Nothing Like a Change of Your Blog’s Style to Make You Feel Better

Nothing like a change of your blog’s style to make you feel better. And it can be such a quick and relatively pain-free exercise you wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

One of the best things about using a blog as your primary means of online business communication is the ease with which you can change the style, the look and feel. It wasn’t so long ago – in those 90’s “Wild West” Internet days – that to change the layout, the style of a website you had these choices:

  • re-hire the person who designed your site, whose costs would sometimes and rather curiously prove to be much higher than the first time around
  • hire someone new, who would tell you they couldn’t possibly tweak the site you had paid thousands for, implying you were ripped off by their competitor anyway, but for a few or more thousand new outlay they could give you a humdinger site that would serve you well for, oh, another year or so easily
  • do it yourself, which if you were not a techie meant a big learning curve and probably a site that said “designed by owner”.

How the world has changed.

It’s not that there isn’t a place for web designers. There is. And for sites requiring more complex interactions I’m all for engaging a designer, as long as she or her firm have expertise in installing an efficientl engine, not just a pleasant looking design. But for many of us in small business, a level of interactivity and content management such as comes with industry standard blogging platforms is often all that is needed. And for the more tech-savvy among us there are products like Drupal which can do handstands and whistle at the same time (not me btw – after a few days of trying to get a Drupal site installed and working for me, I decided that was a “bridge too far” for me).

With a WordPress site of mine, the Business Blogging Show blog, I was able a couple of days ago to quickly change the whole layout, installing in a matter of minutes a different “theme”, to use the WordPress terminology. Getting the functioning right was a bit trickier, but the guy who developed the theme, Chris Pearson, explained – and re-explained – to me and other users how to fix the particular problem. And all this as his contribution to the WordPress community. Amazing!

Then yesterday, walking on the beach and thinking about this Thinking Home Business blog, I decided it was time for a change here too. After all, the basic template and configuration hadn’t changed much, probably since late 2004 – a very long time in blogging years.

So last night, in about twenty minutes, I had changed the look and layout completely. Actually, the basic change took a nanosecond, or maybe a whole second, or two. Pretty quick anyway. And the cost? Just my time, all twenty minutes of it.

The design is from John Keegan, the man behind BlogHarbor and renowned among BlogHarbor customers as Mr Never Too Much Trouble Support Guy.

There’s less “stuff” on the site, which I suspect is a Good Thing, and I have some reorganising to do, but I do like the look and I hope readers do too. Comments welcome.

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About Des Walsh

I show business owners and other professionals how to navigate the social media maze and use LinkedIn effectively. I'm an author, speaker, business coach, social media strategist and LinkedIn specialist. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Google Plus and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get my weekly Social Business Bites.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    ANYTHING helps. It’s not just “your mother’s” Tupperware anymore. I was shocked, well no, just surprised I guess, that I’d have a website and the people could hold online parties. It’s awesome! The products are now beautiful colors that make you want to have a luau or spice up your kitchen. Old Tupperware as I recall, was pretty mundane and boring. Yeah, there are a few recipes floating around, there are microwave pieces that you can mix a can of cola with a chocolate cake mix, nuke it and have a cake in 10 minutes. LOL. We even sell spices now. So I get what you are saying. And I will certainly try the Google route. Good advice. Thanks!!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Well Lisa D, it’s fine to ask questions. There is plenty of information on the web about blogging, and a lot of it is free. It’s also a good idea to find and join forums where there are people with experience who are happy to share. Just take some of it with a grain of salt. You could check out my colleague Darren Rowse’s site – he is very generous with information and reading through the posts on his site would actually be a great seminar. Go to http://www.problogger.net. I suggest also that you google the words, together, Tupperware blog and see what competition you have – not much from what I can see. I also suggest you aim to entertain and inform rather than just flog Tupperware. Surely the whole party idea is about socialising and having fun and buying some stuff in the process. Maybe you have some great recipes or other knowledge you can share with your target market, which I presume is largely monthers who don’t have their mothers’ Tupperware already 🙂 Hope that helps.

  3. Well bear with me, as I’m totally new to blogging AND my online business. I started selling Tupperware in January and who’d have ever thought that Tupperware went hi-tech? The first thing that my upline did was show me how to set up my own website. I’m slowly learning how to copy and paste pictures of our coolest sale items into an email and share them with friends and family. But truthfully, my online sales are sluggish to say the least. People can actually have online parties instead of inviting people into their homes, and still earn the same free products as they would have had they cleaned their house all spic-n-span, fixed snacks and beverages, etc. I just don’t know how to get this message out there. Any ideas? What’s the best advice for starting a blog that would hit the most customers for me? I feel lost. I know there’s alot of potential out there for me… Lisa in NC http://www.my2.tupperware.com/ldever

  4. Anonymous says:

    That’s a great point. On reflection, I could have explained that I was writing about this blog, which is on the BlogHarbor platform/service and the particular template I’ve switched to was done by John Keegan, the BlogHarbor man behind the scenes, so to speak. The BlogHarbor templates all seem to work well interchangeably, in my experience. On the other hand, and to take up your point, I have had plenty of hair-tearing-out experiences endeavouring to change the “themes” of WordPress blogs. One theme which works quite well on one of my WordPress blogs throws the whole page out in another, putting the sidebar data down the page directly under the posts. And I endorse heartily your counsel to people not to believe it’s their fault or that they should know more.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Nice article,
    but remember that changing your blog style this easy is not simply ‘a merit of today’ but rather displays the qualities of the developer of this blog to design an interface that allows you to change your blog style in twenty minutes.
    There are still a lot of self-maintained web 2.0 systems out there that are hell to tweak, simply because the CMS interface isn’t designed correctly (contradictory to what the developers promise).
    The great danger in articles like these is that people start believing that if they don’t manage to do what you did (eg tweak their blog so easily), it’s their fault. I like to stress that -it is never your fault-, unless developers explicitly mention educational requirements.
    Cheers,
    Mattijs