Summer Blog Theme Revamp

Guess what? My blog theme is changing – again – like the seasons. If I found the perfect theme, I’d likely switch it later out of boredom. What do you do when fresh turns stale? Refresh! Besides, blog themes make an important statement on the web.


Tinker Under The Theme Hood

So why am I changing my blog theme again? One reason is that my previous theme switch-up in early April was an experiment with new post-formats and the block editor. And as it turns out, the tumble-like blog page isn’t as functional as I like.

So I tried several select themes, but nothing really clicked. Then I started to systematically “Try & Customize” every free theme down the line. In a short time, I discovered Canard and was thunderstruck! It was almost exactly what I was looking for – plus a bonus feature!

Let the theme tweaking begin.

Rather than bore you with the particulars of the changes, suffice to say I’m stoked to spelunk the depths of the design.

Personalized

The best thing about blog themes is their uniqueness. As a Personal Blogger, YOU are distinct with particular traits. And blogs vary in style just like people do.

The blogosphere is a collective place where individual writers express themselves through self-publishing. That special “self” is like no one else. So a personally designed blog theme extends that distinctive expression; it reflects your tastes.

So I like to find just the right colors, fonts, and layout that display my own vogue. For example, fonts come in many styles: modern, elegant, quirky, artsy…almost anything! Colors also convey a lot. Orange: enthusiasm… Green: harmony… You get the idea.

I often wonder though, how much does it really matter anymore? With that, I have a question straight to you, dear reader.

How often do you visit blogs?

Do you mostly read blogs in the WordPress (or other RSS aggregator) Reader?

I admit, I often read blogs in my Reader feed – it’s convenient. And only sometimes do I click out to actual blogs on the web. I’ve often considered making a point to abandon the Reader in favor of visiting actual blogs like we’re in the 90’s!

If you specialize your blog theme, but no one ever sees it, why bother with themes at all? If you master Google SEO, then search results will lead visitors to your blog itself. In that case, your theme should make a good first impression in the hope of gaining a bigger audience.

Regardless, I think your blog theme is significant even if nobody sees it because tweaking it is still a creative act and an expression of yourself.

under construction signage on laptop keyboard
Photo by Fernando Arcos on Pexels.com

Theme It Up

On the spectrum of blog personalization, are you closer to the “set-it-and-forget-it” default end? Or do you gravitate toward the “tweak-it-to-death” custom end?

Which is more important to you: form or function? Both of these factors come into play for blog design. Both how your blog looks and works make a difference in how your blog feels overall.

If you don’t express yourself in your blog’s thematic structure, give it a try!

One last thing: however much you customize your theme, don’t neglect the overall blog priority: writing posts! Some of the best blogs on the web are bare-bones black text on white screen – just words. But the writing is excellent.


What do you think? Reply below with your comment. Contact or Email me at the buttons above. Thanks for reading!

9 thoughts on “Summer Blog Theme Revamp

  1. I read most of the blogs I follow on the web. I sign up to receiving email notifications from them whenever they publish a new post. It works well for me, although I don’t read them all. If the title of a blog post, the excerpt, or the first few lines of the post don’t grab me, then I’ll delete the email and move on.

    I only use the WP Reader for those bloggers I follow who publish more than once a day. It’s only a handful. Since discovering that not all blog posts appear on the Reader, I stopped using it. I also found out that some people simply use it to click as many ‘like’ buttons as possible without reading a single post. I guess they do it as a free way of marketing themselves, but it doesn’t work for me. I know who you guys are.

    As for themes, I rather use a simple one that I can tweak here and there. It doesn’t need to have all the bells and whistles because I’d never get around to trying them all out.

    There you go, Jason. That’s me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Hugh, nice input 🙂 Good to hear how a fellow blogger views this stuff. I don’t know much what I’m doing. Just kind of winging it! Ah, I learn stuff online too.

      Cool that you read most blogs on the web!
      I also follow and read many blogs via email. I forgot about that method.🤔
      I wonder why not all posts appear on the Reader. I’ve also wondered if the Reader is algorithm based. I don’t think so, but not sure.
      Simple is key! I fluctuate. I’ll go minimal, then feel it’s too bland. So I’ll spice it up. Then I feel it’s too much. Scale back. Repeat. One day I might leave well enough alone.
      Thanks again for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s a bit of a mystery as to why not all posts appear on the Reader, Jason. I do know that if you add more than 15 tags and categories (combined) to a post, then WordPress class the post as spam, and it won’t show up. Some posts also go into quarantine (because of certain words in headings or the body of the post). Somebody at WordPress checks these and will release the post if it’s OK, but by then, your post will be well down the Reader.

        I always ensure I’m sat at my computer when any of my posts go live so I can check they’re on the Reader. If they don’t show up, I reschedule the post to publish a few minutes later. That usually does the trick. They mostly do show up, though.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow that’s interesting info. I knew about the 15 tag/cat limit…but not the rest.

          I’ve noticed a delay in my scheduled posts appearing. Maybe b/c they’re being checked. Hmmm…so some human or at least bot curation…
          “Certain words” may cause quarantine. Sounds like some content moderation. I wondered about that.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Jason. Here are a few of my thoughts on what I try to do:

    – “And only sometimes do I click out to actual blogs on the web.” I mostly subscribe to an extremely curated number of newsletters through email. I’m a bit new to WP Reader, so I’ll give it a try especially for blogs that post many times per week — as to not clutter my email.

    – “If you specialize your blog theme, but no one ever sees it, why bother with themes at all?” I believe there’s a lot of truth to this. Look at social media feeds. They are bland, mostly ugly, and people don’t mind. But I like The Blog. I like to tinker with look, feel, and functionality. I hope to attract those who don’t use social media all that much and invite them to my blog as a nice place to visit. Like my home.

    – “On the spectrum of blog personalization, are you closer to the “set-it-and-forget-it” default end? Or do you gravitate toward the “tweak-it-to-death” custom end?” I used to be someone who tweaked it to death. I would spend hours looking at other blogs, their ideas, and try to take the best parts and apply it to mine. My fitness blog over at WP.org is a prime example. I used to change it all the time!

    I had to pump the brakes and just design something simple, yet functional. My audience just wants something professional looking, but provides useful info. Over at WP.org there is no limit to design especially withe the theme I have. That is why with my blog over here at WP.com I wanted to simply pick a cool theme (minimal) and just write. I think I went with the second one I tried.

    ***

    With all that said, I think changing things every now and then is a great thing. Maybe, like you eluded to, for every season. Have one for every season — 4 per year. I think it would be a good way to give you the freedom of being creative with it on a regular basis.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Brad for all your ideas.
      I think it’s safe to err on the side of simplicity as long as basic functionality works. It’s always tempting to me to tweak more. Refine. I try to consider what layout helps engage readers better. I might start using sub-categories…

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s