This page explains the theme layout for toshmcintosh.com and provides tips for site navigation.
As the name indicates, visitors most often arrive at a website on the Home page. But unlike many sites, my Home “page” isn’t really a page because it doesn’t remain static. Websites on a blog platform like this one are designed to greet visitors with a dynamic appearance, and they accomplish that objective by placing the most recent post on the Home page at the top of a vertical “stack” with all the previous posts below it in descending chronological order.
Immediately below the header image is the menu bar with Home at the far left position, and it appeared in darkened print to indicate where you were on the site when you first arrived. Notice that it isn’t darkened now, because you navigated away from the Home page to this “About Site Navigation” page listed at the top of the sidebar on the right. If you click on Home in the menu bar from here, it darkens and returns you to that page.
With Home displayed in the menu bar, every post on this blog is accessible with the scroll bar on the right. Multiple posts are displayed on a single long page, and when you reach the bottom, an arrowed link to “older posts” will bring up the next Home page with multiple posts. Whenever you are on a Home page within the stack that has another Home page of multiple posts above and below it, arrowed links to both older and newer posts are provided. All posts on any Home page appear in full-text form.
To the right of Home in the menu bar are the seven categories (or general topics) of posts that I call “logbooks.” To click on one of these darkens it and takes you to the Category Archives: Logbook Title, as indicated just below the menu bar. Below that you will find a short description of the category.
Archives contain all the posts filed in that logbook stacked in descending chronological order just like the Home page, except the posts are shown in excerpt form with only the first 100 words. To the left of the excerpt appears a thumbnail of the “featured image” for that post if it has one. (See the post “Featured Images and Site Navigation” for an explanation.)
Archive navigation is the same as on the Home page with the scroll bar on the right and arrowed links to older and newer posts at the bottom of the page. If you want to see a full-text version of a post, either click on its title or the arrowed and underlined “Continue reading” link at the end of the excerpt. This takes you to a single page dedicated to that post only.
Two indicators appear to denote arrival at a dedicated post page: 1) the title of the post is now shown in blue, and 2) at the top left and right corners between the menu bar and the post title you will find arrowed title links to the post immediately prior to and after the post you are viewing, assuming there is a newer one.
In this view, posts are shown full-text just like the Home page, but with two important differences: 1) each page displays a single post, and 2) the posts are arranged horizontally, older to your left and newer to your right. Using the arrowed title links is like flipping the pages of a book. And like the Home page, posts are not grouped by the logbook in which they are filed, but the title of the associated logbook will be darkened in the menu bar.
If you want to look at another post in that logbook from a page dedicated to a single post, simply click the darkened logbook title in the menu bar. This returns you to the archived excerpt page for easier navigating. Click on any other logbook title to visit its archive and peruse the relevant posts in excerpt form.
Please note that at any time the “Back” button on your browser is darkened, you can reverse pages to your heart’s content. Another trick is to click on Tosh McIntosh in the header image to return to the Home page, although the Home link in the menu bar does the same thing.
To the right of the text content area are the sidebar widgets. The top section labeled “Blog and Logbook Pages” contains links to static “about” pages that explain site navigation (your current location), the purpose of the blog, who the blogger is, and descriptions of the category/topic of each of the logbooks.
With the exception of the Home page link, the next widget section below repeats the navigation tools in the menu bar by listing the logbooks. The total number of posts in each logbook is shown in parentheses beside the logbook titles. A click on any link there takes you to the same vertically stacked posts in excerpt format that you get when clicking on a logbook title in the menu bar.
Next is a list of linked titles for the five most recent posts (viewed in single dedicated page format), and below that the archives showing all posts (in excerpt form) for each month, stacked vertically with the most recent on top.
Then in descending order: search function, facebook link, contact information, admin links and visitor RSS feeds (that let you “sign up” for notification when a new post has been published or a comment has been made), links to fellow bloggers, and links to other websites.
Below this “primary widget area” you will find the most useful widgets repeated in a secondary area for easier access when navigating the “nether” regions of longer pages.
But wait! There’s more! In the basement reside four footer areas in which useful widgets are again repeated for your convenience when rummaging around in the longest pages.
My objectives in choosing the theme for this website are: an attractive and inviting appearance, ease of navigation (although you may consider that objective unfulfilled after reading this page), and maybe even a bit of fun. I hope this page has been helpful, and that you will stick around awhile and enjoy your visit.