‘Tis the season for gifting – so enjoy a fresh new look and new features!

It’s the night before Christmas, and everyone is eagerly awaiting the next 24 hours to find out what gifts they’re going to get. But here in Technically Motivated, we don’t wait to give gifts out – so here’s my little present for all our readers!

I have just completed a slight overhaul of the Technically Motivated website, and the results of it are in front of you right now. So what’s changed? Well, as you may have noticed, we have a slightly redesigned theme for the website. The new look, made by the same guys who did our old “proSlate” theme, is wider and gives us more space to work with; and it has a much larger and clearer menu bar. I also feel that it’s a lot sleeker. But the best thing is that this new theme properly resizes on smaller screens, so the old and oft-reported glitch we had over the past few months (where many complained that the left-side of the website was getting cut off) is a thing of the past!

At this point, I feel I must make an apology. I had actually installed the new skin a while back, and started setting it up two days ago. Yesterday it was officially enabled, and I assumed it would be a simple plug-and-play affair like most WordPress themes. However, it seemed the new theme didn’t play nice with some add-ons and design modifications I’d made to the site in previous weeks, and the site broke a little after I switched on the new look. So I had to take the site down for a period of more than 24 hours in order to find where the problems lie, and quickly fix them up. I had all the problems fixed by the time the site came up earlier today, and the new theme just went live, so sorry for the downtime!

In other news, I’ve started taking a look at opening up Technically Motivated to an international audience in order to attract attention to the blog worldwide. However, I came to the realisation lately that since this is a strictly English-speaking Tech Blog, and I personally am not fluent in other languages, my audience is right now limited to those who understand English – about 10% of the Global Population – and if I am to open this blog up to other cultures, I need a way to translate the blog easily and effortlessly, but also one where I can be confident in an accurate translation. So, right now, I am testing a few Translation Filter add-ons for the Blog.

I’ve just put one such filter live on the site, and everyone is welcome to try it out. Called Transposh, this filter allows instant on-demand translation of every part of the site in different languages, and will automatically translate new posts using Google or Bing Translate. However, users can also help by manually helping to translate each post into whatever language you desire, and those translations will be saved and used next time someone switches language, helping to increase the accuracy. Currently, you can translate the site into Finnish and Spanish (as well as stick with the default British English, of course); I will add more when I feel the current ones have been tested enough.

I also went through the site last night and found a few broken links here and there – some pages were linking to pages that have since been moved, or were linking to an older site – oops! – so these have all been fixed now. Obviously, if you see a problem with the site in any regard that I appear to have missed, do please contact me about it.

Have a very merry Christmas, everyone!

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