Last month I posted about some changes I’ve been making to the ToolGuyd look and layout. I’ve been continuing with those efforts, and it’s time for a quick update.
As always, your feedback is much appreciated!
A little over 7 years ago, I toyed with the idea of simplifying ToolGuyd’s logo. I ultimately changed my mind and forgot all about it.
As I’ve continued working on ToolGuyd’s layout, it became clear that the graphic’s wood-grain background had to go.
I converted the logo from being a pixel-based image to vector-based, and the wood grain was simply too difficult to replicate in a manner that looks good when scaled.
I’m not finalized on the light brown “fill” color, but it seems fitting.
The new logo is crisper, and because it’s vector-based, it can be scaled up or down as needed. You won’t necessarily see this in the post, as the image here is pixel-based, but you should see it at the top of the site.
There are some fun things I could potentially do with the logo now, such as changing the colors in seconds, or even swapping the tools being held in the hand!
Google Ad Removal
Last month Google activated an experiment where ToolGuyd pages were showing a new ad type where you’d see the page blurred out around it. We use Google for certain ad placements, and this is the first time an optimization experiment was automatically activated.
The ad appeared for some visitors when an on-page link was clicked. After the experiment ended, the new ad type ran for one day before I deactivated it.
I don’t like most interstitial ads when I come across them, but I didn’t really mind this one, at least on mobile. It was intolerable on my desktop.
One of the people I asked about the ad had strong feelings against it, and so I decided to deactivate the option for now. I might revisit this in the future – maybe during the winter holiday season – but this isn’t something I would want to impose on readers regularly.
It’s better to leave money on the table than negatively impact the user experience.
Potential Comment Display Changes
I know I talked about this last time, but I haven’t made any decisions or changes yet. Quite frankly, I’m worried about upsetting some of you.
I’m looking to load comments in a different way. Every comment makes several hits to the server, and the number of elements also forces lengthy document size recalculations. Google penalizes websites in search results for things like that.
Google now “crawls” and analyzes websites as if their bot was browsing on a smartphone, and so speed matters. Starting in May it will matter a LOT.
One thing I am still considering is adding “pages” and a “load more” button, maybe only for posts after a certain amount of time passes, such as one or two weeks. My thoughts are that regulars wouldn’t be very impacted since the most active discussions take place the first few days after a post is published.
Maybe 40 comments per page is a good compromise?
But then there’s another question – how many “top level” comments? A top level comment is one which has replies under it. With each post allowed up to 4 replies, maybe 12-15 top-level comments on average will exceed that 40 comment-per-page number. There are ways to auto-load and click-to-load more comments, and I’m still looking for a method I like.
If I can’t find a good scroll-to-load-more or click-to-load-more solution, there will have to be pages.
This is a good problem to have – I definitely appreciate, enjoy, and learn from your comments. The challenge is in appeasing Google’s user experience guidelines without actually hampering real users’ experiences.
Consider my best cordless power tool brand post, which is a long post on its own. On a mobile view, an iPhone plus browser window size has a simulated size of 414 x 736px on my computer. That post runs about 18,600 pixels tall. That’s 25X the smartphone browser’s vertical viewport size. The comments section – by itself – measures more than 58,800 pixels tall. That’s 80X the smartphone viewport. The total post is about 81,000 pixels tall, or 110X the height of the viewport.
Splitting longer comments sections into smaller pages seems like an inevitability. The question is then about how to do this without pushing away readers that put time and effort into writing comments, or those that read them.
Update: I’ve been testing paged comments and having a “newer comments” link and then “older comments” links doesn’t seem too inconvenient. The question is about how many “top level” comments per page to set. Some posts have comments with 11 replies and cross-replies to a top-level comment, others will have an average of 1.1 comments per top-level such as giveaways or deals where there might not be as much discussion. For the posts with the most cross-discussion, most of those longer comment chains would be on the first “page” when comments are set to read oldest to newest, which is what readers previously expressed a preference for.
Post Archive: Consolidations
I’ve been working to tidy things up, even deleting really old posts that no longer have value to readers.
For posts that have a lot of comments, I might set them to no-index instead unless they clutter up or negatively impact our in-page search results.
There’s a lot of tidying up to do, but it’s about time.
Future Post Structuring
I’ve been experimenting with different post structures and looking for ways to keep virtual housekeeping in mind with future posts.
I posted about an Irwin stubby multi-bit screwdriver deal during the 2020 winter holiday shopping season. It sold out, and when it was back in stock, I updated and republished the post. In the past, I might have simply posted about it again. Since that first post, it has been driven in and out of stock by ToolGuyd readers several times.
I checked that item, and it’s now available with an April 2021 ETA. So, I republished it a third time, rather than posting a separate “back in stock” post. If you read the post, you might skip it this time around, but I figured that readers who missed the $4 price now have another chance to buy one, and readers that bought it might want to add their impressions about the tool.
This is an extreme example – I don’t expect content to be updated or republished like that regularly.
But, this type of process seems to works – maybe. Without this structure, I would have 3 separate posts on that Irwin screwdriver by now.
I am also trying something new with this week’s March tool deals roundup:
Most of those deals wouldn’t be worth their own posts, but an updateable roundup could work. And then when April comes around, I can archive March deals and replace them with new ones. I’m not so good about regular updates, but this type of post seems like it could benefit readers.
A post like this could potentially allow for updates, and I can also use them to remind about specific tool deal updates as well. For example, if the Irwin screwdriver goes out of stock again, it can then be linked to in a post like this one when it’s back in stock, rather than republishing it again and again.
There’s one big downside when it comes to updating older or published posts: ToolGuyd’s newsletters are automatic and based on unique post identifiers.
I can duplicate posts, but then we lose comments.
ToolGuyd sends custom newsletters on occasion, but it could never be frequent enough to include post updates.
So, if I repost about something, it benefits newsletter subscribers but hurts site visitors since it clutters up on-site search results. If I republish something, this is a better approach overall, but newsletter subscribers miss out.
I have largely postponed figuring things like this out over the years because it gets time-consuming and very difficult to experiment with. I have made it a habit to look forward rather than backwards. But, it’s time to tidy up gradually and set new ground rules for future content.
What I’m looking for is a solution that helps readers both short-term and long-term.
I’ll be experimenting with content structures. If you see something you like – great! If you see something you don’t, please let me know!
Website Update Work Continues
It seems awkward to talk about things like post housekeeping practices, but it plays into the updates I’m working on and experimenting with. Everything is intertwined.
I’ve been working on different alternate desktop and mobile menus, and something like that is directly tied to how posts are classified.
A lot of these efforts are to ensure readers can find what they’re looking for.
Out of habit, I add tags for model numbers, but how many different posts will share the same model number? Do I tag the bare tool, the kit, or the common identifier that nobody actually searches for? Model numbers can be useful, but are there better ways to use it for navigation than “tags”?
Major changes to the ToolGuyd layout will require that I look at everything under a magnifying glass. Some of these changes will be obvious to you, but others will not be.
With this being the first major overhaul in a few years, there are a lot of steps involved.
Desktop “Sticky” Menu?
A “sticky” menu is where the top menu stays at the top of the screen for easier access. ToolGuyd’s menu has been “sticky” for many years now. Do you prefer it this way, or do you not care if you have to scroll back up to get to the menu?
If You See Something Broken…
I’ve been developing and testing changes thoroughly, but there’s always a chance that an update breaks something. Please let me know if you find any problems!
Thank you again for your support, feedback, and readership! I can’t say that I enjoy web development, but you guys make this – and all my other ToolGuyd efforts – worth it!
I guess it is OK.
( Generally I am not a fan of the whole Web 2.0 Web 3.0 … monochromatic, low contrast single color must be shades of grey font thing that plagues everything. We see in color, we see fine details, why strip everything out of everything? )
The simpler the ads, the better.
Notes: I hate the pages that load ads below the title, after the first paragraph, … and then as you scroll down the page expands at various points to reveal between paragraph ads. Keep it simple. Don’t bog down pages, waste mobile bandwidth, …
Not a fan, as having multiple replies does not mean that it is a great comment, two people could go off on a tangent that does not matter to most people.
More comments link. I guess if the default were like 24 comments, and then there was a more comments button. That would not be bad.
Just showing 6 and then read more, another 6 or 12, show more … would be hard no. I just like to load and scroll without additional work.
The logo isn’t about having a flat low-color logo, but having something that could be vectorized and easily scalable with sharper results.
The wood grain worked because the lines looked natural, with slight line variations, gaps, and angular differences. I can simulate/recreate that, but not in a way that looks good.
Meaning, this wasn’t a style choice, it was prompted by functionality requirements.
I didn’t realize it was supposed to be wood grain until you mentioned it.
The new logo looks nice and SVG is the way to go.
why does the google crawler and web page loading pieces matter? Is that tied to search hits or losing out on search traffic.
I’d be surprised since there aren’t that many tool review sites that really have this sort of info. So I wouldn’t think it would matter to the score so much.
As opposed to something alot more popular.
Meanwhile a thought might be to have a member log in page setup like on the forum. That way members that log in (say 80% of us repeaters) would have setting to customize our view. while you have your sporty general presence view.
I am on a number of sites that do this but they also run different software base I suspect.
Regardless good luck. Make the logo needs to be a different tool on occasion? wrench, driver, hammer, etc etc. just to shake it up.
In today’s day and age, every newspaper, mass media site, magazine, and others now have “tool reviews,” and there is a vast abundance of affiliate click farm websites too.
Google ranks on speed and now prioritizes “freshness.” A website might scrape from Amazon’s bestseller’s list and in under 5 minutes rank higher on content that I might spend 5 hours writing based on years of experience.
So, minimizing any disadvantages due to “user experience score” factors allows me to focus more on post and content quality.
My last redesign a few years ago was prompted by Google’s move to including mobile as a ranking factor. Now, major friendliness is a major factor and speed comes next.
Google also pushed for SSL (https vs http) for greater security. There’s no reason to have this on the front end of ToolGuyd, but what Google says is important is important.
There’s truth in what their crawlers say. A faster-loading page IS better for readers. Fewer document objects mean faster layout calculations.
I have been adjusting for best practices for years, but the target keeps moving and now it’s moved in a direction where I need to find a balance between what serves the benefits of readers, visitors, and the Google Bot.
Creating customized register user views would essentially require a 3rd party commenting system, and those are generally very slow, clunky, and intrusive.
The software I use in the ToolGuyd forum https://discuss.toolguyd.com/ is about as lean as things can get. Integrating that – or any 3rd party software – would all but force everyone to register or login in some manner.
I wouldn’t mind if the sticky menu had a “Home” button on it. I seem to find myself scrolling up to the top of the page to click on the logo fairly often.
Potential updates to the menu would have everything on one line, with the logo serving as the home button.
There is also one at the bottom of all pages, but the future of that menu is uncertain right now.
This so much. It drives me crazy using to scroll to the top to go to the home page.
Why are you holding your hammer backwards (or driving with the claws) in your logo??? 🙂
I never paid attention to it, but now I see it as “backwards” 🙂
That part will never change! 🙂
I always thought that the backwards hammer was a bit of a tongue-in-cheek comment on odd or un-educated tool use. I’ve thought that it was meant to grab the viewer’s attention and perhaps their desire to want to learn about how and why someone would use a hammer in that fashion – and then even dig deeper into everything about tools. Anyway I think it its kind of a unique logo that seems to fit with Toolguyd
Works for me… just kind of funny to me that I don’t think I had ever noticed it.
The hammer is backwards ??
Officially, I rationalized that hammers are used backwards all the time, such as with the claw used for pulling nails or straight claws for demo work. And, ToolGuyd could be a tool guide for illustrating how different tools match different needs.
Unofficially, this is what the designer created and I it just didn’t look *right* with the hammer reversed. I was thinking of asking for a final revision, but I liked it this way.
The “it’s backwards!!” part cannot be unseen and I always got a kick out of the reactions.
It also amuses me when someone realizes for the first time that ToolGuyd is read as Tool Guide. For that I figured I’m a tool guy putting together a tool guide.
“It also amuses me when someone realizes for the first time that ToolGuyd is read as Tool Guide. For that I figured I’m a tool guy putting together a tool guide.“
You are ruining my life today…
It’s “Tool Guy D” 🙂
For several years I thought it it as verbing the “tool guy” noun. Like there would be some nugget of wisdom and then it could be a catchphrase “you just got tool guyed!”
I have been happier with it since I got it as as a weird pun thing.
For a while I figured your name was Derek or something.
Tool Guy “D”, but I did realize it is pronounced guide.
Yep, now I can never unsee that it’s backwards!
As someone who enjoys dabbling in web design, I’ve actually enjoyed seeing these posts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Mostly unrelated: I’m curious how’s your 3d printer project going? I’ve not seen an update since you posted that you got a kit.
It’s built. I need to tune/better calibrate it, but the quality is very usable. I want to move it to the garage workshop. I’m working on cleaning the garage workshop. I have plans for an enclosure to reduce any temperature swing effects. Right now I have to open a window for fumes, and that gets drafty fast, hence the desire to move it to the garage workshop that I can better air out afterwards.
What filament type are you using?
Must not be PLA.
Been starting with PLA, I also have a spool of PET.
I just don’t like the smell of heated plastic.
Yeah! Have a drill day [drill in the hand, in the logo] once a month.
Just a comment on the logo — I’d consider keeping the hammer, hand and border as a solid color, but using a textured pattern like wood grain for the “background”. It can be a subtle texture. You probably won’t have to scale this up ridiculously, so the vector wood grain patterns out there should be fine.
Sticky menu — I’m finding them unnecessary these days. I’ve removed from my sites, and I see more and more people removing them. My use case is to read articles off of the home page though. I rarely deep dive the menus of this site, so scrolling to the top occasionally is no big deal, and I’d love the clutter removed from the article pages.
Thanks! I’ll consider that. I am so used to the older styling that I didn’t like the few attempts I made at matching it. The issue wasn’t so much about not being able to do it, but not liking the results. I might also truncate the graphical part of the logo from the mobile menu and so it seemed difficult to prioritize right now.
There seems to be a CLS issue with the sticky top menu currently, as Google complaints about desktop shifts and not mobile, and that could be the culprit. Inspection tools show minimal layout shifts with or without it, and so it could be something else. I’m aiming to rework the menu for mobile, potentially removing the sticky feature for simplicity.
When I look at much larger websites, I find I like sticky menus more than I don’t, such as on Apple, IGN, Adobe (on scroll-up), and Mashable. Not-sticky sometimes work well too, but they’re usually more complex with many links and I don’t know if I like that. It’s also hard to know readers’ preferences, hence all the questions.
I like the vectorised logo. Any way we can throw in a… and people who have read a few of my posts will think I’m insane here… colour coding component to the logo background? Just a dot or two? See the logo at a glance to see what brands are mentioned? Maybe a wrist band that shows that on the hand? Maybe different tools as logos for the type of article? EDC, Construction, Media Event, Etc? I mean, switch it out for an upside-down microphone, and you’re in comedy zone for media events.
Otherwise… Whatever you do, just do what you feel is right. I won’t be offended or harmed in any way due to changes on the page.
Actually, I *can* do that. But, there’s not a lot of practical benefit to doing so except on the rarest occasions. Color swaps could be done via styling, object changes can be done via hiding and unhiding different vector objects that occupy the same space.
Well, I think the object swaps as subject swaps would be a nice addition. Like I said, Microphone for Media Events, a Knife or Multi Tool for EDC, Screwdriver for Hand Tools, Wrench for Automotive, keep the Hammer for Construction… Not all of us have the bandwidth for every article these days (not that the articles aren’t worth it, just that people are different in what they’re looking at here.) and having a clear logo indicator for the subject would save quite a bit of scan-through time for the reader at first glance. Maybe they come back later for the ones they skip, maybe they don’t, but either way, it’s for grabbing stuff you’re in the mood to read.
Some days I am genuinely fed-up of hearing about, say, Milwaukee Packout… Or Bosch, Makita, FESTOOL… I’m just in a bad mood at the time, and I need to read about some DeWALT power tools, some Leatherman Multi-Tool news, and maybe some EDC gear of some sort. JUST on those days when I need a little kick to get me started, otherwise I’m totally fine with all the brands, and topics raised. They’re interesting and informative for the most part. But when I just need the Safety Blanket/Soother topics… It would be nice if the logo just indicated where those are at a glance. In place of the Key Words, the Graphic tells all, and you go where it makes you happy so you can face the rest of the day, kind of thing.
The coloured dots… I am aware that is likely stupid, and I’m colourblind, aside from Red and Yellow, so it would likely fail ME entirely, but it was for the same purpose, and I was grasping at straws.
Honestly I doubt I would use the different icons and/or colors, much, but I just love the idea and could totally see implementing it (much to my pain and suffering) if I was running the site.
Neat idea @JoeM!
Stuart, you asked for feedback and it’s not a big deal but I thought it was worth mentioning anyways. The hammer in the hand in the logo is backwards, that is strange. Makes me think of those phishing emails where a company logo seems accurate until you take a closer look. Is there some reason the hammer is backwards or is it just me?
The user is simply using the claw to pull nails out of the ceiling. 🙂
If you say so! No worries Stuart!
I’m good with wherever you go. You are more than willing to listen, so if a change you make is met with harsh criticism, then I’m sure you’d be willing to compromise.
I do want you to grow and receive a return on your investment. So balance out your ads with your viewers. This is a business after all and without ads, you wouldn’t be able to do what you do.
Just please continue to keep clean ads.
I browse your site at least every month or so to see what all articles you’ve posted. Mostly, I am looking for the new inovations that hit the market. I do like the idea of a master list of tool options per tool. (Main list with links to individual pages for “all screwdrivers rich to frugal”) I’ve used your site to build an arsenal of the very best tools. The knowledge here for that is quite good, but I wish it was more consolidated (running list of types of tools with hyper links to in depth pages)
This is just my opinion as a user. Just like I believe you’ve been awesome so far! Thank you so very much for you and your community’s help.
I like the new logo! It looks like you need a little kerning help. If you send me the SVG I can take a crack at it.
Web performance is super important I’m assuming you already use the basics:
Lighthouse, WebPageTest, PageSpeed, etc.
A comment rating system could help you limit the sprawl.
Personally, I get everything via RSS so I as long as you allow full posts in your feed you can do whatever you want on the site design.
I like the shift to the U and Y. Some of the kerning tweaks were carried over from before, such as between the O’s and L and G.
The decimal rounding is a good idea, thank you. There shift from styling to inline is a good idea too. I might still add classes in case anything needs to be overwritten, but that can be figured out later.
I have the svg set inline in my test server, will integrate most of your tweaks there. Thanks! I can’t find any strong reasoning between inline svg vs. as a background-image, but fewer server calls here and there might add up.
I wasn’t sure if anyone was still accessing content via RSS, but your vote is one more reason to keep the full content feed vs. excerpts. I won’t touch that for now.
I use those tools at different times. Pagespeed has cost me some sleep. Pagespeed shows 0.03 CLS on mobile. Lighthouse shows 0.017 CLS on desktop. Pagespeed shows 0.034 CLS in lab test, but 0.28 on homepage for field testing and 0.52 on post pages (at least) where Google lab test is 0.006.
(For those who aren’t as familiar, CLS is content layout shift such as where you go to click a link or are reading something but objects loading on a page then shift everything down a bit unexpectedly. It’s a good practice to minimize those instances, with the lower the CLS the better.)
Here’s another vote for RSS… do most of my reading that way.
Another reason for inline SVG instead of background image is that you can then style it with CSS. This is handy if you want to change the color palette for dark mode support, add animations, or do anything else that CSS can do.
Here’s the source of the SVG logo with adjusted kerning and some minification. SVGOMG introduced some artifacts when rewriting the paths so it isn’t as small as it _could_ be:
The XML was stripped out of my comment so here it is as a gist:
Thank you, I appreciate it!
[b]New Logo[/b] is better. Cleaner and more modern-looking.
[b]Google full-page ad:[/b] mildly annoying, but doesn’t bother me much. I am so used to seeing similar ads on other websites that I find myself closing it before I can even see what’s being advertised. In fact, it had to pop up a few times before I could get a screen capture to send you because I kept automatically closing it – realizing only a couple seconds later that I was supposed to do a screenshot so you could see it.
I use the “recent comments” section on the home screen, but it only goes back so far. Maybe make its title a clickable link to a separate page that documents the last… 50?
OR maybe that separate page could document the posts from the past day and include only the new comments for each, organized with the corresponding post?
[b]Sticky menu:[/b] Meh, I don’t care. I’m rarely navigating the site that way.
[b]Post Consolidations[/b] Seems like a great idea – extra utility from previous posts. It creates a new way to highlight older context. I am always stumbling on interesting content I didn’t know existed on the site. I wish there was an easier way to find it – what about a “Weekend Edition” that just re-posts old content?
Model numbers are handy – I’ve googled “Tool Guyd” and a model number of a tool before to see whether you had reviewed it before deciding to purchase.
Now, how do I get one of those cool [color=#FF0000]red names[/color] on my comments?
Hey! How come my code didn’t work this time?
Italics worked so I assumed Bold would too…. Oh, wait a minute. I had BBcode on the brain – a webmaster I am not. 😊 I’ll get it next time.
Sorry, BBcode doesn’t work. I don’t encourage html markup because one mistake and the entire comment can be hidden or broken.
One of the things I’m working on is mapping existing content together in a better way.
The current newspaper/magazine trend is to create buying guides and what-not. That wouldn’t be the worst idea for updating older posts like this one: https://toolguyd.com/everyone-needs-a-pocket-technician-or-mini-bit-screwdriver/
When you do a model number search such as dcf887 site:toolguyd.com, it doesn’t look at tags.
Tags aren’t included in the sitemap, and I’ve also noindexed tags recently for any with 2 or fewer posts.
https://toolguyd.com/tag/dewalt-dcf887/ shows up in search results. But, there are 82 other results on Google. On-page, a search for DCF887 has 2 pages worth of results.
The challenge is getting you to what you’re most likely looking for, instead of expired deals.
Then there’s the fact that ToolGuyd has 4 different tags related to that impact driver: DCF887, DCF887B, DCF887D2, DCF887M2. This also does not include combo kits that might include this model.
Might it be useful to create a separate field, such as Model Number, where it’s not just in a post or included in a tag, but entered into a separate and searchable field?
Regarding comments, I could potentially expand the sidebar widget into its own page. But, if you look at the recent comments list, most of those refer to the latest post(s). Having a list of “posts with recent comments” instead could work, but then you still end up with a very short list.
Let’s say a page has the 50 most recent comments. Most of those comments will still be to the most recent posts. If there’s a list of posts with the most recent comments, it will largely resemble the front page with a few other posts mixed in.
Features such as highlighting posts with new comments submitted after your last visit gets complicated very fast. I can’t easily make comments more community-centric without converting it to a 3rd party forum-type system, and that’s not something I’m up for doing.
One of these days I might create a poll to see how many readers are in favor of a new commenting system.
I can integrate the forum software we use – https://discuss.toolguyd.com/ , BUT anonymous commenting wouldn’t be allowed. Commentors would have to sign in with a ToolGuyd forum login, Google, Twitter, Facebook, or other one-time registration.
Even if many regular commentors were onboard with that, how many first-time commentors or less regular commentors would be pushed away?
Integrating the ToolGuyd forum code with ToolGuyd blog code would mean that:
1) Some comments could be displayed here on the blog
2) Active discussion would take place on the forum itself
3) No more anonymous/guest commenting w/o requiring a registration or sign-in process
4) No cross-compatibility. Comments on the forum are part of the forum and couldn’t be imported/exported here. They could be displayed here, but not as a native part.
The forum has a lot of neat features, but there’s the potential for too much to be lost, and too many inconveniences for readers.
I’m not closed to the idea, but it doesn’t seem like the best approach.
Those are good points. I probably started commenting here because it didn’t require me to set up an account. I’m sure that is common.
Even if you lose the forum tools (e.g. embedding pictures, clickable links, formatting, etc.) it probably makes more sense to keep the comments very lightweight and simple.
I sometimes wish there were more tools of course, because that can help break up the text and make it more visually interesting and easier to read – I’m thinking of when some of your usual commenters pump out a massive block of text (no offence JoeM 😋).
I imagine there is no way to merge the two formats though? E.g. if people could comment without an account, or sign up and be granted additional permissions like embedding images – that would be ideal.
You can use SVG as the favicon also: https://css-tricks.com/svg-favicons-and-all-the-fun-things-we-can-do-with-them/
Thanks! That’s also on the “need to look into it” list.
In the past I could search for my distinctive name, and easily find old articles where I left a comment. Well, this is no longer working :-/
I haven’t done anything that could have changed search behaviors (yet).
If I search for “Uzvards” – nothing is found. If I search for “Vards” – there are three articles, those where *you* mentioned me, in subsequent edits.
In the past I was able to find all articles where my name (first, or last; former is a subset of the latter, right?) was in the *comments* section.
I don’t recall comments ever being searchable. If they were and now they’re not, that could have been a change in the software. That’s not something I have control over.
You could always do a site:toolguyd.com search: https://www.google.com/search?q=Vards+Uzvards+site%3Atoolguyd.com
Apropos of nothing – you know what would be a handy feature? If I could search the website for my own comments. Just because it would be nice to easily check if someone replied later.
I have no idea if that’s feasible. I also realize I can click a box to be notified of replies by email, however:
1. I forget, and
2. I often check back anyway
but it’s not practical to do that once the post is buried in the back catalogue.
Unfortunately, there’s simply no way for you to do that.
There are nearly 171,000 comments.
Email addresses are private and so they would be invisible to any search query.
Some names are unique, others are not. For instance, you look to be the only Jared to comment these days, but there were other Jareds before you. Sometimes more than one person goes by the same nickname. So what happens when 5 different users who go by “John” want to search the system?
It would be possible to create a comment-specific page, and that’s something I’ve been thinking about, but I have no idea how to implement a comment search function. It’s something I could look into, but the comments system simply wasn’t built with that in mind.
There’s a big gap between blog comment and discussion features and capabilities, and what can be done on a standalone forum.
The simple fact that the commenting system here doesn’t require account creation or sign-ins creates limits things quite a bit.
The check box to be notified is pretty much the only way of seeing if someone replied to your comments.
There IS one other option – there’s an automatic comment RSS feed – https://toolguyd.com/comments/feed/ , but I don’t know if or how that can help you. This would let you read comments in an RSS reader, but search functionality would likely be limited to whatever software or service you use for this.
Thanks for the answer! I figured that might not be possible given the website design – but I thought I would ask just in case.
To clarify, it’s not a website design limitation, but how the backend software does things.
It’s like trying to use a twist drill in concrete – it’s just not the right tool for the task.
The backend system here is focused on content creation and consumption, whereas forum software is focused on community discussion. The gap in capabilities is hard to bridge.
Think of it as a classroom with the students’ desked lined up in a grid all facing the teacher, vs. one where the desks are arranged in a circle.
It worked like that, for a long while, but this functionality went out some time ago 😐
We never had comment search functionality.
*I* have it, but only in the back end.