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!!)
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.
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 🙂
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!
You can also find Deb’s World here – come join the fun!