Improved WordPress Template

When I first set up this blog, I used a template adapted from my travel information website. That template isn’t perfect, actually it has some major problems that need to be adjusted, but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere! There are things I like about that template too.

Sooner or later though, the template for this site had to change, and that time turned out to be yesterday.

Features to Avoid in a Template

The reason for the change was mostly driven per performance. I wasn’t seeing the click-rate I was expecting. I highly suspect that one reason for this is that the ads were not well placed. Also, the template was too busy.

I also wanted to provide more screen real estate to the content. It was squeezed into a narrow band between two sidebars. I’ve come to the conclusion (for now) that I dislike three-column layouts. Three-column layouts have their place, if you want to emphasis navigation. I want to emphasis my (hopefully useful and helpful) content, and I want it to be easy to read.

Finding a Good Template

There is no shortage of WordPress templates out there. I don’t like most of them! After a bit of searching, I came across 281. It is billed as being fast, although it is also fairly well designed for SEO and ads as well.

I found it relatively easy to modify (for a sophisticated template) - although if you plan modifications, you will have to either be up on cascading style sheets, or willing to learn CSS to some depth during the modification process.

I found the template and CSS to be well structured, although I found the long lines with multiple statements of code to be strange. I also found it odd that although the CSS has a very long list of rules, it is expressed as four or five lines. I had to reformat it before getting in to making changes.

Template Performance

It is too early to judge how well the new template is performing, but I do like the way it looks, and the way it puts the content front and center.

What do you think of the template for this site? Your comments are most welcomed!


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