Changing Your WordPress Theme to Increase Reader Engagement

April 9, 2010 | By | 4 Replies More

Reading time: 2 – 4 minutes

Updated and compelling content, easy-to-use navigation with fast-loading pages and attractive design are just among the salient features readers are looking for in a blog.

Readers arrive on your site’s landing pages expecting that they’ll get the information they’re looking for especially when they came from the search engines.

However, I always feel that changing your site’s theme once in a while does help in keeping your regular readers attention and that it reminds them that the site owner still has the time to keep monotony out-of-place.

I’ve used the Thesis Theme for more than six months, although I’ve made several tweaks with it, I came to the point that switching WordPress theme would be a great move especially when I feel that transition has to take place to spice things up a bit.

reader engagement

In an SEO (search engine optimization) perspective, changing themes don’t matter much as long as you’re using All-in-one SEO plugin or Platinum SEO for non-SEO powered themes although some theme developers would insist that using their SEO-savvy themes provide some edge over the other themes around, it doesn’t bother me as long as good content keeps pouring in.

Visitor interaction matters the most because the actions they take like clicking on your links, your ads, buying something or leaving comments are most likely to be products of good website design and layout.

How often do you encounter sites with cluttered sidebars and headers that almost look like a NASCAR?

More than eating the site’s space with so many distractions, it also slows down the site because of too many “http requests” on the server.

I’m not against blogs with too many widgets or ads but the real point is making it easier on the eyes of your readers. After all, the first thing they’re going to do when they land on your site is have a glance than read your article.

And if they didn’t like what they’ve seen, the “X” button on their screen is just a click away.

Tags: , ,

Category: web authoring

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Cemil says:

    I really like the design of your site. It is nice and clean and white space is always a winning factor. Agree with you on your point of sites looking like a “nascar”. There seems to be a fine line between sensible advertising and blatant in your face ads. Apart from the fact that too many banners, ads and other revenue generating things can make a site look cluttered and messy, it does slow down the site significantly.
    .-= Cemil´s last blog ..How To Move The Navigation Bar In The Thesis Theme Below The Header =-.

  2. Mathdelane says:

    Hi Cemil,
    Thanks for dropping by. I also like your site layout, it was simple and neat. I always wanted to minimize my ads because I believe that I should only focus on those ad networks that work best for me without compromising my reader’s experience and from the look of your site, I think we’ll both agree on this.

  3. Keith Davis says:

    Hi Mathdelane
    Great top graphic to catch the readers eye has got to be number one priority.
    Once you’ve got a reader’s attention, they might actually read.

    You mention “fast-loading pages ” – going from straight html sites to WordPress has been such a disappointment to me. So slow!

    Not sure what point you are making about Thesis theme, are you saying it is good or bad?
    .-= Keith Davis´s last blog ..Flying in formation =-.

  4. Mathdelane says:

    Great top graphic to catch the readers eye has got to be number one priority.

    Unless it’s not flash and has the content readers are looking for, it’s fine!

    Hard coded HTML pages are fast-loading compared to WP sites mainly because most WP-powered sites have more http requests due to the existence of widgets, external links, etc. Why visit a blog like this if you hate slow loading pages? Are you just after for link juice?

    Thesis Theme is great and before this darker background was implemented, I switched to Canvas theme from WooThemes to test things out based on layout and its effects on CTR then fin’lly went back to Thesis again because of its functionality and SEO benefits aside from its lasting customization features.

Leave a Reply