blog design, and other things


Blog design is a lot of work!

So, among other things, I’ve been contemplating updating the look of my blog. The other day Jon found an article about a guy my same age who’s been traveling the world since 2006. Apparently he started out teaching (like I did) but soon took a different path to make money: he started a blog and then, later, a digital media company. Jon wondered why I couldn’t make money with my blog (after all, who doesn’t want to make money doing something they love?), and I told him, “That guy isn’t just writing for the love of writing. He’s a ‘tech entrepreneur,’ and I don’t have a clue how to do that!”

But the discussion did spur something inside me. No, I don’t plan to start begging readers for donations. (I know bloggers who’ve done that. It isn’t pretty.) And I don’t hope to have advertisements spattered all over my blog any time soon. (In fact, I hope the opposite.) But it wouldn’t hurt me to start posting more and make my blog more of a priority. If I’m planning to apply for graduate school this fall (which I am), I’m going to need more writing clips to send in, anyway.  My blog is a good way to do that.

But what I wondered from you is — I’ve had the same “look” for my blog pretty much all along. Do you think an updated design is needed? Or . . . One thing I really don’t like about WordPress right now is that it’s not letting me preview my site in a new template before sending it “live.” Talk about annoying for a perfectionist like me. I want to be able to customize everything to my liking before presenting it to the public, but, right now, I can’t find a way to do that. Any tips? Thoughts? Advice?



21 thoughts

  1. If you use the old way of posting instead of the beep beep boop way I think you can still preview, at least I can preview each post, so you could change theme, preview a post then not publish until you’ve tried out your themes, not sure if that’s enough though.

    • I did find a way to preview my blog before using a new theme, Fraggle. You’re right! But then the new theme changes all of my formatting — like pictures, etc. Grr. Oh, well. We’ll see. Maybe “shift” will stay same forever instead of shifting, like it was supposed to…

  2. Hard to say without seeing what the look is you might be going for. But I like the simple look you have. Far too many websites and blogs these days are so cluttered and filled with visuals and links and anything and everything. They drive me just a bit crazy. I prefer the simpler interface. Don’t go a-changing… ;)

  3. Your current theme looks pretty good on my phone. I end up reading a lot of posts on my phone so make sure, if you do change themes, to get one that is responsive.

  4. I believe you can still preview new templates if you work in the Dashboard screen of WordPress, which I love doing. I like the look of your blog. Simple, clutter free and easy to navigate.

    Changing the look of your blog can be such a hassle and time-consuming…well, it was for me. I’ve stuck with the same theme since I started but I’ve bought the custom upgrade so I could play around with the code and make the blog look like how I want it. So many nights I spent googling the correct code and asking on WP forums. Even my header took so long to get up (partly because I was so fussy with how I wanted it to look).

    Making money off your blog would be so cool. I’ve thought of that for my own blog, but in the end…I just don’t know. When I write, I don’t expect anything in return.

    • I agree, Mabel! Changing the look of your blog takes a LOT of time! At least if you’re picky like you and me. I like the look of your blog, too. I may just stick with my current look for now because I don’t want to invest the time to make it look better. We’ll see.

      Hope you’re having a good weekend!

  5. updating your blog is one way to get a fresh feeling. Or try updates or new technologies within your blog maybe. I enjoyed your plug ins when You rad your poetry. Anything else that is cutting edge in Widget form you could experiment with?

    • That certainly is one reason I’ve thought about updating my theme, Dan. Fresh is good, and since “Shift” is all about shifting… I’m glad you like the plug-ins with the poetry. I will definitely keep the Widget thing in mind!

  6. I tend to get attached to certain blogs that I like with the theme that they have, but I get over it usually pretty quickly. For me, I only know you as this theme, and you are the only person that I read that uses this theme, so it goes together. The only problem for me with this them is the font is pretty small, but it is easy enough just to blow it up on the screen so usually I do that. It would be fun though, to see what theme you would change to. There are some themes that I really don’t like, but those are just the ones that are so dark it becomes hard to read. Haven’t you been thinking about changing the look of your blog for like a year now? I think we’ve had this talk before… ;) I think I’ve already changed mine twice since the last time we talked about it…

    • Yes, I’ve talked about it several times. And you’re not the first to tell my my font is too small. I’m going to change that today!! I don’t like dark themes because I find them too difficult to read, as well. I will keep messing with the idea of changing and will probably do it one of these days. Stay tuned!

  7. hmmm – I am always playing with mine – changing mine – and sure I have a donation button on my page – made $20 from some lady one time!
    Play with it – try different things – let ur perfectionist side sleep in bed with Jon for a bit and explore!

    • I’ve seen your donation button. Thought of doing that, too, but I don’t even have a paypal account! I’m glad for your suggestion, Hoss. Thank you…

  8. Do you have a new theme now? It’s been a while since I read the blog. Glad to see you’re writing again. Enjoy reading the articles. It appears like a new theme, and it works well. Nice text size, clean layout, makes your articles a pleasure to read.

    Choosing a different layout for your blog, yeaaahhh, been there…. It was fun, let’s call it that, fun. An experience one should savior. You know, once every ten years. About that. No more.

    Some things perfectionists should not occupy themselves with. Yeah, it’s a great theme, if only the text would be 1/8 inch taller and the pictures this and that. I know, bright idea, I’ll customize it, cause nothing brings out the perfectionist then customizing a theme.

    More power.

    Ah, yes, the editor:

    Was signed,


    • Lol! I love the video. Yes, blog design is a pain. Most writers are not also graphic designers. C’est la vie…I like this theme but not wild about a few of its features. It’s a work in progress. Thanks for stopping by! It’s good to hear from you.

  9. Since more people are accessing the web via mobile devices these days, a theme change that renders clean on any device is a must. Clutter is out. Web design today has moved away from the 1990’s look into clean, smooth colors and streamlined design. Less really can be more. Negative space, as in the use of lots of white and other light colors has become common. Your current theme looks good. Enjoyed reading your blog. :)

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