A few months ago I switched the theme behind several of my WordPress sites to Thesis (affiliate link).
Recently I’ve been really exploring what it can do — and that’s a lot.
I’ve also been looking at the visitor statistics, which has been rather illuminating. Most of my visitors to the site arrive from Google, and they don’t stay long. I think my dedicated readers (thank you, whoever you are) probably mainly read my posts via RSS or email.
I’m testing these changes elsewhere before I implement them on this site, but that doesn’t always prevent problems.
If strange things seem to be happening, first try refreshing the browser or newsfeed. If things seem broken after that, please do let me know, as I may not realise I’ve broken it.
One thing I’m firm on is that web, RSS and email via Feedblitz or Feedburner are all just delivery mechanisms for the same information. I firmly believe that RSS feeds should contain the full text of any blog post.
I’m about to change from having the full text of the few most recent blog posts on the home page to using around a dozen teasers — short hand-crafted excerpts that then lead to the full post on its own page.
When I’ve tried this before, using the <!–more–> technique to split a post, the RSS feed has been truncated.
Now, though, Thesis makes it easy for me to use teasers on the Home page, without (I believe) messing up the RSS feed.
I’m just waiting for my web host to make a small upgrade on the server (to PHP 5 for the technically minded), and then I’ll be switching on the teasers.
What I hope is that visitors who arrive from Google will more easily see a more attractive and appealing set of headlines and short intros, and be more likely to notice something from the ‘smorgasbord’, click through, read, and maybe visit again, or even become regular readers.
I also intend to apply this technique to MacTips, which is growing in popularity, has a readership many times that of this blog, but again mainly attracts short-term visitors who arrive from Google.
We’ll see how it goes.
Please feel free to leave Comments. I’d love to get feedback on these changes, and any suggestions you may have for how I can improve this site.
Oh, and I’m thinking of accepting ads, both here and on MacTips. If you offer a Mac-related product or service and would like to discuss advertising, ask me about my competitive rates.