I need some good resources to learn how to customize the appearance and functionality of my blog posts. I've already spent a lot of time on the codex and google, but feel like I'm missing the information I really need. Can I get some good site tutorial links or maybe even book recommendations? Also, I would be interested in any sites that you think masterfully present blog posts. Feel free to give me any recommendations for customizing posts on my blog.
I want to customize my posts so that they take up less space on my page, are excerpts or summaries of the post, showing only the title, date, and image. I've tried excerpts, but couldn't get any of the changes to take effect, and I'm not even certain this would be what I need. For instance, currently the most recent post on my blog has the title and date on the bottom when I would want this on top, with the image below, and a link to bring the viewer to a page with only the full-post and website nav menu.