How often do you change or customize your blog’s template (theme, your word of choice)? I find there is only so much I want to change through tweaking and the rest I hope to find in the template I pick. There are certain things I always look for, mainly to do with readability. I like a clean cut look with a font that looks pleasant and is easy to read. Many templates seem to have tiny fonts lately. I don’t see how a site focused on being content rich can pick a small font and think that is ok.
What do you look for in a blog template?
Here is my list, likely there are some things I will miss but it should give you an idea.
– Clear header, shows the site title and doesn’t blend in with the rest of the site.
– White space so the text doesn’t sink into the design.
– Dated entries. What is the point of making updates if no one can see your blog is being kept active.
– One sidebar only. I tried 3 and even four but it just gets too cluttered. You have to be bold and cut out some of that stuff you are keeping in sidebars. Move it or lose it.
– A footer that lets you stick some of the clutter away. But don’t use it as a catch all. Everything down there is pulling down the load time for your blog. Is it really worth keeping?
– Clear definining points between posts. This includes having comments be easy to find wtih the blog entry they should be with. Some blogs require you to go back to the newest post to figure out where one entry divides from another and which comment link is the one with the post you were reading.
– Simple, clear font which looks pleasant on the page. I like a font with a little roundness but not to the point of being bloated looking. That may only make sense to me. 🙂
– A layout I can easily adapt by changing backgrounds and other things with the bit of CSS I know or can look up in a book.
– Not a lot of colours. I think I outgrow those first. Black and white may be really traditional but when I see it on another blog I always like it. So I try to stick to that even though I really love colour, especially red.
– I like being able to add links just under the header but it’s not essential. An about section or a place to put a short description under the title or near it. People are getting blind to the content in sidebars so your most essential information (what your blog is about) needs to be in a place where it is very visible.
– A border of whitespace around the blog itself. I like to have the option of adding a background image to fancy it up for special occasions.
– Something that doesn’t look really boxy. I know CSS works in sections and measurements but I prefer the template to look like it isn’t so regimental.