Need a little help here, please.

I’m still trying to get the blog to look the way I want it, and now that a couple of people are reading it, I’d like to ask for your input.

Comments: Should the comments be with the newest on top or the earliest on top?

Categories: Do you prefer the categories as a clickable list the way they are now, or would you prefer a cloud or a drop-down?

Tags: Should I use tags? Is there a reason to use tags and categories? Is one preferable over the other?

Everything else: What is missing or what should be taken away? Any and all ideas!

Please let me know what you think in the comments. I’m new at this and I appreciate your help!

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9 thoughts on “Need a little help here, please.

  1. Hi,

    Comments: I don’t know about others, but if I like a post I often read through the comments as well. It’s a liiiiiiiiitle annoying to scroll down and then read up, accidentally reading parts of the conversation that happened later, so I very much prefer earliest on top. Of course, that is if your readers talk to each other. If you find that they usually respond solely to the post and not to each other’s comments, then newest on top is fine (still don’t like it but it’s fine)

    Categories: I like it like it is

    Tags: hmm, I see no point in using both, really. Depends on your preference and on how often you write posts that could be part of more than one category. I use tags and not categories, because I write about kitties and parties and books and ideas and random thoughts and to-do lists in the same post.

  2. IMHO, I prefer the comments to start with the earliest – that way they can be read in order as received. Sometimes someone comments on another comment and that would make the conversation easier to follow.

    Clickable categories are okay with me, but any way you choose would be fine.

    I see no reason for categories and tags. (But when the blog goes viral, tags might become useful – you’ll probably have a staff by then to handle those details.)

    I love your graphics, they give the overall blog a cohesive look. They’re simple but very expressive.

  3. I agree with your previous opinions re comments. I prefer earliest first to easily read them in order.
    I don’t miss the “tags”
    Categories I like very much the way they are,
    Cheers!

  4. Comments:earliest to latest.
    Categories: I ignore
    Tags: what’s the point?
    I’m more interested in content than the way a blog looks or reads.

  5. Thanks for your help, everyone. I’ve changed the comments setting so that they can easily be read in order.

    Cris, you have a blog? I didn’t know. Want to e-mail the URL to me?

    Judy, how you make me laugh! Going viral… a staff… I was totally chuffed to find FOUR comments here!

    Belén, thanks for commenting about the categories. I think they’ll come in useful if I keep this up the way I plan to, because people who want to read about politics or daily life in Jerusalem might not want to read about lacemaking, and so on.

    Emmy, thanks so much for the feedback. I hope you’ll continue to find content here that you like. I love the variety in your blog.

  6. …agree with the commenters above. I will go change my comments setting as well, once I stop procrastinating…

    As for the categories vs tags thing, I disagree with the rest. The ability to dichotomize the classification of my posts is one of the reasons I love wordpress. Categories are like broad headings, e.g. the names of chapters in a book. And tags are more post-specific and customized eg. the sub heads within a chapter.

    I prefer using a limited number of broad, non-overlapping, yet descriptive categories while I use specific tags. There are some 9/10 categories on my blog and more than 350 tags. These tags help me get keyword specific views from people who google for stuff.

    I am no SEO expert but I think using both tags and categories is the way to go if you want your blog to have a better visibility and better classification of posts.

    Cheers!

    • Thanks for the thoughtful and detailed comment, Pranab. I’m still of two minds about tags, probably because I don’t really see myself as someone who gets readers from search engines. I’ll certainly keep in mind, though. Who knows?

  7. I don’t know if you’re allowed to use widgets, but I’d love to see the PulseMaps widget on your blog. You get visitors from all over the world and it would be interesting to see the little dots scattered all over the globe.

    • I’m using the free version of WordPress and it allows a selection from among certain “themes”, quite a few of them. Each theme permits different kinds of customization, but I haven’t found one that will let me add widgets of my choice. I wanted to add the WordReference widget, too.

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