Should I redesign the blog?

This has nothing to do with the post, I just think it’s pretty.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fairly happy with the way the site looks right now. In general, I think the information is presented pretty well–you’ve got the latest blog posts at the top, then my books and popular/recent posts on the right. If you scroll down, there’s more stuff below the categories. I suspect people don’t see that very often–but that’s deliberate, because it’s more esoteric content that I don’t want to throw in the face of everyone who visits the site.

There are some nagging issues, though. It kind of annoys me how big the header is–I worry that stops people from visiting the homepage much, since you have to scroll down to read the posts. Also, the category list goes on forever–does anyone actually use that, I wonder? Finally, I noticed recently that when you write a comment, the text boxes that let you choose if you want to be notified about replies are invisible. (Black text on black background.)

I could play around with some of the settings, but I’m hesitant to do that because last year, when I did the major overhaul to put the blog in its present form, not only did my pageviews decline dramatically, but it also threw some old posts out of whack. (I think I’ve fixed the ones that get a lot of traffic, but the formatting on posts imported from Blogger — that is, from 2009-11 — is something I’ve never really gone back to check on in detail.)

So I put it to you, loyal readers. You’re the ones who use the site–is there anything you’d like me to change? Any suggestions for features I should add?


  1. I often wonder how many people read the side widgets in my blog too. Probably not many, especially if they’re reading on a mobile device since widgets don’t tend to show up there.

    I think your set-up is good. Sometimes the white letters on the black background are harder for me to read, but that’s just my troublesome eyes.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve wondered about that–I can look into adjusting the text color a bit.

      1. It’s probably just my old-lady eyes. As my son so kindly calls them. Just because he didn’t have to wear glasses by 9th grade doesn’t mean he should mock those of us who did. 😄

        1. I know what you mean. I had to wear them by 6th grade. And I have a lot of problems with contact lenses, too–can’t wear them for more than a few hours at a time. 🙁

          1. Luckily I can still wear my contacts, but I see better in my glasses. I’m just glad glasses are attractive now. I’ve had some doozies in my time! 🤓

  2. So you asked. So you get my thoughts. I think you’re right that the header is too large. I want to see something about the current post on the opening page without having to scroll down to see it. And your Category list is incredible and speaks to the variety of topics you write about, but I wonder if people use it very much. I get the sense that the vast majority of people who read my blog just read the new post when it shows up in their reader. Only occasionally do I see much evidence of readers delving deep into my blog. And the problem with your category list is that it just goes on forever. Again, not necessarily a criticism because it speaks to the scope of your interests and writing, but not sure it’s user/reader friendly.

    1. By the way, the template I use allows me to do the Category list as more of a word cloud than as a list, so it doesn’t scroll on as a list like yours is much more condensed. It also shows the most popular categories I blog about in larger font.

  3. Really interesting post, because when I changed my blog “look,” it didn’t occur to me to ask anyone else’s opinion. I liked the way it looked, but I think I changed it because my set-up was being deleted. Meaning whatever template I was using. But maybe I just don’t remember well enough. Now I’m going on and on.

    I agree with Carrie, that the white letters on black background are a little difficult for my eyes, yet it makes your site unique. But changing that would make it a little easier for me. The header is good though. I don’t think it makes your actual post seem too far down.

    I’m someone who almost never reads the widgets, or content, on the right of anyone’s blog. And I don’t think that many people read mine, either.

    Did this help? If it’s just me blathering, feel free to ignore me. Actually, don’t ignore me, just my comment, lol.

    1. It helps a lot–thank you! I’m looking into tweaking the colors. I might be able to tweak things to keep the look of the site, but make it easier on the eyes. I’m going to work on it some more.

      Thanks again–I love to hear your thoughts on it.

      1. At first I felt like I was being pushy. Then I thought, well, you asked for opinions! I’m interested to see what, if any, changes you will make. I think we all try to keep our sites user-friendly without losing the flavor of our blog.

  4. If you want to keep the black background, make the font bigger and in bold face, if possible so the letter show up better

    1. Drat; the theme I have isn’t letting me do boldface. I’m going to do some searching and see if there’s some hidden secret menu that lets me do it. Thanks again for the suggestion.

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