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Blogging 101: Love Your Theme

Today’s assignment: try out at least three other themes — even if you’re happy with yours. Try one you’re drawn to, and one you’d never use.

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Starting a blog is kind of like buying a house: you decide what neighborhood you want to live in, pick a house, and fill it with your stuff. For a blogger, that means deciding on a blogging platform, picking a theme, and publishing posts. You’ve already done #1 and #3, so let’s focus on #2.

Today’s assignment: try out at least three other themes — even if you’re happy with the one you first chose. Try one you’re drawn to, and one you would never use.

Why do this?

  • No one is going to spend more time on your blog than you, so you should love the way it looks.
  • As with jeans, you never know if a theme fits until you try it on.

Preview or upload some new themes, or just try out some of the options available to you from your blog provider. Minimalists, try something ornate! Photobloggers, try a magazine-style theme! Shake it up. Try at least one that you don’t think you like at all.

And yes, do this even if you love your current blog layout. You never know what seeing your words displayed in a new way will inspire, and you can always keep the layout you love.

To help whittle down the options, try our three rules of thumb:

  1. Pick something that speaks to you. You might admire simplicity and bold typography on others’ sites, but if you’re personally drawn to something soft and romantic, head in that direction.
  2. Consider your content. If you know you’ll be posting lots of images, pick a theme meant to show off photos. If you love poetry, choose a streamlined theme that makes your words the star. (Not sure what you want to publish? Welcome to the 99%. Try everything!)
  3. Think about your priorities. Some themes have a very distinctive look out-of-the-box. Others let you add custom touches like headers and backgrounds, while some have a variety of layout options Take a look at a theme’s features and customization options.

We’ve chatted with a few bloggers about how they chose their themes, if you’d like advice right from the bloggers’ mouths, or check out some impressive theme transformations and get inspired. For help understanding theme features and functions, take a look at our guide to evaluating themes; for details on how to browse and preview themes, head here.

It’s easy to get lost in the land of themes, so feel free to stretch this assignment out a bit, and browse themes  — try more than three, if you’re still on the fence — when you’ve got a bit more time over the weekend.

Questions? Ask away! As always, The Commons is there to continue your conversations.

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Comments

      1. I like your theme a lot actually. I find it very structured and easy to look at. Although I have enabled the option to show just a summary of my recent posts, for some reason they appear on the home page in their entirety, which I find a bit annoying. I guess this is something that goes with the theme, though. D’oh.

        Like

    1. @sandiyee160 – I love your theme! It suits the idea of your blog very well. I will follow you now, as this is something I am really interested in. I actually wrote a post about depression recently, so have a look if you want. I hope you’ll follow me back.

      Like

    2. Might be the blog of your is among the first ones I read and do love it…sincerely
      Matches with many of your traits regarding blogging and profession 😀

      Customized and ❤ it

      Like

      1. Hi Belindq! I love your theme, it is very stylish, but I have a comment (please don’t get offended!) I am working for the newspaper, so after a day in editorial my eyes are so tired it is really hard to use laptop. And The first impression of your theme was “wow! that’s stylish”. After I navigated for a while the black stripes of background started be painful for my eyes. Not everyone works in editorial for sure, so you can ask several other people how do they find the stripes – maybe it is just mine problem 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thanks for the feedback. I have overlooked the fact that a scrolling striped background is really a distraction. Now in the midst of making a new background. In the meanwhile I have made it to a fixed background instead.

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    1. I like the name of your blog a lot. 🙂 I am not too sure I would use that theme, but we all have our preferences, it suits you. 🙂 I follow you now, hope you’ll follow back.

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      1. They just make it so difficult. None of the free themes are what I really need, and if they are you have to buy an upgrade. And I don’t really want to waste my money buying a theme cause I don’t want to take the chance that I might not like the theme.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi beautiful people 🙂 Tonight I really need your help – I spent pretty much time customizing my blog, but I still can’t decide whether it is good looking or nor. TantoVerde means very green, so that defined the color. I tried to keep it simple, but maybe too simple? What do you think? is it easy readable for you? (I HATE the font though).
    Critic is welcome! And have a good night all those from European part of the world 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it is easy to find the comments, right underneath the posts. Easier than the ones on my blog, as they are showing as a number in a little bubble above the post. I can’t say I really like that…

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      2. I am only a beginner at this so no expert comments but an honest reader opinion, going through the category of your writing…The blog is simple and precise focusing on what you write rather than taking the focus from writing to layout.

        Good job done 🙂

        Like

    1. I like your theme, and I think it fits your topic. It actually looks fresh & clean which I think is far better than cluttered and overdone for a food blog. I’ve just started here, and I feel like I should get comfortable posting first then explore different themes as my comfort level increases.

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      1. Hi, I liked the color and the images are vibrant and stunning. The only thing is the congestion of your paragraphs. It might be easier on the eyes if the paragraphs were smaller, and maybe break it up a bit with small images on the side, relevant to that paragraph. I hope that helps. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you very much, Fanny, Audrey, Karen and Sandi – I appreciate your feedback! and I appreciate your fantastic blog stories I read and I am overwhelmed with emotions right now. I wrote everything in comments, but you won’t die if you will hear again: you are great!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, I forgot it, haha!!! (it is under construction now, and being tested by my closest friends and travel/culinary experts).
        Thank you very much! A sudden question – do you easily find comments? yesterday I discovered they look strange, not like in the other blogs

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I think your blog is beautiful. It’s simple and clean which seems to represent what you wanted it to, BUT I understand wanting one small thing–like the font–to change. Is there a way to customize it? There is a simple elegance to your writing style that I loved and it drew me to following your blog. The font doesn’t scream that elegance, but your words still shine which is what you want. I just talked my self into a circle, but isn’t that the best advice? To truly give none and leave the option open to the person who it ultimately affects the most? Have a great day!

      Like

    3. I agree with the other comments, your theme is simple and cheery. The green is bold, but it fits your subject. It immediately reminded me of the excitement I get when I open up my box of weekly delivered vegetables.

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    4. Are you kidding?… Your blog is about food & the likes and you have a simple ‘greeny’ theme to match… Perfect! Maybe b’cos green’s my fav colour.
      You know how many themes I’ve tried? Maybe a dozen- and still counting!

      PS-You might want to follow back…

      Like

    1. Do you mind the hyperlink colour not matching your colour theme of your website? For me, I’m very particular. I will usually skip the theme if it is using blue as hyperlink colour. I like blue but I dislike it to be the hyperlink as it is so common and cliche.

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    1. This was about the themes so commenting on that only, like the nature of header…it so defines the tagline 🙂 and simplicity in drafting…appreciations

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    1. Hi, I like your blog, all respect for your writing and book reviews. I am trying to write a book, which will probably take me years, so maybe one day I will have something for you to review. 🙂 Anyway, I follow your blog now and hope you’ll follow back.

      Like

      1. Thank you very much for the feedback and liking and looking at my photos 🙂 Why don’t you try this theme like Michelle says in this post. Your pictures will look better with this theme. You will know once you try it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Now when I have scrolled back and forth in your blog, being no expert in it already…the theme does suit your posts but for me its all getting over-crowded but the comments down say something else…honest opinion it is, if only you can make it lil less crowded as for me focus is just not on your photo…I am wandering all over it o check the posts… Hope you won’t mind

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No..it okay. I like the honest feedback.
        You know what, today I was also feeling the same. It looked kinda overcrowded place. Sure I am taking your opinion into consideration. Did you find anything else wrong? I would like your more bad comments so that I can improve. So be brutally honest. I wont mind 😀
        Anyway thank you again for the wonderful feedback 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Apart from it…I love the photographs, totally loving the experience of visiting places with your angle. So will love to see more of it 😀

        Like

      3. The major tweaks can be seen and I love it already…
        but can I suggest you something like, keeping rest all the same as its super awesome with all the background but doing something with the right hand section of your blog …like the searches and follow ups….
        that will enhance the focus 🙂 but this looks good too

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you very much. I followed you even before going to your blog 😀 I am sure it will be inspiring. I am yet to check it. Thank you for the kind feedback and for leaving your bucket list 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Awwww but I love my theme! Tonal is perfect for my blog. It’s wonderfully minimal. All there is is my writing and a nice big image when I want there to be. There are others I like but they are premium themes and I am waiting until I am a little more comfortable with blogging before I spring for one of those. 🙂

    Like

  3. I am currently using twentyten theme and its pretty impressive, it gives me space for write ups and also the photos. Its been a year here but i am just a learner. I want to learn from everyone and whatever happens here is a great stuff. Even the comments release so much of tips, well i think the theme has to be visually appealing and thats the catch point for someone to actually feel interested and then read it. Time to introspect something more and i shall try few more themes now. Good day to you all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You won’t break anything, as long as you are happy to re-do the custom settings every time you change themes. Your theme looks rather minimalistic to me, but, then, everyone has got a different taste. As long as YOU are happy with it, that’s what matters!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi MindTechNorms, I visited your site. The images are big and beautiful, I especially liked the post about the sun, because it was the easiest to read. Personally, I find reading white on black difficult on my eyes. Good Luck!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I already tried several themes during the first year of my blog and then chose the one I have now. Even if new themes are made I will not change mine. The only way it will change is if I come up with an idea of a customized theme just for my blog.

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  5. Good evening everyone 🙂 I really enjoy my theme thus far and I don’t feel compelled to change it…yet. I don’t want to deter or confuse my readers and followers. I would rather stay consistent 🙂

    Like

  6. Tried Twenty-fourteen – nice but too much going on.
    Tried Clear News – and wow that did not work at all haha.

    I just recently changed themes anyways, and it took a lot for me to do it. There was nothing wrong with my previous theme (Twenty Thirteen is excellent) – I just felt like a change. I prefer minimalistic themes, plus I have a lot of long wordy posts, so I think Cocoa with its nice typography and clean style work. It’s also one of the most affordable premium theme, which I appreciate.

    Would love any feedback anyone has!

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  7. I have tried quite a few themes before and have decided to stick to my current one. It suits my personality and the style of my blog.

    To be honest, I found it a pain to change themes, as my settings go back to the default ones, so I have to start all over again: adding all the widgets, customising the main page, etc. If all settings could be automatically saved, I would happily try more themes, but right now I am reluctant to do it, as it is just too much work to set it all up again. 😦

    Liked by 2 people