How my altruistic tendencies took over…

How I sigh inwardly when I come across a terrible blog theme. There was one in particular that cried out in its awfulness, so much so I actually retweeted the post (because it contained worth-while content) including a recommendation to ignore the theme.

The owner of the blog tweeted back to thank me for the retweet, and to ask why I thought his theme was worth such anti-praise. Oops – I responded to apologise and stated that all those orange dots on his blog “made my eyes go all swimmy”.

This obviously amused him, and he asked what could be done to rectify this.  Well, this was like a red rag to a bull, so I offered to change his theme to something more suitable – expecting a rebuff towards my presumptuousness.

No so – after a flurry of DMs, the necessary details were exchanged, and I set about changing his theme. An alternative was rejected because of the requirements of his adverts, so I decided to work on his original theme.

Gone were all those orange dots in his borders, to be replaced by thin orange lines – the same orange that was on his logo, and the same green for his links. More padding differentiated the sections, and his H tags were unified. He also took my advice to bring up his RSS subscription widget to the top of his sidebar.

The changes are very subtle, but the result is cleaner, less jumpy, and more uniform. Using dots in your borders does not make your theme quirky (this was even in the original); clean lines are the order of the day, if you don’t want to detract the reader away from your content. Now his readers will concentrate more on what he has to say, and not get sidetracked by all those orange dots!

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Alice Elliott has been explaining blogging to beginner bloggers for almost two decades, specialising in using ordinary, everyday language to make the process as simple as possible so that anybody can understand.
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  • Hi Alice,

    you are so right. If I compare before and after, the new version is much clearer and more compelling.

    Btw: I would love to know what you think about my blog-design.

    Warm regards

    • Hi Carolina

      Your blog certainly says what is on the tin! What I mean by that it is easy to understand what your subject is (once I had translated it!).

      Your design is very clear, as are the sign up incentives for your newsletter. There is certainly no confusion where to look next, and the short video is an excellent method of explaining your blog to visitors. And I really like your category navigation links across the top of your blog.

      You could bring the method of subscribing to your blog a bit more prominent through RSS links towards the top of your sidebar.

      A pleasing blog, Carolina, may it have much success!

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