Hey guys, this isn’t really a new illustration or fun blog post. I just wanted to give you a heads up that I’ll be working on updating my WordPress theme over the next couple days, so things may look a little weird and out of place around these parts for a little bit. The flow and the layout shouldn’t really change too much, but there will definitely be some noticeable changes on the site as I switch WP themes. The reasons will be more evident in future illustrations. This could all explode in my face, but I’m gonna go ahead and do it anyways because I’m feeling like a rogue blogger today.

Anyway, I’ve been drawing a lot lately and my hand feels like it’s going to fall off, so maybe now would be a good time for me to do some traditional blogging? Cool?

Cool. *Fist bump and explode off it

Since I’m currently updating my theme, let’s talk about that! I’m a big fan of blog design, unfortunately, I know nothing about creating and implementing it. But I do know what I like. And what really gets me excited, are blogs designed with ruthless efficiency and minimalism. I don’t know why, I’ve just always been drawn to minimalism. I think it has something to do with being able to convey a much bigger message than what is being viewed. It also reduces the clutter, which is great because I get distracted very easily. You should see me after a Youtube or a Wikipedia marathon. I’ll emerge from my room hours later, disoriented, and about one-step away from yelling, “What year is it!? WHAT YEAR IS IT!?” at my roommates.

Of course, the flipside to all of this, are the blogs with designs or layouts so off-putting they become deal breakers. I’m really laid back when it comes to other bloggers’ themes and layouts, but trying to read a blog post in cursive, or one with flanked advertisements / icons makes me want to punt a cuddly little bunny.

Alright, I want to hear what you guys think of blog design. What do you find interesting or super neat? What are your deal breakers?

Disclaimer: No bunnies were harmed (or will be, unless I’m given good reason, you never know) in the making of this blog post

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25 Responses to “Construction Ahead”

  1. Excerpts of Awkwardness

    Mostly, I just don’t like it when posts go on for aaaaages without the “read more” tag. This is particularly true when I’m looking at craft or food blogs, where I’m pretty picky about what I like, and I’m like “I’m sure you have some neat things but I’ve been scrolling for ages through rainbow doilies so I give up”

    • timmer

      I really like when those types of blogs use ‘magazine style’ layouts, since they’re typically picture heavy. Also, WordPress isn’t great with it’s archive system, I had to essentially make my own page.

    • Queen Gen

      Interesting you say that, actually, because I’m the opposite. I totally understand why you don’t want to scroll by all those doilies – but I do a lot of my blog reading on my phone on the way to and from work – so the fewer pages I have to click and load, the better. Especially with my wifi dropping out as I travel. That’s a pretty specific problem I know, but that’s my reason.

      • Excerpts of Awkwardness

        That totally makes sense though. I’m on my computer (almost no data package on my phone), so I guess that depends on what sort of device the person is reading on. I hadn’t thought of that, I’ll have to take that into account when I get around to tinkering with my blog format/theme.

  2. wordswithnannaprawn

    My theme/page is extremely ‘busy’ and I go on for ages (but I am new to blogging and clueless about where the hell a ‘read more’ tag is….widgets??!) plus I’m a Nanna, I have a legit reason to waffle. I’d love to be the minimal sort of person but I just break out in embellishments and faff every time I spot something in the sidebar on someone else’s post……..I’m going to sit on my hands for while just in case I’m tempted to add a ‘live global visitor breakdown’…….but I do have so many pretty and interesting flags in my stats…I only have 28 followers though…the rest must have fallen asleep half way through. I could punt the blogger who keeps leaving the excruciatingly condescending phrase “you matter – smiles” in reply to everyone who has been freshly pressed at the moment.

    • timmer

      Interesting, I didn’t find your page ‘busy’ at all. In fact, to me, it actually comes across as minimal and clean. ‘Busy’ to me would be a blog covered in ads on both sides of the post and music playing out of nowhere. Blogger blogs are typically the culprit of this, but not exclusively.

      • wordswithnannaprawn

        cheers, that’s good feedback to have – I’m usually the sort of person who decorates the Christmas Tree to the point of collapsing under it’s own weight – Colour photos/illustrations seem to work much better against a white page (as does text) so whilst mine might be a bit conservative; the blog equivalent of wearing leather patches on your sleeves, it looks better than the Koi Carp one I started off with…..and that chair and library in the top corner is at least actually my very own Nanna chair not just scammed off Wikipedia imagery :)

  3. dianasschwenk

    I like white space like yours, I still don’t think I’ve settled on a theme yet either. Which theme is this one…I kinda like it. :) Oh and I don’t think one should write much more than 700 words. My Sunday post I keep to 200 and under, which is like a huge challenge to me!

    • timmer

      Thanks, Diana. I’m using Portfolio. It’s a premium theme, so I had to shell out $$$ for it. But for someone who doesn’t want to go under the hood of my blog to customize CSS, I’m more than willing to use a pre-loaded theme. I’d like to learn how to do it, but I’d rather spend my time working on posts and getting better at illustrating / writing.

      And I agree, I like shorter posts, but if the topic is interesting and the writer is strong I’ll stick around till the end!

      • SolahcinDraw

        Yep, have to agree. Have developed my wife’s blog as a hosted site using WordPress.org and learnt some coding, but it sucks up time like a black hole

  4. Queen Gen

    Not that WordPress does this, but I hate the blogs that you have to type in the weirdo code and prove you aren’t a spammer to be able to post a comment. (I think it’s blogspot that does that) Mostly I hate it because my phone won’t let me do it. But also because I want to write my comment, hit “Post” and move on.

  5. SolahcinDraw

    Love: clean and functional. Have been experimenting with my main strips (webcomics) as a sticky post with a featured image, and then adding on to the original post with new editions to the comic. Rather than republishing (been told by Time Thief this is a big no no with Google) I then post up a new post linking back to the original. This also works well because it gets your email subscribers to click back to your site rather than just reading their email.

    • timmer

      Yeah, sticky posts are a great way to showcase work, especially for sites that are heavy on the visuals, like yours and mine. It’s also a great for allowing people new to your site to explore more.

  6. becca3416

    I think it is nice when the follow button is clearly visible right from the get-go. If I am loving what I am reading, I want to follow. I don’t want to spend ten minutes scrolling and flipping my monitor upside down trying to find the button!

    • timmer

      Agreed, what I like about WordPress is the navigation bar has the built in Follow button if you’re perusing other WordPress blogs. But for other sites (I’m looking at you blogspot blogs) they aren’t as evident. Oh, and if flipping your monitor doesn’t work, just try shaking it like an etch-a-sketch.

  7. tartarsandteacups

    I went through blog-template-mega-reorientation-marathon-indecisiveness mode today- I can’t ever know how it will look until implementing it and hate when it doesn’t work how I like it! I also love the minimalist vibe but get super turned off when sidebars start to invade the main text’s personal bubble. It’s so hard to choose!!! I hope you don’t get like me and just get so frustrated you just pick one to stop fussing!

    • timmer

      WordPress now allows you to ‘live preview’ any theme. It played a big part in helping me switch!

      • tartarsandteacups

        Oh I know- but it’s not the same as the real switch! :)

  8. DeathGeneral

    You say you have no idea about creating and implementing blog design. I’m also trying to learn (I still use the default one I think), how are you going about learning to do it better?

    • timmer

      I’m really at the mercy of the theme I use. I can use HTML, but the one that I’m in the dark on is CSS, which would allow me greater creative control over my site. But I try and customize my site as much as I can by implementing as many of my own illustrations as I can on my homepage.


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