Blog Eye Reviews Sue Bride

Posted on Posted in Blog Eye

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.

New.York.Times

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:

Sue Bride Blog

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:

Sue Bride

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?

Header:

  • 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.

Menu:

  • 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.

Homepage:

  • 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

Footer:

  • 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 …

  1. Clarity of message (You are a Professional Digital Marketer)
  2. No visual distractions. You want your viewers to know right away what they’re looking at and where to go
  3. 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.

Lesly Federici

 

 

 

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19 thoughts on “Blog Eye Reviews Sue Bride

  1. Hi Lesly

    Love the review. I love the theme of Sue’s blog. The features are just awesome.

    Your suggestions are interesting and spot on too plus you have given me so much insight

    Thanks for sharing. Take care and have a swell week.

  2. Hi Lesly,
    Great suggestions, you are right we need to get rid of all the distractions because people have one too many anyways.
    Thank you for sharing!

  3. Hi Lesly,
    this is a great review.
    I like sues blog and her colors and your suggestions are
    really good to consider. I see so many blogs which are
    overloaded with things, but this one will be a nice clear
    blog. Great and helpful initiative.
    Than you
    Erika

  4. Hey Joy,
    Wonderful to see you visiting, thank you. Yea, Sue IS VERY talented and I’m looking forward to seeing what she does too. I had a theme that had a bunch of options and drove me nuts and finally gave it up… so, although nice. it all depends on what and how you want to present …

  5. Hi Lesly,

    Some very helpful suggestions and points to ponder for Sue.

    I know what you mean about all the different options on some of the themes, I’ve recently moved to a new theme and there’s so many options in it I’ve hardly started using them. I seem to spend most of my time in the help forum figuring something out. Luckily they’re very helpful.

    I’ll be interested to watch what Sue finally comes up with, but she’s a very talented lady, so when you two get your heads together I’m sure the finished result will be amazing 🙂

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

  6. Hey Monna,
    The Divi theme looks impressive when you see all the features. But it will be great to see how she puts things together.. thanks for stopping by!

  7. Hi Chery,
    Oh you say the sweetest things … thank you so much for your kind words. I hope Blog Eye helps a lot of bloggers, new and seasoned… much love to you my friend 🙂

  8. Hi Philip,
    Thank you for visiting .. appreciate it. I’m hoping Blog Eye will help other bloggers, so excised to offer the service and (as a PAC Community Member it’s free on Wednesdays :-)) Thank you for your kind words and support ..

  9. Hi Edward …
    You can be both and present both with a blog. Just depends a lot on the theme and how you present your content.. always great to see you visiting 🙂

  10. Hi Lesly,

    Nice, honest review that asks important questions.

    It’s a tricky undertaking to present yourself, via a blog design, as both friendly and professional. Yet, as you pointed out, clarity of message trumps other considerations.
    Edward

  11. Hi Lesly,
    This is indeed amazing!
    What a Review!
    Blog Eye is indeed a wonderful observer!
    Lot of questions to the blog owner and
    suggestions! Well Done my dear friend Lesly. 🙂
    Sue you have a wonderful page, indeed an eye capturing one!
    Keep it up.
    Lesly, your new initiative indeed worth praising!
    More to come!
    Keep sharing.
    Wish you all the best in the upcoming projects/posts in this regard
    Best
    ~ Philip
    PS: Sharing thru my social sites 🙂

  12. Hi Sue,
    Big job ahead and I understand wanting to have a base where all other sites are connected to. Boils down to organization. Your menus can help you direct people to where you want them to go. Perhaps where the color blocks are you can have a solid color block/band/banner saying something like “Grab a FREE Web Service From Sue Here” that would be more upfront and clear, than the small color block “Services”. People get confused when there’s too many choices. Create a simple banner on the homepage to promote this. Excited to see what you do and I hope this was helpful. 🙂

  13. Thank you so much Lesly. As you say this theme has so many options and I couldn’t resist trying them. This one is actually the Divi Extra theme which allows you to style each category page differently too. It is responsive and works on mobiles. At present I have to use a separate theme for mobile and it’s very plain. However as you say I must be aware of how it looks on mobiles. It’s not enough that it’s just mobile compatible for Google, it has to be user friendly too.

    It’s interesting what you say about moving to a professional rather than friendly look. I want to achieve both and hoped the bright colors might do that. As a WordPress specialist, I create sites for others and I thought it important to have more than a standard looking one myself.

    You are right in that the Services section on the home page is in effect a second menu. I wanted to make it clear what I do, for free and to make money. At present I do have them in a drop down and they don’t get many views.

    One of the reasons I like the flexibility of this theme is that most either allow for a home page or blog page and home pages don’t normally easily allow for more than widget type lists of posts. (This PAC theme is an exception)

    Another issue I had was trying to use this site as a portal to others – my Resources site and Social Media News site. Now I have a theme that caters better for it I’m thinking of combining the Resources site with the main one. Then I’ll just use the resources site to house the downloads. Considering I’ve been writing posts when I add new resources this seems the best option. What do you think? In addition I’m working on a site/section for members. This will initially be for web clients and those who buy things from me. Some are just starting sites and need to know some very basic information.

    As my site has become more than just a blog I’m trying to fit it all in so everything is found.

    Once I move the site across I’ll work on the sidebar, footer, and testimonial areas. Thank you so much for the suggestions.

  14. Hello Lesly, What a great article! we are all so lucky to have you in our lives my friend! As we can plainly see from this post you do go above and beyond what others do.

    As you have stated our blogs will always be a work in progress and it is so nice to know that we have you to count on to help us through our struggles.

    Thanks for all you do..
    Love Ya Girlfriend.
    Chery :))

  15. Hi Lesly,

    Good suggestions. I really like Sue’s new look but I sure did not see or think about the suggestions you offered.

    I’m in the process of changing my theme and I will be taking your suggestions when I finally decide on my new theme.

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