customize your blog?

The other day, in the WordPress daily topic-blog, they asked what features people might like to see here in WordPress.com. I think that’s great, that they’re interested to hear from their users. They got lots of answers there — as it stands now, 101 comments Β — many, many wanted the ability to make adjustments to the theme … i.e. changing colours, adjust width of columns et cetera.

This was five days ago.

Yesterday, they announced their new Custom Design feature! Something that makes it much easier for people who just want to make little adjustments to the looks of their blog … changing fonts for different headlines, for example. For those who know CSS, there’s a real handy little thing where you can preview all your changes before you apply them.

  • Example: I have chosen the theme Twenty Eleven here. The bar underneath the header image is black. I would like to make it another colour, which I could easily do with a few key strokes … with the help of CSS.

I tried it in this new editor and it worked like a breeze.

All this is fine and dandy, had it not been for the fact that it would cost you US$30 per year to use it.

Honestly, I think it would be really neat to be able to make a few changes here, but not neat enough for $30 a year. As much as I love WordPress.com …. I do think thirty bucks is a little pricey for that feature. Were I that eager to make design changes, I’d probably add twenty bucks and go back to self-hosted wordpress.org and get full freedom. But then again … I wouldn’t have been part of the wp.com environment and that was the reason I moved back here.

It’s not that I can’t afford $30 per year … it’s the principle of it all! I do think that many people are also on a limited budget. I just don’t like paying that amount for something small like that. Five bucks … and I think I’d signed up! With the Sandbox or Toolbox theme you’d get pretty much full freedom here too, and hence; the best of both worlds.

Guess there is no such thing as a free lunch.

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12 thoughts on “customize your blog?”

  1. I got quite excited there until I realised it was $30! Like you I would love to be able to make little changes, but I don’t have the luxury of being able to afford to do so.

    1. Kieran,
      Yes, I would probably have kept this theme, but made a few, minor adjustments … but $30 … nah, I don’t think so! I was excited at first when I saw it announced … such a let-down!

  2. I like the new theme 2011 and tried it on my blog; however, I lost one sidebar and did not want to have to install again so I just went back to the one I had. It certainly is not pretty; just gets the job done (the one I have).

    1. Linda,
      Yes, you’re right … I just noticed that, that this theme doesn’t support two sidebars. I like the theme Garland, where you can have two side bars and still ample space to write and put in pictures… I might go back to that when I’m fed up with this πŸ™‚

  3. Hi,
    I also don’t think it is worth $30 just to be able to make a few changes, not only that but I would also have to learn CSS which I’m sure would not be easy.

    1. Mags,
      No, that’s what I thought too … the little adjustments I would want to make, it’s not worth it. I do know a little bit of basic CSS, so I could easily make them.. I changed the colour of that bar and it looked good…but of course I couldn’t save my changes πŸ™‚

  4. My sentiments too Rebekah.
    When I initially read about it, I was excited, but then when I’d had time to think about it, I came to the same conclusion as you – it’s just not worth $30 a year.

    1. Barb, I think it was the disappointment that made me write this post. If they are that hard put, that they have to charge for it, I wish they could have set it lower. $5 and I’d signed up in a heart beat.

  5. $30 wouldn’t be so bad if it could be applied to all ones blogs (I’ve got four public ones on wordpress.com) or if there were one fee for all the ‘extras’. For instance, on LiveJournal where I blogged before I moved to WordPress.com, one could choose paid membership – with that one got all the different things that were offered. Here on wp.com, it’s a separate payment for each thing, per blog, per year. So if one wants to use CSS it’s one thing, if one wants to have video embeds it’s another, or extra space, it’s another. It’s all so annoying! That said, I do still much prefer wp.com to any of the sites I’ve used in the past. πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, I’ve seen all the different functions …and how much they cost! To have all of them would be insane … not to mention, like you say, if you have multiple sites! I think the self-hosted version would be the only way out …

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