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Community Pool: Design and Layout

The Community Pool is for those of you looking for input, whether on post ideas, writing, blog design and layout,…

The Community Pool is for those of you looking for input, whether on post ideas, writing, blog design and layout, or anything else. If you have a post, page, or idea you want to bounce off someone, leave a comment. Your fellow bloggers can then click through and offer input either on your site, or in the comments here (feel free to indicate which you’d prefer).

This week, bring questions about your theme, layout, or design. It’s all up for grabs — widget placement, custom backgrounds, font choices, you name it.

Read on for the ground rules and to leave a comment . . .

  • You’ll get the best feedback if you can be as specific as possible about what you’d like people to respond to or where you’re struggling.
  • Please keep all comments civil and constructive. We’re here to help and support one another, not to beat anyone down.
  • If you haven’t looked at our Commenting Guidelines in a while, now might be a good time.
  • To keep from losing your place in the comment thread, right-click on a link to open it in a new tab or window.
  • No running on the deck.

Photo by t_a_i_s.

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  1. Hi everyone! I would love some feedback about the placement of my widgets. They’re on the bottom of the page and I think that it seems fine, but would love other opinions. I’m a high schooler and I haven’t purchased custom design…I just very much like that the focus of my blog posts are the pictures on the homepage.

    neverstationary.wordpress.com

    Thanks! – Catherine

    1. Hello Catherine! First off, I must say I feel your piece on The Human Rights Crisis in North Korea was very well done. Just when I’m starting to ask myself, “but what can I truly do to make a difference? So many people in so many places need help,” at that moment you present an answer that I CAN follow through with – raising awareness. And then you take it one step further by explaining how unfolding events could emerge in which our having raised awareness can further help. Once again, well done!

      As for the placement of widgets, I could see nothing wrong with them. Everything is well organized and easy to find. There is quite a bit of information there, though, and if you did want to change something, my suggestion would be to pare down to a more minimalist look. Perhaps make the upper links less wordy. Incorporate roll-over menus on the bottom of the page.

      Good luck and happy writing!

    2. Catherine, your blog really looks good. I like that “main grid” … there is only one thing I would consider changing (and I am facing the same questions myself): Would it be better to show more posts at first glance – maybe 12 or 16 instead of eight? It is only a matter of taste though, and whatever you decide: The basic layout is just great!

    3. I like the layout of photos for your posts, though like the others said, I wish there were more posts. And maybe too many widgets at the bottom? Like you have Top Posts and Hot Off the Press and Monthly Archives. It feels heavy at the bottom- which perhaps can be remedied by more post photos showing at the top?

  2. Hey guys, I recently started writing my blog, I write about this and that, college and life and things like that, no real overlying theme. I was wondering if yee could give me some feedback on what I write, here or on my blog, I don’t mind! I was wondering if I’m going the right way with it, I love writing, and at the moment this is my main outlet :)

    My blog is amybyrne19.wordpress.com , cheers lads :D

    1. Hi Amy, I had a look at your blog and I really enjoyed reading it, you’r writing flows well and made me want to carry on reading. I’ve started following you and so I am looking forward to hearing more from you. I’m in a bit of an experimental phase myself with my blog, not sure which direction to take or just take it all directions and any directions I feel. Yours seems to flow and fit together. I like it, keep up the good work :).
      Alicia

    2. Hey, I think your blog is great (and not just because I love Fleetwood Mac), your writing style is really easy to read and I love the randomness of your content. I don’t think there’s a pressing need to have a consistent theme (because I don’t have one either!).

    3. Write what you feel. writing comes from the heart. If you want to write about everything then go ahead. It’s your blog do what you want with it.

    4. Write what you enjoy writing about. I tend to like blogs about people lifes and shorter blogs so I really like yours.

  3. Hi everyone, I am a new blogger and I would love if you can check my blog out and let me know what you think about my content and my style of writing. This is my blog sheilacioustreehouse.wordpress.com

    1. I like the theme you use for your blog. I like your posts so much I have started to follow you :)

  4. Hello…I have two blogs, one personal & one that is only about butterflies. I’d like feedback for both.

    My personal blog is at http://2sojourners.com/. I mainly just would like general feedback on this one.

    Mostly, though, I would like feedback as to whether navigating my butterfly blog is intuitive or confusing. When people visit this blog, they often spend a lot of time on it…well over 200 page views per visit. I want that experience to be the best, easiest, I can make it, for people to find the information they want and I’ve worked hard to organize and make it easily searchable. But I wonder if it makes sense to others or just me? Are there things I’ve overlooked? Or just have a blind spot too? Any feedback or suggestions appreciated.

    http://mybutterflycollection.com/

    Thanks!! Sylvia

  5. Hi everybody, I’m wondering if my homepage is too cluttered or if others find it easy to navigate. Also, since I blog about the horses in my life, and lately there’s not been as much on that front to write about, I’ve started filling the lull with posts about food. At first, I thought I should stay “on topic”, but then I thought, hey, horse people have to eat to! So, what do you think? Thanks for the input!

    asthehorseturns.wordpress.com

    1. I like your format,though it took me a minute to realize the pictures on the right were photos and not links to other posts. It could just be me and the color of the header-font for that section being light grey. And I am all over the place with my posts, so I say go for it if you want to post non-horse stuff too.

    2. I do find your home page too cluttered and confusing. But I’m very much a minimalist. What truly matters is, do you like it? I think the fact that you asked the question in the first place, might mean you would like it a tad less cluttered as well. But if you really do like it, then that is all that matters. If you like it, your more likely to be enthusiastic about blogging and that will come through to your readers.

      As to the topics…I think it’s fine to write about whatever you want. It’s your blog, and your life. But I do think that food is kind of one of those things that…well…I want to say this politely :-). When I landed on your homepage just now, the first thing I see is the words “horse poo” and then dogs, and then…food. It might just be me, but I personally don’t want to see poo and dogs anywhere near food. That’s just a turn off for me. Perhaps if you want to combine the two topics, you might want to consider a layout that you don’t see all of it at once somehow keeps those a bit separate visually?

      I hope that makes sense. It’s just my first quick impression. But I think the point is, if you want to attract new readers, then the first impression is critical. If you want to just write to your core audience, horse people, well, then they might not be bothered by that at all :-).

      1. LOL, there’s a fresh perspective, for sure! XD I hadn’t even thought about how that would look to a new reader – thank you for the input! I definitely do want a more minimalist look… I’m just not sure how to go about it right now. There are things I really like about the current theme, but wish I could pare it down to two columns while using the same theme. I will keep your suggestions in mind as I ponder new changes. Again, thank you! :)

    3. I don’t find it cluttered in a confusing way at all. My only beef would be that your food posts have taken over the photos near the top of your homepage in such a way that there’s not really any visualization of your main topic, horses. I don’t know if a header photo of a horse would help, but it’s just my opinion. I personally enjoy bloggers who write about different things. It makes it easier to write posts that aren’t forced.

    4. I really liked your content. I post about a lot of topic myself so I enjoy bloggers that do so. Crocodile Dundee is adorable by the way. I really did not like the three columns with the pictures in the middle. I am not sure if it would be better for my eyes if it was on the left. I think the main problems was it not being as long as the other columns or if it is just me but it was not confusing or really cluttered.

      1. Hi there! Thanks for your input. Oh, yes, Dundee is so adorable, and SUCH a sweetheart! Everybody that meets him IRL absolutely loves him! :)

        I didn’t like the three columns either, but I couldn’t customize it to make it only two. Today I totally scrapped that theme and went with another one that is entirely different. I like it better, though it does have a few little tweaks that I would love to make if only it were possible. Thanks again!

    5. I opened your homepage and I was overwhelmed and lost. The photos in the middle column confuse me- are they the same photos as your flickr account? Or maybe you could have a Photo Gallery page instead of placing them on your homepage. It does disappoint that the photos do not link to anything. If you place them separately on a Photo Gallery page you could explain at the top they are just photos from your life. Or do something like an Instagram account.

      Perhaps per each title you could include a category, like this “Recipe: Chicken Dinner” or “Recipe: French Cooking Tips” and then “Horses: ….” or “Work: …” something so we know what we are reading and can separate the food from the horses. Know what I mean?

      1. Thanks for your input! I’ve changed the theme entirely to hopefully make it more user-friendly and streamlined. The photos in the middle column were supposed to actually link to the posts that they belong to. Oh well. Hopefully it’s no longer overwhelming. I definitely like it better now. Thanks again! :)

    6. Completely different topic than I usually stumble upon! The only thing I wonder is if the theme you have used will allow you to create more than one page for all your posts; the list goes well beyond your widgets, quite a bit of scrolling!

      1. That theme didn’t allow for any customization unless you paid for it. I have yet to see a theme that allows for what I think you are saying, although I guess you could get around the scrolling by clicking on categories… but there would still be alot of scrolling if there are alot of posts in a category. In any case, I completely changed themes… hopefully this one is better received!

  6. OK, I was just writing a post about this (and other stuff) 4 months into blogging. It seems that if I find a theme I like appearance-wise, it isn’t very customizable, or I use a customizable theme for color and widgets, but the pages still all look the same. Blog is http://sortaginger.com, post regarding this is the first one listed on the home page.

    I don’t think I am looking for feedback as much as just venting. In my trying to do something different, am I just making things more complicated or confusing?

    1. Well, all I can say is the second I landed on your page, I LOVED it – it has a very clean and elegant look to it. The color scheme has a great feel to it as well. I hope you get past your frustration with it! :)

      1. Well, thank you. Part of my issue is the sidebars and pages can’t be customized. That hasn’t been a problem before, only now because I want to do “more”. The color adjusts all over depending on the background, which works great for blue or green, but a dark red background turns all white areas pink :-D.

    2. I liked your blog. You might want to consider taking a class where you learn to make your own template. LVS has a class and the teacher is very helpful ( i have taken her another other class) I am planing in taking the class this next session.

    3. While I like the clean layout, I am unhappy with the way the pictures are displayed… many of them do no show the whole picture, and, with many of the pictures, if you can’t see it all, you don’t get what it’s about.

      I don’t feel a need to click on a picture either, if I saw all of it, then I got what it was about. If I didn’t see all of it, I am not interested enough to click on it.

      I hope I don’t sound harsh… as I say, I really like the layout and the side bar on the right. It’s a GoodThing™ that you have the older post link before the sidebar runs out. That’s a real chore with a lot of themes.

      So… everything is good, except you can’t see all of the picture in the picture previews.

      1. Ouch!

        No, just kidding :-). That is one of the things I don’t like. I had never used featured pictures before, so now I kind of have to and sometimes I don’t choose wisely. Or I am in a rush to get something and forget to go back and fix it. It also seems that my personal pictures get cropped way more vertically compared to memes I make but I can’t change it for now.

        Thank you for the feedback!

  7. Hi WP friends, We have been blogging for over a year now with the same design. We like that it is clean and shows thumbnails of a bunch of recent posts on the same page. It also looks like a gallery which is nice. Do you think we should change it to freshen the site or stay the same because it is simple, it works for what we are doing, and people associate it with Broken Light Collective? Thanks! http://www.brokenlightcollective.com
    Any other changes you think we should consider? Would love feedback.

    1. I’m no pro, but I’d say that a business or company should always be looking for ways to stay fresh. There are many ways that you can maintain the features you like while updating the overall look. It does look good, though, and I can’t see harm coming by keeping it the same. If it were my job to change it, I would like to present it as more of a gallery than it is, with just the photographs showing on the home page (rather than all the words underneath the photographs also showing).

    2. Do not change it at all.

      I love the clean, minimalist design. I love the way the post changes color as you move you cursor into it.

      Only one *tiny* thing… on some posts, the “continue reading” link does not occur early enough, and the bottom part of the post gets cut up by the date posted and number of comments box.

      Other than that, it all looks really good to me.

    3. Great layout for photography, very nice. The only little thing I can see is that the navigation is lower down on the page and it requires you to scroll down a little bit; could this be moved up underneath “submissions” if possible? Would make it quicker to navigate.

    4. Hi there. I think your decision as to whether to update your theme should really be based on whether the one you have is accomplishing what you want it to do. In addition to the attributes you mentioned that you like, there is the element of the familiar and comfortable that is very important to people with several mental illnesses, as well as the tendency to isolate and fear sharing. So the fact that it is fairly understated may be a good thing. I like statement about your group and the blog’s purpose as well.

      On the possible cons side, I prefer photography blogs to more prominently feature photographs, and yours has a lot of text with the thumbnails. If I were to recommend a different theme, I’d suggest one of the grid type themes where you could show a larger portion of the photo as a square, with just a short phrase or title as the accompanying text. On some, the text shows up only when you move your mouse over or touch the photograph. If you go that route, I’d like to see your statement of purpose placed smack dab in the middle, maybe in white text on a solid colored background. And just a tip — color theory says that the color green makes us feel at home in a new place, so you may want to consider bringing that in as an element. Just don’t do black type on green because it can be hard for people to read.

      Thank you for the site — I will be following you!

      1. Hi…I think it looks good…you’ve got widgets figured out. The ‘like’ button lately is being temperamental I think on several blogs… I have figured out though that on some the like button isn’t accessible until the comment is put in and if necessary ‘signed in if requested to do so’ and I found out that if a reader is not a wordpress user they can’t ‘like’ your post… I recently asked wp support re the like button and others are having some problems too… Diane

    1. I think you know what you’re doing…The only thing I might say is that you could add some widgets..like latest posts, or top posts, or tag cloud ??? Just a thought Diane

    2. Very interesting content. I agree with above that you need a column on one side with a about three widgets.

  8. After reading about how important a landing page is, I updated my theme to Twenty Twelve in Sept. 2012 and built a comprehensive landing page with a customized menu, widgets, Twitter feed and two feature articles. As a licensed tour guide I use the blog to share my experiences and information about Israel and as a marketing tool for my business. I think photographs add a lot to a travel blog. I’d appreciate your feedback left as a comment at the end of the page.

    My blog is http://israeltours.wordpress.com/

    1. P.S. I’d appreciate comments about my landing page but it looks like you can’t leave a comment there. You can leave a comment on any of the blog posts or here in reply to my post. Thanks.

  9. Hi. I am a new blogger and on one of my pages I want to set up monthly writing competitions open to all. As this is on a static page rather than the blog home page I’m wondering if there is a way to layer each month on top of the other rather than open a brand new page each time which would quickly become to unwieldy. It was suggested I could use my home page and do tags instead, but if there is a way to keep them all in the same place physically (without losing the entries for any previous months) I would be grateful if someone could point me in the right direction. Thanks

  10. 1-
    I need help choosing five easy specific intuitive descriptive categories to sort everything into.

    2-
    Is there a way to be a part of the Daily Prompt and Challenges and still keep tags to down to 10?
    3-
    Whatever else you see that I don’t and needs attention.

    1. Hello Wayward spirit!

      If you don’t want to tag your post as Daily Post/Daily Prompt, you can just add a trackback to the post. Basically you click on the little hyperlink icon when you’re typing, and insert that day’s topic’s URL either directly or disguised as another word. That way, it automatically adds a link to the daily post blog and you don’t necessarily have to add the tag.

      Hope that helps!

      Cookie

      1. This is really helpful Cookie!
        Just what I needed to know.
        Such instructions seemed like a complicated mythological jumble of vage out of reach solutions till now.
        Also for me to know how to start to ask more right questions is a relief.
        This is one thing I think I can handle.
        Your answer is clear and feels easy.
        Because I asked the question I know why I need this. It’s focussed and manageable.
        Maybe I’ll even figure out how to make photos and badges stick on my cite now.
        Following instructions never worked for me.
        But I think they will now.
        You are awesome.

      2. No worries, we all have to help each other out right? Looking forward to reading your awesome-r blog! =)

        Cookie.

        Ps. I just answered the badges question somewhere below your question. It’ll save you some time! =)

      3. If you want I have simplified the instructions on how to put badges/awards (is that what you mean ?) because when I first received them they were too confusing.. If you want I will send them to you

        As for photos you download them into your media library and copy the url and then paste it into a widget for your sidebar….If you download a picture into your post it automatically goes into your media library… Diane

  11. Hi guys! I’d love some feedback on my blog layout! I liked the 2 columns and their widths of the Twenty Eleven theme I’m using, but there are things I don’t like about it as well. For example, my widgets in the right column: Facebook, RSS feed, Follow Blog via Email, Category Cloud, Archives and Text only appear on the homepage and category pages. Once you enter a specific blog post, or go to the About or Contact pages, the widgets are gone. I’d love to know if you think that matters enough to change my theme, and if so, what other themes have a similar layout.

    Secondly, I’d love to know whether you find the Category Cloud is useful and user-friendly, as well as the categories and sub-categories on the top tab.

    Lastly, I’ve been toying with the idea of creating an index page of my blog archive, but using photo thumbnails instead of text. Is this possible? And if so, can you personally select which picture to use as a thumbnail?

    Thank you in advance! Oh and I use WordPress.com not .org! =)

    1. First impression: I like the simplicity and minimalist feel of your blog’s look. I think it’s a great theme/layout for recipes.

      One thing I’m not crazy about…I don’t like seeing the B&W “cooking with photo” over and over as I scroll down your page. I think I would like it better if each post started with a great photo of that dish, then I could tell immediately if I wanted to browse the recipe or scroll on down. And then I could find it quickly if I wanted to come back to it.

      But having said that, I think that your cooking with logo does have potential to help people navigate your blog. It is a cool graphic. You might check out this link for an idea of what you could do with that http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/widgets-201/. I think something like that, with this graphic could be very useful for you.

      Also, I think well thought out categories can be great for finding content on a blog. But if they are not well thought out, then they are basically useless. It takes ton’s of time to figure that out, but the payoff for readers is really great, especially for food blogs. I think it’s worth the time to really do that right.

      1. one more thought. That photo of the spoon of corn chowder…that stayed with me, and I thought, I need to go back and read that recipe….that was what I’m trying to say. Lead with a photo like that…and you’ve got me.

      2. Hi Sylvia! Thank you so much for your feedback! When I first started putting the “category header pictures” in, I also thought that it might look a bit repetitive when browsing the homepage. But I like the way it looks when you enter individual blog posts as it seems to tie everything together. Will have to think about that more. And I hope you do try out the corn chowder! It’s definitely a “sometimes” food with 2 cups of cream in it, but it’s really warming on a cold winter’s day! =)

    2. Hello Miss Ling,

      Twenty Eleven seems to offer many layout possibilities – posts and pages with or without sidebars among other things. You get a lot of information about these options here: http://theme.wordpress.com/themes/twentyeleven/

      Usually you pick your basic layout of a post or page when you create it; the options are given on the right hand side of the “Edit Post” page. So, no need to change the theme (because I think it works well with what you do and once you figure out the details. you’ll be happy).

      As for the category cloud, I find it very useful. The only point I have here: You might want to consider what’s a good category for your readers. Countries are helpful if you present various cuisines. Courses and food types (like starters, mains, desserts, snacks and vegetables, fruit, meat etc.) could be a good idea, given your overall topic. “Food”, on the other hand, is very general given that’s what your blog is about. “Restaurants” certainly makes sense.

      Lastly, I always like the idea of using pictures as links. It is easy. You can link to any address you like; there is a box where you can enter the http address when you “Add Media” to your post or page. And you can also change the link when you click on the little “Edit Image” icon while you have the post open in “Edit Post”.

      Sometimes you might want to change the size of your image if it is only a link – you can either do that in your image editing program or in the “Edit Image” dialogue. Most of the pictures in my blog have been manually re-sized, so I have better control over the layout.

      I hope this helps and you have tons of fun trying out the options!

      1. Hi TMS! Thank you for that link! I will definitely look into it and see if I can play with the options available to my theme. Should be fun! =) And thank you for your feedback on my category cloud. I was trying to go broad for the categories, and put the specifics in the tags, but it is much easier to navigate the category cloud than the tags, so I will probably switch over some of the tags into categories to take on your advice. Thank you! =)

  12. Help please – I ma not too brilliant with computer technology but am really enjoying blogging and would like to set up a good reads widget.
    I started out on this but then got stuck.
    Are there any step by step instructions anywhere please?

    1. I love the goodreads app for my smart phone. I can scan the bar code on the books I have or books I’d like to have and file them on different “shelves” in goodreads. It just looks like you don’t have any books on your shelf for them to show. You can always log in and add them by searching.

    1. Hello! =)

      I’m just out of the beginner stage myself, and it’s a little confuzzling on the start up, is it not, lol.

      What you can do is familiarize yourself with your dashboard. (when you clock your blog’s name on the top right corner, when you’re logged in of course, youre redirected to the dashboard. Or you can find it from settings too I think!)

      Under the dashboard area, you have a side bar showing you comments, appearance etc. this is where you can change whatever you like about your blog’s layout. Widgets are the little icons that appear in your menu bar, like Tag Cloud, Archives, About Me, etc. Just a tip, you might want to make the about me page that links away, it’s a pretty good deal and free too! You can select with widgets you want and arrange them in the desired order too, it’s pretty cool! Plus there’s so much more. You can link to a Facebook page, your twitter feed, ad badges linking to other groups and pages. Oh and just another tip, you might want to keep an eye on the spam folder. Sometimes legit comments and trackbacks and pingbacks end up there too!

      Hope I helped!

      Cookie

    2. Explore, try stuff out, usually there’s nothing that can’t be undone if you don’t like it. I don’t have a “landing page” I use my blog’s last post & the list of pasts posts my “landing/home page” I use a layout that summarizes the stories/posts an I use the “more” option in my posts often. I still play around with pages & widgets, after 2 years at WP and several at Blogger. There’s no “right” way.

    3. Start reading as much as you can in the support pages and forums. You will find a lot of useful ideas and help.

  13. I’d like to have views on the layout of this site: http://thepageanovel.wordpress.com/, which I switched to the theme Manifest recently. It’s work-in-progress for a novel and I hope to attract comments from readers. Is the lay out enabling for people to leave comments? Most of the posts are part chapters of what will be – I hope – a finished product, so they are tagged WPLongform. The home page is the main body of work, additional pages are building up material for characters in the story. Is this clear enough for readers? Is there a better theme for that purpose? Please feel free to comment on all other aspects of the site. Thank you ;-)

    1. I think the layout looks great, and it probably works really well for people who’ve been reading your blog since the beginning. But I think it might be difficult for a new reader to get started. Maybe you could add a widget or something that had a link to the first post and a suggestion that people start there and then click “next post” to navigate forward.

  14. Hi everybody,

    Please feel free to comment on any aspects of the Design and Layout (including theme, widgets, backgrounds, fonts, colours, music and graphics) as well as Style and Content at SoundEagle’s blog.

    Thank you in anticipation.

    1. I think that overall you have a very clean, well-organized layout. I like the grey, black, and white and the separation between posts. The orange in the header and background is a little bright for my taste, but I tend to prefer more muted colors in general.

  15. Hell, all! I have a very simple layout. I keep it that way because my posts are often complex and long. But, I’m wondering if the layout is too simple. What can I do to jazz it up? I’ve thought about starting again with a fresh template but, it would be nice to just add a few things to the layout I already have. What do you think?

    jollycarolyn.wordpress.com

    1. Hello Jolly! (what a cheerful name! =) )

      A really simple way to add pop to your blog is to fidget with the widgets! If you look in the dashboard>appearance, you’ll see there’s a lot of widgets and links you can add that will make your page busier. Another idea that’ll add color too, are badges. Badges are a great way to make your blog peppier, and simultaneously show your readers what groups etc you belong to! And even under your specific chosen theme, therell be a couple of options you can switch between, in color and font.

      If nothing else then you can always go for a new theme altogether, too.

      Hope that helps!

      Cookie

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  17. I have the “Rubic” theme and love everything about it, except the fact that after more than three years and 1000 plus posts, some of my categories have more than 300 posts in them and it can be really hard to find a specific post within a category.

    Since many people love the ease of browsing through a thumbnail gallery of photos and then clicking on one that catches their attention, I feel it would be a really effective way to get visitors to look at more than just one or two pages of your blog…

    On Rubic at least, it doesn’t appear to be possible to have a “contents” page where I can:

    – (A) have a single thumbnail photo of my choosing (or first photo from the post) from each (chronological order) post with the corresponding link to that post.

    – (B) to have a Gallery view of all of my posts, in clear subgroups, also with a thumbnail sized photo and a link to the post

    – (C) an actual (month) calendar page where in each date there a blog post was made a thumbnail photo and link to the post appears

    – (D) the possibility to change between option (A) and option (B) with a single mouse click.

    My thought would be that this idea would be really popular for more themes and my question would be: …
    …Can WordPress users expect any progress on this idea in the near future please?

  18. Oops,
    Should have read:

    – (D) the possibility to change between option (A), (B) and (C) with a single mouse click.

    Sorry for the error.

  19. Hi again. One more thing… I see that some people can separate each blog or piece of work by putting a box round it – is it possible to do that on the non customised site and if so could someone please explain how? Thanks

  20. Hi guys, this is such a great outlet to get feedback. I just changed my theme to Mystique as I like a clean, minimalist look but I also live colour and pattern, so I’ve added a background image. What do you guys think of the layout.a couple of things I don’t like but don’t know how to fix. On the homepage, I only want to show a summary of each post. I changed this in setting but it doesn’t seen to have worked. Second, the number of comments aren’t visible and I don’t know if there’s a way to move it to the top closer to the title. Thx in advance! My blog is http://mudpiebliss.wordpress.com

    1. I like your background image. I’m not sure if there’s a setting that will show only summaries on the home page, but I do know that if you put the “more” tag into a post, then the home page will show everything before that tag and give readers the option to click to read more. But that’s something you’d need to do to every post.

  21. Hi

    I recently changed my theme from Hatch to Further. So far I’m glad I did the switch because my readers seem to be engaging more rather than just visiting my homepage. It gives them the option to see more posts (ie featured, images, galleries and recent posts).

    However I feel that the old posts are beginning to lose value. I created an archives page to list down all the posts that have been posted. Being keen to crisp design I don’t really like the boring list format. Is there anyway to better present the archives page? I was thinking of having a page with a table of thumbnails to showcase the featured photo per post with the title. Is that even possible? Or perhaps a mosaic grid?

    The blog that I need help with is theeagertraveller.com

    Cheers!

  22. Just a question… I decided to change my header picture and background color and my husband took a look at it on his pc and it did not show the background color or the tabs at the top…only the words on the tabs. Is this because he is not a wordpress user? I checked with a blogger friend because I thought perhaps no one saw the color etc. but she did. Just curious. My site is hometogo232.wordpress.com Thanks Diane

  23. I am a new blogger. Take a look at my blog and give me a review. I am all about learning. Lets hear what you think.

      1. I think your blog looks lovely. I especially like the green background – it really makes everything stand out and the theme you have chosen seems to suit your style of blogging. Also you make good use of photos in my opinion.

    1. Hi Steve, I thought your blog looked pretty good and you have lots of interesting content. However, I do think it might be more effective if you broke it down into shorter, less meandering posts – I tend not to stick around when I see large blocks of writing.

      1. Thanks for dammning me with faint praise, but you obviously have a short attention span. It’s a short story, with multimedia. It’s literature with links and pictures – not a commercial.

    2. I find it odd you asked for input, then you get upset with her opinion? She has a point, your posts are more like essays then a short story. I didn’t read your latest post, I did look at the photos but I have no clue what your post is about based on the title or the photos. If you’re wondering why you don’t get comments it may be because noone has read your entire post, maybe they are getting lost in the middle of it or are confused by the amount of photos and different subjects.

      Most people who read blogs aren’t looking for a few chapters, if you want to write about your life, I suggest you break it down to maybe 4-5 paragraphs per post. This will help hold people’s attention and then there would be a limited number of points for people to comment on.

      Just a suggestion because you asked for feedback!

      1. Thank you for your feedback, but how do you form the opinion that my posts are ‘more like an essay than a short story’ (surely, you meant to use plurals?) if you haven’t actually read ‘it’, or indeed, them? Are blogs homogenous? Are there ‘rules’ that one must ‘obey’? You also seem to suffer from ‘short-attention-span-itis’.

        I’m producing multimedia short stories with links to my music (featuring some very well-known musicians) and other interesting stuff – not nursery rhymes. A short story doesn’t have chapters, as such, so the genre doesn’t lend itself to being presented in bite-sized chunks.

  24. I am just getting my blog going and I am wondering if my layout is appealing/user friendly and what the “feel” of it is like. I am at readjanatraff.com.

    1. I like the layout. The only thing for me is — I’m assuming there is supposed to be a picture above your title and I’m getting a box with a question mark. Overall it’s nicely organized.

      1. Unfortunately, I don’t. I just checked on a PC and everything loaded, so maybe it has something to do with that I looked at it on a MAC. The other photos did come up.

  25. I recently started a new blog about general topics. I do have a question about the featured widget. I noticed some of my featured widgets are ‘off-set’ on my main page. (look at the Urban Myth post and the Heading off to un-college featured widgets). I’ve tried reformating the pictures and shrinking them, etc. But they still come out off-set. Any help would be appreciated. My blog is at http://writeonce.wordpress.com/.

    1. All your photos look perfectly fine to me and within their frames. I would guess your screen resolution might be the problem. If you are “zoomed-in” sometimes the pictures move outside the frames. Or if you just have a lower screen resolution than what your blog is set to. My resolution is fairly high, as I have a wide screen and I like the images to be smaller. Hope that helps and is what you were asking!

  26. Hi there…we’re new to this blog, just started up bout pass 2 weeks ago… here is our blog page, Four Seasons Bridal, http://fourseasonbridal.wordpress.com/ . We are in the field of photography, concentrating mostly is wedding. We would like some feedback from you, especially from the gallery page of our page, does it confuse viewers? As well, we do write some about ourselves, do you find it interesting and helpful? Any feedback is welcome and appreciated as it helps us improve and not heading to the wrong way, misleading viewers. Thanks a lot.. Best regards, Four Seasons Bridal

  27. Hi there!
    Recently I started blog in Russian. Is anyone here Do read Russian? If you could visit my blog and tell me what do you think- I would really appreciate it! Another question- I find it very frustrated to translate each post in English. TakesTime!!! (I live I Australia and my friends here want to read it too). Is anyone knows good translator to use? (Google is funny!)
    Thank you!
    Marina

    1. I really like your style of writing – very funny! I thought the layout was good and clear. I don’t know if its just me but I found the background colour and header a bit soft and dreamy looking for your slightly zany style. Great blog though.

  28. I’d love some input about my new header, background choice, and my buttons in the sidebar as well as the homepage. I also updated my About page, how does that look? I’ve heard some feedback that the blue might be too hard to read. But it is an image, so maybe thats why? The plan is to add similar buttons as the home page buttons, on the other pages, Artwork and Graphic Design, so people have more options than just the drop down menus- which I think some people might be missing if they don’t hover. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

    http://christinadesignsart.wordpress.com/

    1. Header and buttons are great! They’re so great that I totally missed the text at the top which helps to navigate pages and such. Background is okay. Regarding the About page, I found the blue somewhat hard to read and my eyes immediately took to the purple color font. I also found the “Blogs I Read” list too long and lost interest. Hopefully some constructive criticism.

      1. Thanks for the feedback. I really don’t like the navigation menu at the top, unfortunately that is the only option, otherwise I could just delete it completely, which I am tempted to do. I’ll play around with a different color than the blue for the About page. The Blog List…I don’t know if I should just pick my faves and maybe swap them out every month or something? What do you think?

      2. Okay, understandable about the top menu.
        Hmm…good thought. I like the swapping idea – if you feel like you would want to invest the time to do that. If not, then I say just pick your faves like you mentioned, or perhaps the blogs that are most similar to yours.

  29. I’d appreciate any feedback on my blog as well. Anything regarding readability, content, layout, overall impressions, etc. would be welcomed. Thanks!

    1. Love your blog design, very simple and easy to navigate. I really like that theme and from what I can see, it is working well for your blogging. I like the large photo slideshow at the top, except it wasn’t sliding. Is it supposed to? Also love your header, really sets the stage for your blog. Very nice.

      1. Oh I forgot to mention that the slider actually does not automatically slide. Bummer. I wish WordPress would make all the themes with sliders slide on their own.

  30. Hi all! my friend and I have started an urban blog about things we see and experience in different cities, some funny, some bizarre, some in english, some not… the idea is that anyone can share their urban experience from anywhere in the world… any feed back is appreciated! tx

      1. I like your About page (the way its written there)…I started off looking at your blog in a very confused and lost way. But I chose a topic, Creating, and read the parable Jazz and Tragedy, of which I am not sure I fully understand. But at the same time, it was written so lovely. I’m going to have to bookmark this story because I am sure I will need to read it again when I need that extra push, so that I don’t leave my dreams in tragedy.

        Overall there might need to be some clarification somewhere so the reader doesn’t get too confused before choosing a topic. I know everyone really should read the About pages, but often I don’t. I would hate for someone to land on your blog and feel too lost to seek out the answers! good luck!

  31. I am new to blogging, particularly travel writing. I am exploring London with Bradshaw’s Hand Book to London and would love feedback on layout and text – do people find it interesting? is there too much text? Would more photographs entice people to do the same, or follow more blogs? Essentially how can I make it more attractive to more viewers? The site is http://londondiaryblog.wordpress.com

    1. This is of course only my opinion, and I have never been to London, only seen modern day photos. I wish the tab/page, Bradshaw’s Hand Book, wasn’t blank because I’m not sure I know what is it. To me I think your layout is a little rigid and not very…open. Like it doesn’t feel like we (you) are traveling but maybe just looking through an old book. I do also think that your blog posts are a little too long. All that text lost me very quickly, and I just looked at the photos. I know you said you are only doing the traveling one day a week, but why can’t you split up the posts for a full week of what you did that one day?

      I’ve been told people like consistency, so perhaps you could post a similar theme on each weekday? Again, I know very little about London and nothing of this book, but would it be possible to showcase on Monday’s, what the book says of the area you will visit that week? Then Tuesday open it up with maybe a shortened version of history with some historic to modern photos? Like before/after photos? Wednesday maybe you talk about food, Thursday the people, Friday the activities, etc? I have no idea if that is doable for you. But I thought perhaps it could help limit the longer posts.

      Your photography is beautiful, the photo of The chancel literally made me stop scrolling through. I love the inclusion of a map to show us where you are going. I’m very happy that you include links for references to the different places you write about, that is so helpful for someone like me! I hope I was helpful and not confusing!

      http://christinadesignsart.wordpress.com/

      1. It is very helpful to have this feedback. How could I make the layout more open? Perhaps this is related to trying to include too much information as text? You are quite right about feeling as though we are going through an old book – Bradshaw’s Hand Book to London was written in 1857 and revised in 1861. His intention was to show a visitor to London the most significant ‘sights’, in his view, at that point in time. I have followed his timetable – he crammed his days, moving rapidly, it seems, from one sight to another. I have tried to fit into his shoes – however, this is not necessarily the best way of showing off his book, or understanding London through his eyes. I will think about your other comments, all of which are helpful, thank you

      2. Sorry for taking so long to respond! I think you are including a lot of history text, maybe more than is needed per post? You could always break it up like I suggested with each day having a different topic focus.

        Good luck! I hope to visit in the future!

  32. Hey everyone, I’m wondering if I should switch to a theme with featured posts, or a magazine layout. However I’d like the focus to be on the writing. Do you think I would lose that if the posts said ‘read more’…? How likely would you be to click ‘read more’?

    Thanks,

    Lorna

    1. I think if the introduction of the text is catchy enough, people will click ‘read more’. I guess if they don’t like the first part of the text the wouldn’t have read the entire thing anyways. The ‘read more’ tag is nice because it gives the blog a clearer layout and especially with long texts it’s good. =)