CMS Templates Make a Fresh Start Easy

If you’ve been around for a while you may have noticed that I like to mess around with the website’s visual design a lot.  Now, I don’t really know what I’m doing when it comes to CSS and PHP – but free CMS templates like the WordPress template I’m using right now (DarkZen from can be installed on anyone’s website and customized to work with your content in just a few adjustments.

Of course, when I set up my first website there was a lot less I could accomplish with the customization – but practice makes … well it won’t make you perfect but it will make you marginally better.

The last template I was using – Defusion – ended up becoming one of my first major re-designs.  I hacked around at it quite a bit – using its basic framework but slowly whitling away what made it a good theme in the first place 😉  At least that’s what the Analytics seem to suggest because the bounce rate on my site dropped soon after install and gradually crept back up the more I messed with it.

I never could get the background colors quite right!  See, I’m not much of a visual person – that’s my girlfriend’s specialty (if only I could get her away from the painting canvas and onto more digital media I’d have some visuals on my sites)

So since its the New Year its a great time for changes and I’m going around, changing all the templates on my sites.  Every few months new, quality templates are popping up and each time I try to customize one it seems to work out a little better.  Am I learning something here or just refreshed by seeing something new? Opinions are biased (my own and any supplied to me) so I’ll let the Analytics have the final say.

Remember, if people bounce off your page before they even have a chance to read your content, its time to think about a fresh template and a new visual design!

1 Comment

  1. hey John,
    I like the new look for the new year! Simplicity and content are always winners in my book. Just don’t be like the car companies and think you need to change your look every year whether you’ve currently got an awesome look or not. 🙂
    I’m glad my blog is still new enough that I don’t have to worry about “re-skinning” it!
    I look forward to seeing what seo pearls of wisdom you can offer this year. 🙂
    ~ Steve, aka “trade show booths”

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