Blogging 101: Themes

I am a day behind with Blogging 101, so I will try to get back on track today. Unfortunately for us, the plumbing in our new flat decided to back up on us and we ended up flooding our downstairs neighbour. Not nice! We’re out of the flat and living with family until Monday, otherwise I’d have managed to keep up. Life eh?!

Yesterday’s Blogging 101 assignment was to look at themes for our blogs. I have only just changed mine in the last week or so, perfect timing to remember why I chose this specific theme and why I moved away from my old one! I have stuck with a free blog and free themes because I just do not have the spare cash to pay for the extras. Plus, with my blog being very much a specialised topic, I don’t know if it would really be worth me spending the extra money at the moment. 

My original 'Spectrum' theme

My original ‘Spectrum’ theme

When I first started the blog, I was using the ‘Spectrum’ theme as I felt it was reflective of my topic. My vision is very strange and I see the spectrum in my pixel-vision even when I am in complete darkness. It’s a very nice looking theme visually for a personal blog. I liked having the single bar down one side to put menus and other widgets into. However, I wanted to make my blog look a little bit more professional.

I switched to ‘Academica’ about a week ago. I went through various themes before I settled with it. I wanted my blog to look clean, accessible and more professional. While ‘Spectrum’ looked great as a personal blog, I really want what I’m saying to be taken more seriously and hoped that a change in theme design would help to project that image forward.

Finding a theme for a blog on dyslexia is difficult. There are things to take into consideration, especially when choosing a free theme where you are limited in what you can change. I tried to pick a theme that had enough interesting things going on but not too much that it completely distracts the eye. I wanted it to be clean and I wanted a font that didn’t have tails on letters (Times New Roman is a horrible font for me). I use Open Sans because I personally find it an easy font to read (actually I don’t, see edit at the bottom of the page).

The next thing that I thought about was background colour. I have noticed that other blogs on dyslexia have used themes with coloured backgrounds. One particular one comes to mind (I won’t say which one because I don’t want to upset anyone, but will name it ‘Blog X’) where I really struggle to read it because of the background colour and the font colour. It sends my eyes funny and I find it far harder to read than black and white. I also know that there are other dyslexic people like myself who have software for changing the screen colour. I personally use ClaroView which enables me to read with a tinted coloured screen. When I used my ClaroView with ‘Blog X’ it made no real impact as the colour I use is very similar to the font colour used. So I have stuck with a theme with a white background in hope that other dyslexic readers have software that enables them to read my blog rather than assuming a colour which may make it more difficult for some to read.

Picking the correct theme for a blog about the difficulties of reading was very tough, but I hope that in choosing a theme that I find accessible and clean that other dyslexic people have a similar experience. I do try to take into consideration my other readers who do not have dyslexia too, but I feel most of the themes on WordPress are pretty user-friendly.

I would really love feedback on my new theme, especially from my dyslexic readers 🙂 Is it easy enough for you to read?

EDIT: I realised after I posted this that I had changed the settings to be Open Sans but it hadn’t done so because I had to purchase it. However, because I had already a number of posts online, the font of the blog writing was one I had felt was easy to read while going through all the themes.

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Posted on September 20, 2014, in Blogging and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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