Choosing Photoblog Themes or Templates
By Brian Elliott
Whichever blog application you use, please make an extensive search of themes and templates until you are satisfied that you have chosen the right one. You DO NOT want to change it later as you will be adding code and scripts as you go by. You will have to re-insert all these codes if you change themes or templates, which is an arduous task.
I learnt it the hard way with my pixelpost template for my photoblog. There are certain html codes that were inserted for some add-ons. To change the template, I now have to remember which add-ons needed codes, find the installation documents for them online and re-insert the codes to get it back to full functionality. Think about moving from house to house every week (or however often you change themes/templates) and having to change each house to look exactly like the previous one. The home improvement guys would have to come in and tear down everything in order to make it look exactly like the previous house. That’s exactly what it is like to make these changes to themes or templates, especially after you’ve inserted some amount of add-ons to customize your site.
Spend your time using the search engines for your themes and templates. There are literally thousands of free ones online or you may be able to write your own. Here is a guide:
1)Colors – it is recommended to use either white black or grey as the main color and as few of other colors as possible.
2) Style – you want the photos to be the star so make it as simple as you can.
3) Number of Columns- depends on the type of blog. If it is going to have widgets, you may start thinking 2 or 3 columns.
4) Attractiveness- has to be attractive to pull viewers.
5) Sidebar/Widget ready- not all themes can take widgets.
6) Make sure it works well for its intended use- If you are going to write a lot of text, don’t choose a dedicated photoblog application such as pixelpost, sylverblog or atom photoblog. Instead, choose a blog application that can easily be converted to photoblog use such as WordPress, Drupal or Joomla. I highly recommended WordPress, not because it’s the one I use, but because I have tried all three and several more. However, If you are going to run a community based, text heavy photoblog, then Drupal is the choice. It is perfect for community sites.
7) If you would like a specific type- eg. A tech theme, personal website theme or a simple template.
8) Make sure it is ad ready if you intend to place ads in the future.
9) Size (how quickly it takes to load)
10) If the size pictures you use can fit on the pages without cropping the image – This is very important, there are some themes that cut off a piece of your medium sized photo because the sidebar is too wide.
It may take some time to choose, but in the meantime, you may write content and save it or upload photos until you feel you have the right theme or template. You can then publish the accumulated material and you have a website with lots of content to start with!
Brian is an amateur photographer whose blog offers news, tips, tutorials for amateur photographers and photobloggers.
Visit his blog at http://amateurphotoblogger.com