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My blog has a total makeover

Well after my last post things have changed indeed. I was talking about changing my header and I had a go at this but I ended up going a different avenue altogether. The perfectionist in me won’t allow me to put something online that isn’t 100% to my liking and I started playing with other templates instead.

Choosing a new theme

There are 171 different templates available in WordPress. Spoilt for choice one could say. And you can browse them in various ways. Simple from a-z, the most popular or latest themes or the Premium section – the ones that come with a cost.

The advantage of browsing for a new theme when your blog is already up and running is that you can see how your blog will appear in a particular template. I can remember going through the templates before my blog was published. I found it hard to imagine which one would look the best and would reflect me, my topic and my writing style the most. As “Twenty Eleven’ has a style that is appealing to me I could imagine my blog looking attractive with that theme.

The advantage of having a ‘life’ blog already

With a ‘life’ blog however you can see how your blog will appear and this was very helpful. After I selected several templates I came across ‘Mystique’ and I loved it. The default colours and lay-out for this theme are the ones you see in my blog. I did try however every possible combination of colours and lay-out but came back to the ones I saw when I changed to Mystique. You can do this by going into ‘Theme Options’ and selecting from the colours and lay-out options on offer. Your blog will then appear in the format of your choice.

I even opened two versions of WordPress so I could see both themes –Twenty Eleven’ and ‘Mystique – next to each other. Although I had liked Twenty Eleven initially I found ‘Mystique’ more professional and classy. I can still adapt the header but the colour scheme of “Mystique’ is interesting enough and for the moment I like to leave it as it is. Furthermore I do like to add the occasional picture in the future.

There is a ‘Premium’ section of templates available and in order to use them you have to pay a small fee. Before making a decision though it is possible to see your blog in those templates as well. All over a nice feature and worthwhile having a look at once you feel more comfortable and daring.


Time to make some changes

When I started my blog with WordPress I sifted through all the different templates and choose eventually the ‘Twenty Eleven Theme’ – the one I am using now. It is fresh and modern. WordPress itself calls it contemporary, elegant and simple.

I have been using it since the end of November and understand that it is possible to customise the theme more to my liking and to fit the purpose. I realised this week that the header contains a number of pictures that are rotated constantly. Nice pictures but totally random. They have got nothing to do with the topic of my blog.

I have decided to create my own personalised header with images that reflect the content of ‘blogexercise’. This may not be such a simple task as I can think of many aspects that represent blogging. I will try to pin down what it means for me, set a scene and get going with my camera. Probably not that easy either, but it will be good fun!

Creating a header that makes sense

Challenging on the technical front? Maybe not for some of you but it will be for me. But with an IT professional as husband and a computer savvy daughter I should be alright. First I have to decide on the actual image I like to be displayed in the header.

I had a quick look online and there are many pictures, cartoons etc that have to do with blogging. Immediately there is the issue of copyright when choosing something that is online. If you find something online that you like to use, it is good practice to check if you are allowed to and to credit the source after having been granted permission. Also check out my post ‘Your or Theirs’.

I am more attracted to having a go at creating something myself. I can take the pictures but apparently it can only be uploaded in a certain format – it needs to be 1000 x 288 pixels. My daughter assured me that she can organise that although it looks as if WordPress can also fix that for you during the uploading process. Additionally there are other websites that can take on this role for you. Just Google ‘header of a blog’ and you can take your pick!

I am starting to get got some ideas for the pictures and will leave this post for what it is and retain my creative juices for setting the scene for my new header image.

Looking forward to it!