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Zero to Hero: Day Five

  1. Enjoying following some of these blogs. Keep up the good work everyone.

  2. I recently changed my theme, and I am quite happy with it, however I would love to get some feedback from a reader, since I am rather biased. So could some of you check it out and tell me what you think? :)

  3. michelleweber
    Staff

    Nice to see y'all exploring themes! I expect that most folks will stick with the the theme they cam in with, but it's valuable to see how the design of your site can change the feeling your words and images exude -- in the end, being mindful of that makes you a better blogger and storyteller.

  4. I find that I'm constantly playing around with my theme and the layout. I tried a few new ones today, but am sticking with forever because it lets me have a background that is truly in the back and my text is clear on a separate (white) background.

    Right now I'm trying to make some pretty little banners so that all of my buttons in my sidebar look uniform. I also just created a (very basic) banner, but am having trouble getting the orange down. Does anyone know of a good tool to draw the color out of an image? Also, what do you guys think of the fonts and the tagline? Both the name and tagline are something I plan on changing one day... maybe... what do people think about the blog name of Jillian Paige Blogs? It kind of goes with my Twitter handle @jillpaigetweets and pinterest @jillpaigepins... I should change my Instagram and Tumblr! Haha!

    Wow... that got rambley.

  5. Sorry to double post.. Gosh. That's the worst. But you can click on my name to get to my blog. Not sure if that's the obvious route people would have taken...

  6. I recently changed my theme to The Bushwick theme...I quite like it so far..have a lot more editing to do, but as I can be biased...someone tell me how it looks :)?
    http://dhavie96.wordpress.com/

  7. Loving today's task and the challenge so far! So I've been wanting to thank the people running it, you are doing an amazing job helping us out! It's been only a few days and I feel like I've learned a bunch already!

    To today's task, I've been playing around with themes for the last couple days, and today I tried the one I noticed before but didn't think it would fit my blog. Guess what, it actually fits pretty well I think! So I'll be keeping that for now :)

  8. It was nice looking though the new themes, but overall, the one I have won out:)

  9. I found a great new theme and decided to change. Since then, I can't access my blog at all! It just gives me an error. Why?

  10. I had settled on a theme (fruit shake) but wasn't in love with it. I kept looking at other ones but still couldn't decide. I'm trying out a new one now thought that I really enjoy (Zoren). I'll probably still decide to change it all the time though!

  11. I did the assignment and ultimately kept my original theme (Piano Black) because my blog is really about the words. What was most helpful for me, was playing around with the previews. I plan on incorporating images into my blog at some point and now I am not so intimidated by the technology. I am really enjoying connecting with other folks, from the novices to the veterans.

  12. michelleweber
    Staff

    @jennafoo, what's your URL? Happy to take a peek.

    @wundertier, so glad you're finding it fun and useful! Hope the next 25 days are just as good :)

  13. I just spent an hour and a half looking at other themes.

    I almost switched from Able to Motif but it doesn't display my blog's tagline and the "Category" widget uses too much space and fixing it with my Custom CSS would be a massive pain.

    Instead I went through the themes I did like and realised a couple of changes to Able using Custom CSS would get most of them.

    Now I'm half way through that process and already pleased as punch at the improvements.

    // Tony

  14. sabrinacaldwell
    Member

    The Photographicalist, Day 5

    That was so much fun! I tried out all kinds of themes using preview.

    Michelle your advice to try to match the theme style to the usual components of the blog made a lot of sense. So because I write fewer, longer blogs, I need a theme with more space for words and photos.

    I tried Blogum, Motif, Flounder, Skeptical, iTheme and a lot of themes that might have been suitable and even some like Chalkboard, Rusty Grunge and MLBlog Deals that definitely weren’t suitable but I was curious to see how my blog would look. Sometimes it was a crash and burn but other times it was rather enlightening.

    This assignment highlighted many things for me – where I’ve changed the style of text it doesn’t always translate over to different themes, that my references look very different in different themes, that my short description of my blog looks better in some themes than others, etc.

    Ultimately I came back to Choco because it seems the most scholarly, which is important to me. But I'm going to look at how I can customise a few little things.

    Speaking of scholarly, I would be interested in people's views on the approach I plan to take to my blog - rather than posting frequent, short posts, I am systematically taking specific aspects of photography and exploring them in depth. Because they are longer posts, I intend to post at a rate of 3 per month. I think (hope) this will make my approach more palatable to my followers.

    I put up one such post today (Feeling out of your bit depth?) and I would be interested in any or all of:
    - whether you think you would read posts of that length if they only appeared three times a month,
    - if you think I've used enough lightness in my tone despite the technical nature of the subject of the post (bit depth in photography), and
    - what sorts of things you would expect to find on a blog about photo credibility: a gallery of famous fake photos? photograph forensics detection?

    Now back to customising!

    Cheers, Sabrina

  15. michelleweber
    Staff

    @sabrinacaldwell, if you don't already, be sure to tag any posts that are 1000+ words with "wplongform." There's definitely a passionate community of folks who enjoy reading longer, more in-depth pieces!

  16. Ultimately I stayed with my original theme but today's challenge did cause me to do some revamping of my current theme and clean things up a bit.

    http://www.beingsaintjoseph.com/

  17. @dhavie96 Like you I also changed to the Bushwick theme but don't know how you got these menus at the top of your blog - who am I?, my photography, contact me - any hints would be much appreciated.
    my blog is http://www.debz2653.wordpress.com if you want to have a look at what I've done so far.

    I enjoyed this task but it was a good time waster took me ages to try all the different free themes - lucky I'm still on holidays - but I'm back to work tomorrow!

  18. sabrinacaldwell
    Member

    oooh, thanks very much michelle, I shall do so forthwith!

  19. @debz2653

    Bushwick theme but don't know how you got these menus at the top of your blog

    We can create static pages on any blog theme and we can have a custom menu on any theme.

    Please read this first Post vs. Page http://en.support.wordpress.com/post-vs-page/
    For creating a page see here
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/pages/#create-a-new-page

    (1) There is only one page we can post to in any blog.
    (2) The static pages http://en.support.wordpress.com/pages/ we bloggers create do not automatically update.

    Only the dynamic pages like Archives, Categories and Tags created by the software when we publish a post will update automatically update with new posts.

    By default the front page of the blog is the Page that displays all posts in your blog. You can create a static front page and have your published posts display on another page http://en.support.wordpress.com/pages/front-page/ but doing that does not change what follows.

    Though there is only one dynamic page in a blog for posts (not pages) http://en.support.wordpress.com/post-vs-page/ and we cannot post to more than that one page, we can create the appearance that we have posted to more than one page.

    This guide will walk you through how to create category pages for your blog, to display groupings of similar posts on pages other than your front page. http://en.support.wordpress.com/category-pages/

    Create a custom menu
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/menus/#creating-a-custom-menu
    Add dynamic categories and sub-categories pages to it
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/menus/#adding-category-pages
    Create order and sub-menus (dropdowns)
    http://en.support.wordpress.com/menus/#changing-the-order-creating-sub-menus

  20. Thanks for the challenge. I have tried a few and am now on 2011 based on someone's recommendations having read all the comments here.
    The biggest downside to this seems to be not being able to see an index of all the blogs at first site. You have to scroll down.
    As a reader does that bug you?
    http://susipet.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/nearly/
    Would love your thoughts

    Really enjoying this challenge.
    Susi

  21. I'm always looking at themes, and I think I've found one that I can stick with for a while. Though I wish i could change the color template, but I don't have the Custom Design....yet. I plan to purchase it after a certain point if i get more followers. Kind of like a reward if my blog hits certain milestones, a reward for myself :). I like the look of my theme, I think its simple enough for my blog and I just really enjoy it. Nothing to distracting, I hope. Really enjoying this 5 days so far. Just wish I could be more active when others are well active rather then in the middle of the night

    http://theartisticnobody.wordpress.com/

  22. Just browse my new theme today at my blog. It took me 3 hours to find the right one and to make it the way I wanted! So happy with the final result! I think theme like ; Forefront, Basis and Ryu is a great alternative for my Theme. Somehow I'm still love to use my Yoko theme.hehehehe
    Follow me @soekarnold

  23. So I did some searching on the Internet for images in the public domain to refresh my blog while keeping my theme since I couldn't find another theme I liked better. I think I found new pictures that keep with my desert theme but are new and different from before. I like that I was finally able to give my blog a facelift after 4 years. While the old pictures were perfectly fine, after seeing them for 4 years I needed a change. :)

  24. I've been using Strange Little Town theme for almost 2 months. Not so strange enough, I got bored with it :-)

    This challenge had me to try some of the themes and I changed it. I'm happy with my new theme. Here goes:

    http://wildandfreeandme.wordpress.com/my-blogs/

    I'd like to know feed backs, thank you :-)

  25. I just want to thank @thistimethisspace/@timethief for all of the great blog tips. I especially like the idea of creating a private mirrored blog to use for testing themes and designs without affecting the published blog. This might also be a good place to try different blog posting tools and features without people seeing the posts. I didn't have time to do this today, but I think I will be creating a private blog for testing out stuff.

    Thanks!

  26. @thistimethisspace Thank you so much for your very helpful info. I've found the setting which allows me to change how many posts I display on my home page thanks to your link. So easy - but I was pretty knackered last night after all that blogging lol ;)

  27. I tried many different themes but somehow I haven't found any that could be more suitable for my blog than the current one. What I like about Widely theme is that it's rather simple and clear and that it allows to post big pictures. As my blog focuses on travel photography I'd like it it to present my shots to the best advantage.
    However what I lack a bit is the side area, where I could put some widgets to enhance the navigation through my blog. However whenever I choose the theme with the second column, the main column becomes narrower and doesn't look so nice. If you have some ideas, I would appreciate =)

  28. @sabrinacaldwell OK. So I don't know anything about photography and much of the terminology in your posts is totally beyond me. However, your writing style is so succinct that I could understand it most of it, and also I did not feel like I was lost in a really long post. I post once a week and spend a lot of time crafting each post. I am finding that so long as readers know when to expect my posts, that is kind of working for me (I think!).

    @michellewebber. Thank you for the wplongform tip. I try to keep my post under a 1000 words as it focusses me - but I often fail (you might gather from these forum post I have a tendency to waffle!).

  29. I enjoyed looking through the different themes, but found it hard to change simply because I was so familiar with making my way around my blog with its current theme. But change I did. I have a bit of tweeking to do, but nothing unsurmountable - just can't spend a lump of time on it right now.

    I'll need to visit some posts and edit the spacing so the text wraps better. Also, I was thinking of checking the links on old posts while I have got the Edit window open, as I know some of them are probably dead ends by now. I hate clicking on links and finding that they go no-where or somewhere unexpected. Does anyone else check and edit previous links?

  30. That was an effort and a half! This blog changed to Flounder from Clean Home (blue) and it feels 1000% better.

    My other blog changed from Coraline to My Life - that change I'm not so sure about because Coraline is such a great theme :)

    Now I'm off to tidy up the blog and take advantage of some of the changes.

    Thanks!

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