Readability and a New Look


Readability of text on background is a factor to consider when creating content in a blog post.  I’ve been using the same theme with the white text on the black for a few years, liking the way the photos looked surrounded by black. I never found them hard to read but then I was the author.

These days blog readers frequently check  phone screens, not a giant desktop display.

Today I heard from artist Carol Skinger  after she had visited the blog via FB to check out the macarons.  She included an article Why Light Text on Dark is a Bad Idea

After thinking about her message,  I went to “try on” different WordPress themes and even got some great tips from the support team at WP when I couldn’t see the good old “Like” buttons or the “Subscribe” button or even the “Follow Blog” at the bottom right of the page.  This theme is called SNAPS.

Thanks Carol for taking time to write.  This theme works well on all sizes of devices!

I think it’s a clean look.  I wish I could get the palest of gray as the background but when I tried to change it the text looked dark red.  Will do some more experimenting.

Hopefully one that won’t tire your eyes as you read.  I hope to find a header image that screams Pittsburgh, as I miss my  Pittsburgh Light Up Night skyline view of the city header.  This one is Jack and Michael on the North Side on the way to the Children’s Museum, running to Ned Kahn’s Cloud Arbor sculpture  

Thanks Mar, for the Ott Lite I’m using on the Kindle.

28 thoughts on “Readability and a New Look

  1. This seems like a pretty nice layout. One thing it’s doing that I’m not crazy about is in your header some of the text is stacked in a weird way. Finding a theme that works can be quite a challenge in my opinion.

  2. Hi Ruth… well I mostly visit your blog via reader – and so I forgot that you had the dark theme.

    and years ago, like 2008 – when I was doing art blogs for teaching, one fo the first tips I learned was to always have white back and black text. So I always picked a theme with that- across many blogs.
    Check out the Gateway theme – I love it – and most newer themes get adjusted for all devices (I think) –
    side note-
    my pet peeve is that for some reason – the default text WP uses is actually light gray. I guess it is supposed to be eye friendly – but I hate it – so I have been bolding some of my text

    • Hmm I am going to check out Gateway but I might not monkey with the themems ’til the light of day. Don’t want to get overly frustrated at night before bed. Funny how once I got unstuck I am willing to mess around. Overall I have gotten positive feedback.

      • well that is good – I personally needed a blog that had posts truncated so I could scroll with ease. Sometimes I show people a post – like when I used to do more street people shots – and it took forever to scroll entire posts – ugh.
        so the gateway posts have a feature image and a few tidbits….

  3. Hi Ruth,
    Well as you can guess I myself can read it with much greater ease and I love the change. Though I have and love a large screen I am increasingly seeing things much more on my phone. If a blog, post or website still has a black background I just skip it. It’s just too busy on the screen.
    I applaud you in your active blogging. Reminds me to continue with that! My website, also wordpress has a blog within and also hosts an e commerce site. The front page is a fixed front page, which I can change the appearance of. When I write a blog piece and post it, it is within my overall site so if you want to look at artwork for sale and BUY IT 🙂 you can. This is reminding me I need to add more! Here is my website.

    Last night I went to a social gathering at Shift Collaborative in East Liberty. Cynthia Closkey who helped me go from no website, to having a website invited me and is a partner there. Great timing for a party to show off their cool offices instead of pre-holidays. Cynthia put my website together. When I first identified Word Press as what I wanted, I took a class via Fox Chapel Area High School Continuing Education but realized I still needed more help to get it underway. I knew I would be able to change and update it once it was launched. Cynthia Closkey also hosts it so I do not have to deal with a thousand emails from GoDaddy.

    Cynthia is a lovely easy person to work with and she is an impressive person with an undergrad and grad degree from MIT. I will just drop a link here for her.

    Even if you already have a website she can schedule tutorials on things you want help with or just meet with her.

    Carol Skinger

    • It’s an absolute shock to me each time I check it but I think it is clean and clear as you say. Still working on getting that header where I want it.

  4. Funny how you get used to a particular look. I feel I’m missing a few tricks with mine but I can’t be bothered to experiment. Last time I ended up in a proper mess 🙂 🙂 This looks fine, and I love your Header.

    • Thank you so much Jo. It’s can be sticky once you start mucking it up a bit. But I have had overall positive comments and emails from readers so I am going to stay with this theme for now. They all seem to have limitations and I am not versed in CSS to go it as Margy suggested. Time to learn I guess. Always good of you to visit.

  5. Nice look, Ruth! It is a challenge, isn’t it, to decide whether the text or the photos are the most important, because there is no question that the photos look good on a dark background, but the text is hard to read.
    I’ve been playing around with the theme ‘Motif’ and ones like that because I like to have a colored theme background, but a white or light page. I don’t know how many themes I’ve tried over the years, but I love the fact it feels like you’ve moved, but you didn’t have to pack and unpack a thing!
    When I resize my photos I always add a border/frame of some sort to make the photos stand out a bit more. Some themes add a border/theme too.
    The biggest thing I’ve learned after 7 years of blogging is – no free theme is perfect – but some themes can come very close if you upgrade to CSS and learn how to use it!

    • Mmmmm I’d really like to upgrade but am going on the limitations of the free for now. I appreciate your thoughts as I found it really hard to find the right combo as I activated several themes to see what felt okay. I’ve really stuck with one theme for the longest time. I need to put in some hours on the blog but in the seven years I’ve done it I seem to go in waves of tending or letting it coast a bit. Thanks for writing. Lots to think about. I like the idea of the frame for the photo.

  6. I am not keen on blgs with dark backgrounds, and yours is probaby about the only one I have stuck with. so your cahnge gets my vote 🙂

    • If you get one on sale of have a coupon for half off, and replacement lights are pricey it’s true but I can knit black or sew w navy on navy st midnight with the Ott lite. The glass shade ones are pretty but I prefer the uglier ones for effective direction and not diffused light.

  7. Like the new you, Ruth. I never had any trouble reading the old you but I have had problems with others’ pages. In fact, I’ve left a few because I just plain couldn’t read them. As for your banner photo, I can see why you love the Pittsburgh photo but as you know, I’ll never complain when you post a pic of your grandkids in the banner or elsewhere. 🙂

    • Thank you for your visits and encouraging comments. The feedback has been positive overall. It seems to have a successful blog, one has to “tend it”. For me it seems to be in waves, lately. The new look has sparked renewed endeavor. Always appreciate you and your good words.

Thanks for your visit. It's always good to hear you stopped by.