Every now and then as blog owners we get the strong urge to change how our blog looks.
We can move images around, choose new content for the sidebar, but often it’s changing the theme. The theme will usually dictate what you can do with it as it has limits based on how it was designed. Often you won’t discover those limits until you “try-on” the theme and play with it.
My good friend, Sue Bride has asked me to take a look at a new theme she’s testing to, well let’s say “represent” her visually online. We don’t realize it at the time, but when we choose a blog theme we’re choosing a theme based on our personality and what we like FIRST – before we consider the best theme for our message .
For example, The New York Times is known for global information. It’s a news – read blog theme designed to mimic the actual print newspaper. It works, the message of The New York Times matches the visual presentation.
Sue Bride is an intelligent woman with a flare for humor and compassion for others. She writes incredibly detailed articles on Social Media which are both informative and “How- To”. She is also a web designer and understands very well how to set up a blog on WordPress and is a great resource for finding images online and blog themes. So she’s testing one now – Divi.
Reviewing what she’s testing with this theme is a great example of exploring and comparing the “Big and Bold” themes with the standard blog theme design and format which most bloggers use.
Big and Bold seems to be the design of major companies like Coke, PayPal, Mashable, NewsCreed, and so many more. The visual message is clear. It’s like opening a book online so that the “Homepage” is the “Front Cover” and all the goodies (information/articles) is on the inside…
Also, one has to think “Responsive” when choosing a blog theme. All this means is how does your blog show up on different digital devices – phone, tablet, etc.
So, let’s see what Sue is up to. Here’s the front page of Sue’s blog as it is now:
Standard blog theme format, post on the left, sidebar on the right, header and menu at the top.
Here is the Divi Blog Theme Sue is playing with:
I’m guessing maybe this is one of those themes that has so many features and possible layouts that it can make you crazed! This looks like a theme I would put in the “Big and Bold” category. So let’s see what we can do with this.
My question is: Sue, how do you want to present yourself? Are you going from friendly to professional Sue? Meaning, do you want your blog to come across as a professional in the Social Media/Digital arena?
- Love the puzzle and “S” image as the site logo. This would be good to carry through the whole site.
- The style (font) of text on the header doesn’t fit with the “boldness” feel of the theme. Adding an “About” page could fix this where you can place your tagline, picture, and information about you could be.
- For clarity, there should only be one menu. I see two on the homepage “Services”. This could be added to the top menu and list the services as a drop down.
- I would get rid of the sidebar. There are too many distractions visually and your viewers eyes will wander.
- Make your blog posts visible on the homepage – the “Latest” or “Most Recent” (same thing).
- Make a page for “Testimonials” and place videos there
- Remove the picture of you and place in “About” page
- Have one row of “Recent Posts” on the homepage.
- Remove the “Contact” on the front page because it’s at the top left of the homepage
- Remove the “Recent Posts” and “Recent Comments”. Replace with the text testimonials. Replace with “Categories”
- Or … remove the footer and have the text testimonials at the bottom of the page OR move up to the center of the page, or to the TOP of the page where you have “Services” in the bold color blocks. You visitors will read the testimonials which is important information!
These are just some suggestions as the Divi Blog Theme has many features and layout possibilities. The thing to remember is …
- Clarity of message (You are a Professional Digital Marketer)
- No visual distractions. You want your viewers to know right away what they’re looking at and where to go
- Clean, clear, and easy navigation
This is a blog in progress and it will always change reflecting your passions and interests. It’s a great start Sue! Keep at it, it’s slowly coming together. If you have more questions about this review, comment below. Would love to read them and help you out.
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