Customizing my blog and more.

March 18, 2011

I’m very excited to continue on the WordPress Tutorial! Now, on to the fourth section of the WordPress tutorial: Get Customized!

The tutorial is recommending a theme for my blog that matches my big idea, which is to display my writing abilities (form, grammar, persuasive writing, etc.) and my ability to blog for potential employers to see. These people, my target audience, would prefer everything to be professional including my content and format (in other words everything on the front-end of my blog). If I were truly creating a blog for a company, or generally writing for a company online, I would need to soup it up to make the content easily found on search engines (i.e. SEO or Search Engine Optimization), but since this is just to display my skills and abilities I don’t need to try and make my blog more internet visible. I just need to make this blog professional and “sticky” so it will permanently be on the internet for as long as I need to refer to it.

So, to make my analysis short, I need to make my blog professional and appeal to social media marketing companies who would, in turn, want to hire someone who can target their clients’ targets. Their clients’ targets widely range and thus a generic target audience would most likely satisfy whom my “imaginary target audience” should be. A simple and professional theme would be best. Nothing too specific and nothing too fancy; my blog will just be a blog to convey information in an effective manner.

After about ten minutes of searching through WordPress’s 121 themes, and another five minutes of deliberation, I chose the theme “Neat!”. I really liked “INove” as well, but I felt that the dark blue background was more attractive and professional-looking.

So, this is what my generically-themed blog used to look like:

Very white, very bland and very boring.














Here is what my blog now looks like with the “Neat!” theme:

More eye-catching and interesting theme.


















Now there are a few problems with the new blog theme: my blog title is gone, my blog caption is gone, and the picture of the strange wiffle ball-like object is rather distracting and not very relevant. I’m assuming I can solve these problems, which I will do later. However, this theme is the best fit for my blog based on appearance and layout. Now I’m continuing on with the tutorial; on to widgets!

What are widgets? According to WordPress.org they are “ like a plugin, but designed to provide a simple way to arrange the various elements of your sidebar content (known as “widgets”) without having to change any code.” Efficient, easy and user-friendly.

After quick analysis of the widgets I need for my sidebar I added a introductory text, an authors list, categories, archives, calendar, recent comments, feed from my newly created twitter account, a “blog subscriptions” widget, and Akismet (a spam blocker). I just viewed my blog with the new widgets, and it looks amazing but the welcome text could use a bit of chopping down, which I will work on later. Before I move on in the tutorial, I want to change my header picture of the terrible wiffle ball. I’ve found this information here:    http://en.support.wordpress.com/themes/custom-header-image/

What I need as a header photo is something relevant and something clean, possibly in black and white and maybe with some blue too. Possibly social media icons? I will edit this in the “Appearance” section on my dashboard and then the “Header” sub-section. For now this video globe on a black background will have to do. 🙂

I also would like to put my blog title with my header which is in the same section but I decided the process is too difficult to get it exactly where and how I want it to use WordPress (I think I need to know CSS), so I’ve used Paint instead. I really like my new header picture.

Before I do anything else, I need to make sure the pictures I’ve displayed can be fully viewed. The pictures in my first post have been cut off! Unfortunately, according to my Google searches, I need to edit my theme’s CSS, or Cascading Style Sheets which is a language for formatting websites. I found out I can’t edit my theme’s CSS unless I buy the editor, so nevermind. I will find another way to take care of this. I might even have to just scale the pictures down to fit.

While in the midst of trying to figure out how to make my pictures more viewable, I also added a poll asking viewers how they think I’m doing so far. There is a problem however: I’m not sure when the poll appears! If it appears right when they get to my blog, it would not make much sense because they would not have looked at my blog yet. So, now that I’m done for the day, I think I will visit my own blog and see.

For the next day I blog, I will investigate the WordPress tutorial’s “Get Published” section. Even though I already have published, I might be missing some important information.

So long!


One comment

  1. Weird, just noticed the huge spaces underneath my images in this post. I’m going to try and fix that later too.

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