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To other Traction users

  1. I'm just wondering if other Traction users are finding that making a new post a sticky is not a good idea, as people seem to bypass the sticky posts until they are interested in your blog by reading the "Recent Articles" first and coming back later to read the ones flashing by at the top of the blog.

    I ask only because I made a new post sticky immediately and it has had far less views that the post before it or after it. Either that, or people are just afraid of numbers! :)

    The blog I need help with is teamoyeniyi.wordpress.com.

  2. Hi, great job with your site, looks really good.

    Have you had any additional data to suggest whether it was a one off or persistent issue?

    I've made the switch to Traction within the last couple of hours but I'm still tweaking and have left the Featured Post slider disabled for now as it's going to take a major overhaul of the types of images I use and also the way I use them. It seems like one of those daunting tasks I'm not sure whether I can face yet!

    I was just wondering whether it is even worth using the slider and stickies if it is going to reduce hits. I find most of my traffic comes from direct links/search engines as opposed to the home page so maybe it wouldn't make much of a difference.

    One other quick question on sticky posts: is there a limit to how many appear in the slider? I'm not keen on constantly re-editing posts to change the sticky status so was thinking of making all future posts sticky. If newer posts replace older ones on the slider that's great but I don't want to do that if it will bring it all grinding to a halt!

  3. I think the slider increases hits on older posts, especially in my case because people want to get the background when they first visit. My page is wrtten as a progression, so to understand current posts, you really need the background.

    I think it might have been two things in that particular case: 1) numbers put people off!! LOL and 2) I still think it is not a good idea for brand new posts. People come back to it, after reading current stuff.

    So I think in future I would not make a post a sticky until it is at least a week old.

    I would NOT make all posts sticky (do not know if you can, even). I think 4 is about right. Think what would happen to the front page if you did make them all sticky.

    Thanks for the compliment!

  4. Just looked at your blog! Given your topic (and number of hits per day) if I were you, I'd pick 4 really punchy entries with great graphics (I don't have great graphics I can post yet due to the situation) and put them on your lsider. Seehow it goes for at least a week or so, then reasses.

  5. @teamoyeniyi, i myself do not like the slider i have seen it many time's over the past year and i think it take's away from the blog. and as you said how many people are going to wait and see what come's round before they click it, very few i would say.

  6. I think people do look at it after reading a few entries.

    Let's throw it open - do readers like or dislike the slider?

    May need a new topic?

  7. I must say the slider was one of the main attractions for me in switching to this theme. I was previously using the iNove theme and found that even showing only five posts on the front page was making it very long. My hope was that the slider would showcase my posts more with the four most current/relevant ones prominent at the top via the slider leaving me with room for four older ones below. I think the biggest problem is that it doesn't work well with existing images and so requires a quite tedious process get it ready for first use, not to mention the extra work required each time I make a new post. I'm sure it will be streamlined over time though.

    As I mentioned above I don't seem to get people browsing the home page too much but they do tend to move between articles via the Recent Posts list on the sidebar. Hopefully having a sleeker, professional and more modern theme will help encourage people to discover content in new ways!

  8. @tsardom - I think too it is a different look and feel for blogs - I mean, most are static, no movement. With the slider we have movement. I read quite a lot of blogs (I'm not a TV watcher) and I don't see too many with motion.

    Certainly it is probably not a great SEO attribute, as it probably makes the pages slower to load on slower internet connections.

    Maybe we are just at the forefront of blog development! At least that is what we and the author of the theme can tell ourselves, huh? :)

    Yes, getting the images right for the slider takes a littel work, but I didn't find it too combersome - once you worked out the first one, the rest were easy.

  9. I also find there aren't too many blogs utilising motion, although as a technology fan those types of sites seem more likely to have it. I do think we're at the cutting edge though - it only seems to be the very latest themes which have motion.

    Now that a new generation of web browsers has arrived there's definitely more of an emphasis on a rich and interactive web experience. Over the next couple of years I think people will come to expect it. Any any rate we're ahead of the game and it definitely sets our blogs apart! I love that I've gone from a theme used by almost 190,000 sites to one used by 295!

    I spent hours in photoshop last night with lots images open to cut from and stitch together. Managed to get 4 stories on the featured slider, 3 of which required me to make a custom graphic. At least now I've worked the placements and sizings needed so that it looks great as the large image but also as the in-post one. Thank god I've got 12GB of RAM in my PC is all I can say! Luckily a lot of my posts are on similar topics so I can create a graphic for each topic and apply it to all posts.

  10. Very nicely done! I like your header - narrower than mine and I think that is a good thing - I'll work on mine I think.

    Love that you are SO up on the stats - 295, you say? Wow, we are relatively unique! Rich and interactive - yep, that's us! :))

    May I suggest putting your "more" tag a little higher in the text of the featured posts? I have a pretty large screen (23 or something inches) and I can't see the bottom of the slider unless I scroll up - those with smaller screens......

    I have 6Gb of RAM, but I am NOT a gamer and I don't try to overclock and I don't need a water cooled PC! :)

  11. I've noticed quite a few blogs with this theme tend to have a bigger header but it took me a whole weekend earlier this year to get that one right so thought I'd stick with it!

    Ha I was curious as to usage because I run across sites with the iNove theme and wanted something a bit more exclusive! I'm hoping the new theme will encourage more new/repeat visitors. Lack of direct hits on home page suggests people don't tend to come direct to the site. Started site almost 6 months ago and had just over 40,000 visits so far, so can't complain but would like a core of dedicated readers.

    Thanks for the heads up, I'll look into that. Thought they were a bit bulky but wasn't keen on splitting it mid-paragraph. My 40" TV doubles as my PC monitor so it's always hard to judge how things look on most peoples' PCs. I think I read somewhere that Traction can utilise the Except option for the slider so perhaps looking into that could be a solution.

    Yeah I do my gaming on PS3 but I'm generally excessive and when I built a new computer last year I wanted to future proof it and make it last for years. Seeing Photoshop gobble up 6GB+ of RAM at once and still run smoothly provides some justification for the frivolous expense! Haha.

  12. @teamoyenyi I've made a few changes to the posts on the slider and further truncated the longer ones. I've managed to get the slider window the same size for them all now. I also removed the ratings option from the front page as that seemed to pad out the slider more.

    Has this improved the way it appears on your screen at all? It will be hard to shorten the text any more without losing the enticement for people to read on. I tried the Excerpt feature but that appears on the button next to the thumbnails so made matters worse!

  13. I think that looks much better. Good work. Sorry - different time zone and all that!

  14. Cheers for the feedback on that. Later this month I'll be switching to a laptop for a few weeks so I guess I'll be even more conscious of it then!

  15. Just thought I'd share an observation I've made: since getting Traction fully set up I've noticed a significant increase in hits on my homepage and more people browsing around the site. I don't know if it's the more professional and polished look of this theme over the old one, or whether it's the fact Traction makes content more accessible. Either way I'm glad I switched!

  16. I've slowed my slider down and I do think that is better.

    My traffic has also picked up lately - although I'm not sure if it Traction or not yet - I changed my banner and this one if more likely to generate interest I think, than the leaves and trees - but there was a reason for that!

  17. @tsardom
    I really like what you have done with the header and the slider on your theme.

  18. @teamoyeniyi I like the new header - more simple and less distracting. I'd possibly shift the text to the left so it fits between the images as it seems a bit on balanced with the current positioning.

    @timethief thanks, it was a lot of trial and error to get it to a stage I was happy with. The header was created for my old theme but still works well. I've learned so much about photoshop since switching to traction that I'm about to use it to remake the logo and header with sharper quality and a bit more polish! I used Publisher to create the originals!

  19. I'll keep working on it. *sigh* - why do I have a theme with a darn header? LOL

  20. Lol at least with Traction it's easy to experiment. Was a nightmare on my old theme and required patching together HTML code. Took a long time to get it right!!

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