Advertisements

Question Time IV – Themes

This weeks question has a tiny ulterior motive behind it, but please ignore that and join in anyway! Basically I want to know what your thoughts are on layouts and styles of blogs, and what made you go with the design you currently use.

I am in the process (and have been for weeks to be honest!) of changing the theme of my blog. I don’t want to make a huge deal about it, and obviously it’s all down to personal preference so I won’t be influenced by answers here, I hope! I really want to know why you have your site set up the way you do, as it always fascinates me seeing so many different looking blogs.

Currently I rock this black and pink combo, mainly because Drive showed me how cool pink and black looks, and I like it 🙂 But I’m not really interested as much in why you have the colour scheme you have, but more the layout. The widgets you use, blogrolls, A-Z index, images, free theme or premium/paid for ones, what do you like and dislike etc. Also, why do so few of you use a full width template/theme for your text? I read a lot of blogs, and can think of about 5 that use the full page. I really like it, and just wondered why so many of us have the narrow text, with one sidebar option. To be more clear about this, I mean, using mine as an example, the black spaces down the side of my blog look like wasted space. There are some free templates that fill the whole page, but so few of us use them.

I don’t want to start naming blogs I really like in-case I miss someone out, but I’m sure you all have an impression as soon as you log on a site. As blog owners, we all want to make that first impression a good one to our readers, and the look of our site is primarily the best way to do that. I read some that are hard to navigate, I can’t work out where to find what films/music/books/photos etc have been used/reviewed or whatever and it always makes me conscious of trying to make mine as easy to navigate as possible.

Personally, I have an A-Z of all the films I have reviewed on my right sidebar as a drop down. I have a search box. I have tags which are up to date and I try to make them as concise as possible. But I could do more. My new site will have images for all my separate pages, as I’m more likely to click an image saying DESERT ISLAND than look at the top menu. I will also have other stuff. And I will be having a full page template. There, the cats out of the bag. I know it can be more daunting to read more words in a sentence, but I really think it looks great and I can’t understand why I haven’t done it sooner. I still only want to use one sidebar though. I know some people use two, and they look great, and again I would love to hear why you (if you do) use them both. Or not. Or none at all. I know, this is kind of a long-winded question, and as I mentioned, my ulterior motive is to see what people like and don’t like. It always interests me to see why people do this blogging thing, hence my previous ‘Question Times‘, and this week I just want to know why you showcase yourself and your work in the way you do. Hope this makes sense?! 🙂

Previous Question Time posts:

Question Time I – How do you Blog?

Question Time II – Movie Screeners

Question Time III – Last Chance Movie

Advertisements
Leave a comment

59 Comments

  1. I’ve really kept my blog the same since I first started it, but I think I should make some more additions, like a page with all my reviews. Oh yeah, Drive does show how pink and black look cool together.

    Like

    Reply
    • I got lucky by using categories as the film title, so the A-Z does itself. It would take forever to have to do them all again individually! I hope you can find an easy way for your page buddy.

      Drive = Cool. Proven fact now, we all know this 😉

      Like

      Reply
  2. I chose my layout because of the widgets. I was able to have two rows of widgets at the side and widgets at the bottom. One sacrifice in this though, is that there is a smaller blog text area, but I can live with that

    Like

    Reply
  3. jmount43

     /  November 27, 2012

    I’m not really sure why I use the theme that I use, Tyson. I do know that I went through at least two or three before I settled on this one. I also know that I will probably keep it and that the only thing I may change will be the background. The current one is pretty awesome, but I’m looking to go with something more sinister, more menacing in the future. Perhaps…The Care Bears. Maybe even Rainbow Brite or Dora the Explorer. Cheers!

    Like

    Reply
    • I really like your layout John. Always found it easy to navigate. Everything is categorised and listed clearly and as you were one of the first blogs I followed it was a good template and gave me food for thought, so thank you for that!

      Care Bears sounds good, nice and ironic 😉 cheers for your thoughts buddy

      Like

      Reply
  4. theipc

     /  November 27, 2012

    I played with some different themes when I first started and settled on just black on white – i think it was called “2011”. I stuck with that for quite a awhile but I get bored easy (which is why I have so many header images) and messed around with the theme I have now. I really like what I use because it has what I consider a “cover page” where you can kind of see ten options to pick from.

    I actually didn’t want to do the links at the top but when I changed it I actually got some complaints that the “Halloweens” and the “F 13s” were available any longer so I added them back.

    Like

    Reply
    • As I have told you before, I love your alternating header images. I also love the format you use with the images, very different.

      Need the links for all the stuff you have going on! Thanks for your comment Eric 🙂

      Like

      Reply
      • theipc

         /  November 28, 2012

        Thanks for the compliment! That means a lot to me : )

        I don’t want to spam your site with a bunch of links but this one is my favorite:

        http://isaacspictureconclusions.com/halloween/

        If you ever have a minute to check that out I would love it and – dum ta dum – along the sidebar you’ll see a bunch of other treats (hopefully)

        Like

        Reply
  5. Fogs once described my blog as ‘the man in black’ and that’s the very thing I like about it. I’ve trudged through all the themes and couldn’t find one that I found as effective as what I’m using. Call me anal but I like my blog to be tidy. I’ve visited so many that had random things all over the place and it was a little hard to navigate. I was so fastidious that I never even wanted to add features or reblog anything. Strictly film reviews was my way. I’ve started doing that now but I’m still happy with all the options and menus in the column. It’s easier for me to understand, I hope it has the same effect for others. 🙂

    Like

    Reply
    • Heh. I remember that. Does that make me the White Wizard? LOL

      Like

      Reply
    • As you know better than anyone I love a good feature on my site, but I try and have them easy enough to find and navigate around. Like you I don’t re-blog anything, purely because I’m OCD and I can’t stand having it not formatted like everything else. Thats why I make a new post about it instead, does the same as a reblog and everyone gets credit, plus it keeps my OCD happy 🙂

      I like your format, simple and effective. Never had a problem getting around, but your A-Z page is quite new right?

      Cheers for sharing Mark, appreciate it as always!

      Like

      Reply
      • My A-Z has been up for ages. That was one of things I wanted to crack straight away. It’s not always entirely up to date – the latest reviews have yet to be added but the page itself is quite old. Everyone should have an index. I Find it a necessity.

        Like

        Reply
        • Ah right, apologies. I thought it was recent……going senile. 😛

          I would of liked them on one page, but it is neat and tidy for me in the drop down, which I hope makes it quick and easy to see every film I (and all you wonderful guest reviewers) have reviewed.

          Like

  6. I have the free ChaoticSoul which I love. I use a letter and a date as my categories so that films can be found that way, and I have a search bar at the top for those searching for a particular movie. With almost 500 movies reviewed now, I’ve managed to fill up a lot of these year-of-release categories so that they aren’t all just links to one or two articles.
    I tag my films with a generic genre to make it searchable in that way (though I wish I could display them in something other than a cloud).
    I do like having a few recent Tweets on the sidebar as well. It’s a more prominent way of getting follows without begging, haha.
    The one thing I absolutely could not do without is the ‘self-loading page’. I much prefer to have the next set of movies show up when you reach the bottom of the page, rather than having to click ‘older posts’. I think it is a much cleaner and smoother way of keeping people on the page. But that’s just me!

    Like

    Reply
    • 500?! Well played sir 🙂

      I quite like the tag cloud, but I wish I could edit it.

      So your a fan of the infinite scroll are you? I have tried both, but currently have the next page option because I have some footers. My new site is going infinite scroll though as thats the way of the future supposedly 🙂 Thanks John!

      Like

      Reply
  7. I really wanted a premium theme (which was ostensibly for music sites) when I first started. The price tag pushed me down a different route however. Then I looked at a theme called “Vertigo” which seemed really cool until I figured out it only had one narrow column of text (wasting two thirds of the screen down either side) and could only handle one widget. Binned.

    Picked my current theme after that and haven’t looked back since. Clean, simple and (hopefully) easy to understand. The look of it and the number of widgets possible were the main thing. Still not completely happy with it so would be interested if anyone thought there were any seriously glaring problems or things that bugged them?

    Anyway, still improvements I could make. Want to get ”under the bonnet” and personalise it further once I’m up to the coding… if I ever am. As a newb to all this, I kinda look to all of you guys for inspiration so hats off to you guys or some great looking sites. (headinavice.com definitely falls under this – will the pink and black still be in the new theme Tyson?)

    Like

    Reply
    • Honestly, and not just saying this because you complimented my site (but it helps lol!) but I LOVE your layout Ewan. Its easily one of the better ones I have seen. Clear, clean and concise. Obviously the detail you go into for your reviews shines through, but visually I really like it. I will actually be losing the black and pink……my new one will look exactly like yours 😉 I kid, but I will be going for a cleaner white look. Mainly because I want a wider page and bigger images. And lots of logos for all the projects I have, in the hope they are more fun to look at that than words everywhere!

      Thanks for the comment, appreciate you stopping by 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  8. I tend to stick with at least some sort of green in my theme. My website used to be black and green, which looked nice. I then switched to a Halloween theme of black, orange with a bit of green. Now I have a soft green background. I am currently using the theme, Selecta, which I think looks very nice.

    I quite like your layout, but I can’t wait to see what you change. 🙂

    Like

    Reply
    • Only ‘quite like’ eh? Lol 🙂

      Yeah I noticed you went with the Halloween theme. I was tempted but didnt do it. Lazy I guess!

      Nice to see someone with a left sidebar! Seems quite a rare thing to have for some reason…..maybe its just me. Nice work buddy, and thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Like

      Reply
      • Did I say quite liked? I meant to say it is the greatest layout ever! 😀

        I actually meant to hit preview for the Halloween theme, but hit activate and next thing I know, people thought it was cool. Must have confused people as I made very little Halloween related posts.

        I must admit, I am a fan of the left side bar. At first I was loyal to the right bar, but after a few days, that left side bar really won me over. God, that makes me sound like the most boring person ever. 😛

        Like

        Reply
        • Thats what I thought you meant to say. I was going to edit it for you, but nice of you to correct yourself! 😉

          Accident with the change worked out well for you then! Thats why I have my test site, just in case.

          Its good to argue with yourself about left or right! Are you left or right handed? Was that an influence? I naturally look right, no idea why….. 🙂 How do you do that smiley face, I love that!? How thick am I……lol

          Like

      • Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever put too much thought into changing my layout. I just sort of do it randomly. Which probably isn’t good, next thing I know orange fairies will be dancing around my website.

        I’m left handed, and I always look towards my left. Which always seems to scare people at the grocery store, doesn’t help when I have an eye twitch as I do it…

        It’s the colon ‘:’ and the letter ‘P’ which equals 😛 . I probably use it way too much. Haha.

        Like

        Reply
        • Left handed explains it I guess, brain being drawn to that side and all that psychology stuff 😛

          I love the smiley, thank you! I will use it all the time now. Do you know any others? Full credit will be given 😛

          Like

      • Yeah, maybe if I paid more attention in psychology classes, I’d know that. 😛

        I don’t know any for sure, but I’ve heard from reputable sources that ‘:’ and ‘?’ make something. 😕 I wonder…

        Like

        Reply
      • To be honest, my reputable source was just me, grasping at straws. I’m truly surprised the 😕 worked. Guess I’m probably not the most reputable source though.

        Like

        Reply
  9. My blog has changed a few times over the course of the year and I’ve finally settled on one that I like the best. I chose my theme based on the idea of making it easy for people to navigate by being clean and neat. I try to avoid over crowding it with widgets and pictures because I don’t want people to be distracted from the content that I want them to read. Another thing that is really important to me is a theme that uses featured images (especially one big one at the top), I’ve always thought those look the best because pictures are the best way to grab someones attention. I’m always changing my blog around to make it look as good as possible and I hope others feel that way when they are reading it!

    Like

    Reply
    • That’s why my new site has to have a big image at the top. Not as exciting as yours but still big 🙂 Your images down the side are similar to what I’m going for (and have here to a degree). Definitely think images are the way to go. Yours is one of my favourite themes visually (and sites, obviously!) so thanks for commenting buddy. Love your work 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  10. I am not a visual person, and although I have some creative talents, decorating is not one of them. So I like to use a template that is clean looking, because if I can’t figure out how to make it fancy at least it will be easy for readers to find what they’re looking for. I also like a custom header, which I usually get my husband to make for me, but on my 90s Horror Movies blog I actually made my own and I am way too proud of that accomplishment!

    The funny thing is, I submitted Deep Red Rum to the Brutally Blunt Blustering thing on LAMB awhile back, expecting people to tell me I was a derper or that all my opinions are wrong, etc, (you know how people do on the internets) but all they had a problem with was my blog’s look. I didn’t know what to do differently, so I didn’t do anything. When I am being Judgy McJudgerson about someone else’s blog the last thing I’m concerned with is the way it looks. So I was shocked that the look of the blog was that important to readers.

    Like

    Reply
    • You have done superbly with your own image, you wont need your husband any more! 🙂

      If the internet has taught me anything it is that a) reality shows are the best things ever b) my opinion is wrong. SO I made this site and came up with my sub heading which means my opinion is always right on at least one site 😉

      So visually you don’t really mind what someones site looks like as long as the content is good? I like that, but sadly I think people are as superficial as in real life with people. Looks are everything!

      Thanks for sharing and stopping by. Its always appreciated and you will never be judged around these parts 🙂

      Like

      Reply
      • Thanks! I’ve always liked that tagline you have “Because everyone is entitled to my opinion.” I feel the same way about my site.

        Like

        Reply
        • Thank you! I thought it was witty, came as an accident since I’m dyslexic I was just trying out loads of different ones, and for a mistake it worked out well! A lot of people say the same, that it sums up how they feel. 🙂

          Like

  11. I switch themes often because I keep finding new ones that look so great. I also don’t want to make my site stale by keeping the same look over and over again. That’s how I kind of decide on what theme to go with. I hit the free section on WordPress from time to time and just try the new ones out or the favorites out. I then try it on one of my blogs to see if it makes a difference or not. I go from there.

    I use one sidebar at least because I want to make it easier for followers and people reading my blog to find my stuff. I feel like if it is on the side as you are reading down the page you might be more likely to stumble upon it. I try to put my follow button, twitter button, etc. on the side for easy access. With my poem blog I keep a top twenty of my poems available so if you are new there you will be able to jump to the most liked. Maybe that will help them keep coming back.

    Like

    Reply
    • So you change it round a bit then? I set up a mirror test site so I can mess around and not change this until Im 100% happy. Hence why it hasnt changed yet!

      One hurdle I have here is the sidebar is only on the homepage, not on the reviews. I hope with the new one, as you say if there are images and options on the side, people are more inclined to click them. Thanks for your thoughts buddy, and keep up the great work 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  12. gregory moss

     /  November 28, 2012

    The theme I’m using isn’t all that sexy I know, but I was wanting something simple and clean which would allow the content to shine through – without being overwhelmed by an onslaught of graphic distractions (not that there’s anything wrong with graphic distractions per se – well apart from the ones WHICH FLASH – Ughhh!). Granted, my other site – saturn3makingof.com is a little more graphically appealing – but only because I figure it has to compete for traffic in a larger arena (not that traffic should be the be all and end all of this exercise – but you know what I mean). Also, as my Saturn 3 site relies heavily on pictures in order to contextualize the written content (more so than my main blog) – the color scheme of the theme – blue-greys, blacks and greens – compliments the production design of the actual movie stills themselves. I don’t think this was a conscious decision on my part – but it seems to have worked out this way. Also, I like the way the dark background tends to make the pics appear more luminous and colorful. 🙂

    Like

    Reply
    • Sneaky little plug in there…….hey everyone, come check out my other site! LOL – always allow any links you post since your work is so damn good. A bit like your comment here, always so much detail and put mine to shame!!

      I too hate flashy fancy images, only because they seem to creep out and screw my computer up and slow it all down.

      I like both your sites Greg. The only thing they lack is a big logo with my sites name all over them, but apart form that they are gold! Thanks for stopping by and commenting, always appreciated buddy 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  13. Biggest factors of why my Blog is the way it is: Time.
    I want to change it up, but don’t have the time to play around with the look + layout of it just yet.

    The current layout is what I’ve had for a while. It works, it’s simple and good. Widgets, I find the ones I have up to be the most relevant. My topics don’t really vary other than 4-5, so no need for a Tag Cloud and such. Also, I don’t ‘get’ a lot of the other widgets. 😦

    One thing I would change is the column layout, as the text is wrapped too tightly and makes it seem like I’ve babbled for longer than I actually have.

    I like your Layout Tyson… the black / pink works. Awesomely! What I love most, is that for a ‘horror’ inclined Blogger, your Blog doesn’t LOOK like it. It probably would’ve turned me off ias a first impression if it did to be honest.

    Like

    Reply
    • It does take time to tweak even the smallest things on a blog. I certainly think so anyway. I like what you have, simple to get around and its all clear and concise. I also dont know what the other widgets do, I have no idea why people would use some of them……..

      If you changed theme could you change your column set up?

      Man, the more I get told how good the pink and black is the more worried I get about showing off the new look. Since its not pink. Or black 😦

      Despite my sites name – which I try to explain in my about me section, to stop people thinking Im warped – and the content which is a lot of horror reviews, I didnt want bloody/horror images everywhere. As soon as I decided I wanted to do the IMDB project I felt violent images may put people off. At least it has worked and kept you around, so its all worth it! Thanks for the comment Shah, love it when you stop by 🙂

      Like

      Reply
      • Fuck you Tyson. Because of this entire post, I”m now seriously considering changing my layout. I’ve always had a problem with how tight my main body column… and now you’re motivating me to do something about it. Argh!

        I’m sure I could change my column set up. I’ll end up killing a few hours with this soon, most likely. *sighs.

        Regardless or Pink, Black or Fuschia… I”m sure your new look will be awesoe. Especially considering the time and thought you’re putting into it. You’ve made me want to become a better blogger. And getting me motivated to do anything is quite a feat.

        No worries man… I’m glad I could provide some feedback. Thank YOU for helping me improve myself. (So… do I wait for your bill in the mail… or do I just give you my CC info? 😐 )

        Like

        Reply
  14. My theme is Nunitis. I didn’t want a theme that was too cluttered or too sparse so Nunitus is perfect. It has my preferred right-side column and menu so my content and widgets are organised and easy to find. I also like that I can upload whichever background and header I want, as well as potentially use a post slider.

    Like

    Reply
    • I like your look, nice custom images and having the personalised background is a cool move.

      Thanks for stopping by, look forward to plenty more of your work 🙂

      Like

      Reply
      • Thank you so much, Tyson! So much effort goes into setting up one’s blog is just the right way, so it’s nice when the work is noticed. 🙂

        Like

        Reply
        • No worries. We maybe get a second sometimes to capture someone’s attention, so we have to try and showcase ourselves in the best possible way! Thats why I love every like, comment and follow. It means people must like what they see a little bit! Cheers Hera 🙂

          Like

  15. Not really sure why I picked my theme, I just thought it looked quite minimalist, which I liked. However, it doesn’t allow for widgets down the side, which I would have liked. I might change to another one at some point and I also want a proper banner for the top but my design skills aren’t good enough for that! Might have to enlist some kind soul to help with that. I’d ideally like a completely custom site but I can’t really afford to get all that set up and don’t have the skills to do it myself.

    Like

    Reply
  16. I don’t use a template that lets the text go all the way to the edges because – the less eye movement you have to do, the more comfortable it is to read. Trends are moving more toward tablets and wi-fi, (its hard to believe that things are trending towards smaller/compact screens) and less finger shuffling across the page on these units will be better for readers, too!

    Like

    Reply
    • Thanks for that, I hadn’t really considered it from that angle. I guess because I dont have an issue reading longer lines I didnt think really. Appreciate you mentioning it, I might have to play around and test mine out on a few family members. They do adapt though so for phone ipads etc they fit the screen like normal. I hope! Thanks again for the feedback, much appreciated 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  1. Question Time V – Who Are You? | Head In A Vice
  2. Question Time VI – Favourite Christmas Movie | Head In A Vice
  3. Question Time VII (Part 1) – Worst Movie 2012 | Head In A Vice

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Advertisements
  • RECENT POSTS :

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Daily Top 10 Most Viewed

  • Every Movie Reviewed A-Z

  • Follow me on Twitter

  • Most Used Tags

  • Random Cool Sites

  • Meta