Made some changes to the site today.
The most obvious change is the new look and feel. Or maybe the most obvious change is the removal of ads.
I made these changes for a few reasons.
First, the look and feel (theme) of the site.
I was using a variant of the “Twenty Fourteen” theme, which is a really powerful theme. I chose it when I did because of all themes available at the time it provided the best layout, handled mobile devices well, fair level of customization, and so on. But it seems everyone else thought this as well, because I see so many sites using that theme. Thing is, I never really liked the aesthetics of the theme — I thought it was too narrow for the content — and isn’t content supposed to be king? I always felt the proportions of the theme made sidebars more important than they should be. Plus while I appreciated much about the theme, I never found it totally pleasing to my eye. But at the time it was the best available to suit my needs, so I went with it.
And yes, the simple fact the theme became so prolific… I just hated seeing the theme everywhere.
Digging through WordPress themes this morning and thankfully more and more themes are modern, responsive, and just flat out available. I chose a new theme that’s simpler, cleaner, and hopefully more readable and content-focused.
What I was really hoping for tho?
Less WordAds annoyance.
One thing about the “Twenty Fourteen” theme is it gave a lot of places for ads to show up. I didn’t mind some ads, but over time WordAds has grown more pervasive. And what really broke it for me was the insertion of the ads in the middle of content.
I also have grown tied of some of the ad content. While some ads were certainly fitting for my readership, there’s a lot of click-bait “one weird trick”, “you’ll never believe”, “shocking!”, “hey look! boobs!”, and other just… well… shitty advertising. I hate those sorts of ads. I don’t mind advertising, but I think it should be relevant advertising. And when it gets more and more intrusive, I think it just brings down quality.
So when I switched to this new theme, I did so in part because it didn’t have as many ways to be ad-intrusive. But yet, it still had the ads showing up in the middle of the content.
“Enough is too much” (as the Papa Owl said)
I turned off WordAds. Yeah it was a nice little bit of revenue (and “little bit” is the operative word), but while it started out being reasonable, IMHO the WordAds have become unreasonable. I don’t like the amount of ads being injected into the site, nor do I like the ad content.
And without ads, the site just looks so much better.
We’ll see how this jives out. 🙂
Thank you for your readership.
Edited to Add: Wow. As soon as I posted this, I see at the bottom of the post that ads may still show up. Ha! I forgot that WordPress.com does that, because I’ve been on WordAds for so long. Well, these ads hopefully will be few and far between AND they won’t be annoying ones that show up in the middle of the content.
I do not fault WordPress.com for wanting to recoup costs. I do pay for some features, but their full paid plan (presently $99/year) doesn’t offer me enough advantage. And of course with no ads, how to offset that cost. 😉 So I don’t know. I’ll see how the “occasional ads” wind up being and determine from there what to do.