When I started being aware of blogs, most of the blogs at the time were pretty much sporting a generic design. The simple blog layout was usually just a 2 column layout, a simple header, simple footer and dull colors. Of course I just followed the herd and had those design on my blogs.
Now as time passed by, more and more blog design companies introduced more flexible yet complex themes. All of a sudden all normal blogs started sporting the ‘magazine’ look and I was one of them of course. 😉 The simple 2 column layout became obsolete quickly and multiple sidebars, multi subheaders and footers started becoming the ‘in thing’. And based on the past designs of this blog, you can see that I was very much following the trend.
Even though I’ve been mostly using magazine style themes, I’m a big fan of simple blog designs such as DailyBlogTips and DoshDosh (which is dead nowadays). I always thought like their blog loads in no time and that its very very pleasing in the eyes. And thus, it encouraged me to find a simpler design and finally move away from the magazine style template.
Now you can argue that my current design may still not be the ‘simplest’ of all however you can easily see that this design moves far away from the previous designs where I had fancy sliders, colorful images, thumbnails and etc. Instead, this design just focuses on content and nothing else. The readability, spacing is definitely much better and the elements can breathe easier based on how the theme is designed. And while I still have 2 sidebars, the widgets that I have utilized is much lesser than the past designs. And lastly I cut down on redundancy by eliminating stuff that are pretty much just wasting the space.
Now using StudioPress Framework
And if you’re wondering what theme it is, then the answer is its StudioPress. In the past designs I mostly pick themes that are not so mainstream. The past theme was from someone in ThemeForest and while I like it, its clear that its pretty hard to expand from the theme itself due to that there’s really not much people behind it.
With StudioPress, you’re talking about the flexible framework but you’re also after the interactive support from the community. I’m sure its still going to take me some time to understand features such as hooks but they’re definitely not lacking on resources on how to help users like me understand it. So all in all I’m happy so far with my transition to the StudioPress Framework and thus I would highly recommend you to at least take a look at them.
Death of Complex Designs.
Now getting back to the death of complex flashy blog designs, I would say that most bloggers in this space have moved into a more simple approach as well. Shoemoney’s blog has been much cleaner now and loads a ton quicker as well. John Chow who has been notorious for plastering his blog with as much stuff as possible has also decided to cut down more. I have a lot on the list but you should find out yourself that blogs these days seem to be getting back more on basic designs with basic layout and stuff. Or perhaps is it just in this industry?
Perhaps this has also something to do with the decline of the ‘meta-blogging’ (blogging about blogging, blogging about making money blogging) trend. The strength of meta-blogging mostly hinges through advertising money, affiliate referral, and product sales in general and when you’re talking about those things, you’re talking about putting more and more ‘clutter’ to your blog one way or another. Its like the ‘more banners the better chance I can make money’ kind of thinking. And now that its dead, bloggers are quickly moving away from all the clutter by either changing their approach or just simply forgetting about blogging for money.
And therefore, what used to be “dull” seems to be the cool thing again these days. What say you?