Surprise, surprise! It is obvious now that this blog now sports a new theme. What happened? Why? How? WTF? Relax, I’ll answer all those questions in this post.
Why change your theme – again
To be honest, I was encouraged by Jaypee’s own theme reboot to do a my own theme change. It’s not that I was just going along with the trend, my last conversation with Jaypee via Gtalk (he gave me a buzz prior to launching his new theme) just helped me realize to finally face a few issues that have propped up and bothering me ever since I switched into using ‘premium’ themes.
Everyone who has visited this blog knows that I purchased and now once used that awesome Premium News theme by Adii. Don’t get me wrong, I had no regrets of buying it for it was really a great, great theme. However, as I time went on, some key issues propped up in my experience of using the Premium News theme.
First, I felt like the theme just exerted a whole new level of pressure on me to produce really good posts on a regular (read: daily) basis. Plus, there’s that new opportunity to start video blogging thanks to the ‘featured video’ functionality of the Premium News theme. All this is good, however at my current life-situation; with all the many things I do both on-line and off-line, it’s clear that I would not be able to measure up to the new ‘demands’ or opportunities the theme has created.
One particular aspect of this is the need to find and edit a custom thumbnail image for each regular post. Sure it does give justice and add some snazz to the over-all feel of the blog but having to look for an image every time I’m going to post an update felt like a requirement and a hindrance to my blogging, for I’ve been known to post updates on-the-fly or just by impulse as ideas or braingasms hit me in the least expected times so finding a suitable image and editing it for the thumbnail sometimes kills my creative juices before I even hit the publish button. With amateur photo editing skills, the results sometimes is just crap.
The bottom line is, the Premium News theme is again an awesome theme, I loved the theme but at this point in time, it was clear that I wasn’t ready to use such a theme. I need to really improve as a blogger first, more about this on a future post. To help summarize and drive home my point, I’d like to quote again my good friend Jaypee on choosing what themes to use on our blogs:
Why did I choose this theme? The moment I saw it I just knew that it was the one. For those of you who have WordPress blogs and spend time looking for the “right” theme for your blog, you know what I mean. Right?
Okay, so why use this theme?
This theme is called the WP_Premium theme and is designed by R. Bhavesh and WP Remix. Don’t get fooled though, this ‘premium’ theme is FREE. Yes, this can be downloaded and customized to your heart’s desires for free from R. Bhavesh’s site, the same guy who created the equally awesome paid-premium WP Remix theme.
I chose this theme because it had what I was looking for in a ‘premium’ theme. A nice, elegant, clean and professional or ‘pro-blogger’ look but with out the complications of the top-class Premium News, WP Remix or Revolution themes and other similar themes. Plus, I have this fetish for minimalist themes and WP_Premium is like a perfect blend of the ‘premium’ and minimalist themes.
Here’s a Changelog, sort of
Of course, with any theme reboot, there’s that routine part of the whole process that I love so much. Tweaking to customize your theme! There are a lot of changes to the look and feel of this blog thanks to the theme reboot. Some are barely noticeable some are somewhat shocking. I’ll help tell which is which.
The ‘premium content‘ box is the first thing I really worked on. It’s the first box or segment of the sidebar where the best that this blog could offer can be found in one neat and convenient presentation. In it, are the links to the most popular & most commented posts, the tag cloud and if you can’t have enough, the site search function.
I’m still working a hack to produce the “featured posts” functionality so watch for this minor tweak in the weeks to come. Gone are the archives link and the categories list. The archives link really does not serve any good purpose nowadays and it just adds to the clutter in the sidebar. The same could be said of the categories list and since I favor tagging more than using categories, I opted to remove it from the sidebar as well.
Where’s Google AdSense?!
The most obvious change is that the Google AdSense ads have been removed from this blog, well for now. I’m still working on a layout that will be best for the new theme. However, I will be using less of AdSense ads, perhaps just a large rectangle in the sidebar and a link unit somewhere else but that’s just about it. I’m gradually weaning my self, or rather this blog from AdSense and focus more on getting direct sponsors and diversifying my income stream by using other monetization methods.
That’s why I ditched the default 100×100 square ads from this theme (Why R. Bhavesh did not use the ‘default’ 125×125 format just puzzles me) and used my current affiliate buttons as ‘filler ads’ while waiting for direct sponsors to buy some ad space. More on this once I update my Advertising page. To make advertising here more worth the buck, I installed the Got Banners plugin that manage the button ads on the sidebar and randomly rotate them with each page load so that all advertisers would be given equal exposure. This is the same plugin that John Chow uses and it works like a charm.
A refreshing new look and feel
Over all, I’m happy with the way the theme reboot has turned out. The blog now loads significantly faster. It looks clean and elegant. It invites me to just blog and not worry about anything else. Tweaks and adjustments will come up as time goes on but it will be to further improve this blog for me and you my dear readers.
If you spot any bugs or problems do alert me via the comments or tru email and I’ll work on it ASAP. Thank you for the time, I hope you’ll enjoy the new look and feel and see you again at the next post!
Obviously, I changed themes again. Moses Francis of WPThemesPlugin.comtarget has just released his Forte Theme, probably as part of the 1st year blog anniversary of WPThemesPlugin.com. This ‘premium’ theme has been on my wishlist for a long time and big, big props to Moses for making it available to the public for free.
Thank you Moses! You simply rock!