technical explanation. When we built the blog, I included RSS feeds on almost everything. The home page, category pages, archive pages, individual posts pages -- they ALL had RSS feeds listed in the meta data of the HTML. I figured this would be a great way to let people subscribe to feeds that they really care about, so if you only care about Woodworking, and someone else only cares about Open Housing, each person could subscribe only to that feed. Well, apparently Google Reader didn't like my idea. Google Reader viewed each of these feeds as unique items from Old Town Home, and even though they all had the same URL, Google Reader put them in as "new" items. The end result was that everyone who subscribed to any of our feeds were getting four, five, six, or more duplicate posts every day. Annoying!

Many readers let us know about this annoyance, but I didn't know how to deal with it. Google Reader doesn't have a good method of debugging or troubleshooting, so this one came down to just thinking through the problem. Why am I rambling on about this rather than just saying "hey, it's fixed"? I figure that some day, someone will search for "Google Reader Duplicate Posts" because they're having the same issue, and we may just have the answer they're looking for. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but it's there just in case.

There you have it, our little update on the blog front. We have a list of other site improvements we're working on too behind the scenes (ahem, our floor plan), but we'll get to all of those when we have time. Until then, we need to get back to work on the extra boring items in our house. I think I need to go water the vegetable garden or crawl back up into the sauna of our attic. Oh joy.

Do you have anything you'd like to see us implement or fix on our blog? Let us know, we'd love to be able to work on stuff that make's everyone's experience better.

Comments 3


Kelly Hutchinson Curtis
6/11/2012 at 12:15 PM
Looks great! I'm sure this is a really dumb question, but did you buy your own domain? I'm trying to move my blog from blogger to wordpress, but was wondering if it's worth it to buy your own domain. I'm a total beginner & really have no clue :) I just signed up for Adobe Cloud and it has a web package that I need to investigate.
Old Town Home
6/11/2012 at 12:20 PM
Yep, we own :-) It's totally worth it. It only costs $9 or $10 depending on where you buy. Check out this link for good info on where to start and what you're dealing with.
Kelly Hutchinson Curtis
6/11/2012 at 12:20 PM
Thanks! I also meant to say that I love the design of your home page.
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