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Does my blog look passable?

  1. I was wondering if some more seasoned wordpress users could take a quick peak at my blog and let me know if it looks passable, if I should start looking to get readers, or if the blog will just keep people from coming back for good. Reasons for this would be if the blog doesn't look professional, maybe too many colors (unfortunately new ones keep popping up and the hover underlines keep changing, and I was able to change the recent posts widget text a week ago but now its stuck on orange, which is different from the rest of the sidebar text, etc etc). The post title font also doesn't look very good to me. it's not that I can't edit the font, I can (also I cant seem to do it without altering a few other sections as well). The biggest issue is no existing font I've tried seems to look good as a title. Then there's the twitter widget, I've set my sidebar text and all that, and the twitter widget obeys for the most part, except for my twitter name at the very bottom of it is in dark blue, which isnt one of my 3-4 colors that I use. There's a few things like that which I worry makes the blog look unprofessional.

    The blog I need help with is

  2. Hit submit without thinking and finishing the post. But not much else to add actually, would just appreciate if people let me know what they think, if there's anything I should change before "going public" so to speak. Thank you!

  3. I am not an authority on blogs, but I do find your site 'passable':). Personally I am not a fan of using plain colors like how you have used the greens in the background, but I assume it suits the context of your content. Otherwise its good enough to roll out:)

  4. moved to the "Off Topic" forum where questions like this are often discussed.

  5. The theme is great, but there is nothing there but a bunch of test text. I am not sure if you meant for that, but I do not think it's ready to be rolled out like that. :)

  6. The colour is a bit too blue. It makes reading your blog harder. You need to tone it down.

  7. It’s already gone public. IMO, the blog connected to "puckcircle" needs to come down. The one on your link is nice.

    "The biggest issue is no existing font I've tried seems to look good as a title."
    --Do you mean the font on your posts or the font on your header?

    I like the bright blue. What I don’t like is how you’ve put the bright blue in a very large font size up at the top (“The best free agent signings…”) It’s not uniform with the smaller size bright blue and it’s too cluttered, too noisy. It detracts your readers. The irony is: You’re trying to grab our attention with your introduction on what you’re trying to do (I hear you) but it’s working against you b/c it puts us off. So you’re accomplishing the exact opposite of what you’re trying to do.

    1. Put it somewhere else
    2. Edit the two paragraphs to one sentence
    3. Get rid of it all together (it’s an academic approach)

    Academic Approach:

    Tell us what you’re going to tell us
    Tell us, then
    Tell us what you told us

    Also, using all bright blue at the bottom (for the videos) is cluttered. You need to break it up with photos of the videos or in some other fashion.

    Regarding the writing --you've got a sports writer's touch. This is perfect for your blog. If I were you, I'd pay even closer attention to how sports editors write newspaper columns. I'd also tape record a hockey game and play back the parts where the hosts are talking about it. There is a life-or-death mentality to the way sports stories are told. It’s as if nothing else matters. That said… Your writing is ‘tight’ (well-edited) and ‘clean’ (unnecessary stuff taken out). You’re using metaphors (“missed the boat”).

    PS: Is the shark a good kisser? I love the avatar.

  8. Sorry I didnt clarify, I have two blogs, one is under puckcircle and its not ready at all, I havent really started building it yet, just a lot of test text. The one I want feedback on is That one is live now, or published, but not many people are visiting it yet, so I still have time to make improvements.

  9. @bhavenjani,

    Well, the colors are taken from the sports team, the San Jose Sharks. I mean I couldn't find a way to copy the exact colors from photos of their uniforms and use them, but I did my best to find some good teals and oranges by experimenting with color codes. So that's why the colors are what they are. As for the green background vs white, I did that because every time I tried a normal white background and black text, it had way too much glare, and bothered my eyes. I've already coded all the text to by compliant with a dark background, but now I realize the problem is people don't actually use a 100% white background. I'm guessing the way to go about it is to take 20% off the white or whatever to make it subtly grey so it's just a little darker, and doesn't glare. If I'd realized that before coding everything I might have done that with black text and just had it simpler. I may still have to if this looks too amateur. The other possibility would be finding a way to design some custom background with images but that just sounds even more complicated.


    Thank you and sorry I didnt know. I tend to basically post every question I have in support because I cant really tell the difference between support and questions, and more people seem to look at support. What i mean is, these are technically questions, but people answering them are giving me support or help.


    Thanks for the detailed reply. Your help is appreciated. By can't find any good font I meant for the title of each blog post. The "Best Offseason Signings Part 1" text currently on my sharkcircle blog.

    On possible solutions, what do you mean edit the two paragraphs? I don't think I have two paragraphs of bright blue anywhere. Did you just mean the long title? The problem I have, and I had it writing the actual blog content as well, is that I'm doubling the topic, or however you want to put it. See my plan was to have two blogs, puckcircle, and sharkcircle. Sharkcircle would be on the Sharks, my home team, and puckcircle would be where I could write about all the other teams and attract readers from all the teams, not just the Sharks.

    Unfortunately, I dont know CSS, so putting SharkCircle together blind took 20 hour day after 20 hour day of my summer. By the end of it I was exhausted, and my puckcircle blog needs to use menus (because it will use multiple pages, for different teams, whereas SharkCircle is just for one team and it's just the one page). Anyway my sharkcircle theme, p2, can't have normal menus, so I wouldn't even be able to copy the sharkcircle CSS to puckcircle. I would have to find a new theme and then experiment with it blind.

    So for that reason I haven't made puckcircle. Now I dont have anywhere to write about all the teams and discuss more than just the Sharks. All I have is SharkCircle. I first started writing the "best signings of the offseason" blog you see now as simply "The players the Sharks should have signed," but then I decided to try and make it appeal to Sharks fans and neutrals alike. I split up the analysis of each player into two sections instead of one, one being why they are a good player and a good signing in general, and then going into details for why the Sharks specifically should have signed him, talking about where he'd play on the Sharks specifically, what skills he brings that maybe the Sharks lack without him, and so on.

    So the blog itself became longer with two sections for each player, and so did the title because I'm trying to "double" it or however you'd put it. If I just use "The players the Sharks should have signed," why would fans of other teams want to read something that looks like a specific sharks blog? If I just use "the best signings of the offseason," it has broader appeal, but Sharks fans might question why this post on a sharks blog isn't focusing on the Sharks.

    So that's where I am with that.

    The blue video text at the bottom, I assume you mean above and below the orange "highlight #1 highlight #2" text, thanks for the feedback there I will try to change it. The big problem I have in regards to that type of thing is I run out of colors. I have an orange that works well in some situations as long as it's used sparingly. I think it looks really good for the players names, when it's a little bigger than the normal white blog text, and it's bolded. I really like how it looks next to the player photos. Just to clarify what I'm talking about, it's the text for "ANTHONY STEWART - RW - CAROLINA HURRICANES." So I like that there, but not so much when the orange is used for "Why the Sharks should have signed him." But basically I have a relatively good orange, a white for the text, and a shiny blue/teal that's used with the videos, and that's it. Red clashes. Black doesn't show up the best. Blue, yellow, all those things clash. These aren't universal colors. It took me hours and hours of doing nothing but messing around with a color wheel, making things a little darker, a little lighter, a little lighter via hue but darker via "light," a little darker via hue, etc, it took me hours of doing that just to find a green that wasn't too bright or dark for the normal background. And then more time getting an orange. Basically what Im saying is it was extremely difficult to find colors that fit in this color scheme. I have white, shiney blue, and orange, and that's it. I run out.

    About the writing, thank you. But I am also confused a little. Is there something that sticks out badly about the writing? I mean is there something important that sports editors in newspapers do that I didn't do in my blog? It's hard for me to not sound like I can't handle criticism here because it's over the internet, but that's not what I mean at all. What i mean to ask is, you said I have a sports writers touch, which is perfect for my blog, but then you said I should pay attention to how sports writers write and so on, as if to say I don't have a sports writers touch, I'm not writing enough like a sports writer, and it's not perfect lol. I don't mean that's what you're actually saying, I dont think it is, I'm just trying to explain what I'm confused about. If it's criticism I can definitely handle it and I would thank you for constructive criticism; that's not the issue, the issue is I can't tell if it's criticism or not or what you mean lol.

    Thank you for your help giglisanchez, and everyone else.

    Oh, I should probably mention the other issue I'm having. Gigli, when you say I should change the text for a part of it, one issue i have is that I probably didnt code my CSS ideally.

    People who know CSS, I'm sure they don't need to look much at the original stylesheet, they just know what code affects what part of the page for most every theme, and they type a few commands into the CSS editor.

    a { font-size: "14px"; font-color: #red} for the header or title or whatever, whatever it is for the sidebar and the other sections, and that's it. They probably have five or ten brackets of code, and that's it.

    Because I don't know what governs what, or how to come up with commands for each section of the page, I had to do it a different way. I went into the original stylesheet, and one by one copied and pasted each bracket of code into the CSS editor, changed the text or background to red for that piece of code, and then previewed, so I could be able to tell exactly what that piece of code did. So after going through all million brackets of code, there were 30 or however many that actually showed visible change in the page when I changed them. Some of them seemed to do some of the same things, and stuff like that. So that's what I have in my CSS editor. I mean I took out the stuff that did stuff, just not anything I needed, but I still have 20 or 30 brackets of code in there. And one problem seems to be that some of the stuff I need wasn't actually in the original stylesheet. Like the original stylesheet, maybe the original theme used the same color for the post title text and the sidebar text, so the theme author put both of those in the same code. So if I'm just using that person's code from the original stylesheet, without knowing how to alter things myself, I can't edit the post title text without editing the sidebar text as well.

    This isn't the exact example of what's happening, but it's basically the same. Without adding extra code of my own not found in the original stylesheet, I can't seem to edit the post title text without editing "Toggle comment threads, keyboard shortcuts, maybe even the sidebar titles too. I dont remember what is stuck together with what exactly, but that's the gist. I don't have full control over my blog, and especially not easily (if I ever want to change something I go through each bracket of code in my CSS editor to get reminded which does which again, and then I can try to edit from there, except things get stuck together like I said, I change one thing and another thing changes too that I didnt want to change).

    So that's another problem I'm having. I'm not sure how to go about fixing it. Help?

  10. @puckcircle
    Please read this and restore the footer links that you are not allowed to remove:

    May I remove the ‘Blog at’ credit in my site’s footer?
    Although the Custom Design Upgrade certainly grants you the capability to hide the credit from your site’s footer, you are not permitted to do so. Even our VIP bloggers are required to maintain the credit.

  11. Giglisanchez,

    Something else i'm noticing just on the writing side. You mentioned how i don't repeat things and it's concise and all, and if it is mostly concise that's because I went through it all a 10th and 11th time before publishing it, trying to remove any sentences that did not provide new information.

    However, re-reading it now, there does still seem to be repetition in a few "trap" areas you could call them.

    Here is what i mean by trap. As I described in the previous post, I tried to give both neutral and Sharks sections for each player. So the first section details why a player is good, in general, and the second details why a player would be good for the Sharks specifically. The "writing trap" so to speak is that these are often the same. Even with these edited versions, there is still some of: "What makes Anthony Stewart a good player is his speed, physicality, and shot." "Anthony Stewart would have helped the Sharks with his speed, physicality, and ability to chip in some scoring."

    Maybe this is what you were referring to, among other things?

    I'll try not to beat myself up over it too much, or be too hard on myself. Tell me if this is incorrect, but, while I am of course trying to write my best and perfect my blogs during the writing process, I'm also trying to keep a perspective once my blogs are published that most the hockey blogs I read don't exactly have the highest standard for writing, or intelligence, for that matter. This is a sport where a lot of General Managers can't figure out a way to even have their teams make the playoffs for 10 seasons in a row. And in hockey, more teams make the playoffs than don't. 16 out of 30 make it. And a lot of these managers don't even get fired. Improvement is made at a glacial pace is most instances, repeatedly good value players I myself, a fan, know about, are passed up by these guys. These hundred million dollar valued teams seem to be run in large part by complete idiots, and that culture seems to seep into the hockey blogosphere as well.

    So it's basically, write the best you can, try to perfect it, but if you don't, don't worry too much about it because your blog still couldn't possibly be as bad as many of the other hockey ones out there. Try not to repeat things, but if you do, especially in a blog where you're having to write two very similar sections on the same player, where it's almost a tailor made trap to get you to repeat things, don't worry too much about it. It never killed anyone reading one or two sentences twice out of a thousand.

    Good attitude or not?

  12. timethief, do you know what code that is? I figured it out when I was going through everything but I dont remember which it is.

  13. Nevermind I figured it out.

  14. "…what do you mean edit the two paragraphs?"
    --From “In this series of articles…” to “Enjoy!” --this can be edited into one sentence. It’s also written in a different style than the rest of your blog (academic vs. sports). Plus, you’ve got that one title much larger. All of this detracts from your site.

    Can’t respond to CSS or having two blogs. No expertise there. Not sure about the traps, either. Sorry.

    “…as if to say I don't have a sports writers touch…”
    --You do write like a sports writer. But I’m guessing you’re not a sports writer. And people in the profession stay on top of their profession by reading and listening to other people’s work in that same profession. It’s a way they have of staying alert. It‘s like working out and getting your body firm and then letting yourself go for a year --you‘re going to lose that edge. It’s a niche so you stay on top.

    “…I went through it all a 10th and 11th time before publishing it…”
    --I can tell. That’s why I said the writing’s tight.

    “It never killed anyone reading one or two sentences twice out of a thousand.”
    --Did you see the film, “A River Runs Through It?” Remember the father? Remember how he made his older son write the same story using less words? It won’t kill your readers cuz you’ve got it pretty tightly woven. Most people aren’t going to notice. But the flip side of that coin is… Can an athlete looking to get signed with the Sharks afford to be sloppy -twice- and still expect to get signed? That’s the difference between a published writer and a wannabe that wants to skip all the work and take home all the credit.

  15. @puckcircle
    No worries. It seems that you are getting more feedback here in the "Off Topic" forum: feedback that seems to be related to what you want, right? Essentially, you want to know how folk feel about how your blog looks?
    One link that I have given you previously
    for a way to generate text that looks like English, rather than typing "test test test…"
    I'd suggest again to you. It would give you a better idea about how you "real blog" will look without you having to actually type in an article.
    IMO it is a useful tool. One I use on my test blog as I experiment with it to answer questions in the foru

  16. (having difficulties with my internet connection)

    last line should say
    IMO it is a useful tool. One I use on my test blog as I experiment with it to answer questions in the forums

  17. Tess,
    Keep the kitty away fromPuck. Look at those teeth.

  18. Hey Hi gigisanchez!!
    Long time no hear from you!

  19. Tess,
    Mchooa! (that's a kiss). You're still writing about Japanese food. Yum. I'm going to pay you a visit.

    Remember Harp? Harp Malarky is in Heaven. I balled every night for 8 months, that is not an exaggeration. These people that have children die -I know what that feels like. I didn't even like cats. Harp made me love cats. He was the most romantic man on the planet. Annie is with him now. (She's the one in the picture). Annie was my shadow. For 9 years, I had a constant pant and tail attached to my shadow.

    Kisses to your kitty from Daisy. Daisy is my purebred mutt. She inspires me to be a better person. She sends you her slobbery love.

  20. @gigisanchez

    Oh. So many changes.

    I just realized my Mikey will be 16 years old soon. Imagine that cat driving my car?
    My father died in March, and we siblings plus children spent some time up north this month to inter the ashes of both of my parents.
    Sadness and happiness mix: it was the first time all the sibs and kids got together. cousins!

    I can't help but think of Puck in Midsummer's Night.

    Slobbery love = good.

  21. I read somewhere that death is the hardest conflict anybody ever has to face. I wish my Harp lived to be 16. I would have literally given a limb to keep that cat alive. He made me laugh so hard every single day and he was constantly giving me kisses. I can't say that about any human being.

    Shakespeare's Puck was the first thing I thought of when I read this thread.

    more slobbery kisses...

  22. Oh sweety,
    I had to euthanize a cat (oh several). My Liza was so amazing you wouldn't believe…
    I don't think the pain was less than what I experienced when each of my parents died. It stays with me. All of the losses.
    Often I feel as if those significant people give me signs. But really, I don't know that there is anything, once we die. Even so…
    Hey! we are going off from this thread. I answered your comment on my blog…


  23. Here is the new look of the blog without a solid color background like some did not like. I tried to cut down on the total colors and simplify it to a degree while still maintaining some cool colors that fit with the team's colors.

    Feel free to tell me what you think. And I am planning to make the post title text smaller to match the sidebar widget titles text once someone helps me figure out how.

  24. I like it!

    IMO, you can even put back the blue you had as titles. I like how you took out your intro -very good. I like how it's all set up. I can see the header now much more in focus. The only thing I would change is the yellow-orange color on the sidebar. I can't see it. It's coming up fuzzy. The blue you originally had could work or maybe even black. Otherwise, good work! :o)

  25. I agree gigli. I just couldn't figure out how to make the sidebar link colors different from the content link colors, plus I ran out of colors. I'll need to fix that.

  26. What happened to your avatar? Did he swim off again? That's one of the best avatars I've seen yet and I vote he gets put back in.

  27. lol you really like it that much? I just found it with a white background on google images, I think its from finding nemo, and then I bucket-filled the background in with blue.

  28. Oh, then it sounds like it has a copyright. He sure was cute, though. Swam all the way to my house for a kiss. :-)

    ps: I read what you've got. Good job on the writing. I'm not a sports fan but I can appreciate the work you're putting into it. Are you affiliated with the team in any way? I'm not clear why you are stating who should be signed. Sign the shark!

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