Why a change is as good as a holiday

A change is as good as a holiday – well so they say! But as my life is now one big holiday I have to look elsewhere for my inspiration to change things up.

Changing it up:

I did just that earlier in the week, when I participated in a blogging group activity looking for feedback on our blogs.  It was great fun.

How it worked was bloggers were allowed to ask up to three questions about their blog, for example: things like loading time of the page, links working, pop ups working, how it looks, social media buttons easy to find, follow buttons, and any general tips on ways to improve things from an outsider’s perspective.

If we left our link asking for feedback we were to visit at least one other page and offer constructive feedback.  As is the case with most of the bloggers in this particular group, many people went above and beyond and looked at everyone else’s blogs and left helpful comments.  It was a really good activity to participate in, especially to read all the comments and suggestions.  I enjoyed the opportunity to look at other blogs and see the variety in styles, layouts, focus and colours. Everyone was so generous in sharing their thoughts and all without resorting to any nastiness or belittling.

Feedback on my blog:

One of the problems identified with my blog was the background colour – the theme I was using was on a black background with light coloured text which bothered some of the reviewers. But then again, others commented on how they liked the dark background! I had always liked the layout, as did others,  with its large photos in a grid pattern, and just a few lines of text giving a taste of what the post was about underneath.

The biggest issue was that my menus got lost in my header picture and it was all a bit too busy.  I had tried to change the colour of the text before with no luck, so I wasn’t too surprised at these comments.

This gave me the impetus to shop around for a new theme! I had been using my previous theme for a few years and decided the time was right for a change. And no time like the present!  Or as my husband says attacking it like a bull in a china shop.

As anyone who has ever looked for a new theme knows, it was a hard, cconfusing and arduous exercise.

The good thing with WordPress is that you can try the themes out,
with your own content, before committing to that theme.

I spent a good few hours playing around with a variety of styles and finally decided on the Arcade theme.  It was quite hard to actually hit the activate button, as I was quite attached to how my blog had looked. But it was time for a change.

I tweaked my blog over the next few days, playing with colours, widgets, fonts, headers, changed my text around and am now at the stage that I can say I’m really happy with it.

I had decided I wanted to keep my header photo as it says a lot about my blog – my arms outstretched while standing on top of the highest mountain in Australia  and the world spread about before me – so I worked with it and made it fit in.  (Don’t worry I don’t have a Jesus complex, I’m just scared of heights and I’m proud of myself for being able to stand this close to the edge!!)

Mt Kosciuszko, Australia, walk, hike, me
On top of Australia

I also like the fun quirky style of the theme, the large header and button icons below.  It was really easy to work with and I’m pleased with myself for managing it all without too much stress and no swearing!

In fact, I’ve surprised even myself with my ability to learn new things, reading and following complex instructions, looking on the support pages and forums for explanations and pulling it all together!  It’s true,  an old dog can learn new tricks!  My favourite part has been learning how to insert a pull quote 🙂

As a result I feel better about myself, I feel competent and confident.  Sometimes it’s the little things that can make the most difference.

Your turn

Now I’d like to invite you to have a look and see if you notice the changes, how it works for you on a variety of screens (it is mobile friendly) and if you have any thoughts or comments.

I’d really like to thank all the contributors to last week’s Big Up Your Blog Facebook group (you know who you are) for their support and encouragement, of not just me, but everyone else who asked for help and received it in bucket loads.  It’s a fantastic group of people and a real community. It’s one of my joys of blogging, belonging to this group 🙂

Why change your blog theme, on wordpress blogs.
Why change your theme

How about you?

So have you changed your blog’s theme and have a positive or negative experience to share?

I’d be keen to hear your thoughts. I love it when people leave me a comment, so don’t be shy – comment away!

Deb xx

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59 Replies to “Why a change is as good as a holiday”

  1. Deb, I did notice the new theme. The white background gave it away for me. It feels more corporate or perhaps institutional (of the educational kind) somehow with a white background but that might just be my experience of university learning management systems.
    The font is cleaner too … but, for me, that makes it more clinical.
    Your old theme and style was certainly chaotic and busy but it represented elements of your personality in a way that I’m not sure this one does.
    The content is the key for me though -substance over style is one of my mantras – and your substance is substantial: thought provoking, emotional, authentic, honest.
    To me that’s what makes a blog work. It can be as pretty as a picture but if it has no substance I’m not engaged. Your blog is chock full of substance and I’m always engaged when I visit.
    How you navigate the space between what others think and advise is always tricky, but my advice, for what it’s worth is to be true to who you are. If that doesn’t please others’ aesthetic sensibilities or doesn’t fit with some supposed ‘right way to do a blog’, too bad! Your content and the warmth you exude through your writing is what keeps people coming back.
    That’s my ten cents worth!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your ten cents worth, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me. I know it may look a bit more structured than before but I’m up for a bit of a change around. It’s more that I can actually do these things too, learning new skills and growing as a blogger and I get that feeling of accomplishment, which I perhaps am missing from not being employed anymore.

      Your words on my content make me happy as I try to be open and honest in my writing, with a view to capturing my thoughts at the time. You probably know me best, so I am heartened that you feel I’m doing it with warmth and substance. Always good to have you in my corner 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve only just found your blog so i can’t comment on the changes but as a new reader it looks clean, easy to read and navigate. I like your header picture.

    I’ve changed my theme this week as well but i did it with a lot of swearing and putting my computer in time out several times so i didn’t throw it out the window! Well done for achieving your look without the swearing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jem, it’s lovely to have you comment and I’m pleased you found my blog! Changing themes is hard work and quite challenging so well done, even if you had a few well chosen words to say along the way 🙂 I’m following you now too, and I really like your layout, very nice!

      Like

  3. Fast work!! The blogger group interaction was really useful (my theme has also received an overhaul!) I love the clean new look but would agree with some of the points Sharon made. Your personality is what draws us back to keep reading and living a new adventure through your eyes. Having a side bar with images of your travels or past blogs might break up the white space and tempt us to explore your lovely blog. I do love the new look though and can easily read the headings xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a lovely comment, I really appreciate it! Good luck in your blogging journey, I really enjoy the connections I make with others and reading other people’s ideas. I look forward to reading your blog.

      Like

  4. I really like the white background and less cluttered look. Your home page looks great (not sure if I’ve ever looked at that before as I just follow post links, so I can’t compare that though!) The header is also great on the home page but cropped on individual posts so you’ve lost your head and most of the title. I don’t know if this is a screen size issue – I’m reading on an iPad. In 6 years I’ve only ever had two themes and have been meaning to change again for a LONG time – soon, soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Deb,
    I think the changes look great. I also think you make an excellent point about learning new things and not being afraid to change. Sometimes, I just take a different route to work to break the routine of the same thing every day. Change, simply seeing the world slightly differently, can shake things loose that lead to growth and insight. It’s fabulous that you took the invitation to try something new.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the new theme Deb. Personally I do prefer the white and I love your header – it really does reflect the ethos of your blog.. living life to the full and embracing challenges.. I think it really stands out now against the white background, better than previously. The blog group feedback is a brilliant idea – I’ve been making changes to my blog over the last few months (still ongoing) and I feel like I’ve made progress but whether it works for readers is difficult to assess so feedback without nastiness sounds perfect! I love the ‘pull quote’ – I’ve not managed that yet so any tips would be gratefully received!

    Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Wendy, I appreciate your positive comments and for taking the time to let me know your thoughts. Your blog is going well, I always enjoy catching up with your posts. I’m so proud of my pull quote, I’ll probably overdose my posts with them now that I know how to do it. 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Nice work Deb. The new theme looks great! Love those purple icons. That’s the problem with just staying in the Reader on the phone app, you never get to see the beautiful themes people use! I’m thinking about changing mine up as well. Just as soon as I have some time up my sleeve 😊😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I totally agree that it is good to have a change of theme,Deb. I think I’ve changed mine about four times but sticking with the current one for a while. I like the white background that you have used and yes to me it is a little easier to navigate. WordPress has so many themes and a change really motivates you to write, I think. That is what it does for me anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the new look, Deb. I don’t like black backgrounds and much prefer reading black text on white, so that is a great change for you. Your content made it worth it to me but this is much better. Your head re photo is so great, that I feel a little cheated to only see the middle of your body, and they heart lands on your right cheek when I view this on my iPad. I don’t if you can adjust it or not. I wish I would have seen that thread on BUYB so I could have gotten feedback on my blog. I hope they do it again since I expect to have more time to participate with a new part time work schedule. Congrats on migrating to a new theme. It is a big deal. I’ve don’t it a couple of times and it is hard to push that button to make the commitment!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Molly it is a big deal so I appreciate your understanding my dilemma and angst about it all. I’m really happy with the fresh new look and feel good about it. I know the heart lands on my right cheek of my backside and I like it that way!! I’m not sure how to change it so I’ll stick with it 😊I’m sure BUYB will do regular threads similar to this on Mondays so keep an eye out! I always enjoy reading your blog 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for this post Deb…..I have this nagging habit of fiddling around with my themes and am hardly satisfied, already changed my theme couple of times by now..:)…..I love this look of your blog in Arcade. It looks quite elegant and simplistic. Do you suggest widgets to be there in a blog or totally omitted ?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi, Debbie – I agree that change can be as good as a rest. I love your new theme. Crisp, clean, very readable and easy to navigate!

    I’ve made a commitment to myself to change up my theme on each of my Blogoversaries. If nothing else, it keeps my learning curve straight up and helps me to get rid of anything that may have become outdated on my site. Like you, I previously had a white print on black background (WordPress Theme 2014). After some feedback on a blogging course that I was taking (otherwise, an utterly useless course…but that is a whole different story) I switched to a white background with black type (WordPress Theme 2017) which I have been happy with so far. Like Molly above, I wish that I had known about the BUYB event. I would have loved to get feedback from that group. If you know of a similar event coming soon, please let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your positive feedback Donna, it’s always good to hear from you. I’m glad the changes work for you and I am really happy with the result. I admire you for changing your theme each blogoversary, that’s a great idea, which I might use in future. Your blog is always a pleasure to read and navigate but if there is another thread of a similar nature I’ll let you know. I think they were going to run them on Mondays. Take care 😊

      Like

  12. Hi Deb, must admit I really like an uncluttered white background sort of look so I really like the look of your new theme. Good on you for changing things up. Every now and then I think my blog feels a bit tired and boring and needs a revamp and change but I ultimately come back to the same old look. Well done on making the changes. Though I’ll be honest, I love your blog and I’d read it no matter what. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I like the lighter background – I find it easier to read, but I’ve always loved your blog so it doesn’t make that much difference to me. I changed my theme a couple of months ago and I still love it every time I open my blog – I’m a big fan of my slider at the top and the “clean” look of it all. It cost me $7 and was the biggest bargain ever!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It is easy to get comfortable using a certain theme and then sticking with it. I’m thinking about some changes in my own themes, but I’m not quite ready to make the leap without thinking things through some more. I like your white background and find it easy to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. aaaaah, I was wondering and noticed the new look. I love it, I loved your dark look before, too. But, I think you have done the right thing, as I just recently read an article about the dark background and white font. It is apparently not very reader-friendly, I must admit that seems to be right. Especially when we get a bit older, I need specs for reading, and sometimes I really would love to tell all these youngsters to adjust their font size and make it a little bigger. Yours is just perfect for me!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I do love a little fresh rearranging on my cyber-home. It’s looking great Deb! I didn’t hate the light on black, but it just didn’t have that warm touch that your words so beautifully portray! The blog post itself had a beautiful lay out as well!

    Liked by 1 person

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