Why Change Your Blog Theme?

New Readers

The above title has been chosen because asking a question in the title can apparently make the post more popular. According to many blog posts advising on the best ways to title blog posts to hook in readers–I was hooked in by one titled ‘What are the Best Ways to Title your Blog Posts?’–a question apparently draws people in to click on it and have a read, where they might have otherwise passed by.

I suspect it mostly appeals to people who haven’t got their own thoughts, so will immediately want to come and see what someone else they don’t know thinks about the question they didn’t realise they wanted to know the answers to until they read it.

I have done this because I have finally embraced the modern approach to gaining meaning in my life, namely by seeking an increase in self-worth via the fleeting illusion of popularity among my fellow humans–and measuring it in the factual certainty of ‘numbers’, such as ‘Like’ beans or ‘Follower’ tokens.

In actual fact, this post will not provide the answer to ‘Why Change Your Blog Theme?‘ and will just tell you why I changed my blog theme, which I think is broadly in line with other posts that are often titled with a question but actually, when you think about it, never really properly answer it and tell you lots of other things instead.

Changing Themes

Regular readers of this blog might have noticed that I have changed the way I look here. Again. This is of course a distraction for me–when I can’t think of actual new words, I end up trying to make the presentation of my previous words look good. Or at least, different.

This current Theme is called Colinear. I previously used Rowling, and I briefly owned one of the Premium themes, ‘Opti’ until I found out that you don’t really get the theme that you have paid for when you pay for a Premium theme without also paying more for a Premium WordPress account.

Rowling before

I liked the clean, neat and tidy presentation Rowling gave me, and I didn’t have too many niggles about what it couldn’t do at first. Then, on following back to see where a ‘like’ had come from one day–I often do that, curious to see if it was a normal human or not–I came across another blog using the same theme. And it looked exactly like mine.

At first of course, I thought ‘Oh, how rude, copying me.’ Which was silly, and after two seconds I realised it wasn’t rude and they were obviously just a very tasteful person who had made the same reasoned, logical and refined choices in life as me.

But I had also just realised it was hard to look even just a tiny bit individual with that theme.

The main reason for a lack of self-expression with Rowling–apart from the actual writing lacking much expression, self or otherwise–is that it doesn’t allow header images. At first I wasn’t bothered by that, but choosing your own header image, even creating one, is something that allows you demonstrate even a tiny bit of personality if you have one. Apart from the colouring of the menu bar and changing the fonts you use on Rowling, there is little you can do that is different on your website.

I haven’t got too much individuality I want to share, but I do have just enough that this was an itch that needed some ointment.

Ooh…thank you Doctor

The other thing I wanted to address, which led to me spending hours choosing a new theme, was how to draw readers attention to older posts. Rowling didn’t have a ‘featured posts’ area, and as you may have read on a previous post, I’d got a bit despondent about older posts never seeing the light of day again after falling down or even off the front page. I had even resolved to delete older ones.

Changing the ‘Random Post‘ menu item to the title Press for Free Samplehas sorted that out to a certain extent, but this theme is one that appears to put ‘Related Posts’ at the end of each rambling post effort. So, that’s a double win–despite it also not actually having any Featured Post display functions–and a stay of execution for my older posts now.

The one downside was that, in common with a lot of the free themes, if I wanted the Featured Image in the post on the front page, it was HUGE. Nice, if a picture is actually worth displaying, but more often than not I only have pictures here as a post category identification, so not worth displaying at a gut-busting main course size before you get to the word salads.

On Colinear, I discovered you could turn Featured Images off completely on the front page. That made me happy, because I find blogs with a jumble of images, widgets with pictures of book covers and awards etc, all competing with each other for attention–and sometimes set along with background colour/text colour combinations that even I grew out of combining in computer science classes in the 1980’s–mentally exhausting. And if it’s flashing or auto-scrolling anywhere, I’ll probably get seasick.

I wanted quiet, peaceful, understated.

Plus, I don’t have to remember to set a featured image in editing now either.

So, with a change of font and a–unique to me–monochrome header image (I know it is because I drew it), plus ridding the front page of feature images on the post listing, I have completely changed the feel and style of the blog to something that I hope gives an air of an old and classy broadsheet newspaper, which might of course distract from the majority of the content being complete bollocks.

New Readers

Still here? Blimey.

Regular Readers

Yeah, a bit longer than usual, but at least you still get the familiar and strangely comforting feeling of wondering why you bothered at the end.

Thank you for visiting Scribblans today. Sorry it probably wasn’t very good this time.
Did you know, if you share this post on your social media, it might have the effect of making you feel better? About everything?
Yes it could. Well, try it if you don’t believe me then.

9 thoughts on “Why Change Your Blog Theme?

  1. Yes, I tried on a few different clothes as well. The old -nine years or so, whatever- theme looked less than stellar. I wound up with one- whatever the hell it is now- that seemed Okey dokey. I rang the changes, run it up the flag pole, put up the banner, proudly posted it… to zero fan fare, much less followers. Then, on visiting Colins ‘Getting On,’ I realised his public face is like mine (did.)
    Ah well. Anyway, enjoy the change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks dangly yes, I do prefer not to have too much going on, or much that’s flashy.
      I’ve never managed to keep a blog going for as long as six years though–although I think I have been blogging for more than that long, just it’s more than six different blogs in that time!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d say it’s close to perfect as you can get under the parameters. Reminds me though that I really must actually come here sometimes rather than through the Reader. Most of the time I use that to avoid the illegible choices people make in their themes but I should have known you’d pick one easy on the compromised eye and brain…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I won’t type as much as I have to Herb about it all again… 😉 But yes, I agree that there are a few shockers out there that belies the quality of the actual content…(and some where it is actually a fair indicator of it)
      In fact some of it’s like you gave a toddler the toy box and they just emptied all the contents out on the floor, instead of just reaching into the box and finding the ones they really wanted.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very nice and clean. I am forever and always tinkering and putzing with mine when I should just forget the stupid theme and write some content. I have been trying to make it a point to visit people’s actual blogs than use the reader but it’s sometimes handier and quicker.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suspect you’re not alone in regularly using, even preferring, to use the reader Herb–which kind of points to my recent theme travails as fairly academic in a way.

      I used to write poems where the formatting was part of the ‘joke’, a tennis one where the words made your eyes go side to side to read it, one in the shape of a pear, one in a shape of a wine glass etc, but having caught one of them on the reader, which stripped all that formatting out and so left the reader with effectively no joke, I put in a disclaimer so they’d know it was better on the blog… and then stopped messing about like that eventually.

      The existence of the reader, a place where all your fancy work on your colours, fonts and widgets is stripped out to give the reader a more comfortable experience, should give more bloggers the hint that a lot of that stuff is superfluous.

      But obviously it remains that your actual blog is the one place where you can make things more or less your own (within theme limits anyway), so it’s worth spending some effort on the way it looks.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. I have been seeing on a couple of Photoblogs I look at a message to the effect that there are slideshows involved and it’s best viewed on their site.

        Liked by 1 person

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