As Lingamish rightly pointed out, the design of this blog was lacking something. It was in fact the WordPress default template based on Kubrick. This is a nice clean design, but not very interesting and overused. So I have at last got round to finding something different, an impressive (I hope – I didn’t take it) picture of a large qaya – not the church in the foreground, but the mountain behind it. I also chose a new theme, Ocean Mist 1.2 by Ed Merritt, and edited it to show my chosen picture, and so that the blog name and tagline appear on the picture instead of above it. Lingamish, I hope you now consider this “cool”.
Meanwhile I have had some difficulty setting up the sidebar as I wanted it. I installed the Sidebar Widgets plugin, but was disappointed to find that with it I could not display my blogroll, or any of my links. After a lot of experimentation I managed to set up the Linkblock widget, a separate plugin, to display my blogroll and other links in the way I wanted. But I may still make further changes, as there are other things I would like to add to my sidebar. WordPress is more flexible than Blogger which I used to use, but it is also much more complicated.
With this new blog I was quickly troubled with blog spam, which was hardly a problem at all with my old Blogger blog. That was probably because in Blogger I had word verification turned on, and this makes automatic spamming rather difficult, although it did cause certain problems. On the new blog I first installed the Akismet plugin; this is very good at recognising spam, but does nothing to stop it arriving in the first place. So, on the advice of Eddie, I installed Peter’s Custom Anti-Spam, a WordPress plugin which provides a word verification system similar to, but simpler than, the Blogger system. I customised this with a set of biblical names, which hopefully spammers will neither guess nor read with OCR programs. For the moment this seems to have stopped my spam, but we will see. I hope it is does not put off genuine commenters – try it and see!