Does This Blog Need a New Look?

I’ve been blogging here now for nearly three years. So it’s time to ask, Does this blog need a new look?

I want to hear from you . . .

  • if you’ve ever thought, “This site looks _________,” where the blank is filled in with some expression of disappointment, disapproval, or disgust;
  • if you’ve ever thought, more vaguely, “Why in the world did Geivett create this look for himself?”
  • if you can recommend improvements in the look or organization of this site;
  • if you think it looks just fine and should be left alone.

No one has ever said, “You need to change the look of your website.” On the other hand, no one has ever told me, “Wow! You have such a brilliant looking website! I’m so jealous.”

So how about it, friends? What improvements can you suggest?

If I don’t hear from you, I’ll have to assume that you like it just the way it is.

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About Doug Geivett
University Professor; PhD in philosophy; author; conference speaker. Hobbies include motorcycling, travel, kayaking, sailing.

16 Responses to Does This Blog Need a New Look?

  1. Doug Geivett says:

    Beth,

    I’ve just gone looking in the settings at WordPress for a way to disable moderation for approved commenters. I don’t see a way to do this. Are you familiar with WordPress?

    -Doug

    Like

  2. Doug Geivett says:

    Beth, I see your point now. I wasn’t understanding your suggestion at first. I thought it meant that after a certain sum of comments had been monitored for a given post, I might stop moderating and simply let everything in.

    You’re suggesting (very sensibly!) that I could allow individuals who have posted with demonstrated commitment to the basic standards of decency and tone I desire to post without moderation once this is obvious. I like that.

    You certainly qualify!

    Thanks for the excellent suggestion.

    -Doug

    Like

  3. bethyada says:

    Doug, your blog. Do as you wish.

    In terms of benefits of moderating, it allows one to remove spam and to hold off trolls, or control the tone. Useful features. But these do not matter when someone has proven himself friendly.

    The blogmaster could leave moderation on because he does not wish to miss comments, useful; but it limits dialogue between commenters as others cannot see responses to their comments until they have been allowed thru. If moderators dealt in real time it would not be a problem, but this is uncommon.

    You get some but not an extensive number of comments, moderation may not make a big difference here. But you may limit yourself to holding dialogues with individuals and limit their interaction with each other.

    Of benefit would be software that allowed you to select comments will be moderated: yes/ no, and if yes: indefinitely or until x number of comments have been approved.

    Like

  4. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi Beth,

    I like most of your specific suggestions. I’ll have to see about a preview button. And I’m not sure why moderation should be lifted after several comments have been approved. Maybe you can answer that for me.

    I know what you mean about the order of comments. I’ll look into that. I agree—threaded comments are annoying.

    -Doug

    Like

  5. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi Arthur,

    Thanks for the very helpful specific tips!

    -Doug

    Like

  6. cam says:

    The format is difficult to read due to the black background. Often I will copy and paste for easier reading. A larger font would help too.

    The content of your posts is excellent of course. Thank you.

    Like

  7. Mike Gantt says:

    I agree with the comments about the “exotic” background.

    Like

  8. dwhitsett says:

    I agree with the others about the white or gray letters on black. Of course, I read it anyway but the reverse would be easier.

    Like

  9. Mike Austin says:

    I agree that the content is very good, but the visual layout can make it difficult to read at times. Perhaps it is because I’m getting older…

    Like

  10. bethyada says:

    Also, a preview button would be useful. And remove moderation after say 10 approved comments. (Don’t know if wordpress can do the latter).

    Extend the recent comments widget to say 10. And make the comments in chronological order, not reverse order! such a pain to read from the bottom up.

    And please! do not change to threaded comments.

    Like

  11. bethyada says:

    Hate the black background. Hard to read, especially your grey quotes!

    You bump the font size up a tad too.

    Like

  12. Dr Geivett,

    Here is some of my advice on the blog:

    1. I am going to echo some of the others – for best readability you really do need a white or off-white background with black/gray text.

    2. Generally the best fonts for readability are Arial, Georgia, Times New Roman.

    3. Text should be larger making it easier to read. Line height should be proportional, again for better readability.

    4. Page should probably be wider.

    5. Headers should be more clearly differentiated from content by size/color/style

    Here are the things I think are done well:

    1. Clean separation of content sections
    2. Nice social media integration
    3. Very nice and clean mobile version

    I hope these are helpful.

    Like

  13. Paul D. Adams says:

    Hey Doug…
    A black background with with/grey text makes me feel like I’m in a dark room with a dimly lit lamp on trying to read textual variations of the UBS4. Okay…maybe not that bad, but I do get the feeling that I’m reading my x-rays at the chiro 😉

    Like

  14. Johhnny says:

    The black background is not to my liking. It looks like you’re going for a Halloween theme. I’d go w/ a white background for normalcy’s sake.

    Like

  15. Doug Geivett says:

    Thanks, Matt. It’s great hearing from you. This is just the sort of feedback I’m looking for.

    Glad to know of your interest in my website. I hope one day to visit Australia for some speaking.

    Like

  16. Matt Viney says:

    Dr Geivett,

    Greetings from Australia! I love your blog and your wider work as a Christian academic. The appearance of your blog, to be honest, is a bit on the drab and gloomy side. I know that the content is the most important thing (the quality of which I cannot deny), but I find your blog isn’t the most visually pleasing one around.
    I also think that using a black background make some font colors hard to see (like the grey font you use). The red fonts can appear very distracting too. The lighter fonts are reasonably readable in general.

    It wouldn’t worry me if you didn’t change it, but a change might freshen things up a bit.

    In Christ
    Matt Viney

    Like

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