Does it really matter what your blog looks like?

I know, I know, another delaying/procrastination activity, but the truth is I seem to constantly want to change the look of this site. I don’t if it’s because I spend a lot of time (too much time, probably) staring at it but I often have a feeling of dissatisfaction, a feeling that it isn’t quite right. I’d like a simple, plain, uncluttered look, with lots of white space. I’d like readers to be able to find their way easily around the site. I’ve tried various WordPress themes including Origin which, in retrospect, was probably the best theme I had and should have stuck with. I might go back to using it. One disadvantage of Origin is it doesn’t have an automatic ‘Home’ button. I know that you’ll tell me I can add a Custom Menu to solve that issue but I haven’t been able to work out how to do that yet. I don’t know how important a ‘Home’ button is – personally, when I’m reading a site, I like to be able to press that to return to the Home page. I don’t pay for Premium, I only use free WordPress themes which I really like, but I do pay for the site to be ad-free.

Before I take the plunge and change themes again, please tell me what you think. How important is site-design to you? I must admit that if a site is too cluttered, I’m not keen to hang around too long. I really hate adverts jumping out at me, that’s a sure fire way to chase me away from the site. I don’t like white writing on a dark background, either, I find that too difficult to read. There’s been a big trend at WordPress to increase the size of the fonts and the overall size of the blog to improve readability on mobile devices but I’m beginning to hanker after the smaller-scale blogs of yore, hence my nostalgia for the Origin theme and others like it.

I know that what I write, the all-important *content* – is what really matters but I want to get the look spot-on, too. Whatever I decide, I’m determined to stick with my decision for the rest of the year, and to stop playing around with themes. Anyway, if you’re not too busy, do throw your two cents in (actually, all currencies are accepted here). Also, feel free to tell me to get back to work. Thanks!

30 thoughts on “Does it really matter what your blog looks like?”

  1. Your site is nice and clean looking and easy to use. I gave up with WordPress because I find it too difficult. It’s annoying because WordPress blogs always look so good, but trying to resolve issues is a nightmare. I tried borrowing a book from the library about WordPress and I was even more confused! I think you have the right balance…there’s always the temptation to fiddle and I guess New Year is a good time to do it if you are!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for saying so, Heather! I’m sorry you find WordPress tricky! I haven’t found it that difficult (apart from the Custom Menu issue). I find that googling a problem helps – there’s always someone who’s solved the problem and left the solution somewhere on the internet.


  2. I couldn’t agree more that the aesthetics of a site are an important part of the equation. It can be somewhat of a process to find what works best for you. I know there are also a lot of tutorials available on how to design your site and customize themes. Happy Theme hunting and the site looks great!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It looks great – don’t worry. You’ve dealt with most of my annoyances already (ads, white text on black background, cluttered screen). You’ve seen mine, so you know what I prefer! Pretty similar, on the whole.

    Anthony’s advice is ace.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Goodness your blog is bright, light, warm and wonderful! Mine is more like a car boot sale and while I sometimes wish I had the nerve to start again, I just love writing it and getting a regular readership Just enjoy your success. Take care. Ann

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll go along with Anthony. Having said that, I’m startled (happily) by the graphics of his site. I’m not so happy with mine. I chose the spines of books for mine because I do bookbinding, among other things. Which is hardly a cogent piece of reasoning. I decided some time ago that a) my site looks stodgy; middle-aged, and gentleman’s clubby b) but it was mine and c) i really do dislike it when the packaging on familiar products change. Mind you, when I start to think the posts are sounding stodgy and dull, I’ll just stop. I don’t think rebranding will be any help. I’ll just go the way of Marks and Spencers.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I like the white bright ‘unclutteredness’ of your blog and the super photos. I wrote a few words about ‘Living with Imperfection’ last year that might make you smile!

    Is it done?
    Not perfect?
    Is it done and good enough?

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I quite like that you change your theme from time to time, Josephine, although I really like your current white, uncluttered e-space. Having said that, I’ll be following and reading your blog posts, whatever theme you settle on. Thanks for the heads up on paying to be ad-free – I’ll be taking action, now I know it’s an option. And, yes, Custom Menu is a nightmare!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for so many kind comments, Jayne! I like the style of your site, too, it has a fresh, uncluttered feel. I’m really glad I wrote this post before changing my theme again. I’m going to stick with the way it is, focus on writing and stop wasting time! (famous last words). 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, let me waste a little more of your time by saying I find your site uncluttered and easy to read – and more importantly *interesting* to read. I’ve been toying with the idea of changing the theme on my blog for some time – I know the font is too small, I squint when I’m reading the preview! But I’m also worried about mucking it up and having to spend a lot of time fixing things. I’m on the computer too long as it is! Perhaps I’ll set aside a day to redesign my blog. Probably next year… Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, again, Hilaire, for encouraging comments. I’m really glad I wrote this post, it’s been incredibly helpful to me. I think WordPress did a big shift towards more mobile device friendly blogs and the newer themes (ones dating from about 2012/13) are all bigger and much easier to read. Speaking as someone who’s changed themes A LOT (but no more!) it’s really easy, but it’s a good idea to set some time aside. Widgets go amiss but they are all easy to find again. I’ve done it by trial and error – I really believe that if I can do it, anyone can! Thanks, again, for the approval and best wishes for a fantastic 2016 🙂 x


  8. Frankly, for me, content could be awesome but if it’s all too complex to look at (let alone navigate), I move on. There are already so many blogs I don’t have the time to read, a complicated format can be all the excuse I need to skip it.
    Your blog looks great, now I need to grapple with my own. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love the way your blog looks at the moment! I think it’s important for content to not only be awesome but also to be displayed in an optimal manner. I’m pretty particular about the way my blog looks so I can empathise with you on that!

    Liked by 1 person

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