Friday, July 9, 2010

"Los Liiiiiiinks!!!" or, Choosing a New Blog Theme

Since discovering my younger sister's blog, I have watched her change her blog theme about a bajillion times. (So like, five.) I decided I wanted to change my theme, too. This split-second decision? Resulted in hours of Internet surfing and tinkering for me. Hours.

I scanned lists of "the best" downloadable blog themes. I spent a lot of time going, "Ooooh, pretty!" If "pretty" had been my only criteria? I would have been done with the whole thing in five minutes. Sometimes being superficial is an asset, y'all.

1. Your Theme Should "Match" Your Blog Content

This is kind of a biggie. It's what caused me the most grief when deciding which theme I wanted. The themes with simple color blocking and lots of white space seemed best suited for business or news blogs. The ones with lots of color and edgy designs seemed like they were for fashion or music blogs. The ones with lots of pink and swirls and stars seemed too cutesy for a blog that includes swearing.

Which led me to the bigger question - what is my blog really about? It definitely isn't business-like or newsworthy. It isn't just about parenting. It isn't a humor blog despite my sporadic success at being humorous. What kind of blog is this? What am I doing? Why am I here?

Existential crises are not pretty at two in the morning.

2. Black Background and White Writing? No. Just, No.

Yes, those themes look cool. Way cool. But they can get really tedious to read. Eyestrain is a problem, y'all. I feel your hipster pain, though. I totally fell in love with this theme when I first saw it.

But unless you are an actual vampire? Blogging about how hard it is to find quality blood? No. Just, no.

3. Does It Have All of the Features You Need?

How I wish that Future Me had gone back in time to warn me about this. Sigh.

You don't want to download a theme, download an archiver, unzip your theme file, upload it to your site, and then find out that the theme doesn't have all the stuff you want. Sure you can add widgets and tweak the HTML, but unless you're programming-savvy? You'll be doing lots of Googling and lots of sighing. Or groaning. Or whining. Or growling. Or shaking your fist in the air and screaming, "Los liiiinks!" like that guy in the "Yo tengo Bing" commercials. Or all of the above.

In short, take some things into consideration before you go all willy-nilly changing your blog. Unless, you know, you're my sister. Ha!