Almost done with this build. Feedback on the layout and images, please?

I’m not quite ready to throw the switch and start blogging here, but I have a theme, background and header images, and archives imported. I chose this theme because it has several features I like that the theme at my old blog didn’t have. Here’s a brief list of them.

  • Page menus at the top of the front page. This is the most important thing, because selfportrait1the pages were cluttering my sidebar at the old site and making navigation more difficult than it had to be.
  • Three footer areas. This is great, because it allows me to make the sidebar menu even cleaner by moving some of my widgets to the bottom of the page.
  • The ability to have more than one header image and randomize them.

The background and header images are my own photos, and that makes me very happy. I still have to put in the widgets, change a lot of links on my social media, and figure out how to set up the publicize settings before I’m ready to start here, but I’d love to know what you think about the basic design. Is it more clean and friendly?

I’ll keep chipping away at it, and it will be done before we know it, but this is all I have time for today because I have something else to do right now. I’m going to take a look at the final results of Suzie81’s linkup/blog experiment. I’m planning to go through the thread, visit every blogger who answered her questions in a post of her own, and do some combination of the following things for them:

  1. Tweet links to their posts from the browser.
  2. Add the posts that include images to a Pinterest board I built just for this linkup.
  3. Share their links on StumbleUpon.

I’m doing this today because Saturday afternoon is prime time for both Twitter and Pinterest. I’m interested to see what effect, if any, it has, and I’m in the mood to read and share some blogs.


28 thoughts on “Almost done with this build. Feedback on the layout and images, please?

    • You’re welcome! This was just perfect timing for the Pinterest. I’ve had that account sleeping for months because I haven’t had time to deal with it. Trying to get enough boards up to roll it out and start following people over there.

      I don’t know that my sharing is really worth very much, immediately, but it does one very important thing: generates links to people who are linking to and mentioning you. In theory, enough of that sort of sharing should help you with searches and bring in a few new readers.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! That’s very helpful. It doesn’t look pixelated on my computer, I’ll have to go and look at it on the mobile.

      It’s a granite texture, but it may be that the camera took it with doesn’t have a high enough resolution for it to work on HD devices.


    • Just changed the background. What about this one?

      The background has to be neutral because I’m using randomized headers, so the background has to go with all of them. also, can’t have too much contrast between the main display area and the background because that hurts peoples’ eyes.


      • Thanks for that last comment. I haven’t gotten around to tweaking my settings to allow long conversations yet, so they only go three deep. 🙂

        I’m just learning the art of textures. Just started taking them last week. I think with the granite, I had the lens too close and that’s why it pixelated on the HD displays. I’m seeing textures everywhere now, though. Planning a texture series just for one of my blogs, and already have enough images to do a weekly texture post for six months, hehe. I am an enterprising blogger!


    • Thanks! I can prove ownership of them all, and can add more to the list. That’s the two best parts about them.

      I’m doing my best to go all original or verified public domain/free stock with my art with this blog from here on out.

      also: running this as a true personal blog. Not a niche blog and not a blog with a brand that I represent. It’ll start slow, but I am eager to see where it goes.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I like the theme! The drop-down menus are especially nice, for what you are using them for.

    One thing I noticed is you don’t have the like and share options turned on for the home page/archives scroll – something I picked up from you. Not sure if the theme doesn’t allow it, or you’ve chosen against it, or not noticed that this option didn’t carry over! But I thought I would mention!


    • I’m pretty sure it’s available, just haven’t had time to go through the settings and tweak them yet. Probably will be the last thing I do. That’s like the proofreading on a manuscript to me, if I may indulge in a writing analogy 🙂

      This one’s still not ready, but getting there. This will be a powerful blog one day, I think. Votes, also. I will enable the voting, but probably will put them in the footer instead of at the top and see if that makes a difference in the number of votes I get.

      The great thing about votes is that they allow people without wordpress accounts to give you feedback. Just a matter of figuring out how to best position them and communicate their importance.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, as a WordPress user I will admit, I’ve never voted on a post rating… I like and comment instead. But having something for the more “hidden” readers is a good idea.

        And I don’t think there’s ever a time you get to be fully done tweaking the settings, but by now you’ve likely learned how you want them all running!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I vote often when I see that votes are enabled. I give 4 stars, five, or none.Unless something’s so egregiously wrong I feel the need to give negative feedback but not comment. In which case I give one star.

          and no, never really done tweaking settings. I’d forgotten how laborious it is to optimize a new blog.

          Liked by 1 person

                • It’s there. I just saw it. Are you looking at the top? It’s at the bottom on this blog.

                  I want to see if waiting until after people have read the post to present them the option gets me more votes over time.

                  The downside is it’s a bit lost in the footer. Not sure which is the bigger issue — having it down there with all the visual noise of share buttons, etc., or people having to scroll back up to find it and click.


                  • Also, the crazy thing long threads are doing with the colors is making me unhappy. It’s dizzying, and I so don’t want to have to go looking for another theme.


                  • I have to agree, with a long discussion that gets a bit dizzying.

                    I did find the voting, however! Glad I could help you try out some of the features… We’re considering a new theme for Comparative Geeks, but it’s mostly in the we’ve-said-it-out-loud phase right now.


  2. I really like it, Gene’O. Clean and crisp. I’m a big fan of white space because it projects the content forward and is so much easier on the eyes. I noticed your CC license too – something I’m also a fan of! 🙂
    I think you’ll find a personal blog much less restrictive than your previous one because you can take it absolutely anywhere on a whim. And people are unfathomably interested in the random little details of other people’s lives!
    Interested to see where it goes… x


    • Oh, I know about the appeal of random little details. My most-shared post ever is this awful, but passionately honest thing I wrote that I didn’t even tag, and I left it riddled with typos and tense shifts and all kinds of grammatical badness. Basically, I was talking to a dozen people — took great pains to minimize the exposure of that post — and they all shared it.

      Thanks for your feedback. I have to find a better background, but I think this design is good.

      I’m considering consolidating my operations into just gene’o, but only considering it. I’ve got lots of relationships to consider, followers all over the internet, and have to answer the question of whether or not people will keep contributing to something that’s basically my personal brand. We’ve invested a lot of time and a lot of words in Sourcerer.

      Don’t know the answer at this point. But my life would be so much easier if I just had one blog, and it was the sort of blog that’s liable to do anything, hehe.


    • I’m interested to see, too. One of the reasons I set it up is because the Writing blog was just too restrictive. I love to write about writing, but after doing it for six months, I started feeling like I was just saying the same 10 things over and over again. And admining a pop culture blog/having a personal writing blog is WAY different than having a blog you designed with your own artwork where you can say anything at all.

      I’m a fan of the CC licensing, too. One of the big mistakes I made when I designed the other two back in October was not porting the CC license before I ever turned the lights on. Totally agreed on the white space. I started out in newspapers (and in the days before they were laid out on computers), so I thoroughly appreciate it.


  3. Love the background and header! Especially the background – what an interesting design cracked sandy-dirty-clay makes, if that is, in fact, what it is!


    • Thanks! That’s actually a close-up of white parking lot striping. I got a new phone recently and the camera’s so good I went texture-crazy. I have enough textures to post one a week for about six months now, and they make great page backgrounds.


  4. Addendum – keep on blogging, Gene’O! I ain’t too keen on political talk personally, but I dig your musical selections in a big way! Rock on, brother. 😉


    • Thanks very much. One of the reasons I’m glad to have my personal blog be about more than just writing is that I can separate that political stuff from the comics, music, etc. That was never a good fit. I’m rethinking my whole way of blogging politically, too. One reason I haven’t done much of it lately. The weekend music and the blog previews with music videos will stay over on the other blog, and Sourcerer’s officially out of the commentary business — I just haven’t had time to change the tagline and such. I’ll do some music blogging here from time to time, too, but this one’s really more about the photos and an essay every week or so.


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