Dynamic Views Update

So it's been about a couple of weeks since I switched my blog template to Blogger's Dynamic Views and there have been some ups and downs. Overall it's been a pretty positive experience, though.

The Pros

The layout is fairly clean and it's pretty snappy. I like how the social components don't load until you hover over them. The old templates tried to do too much. So much that I ended up restricting things to a single post a page to try to speed up the load times.

Semi-related is how more content loads dynamically as you scroll down the page. It's a cool effect and I've found it to be useful already.

It's also reasonably customizable if you dabble with the CSS. You can't stray too far from the formula, but you can make it your own. I suspect there's more to come in this area.

Giving your visitors an option to choose the view that works best for them is also a nice touch. Some of the views need more work and some just won't work for every blog depending on the type of content, but it's fun to play around with.

The Cons

I've pointed out the search problem before. Basically if you use the search box for content you know is there it doesn't show up. Even as the same search through Google Proper succeeds. This is a known problem, though, and not likely to really impact most people (I think).

You can't preview posts. This one hurts a bit since I preview all the time before I publish. At least I used to.

No widgets. The template is pretty well locked down. When Google+ Badges were announced yesterday, I copied my code snippet to the clipboard and then realized that I had no place to put it. (For what it's worth, that's probably a pro also. It forces me to keep things simple.)

Sometimes the... dynamicness... isn't as smooth as it could be. I'm probably overly picky here so your mileage may vary.

And finally, I think the stats are wonky. My usage went up right about the time I changed to dynamic views. That might make me happy, but I've also noticed that the view graph doesn't really match the post counts (they seem high) and traffic sources (says that there are no stats yet).

Update: I still think the stats are a little wonky since I almost never see traffic sources anymore, but the apparent increase in usage is supposed to be more accurate. See this post for more information.

Try It!

If you run a Blogger blog and you're looking for something fresh, try the new templates. It's easy enough to switch back if you don't like it. In any case, I'm sure the Blogger team would be thrilled to get some feedback. ;)