A change is as good as a break…

I am assuming that most of you have noticed that I have been doing a bit of housekeeping on my blog over the last few days. This is all down this book that I am reading:

Product Details

It is a book that was recommended by a blogger on her blog . I am ashamed to say that I cannot remember who it was. Sorry (If it is you then please rectify it so I can give you the credit that you deserve).

It is a very informative book and I have picked up some of the tips and applied them to my own little blog. My first hurdle was the theme. I loved my other theme. It is called Shaan and I was originally drawn to it by the colour.

Shaan

This is my original theme: Shaan (from WordPress)

Over the last year I have learnt what features I am looking for from a theme:

  1. I liked to be able to customise my heading (the photo bit)
  2. I like the side bar on the right where I can add all my widgets.
  3. I need it to be one that works on a variety of platforms: mobile, tablet, pc.
  4. I liked being able to choose my own colour.
  5. Ideally I would like to have the menu for categories and pages lower down than on the Shaan to make them a bit more noticeable.

In the end and after a lot of time I chose this theme twenty Twelve. In order to make it feel a bit more like ‘mine’ I immediately:

  1. Changed the background colour to this which is more in line with my shop colours (more on this very soon)
  2. I changed the colour of the title font.
  3. I uploaded my own header photograph (this may need a little more tweaking.)
  4. I added my widgets.

The Widgets that I have included in my sidebar are:

  1. The follow button – I want to give everybody the chance to follow my blog as easily as possible for obvious reasons. πŸ˜‰
  2. The Facebook link – Mainly to alert people to the fact that I have one!
  3. A twitter link – Same as for the Facebook link
  4. People who are sharing their love – This is following the recommendation from the book. It is a way of giving back a bit of the love that is shown to me. If people comment on my blog they will show up here for all the world to see. It is my little way of saying thank you to them. πŸ™‚
  5. A link to my Flickr account.

Update: I have noticed that there is a bit of a problem with number 4. As I reply to any comments that are left it means that I am the one that shows up the most on the widget which feels completely wrong. I am not sharing the love – simply shouting about me. Not what I was looking for. So, instead I am going to use a different widget which is entitled ‘My Community’. This will post the Gravatar of anyone who likes or comments on my blog.

The other feature that is recommended in the book is to have the number of comments near the post title. It is meant to encourage people to comment and engage with you (and you know how important this is to me!)

So what do you think of my new look? Constructive critism is always welcome, after all you are the people who have to look at it and navigate your way around it.

What are the features that you consider to be the must have for your blog?

 

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39 thoughts on “A change is as good as a break…

  1. allnightknits

    Ha, I don’t deserve any credit! A blogger recommended it to me and I recommended it to you – sadly I cannot remember who told me either!

    I am glad you are enjoying the book, it can be very useful when put into practice. I love the new look, so clean and inviting. Hopefully this book will help all sorts of bloggers, your an inspiration of change now! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  2. Red Hen

    Great! I learn such a lot from your posts! Started fiddling around with my blog appearance after reading this. Have a LOT more work to do on it though!

    Reply
      1. Red Hen

        That`s for sure! It will help when Juneathon`s over! Did find time to download and read a sample of that Hyatt book you mentioned here in your post today. Very, very interesting reading.

        Reply
  3. Truly Myrtle

    Interesting!
    I like the simplicity of your new look. The colour is very calm and looks slick.
    I agree about the header photo – I know it’s a running shoe, but it’s not totally clear and I’d have a play around with it a bit more … The pinky yarn is a good match with the aqua background though.
    I’d love to see a friendly photo of you too πŸ˜‰

    Reply
  4. Gertie

    I love the new look, though I liked the old one too…
    Personally, I like ‘less is more’ in a blog or website (quickly looked at mine to see if I practiced what I preached !!!!) as some can be a little hard to read.
    I think I might ask the Birthday Bunny for a copy of the book as it sounds like a really good read.
    Have a great weekend xx

    Reply
  5. lovelucie1

    I like the new clear look of your blog. It’s younger and fresher. The colours that feature in your header sit beautifully with the aqua border.I didn’t know it was a trainer in your header photo though.
    Is your side bar now a little too clear? I like to see some post headings or archives I can click on. I can’t see anywhere where I would find your other posts.
    Could your flickr photos be made larger? I see you’ve got aqua in them too.
    Only my thoughts.
    I have a great blogging book too. I’ll have to post on it!!

    Reply
    1. knitnrun4sanity Post author

      I am glad that you like it. Yes, I agree with you that the side bar is too empty. It took me ages to get this far!! I will have another go later and add some more things. Thanks for sharing what you would like to see though. Very helpful. Please do post about your book. I am always interested in new ideas.

      Reply
  6. Catherine

    Looks great, I’m just about to embark on something similar – been thinking about it for a long time – having a problem moving between the thinking and doing.

    Reply
  7. Martha

    Hi
    Interesting post. It’s nice to have a spring clean on blog from time to time. A bit of freshness and makeover may be beneficial. I like to do makeovers on mine too.
    I think I like your second theme better than the other. It’s a clean neat template. The text font is good and easy to read (I hate when people choose excessively fanciful fonts for their blogs, they are a nightmare to read!) Aqua colour is cool, summery and trendy. However I would suggest 2 things:
    – work a little more on the quality of your photos. we live in the era when picture rules over the written word and it is a must for your blog to have good quality sharp and clear pictures especially if you want to showcase your jewellery which requires a good camera focus. Blurred pictures are boring and very discouraging to look at for a visitor. The blog will gain a lot with good quality photos and the bigger the better πŸ™‚
    – please re-do your banner – the photo is unclear, doesnt show the details and perhaps another take would be good. right now it shows something… knotted πŸ™‚
    hope this helps. good luck with setting up your blog and have fun blogging on.

    Reply
    1. knitnrun4sanity Post author

      I think that there is always a lot to learn! I did do a series of mini tutorials on blogging bits which I am aiming to put together under a menu for easy reference – I just need the time!!!

      Reply
  8. claireabellemakes

    It looks much fresher and I like to updated look. I can’t seem to see your twitter widget though….

    I think the ‘share’ buttons at the end of a post are important and I can see you have these.

    Reply
  9. lululoves

    I love your new look blog :)) For some reason it seems easier to read – I think maybe the lighter colours. I am having trouble with my twitter widget too – I think there have been some twitter changes that have affected the feeds…on my (very long) list of things to do. Em xx

    Reply
  10. Pingback: What to write on your About page. | knitnrun4sanity

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