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Jupiter Jim’s Marketing Team

Why I switched to Social Triggers Skin for Thesis 2.1

thesis theme social triggers skinI wanted to explain to you, my readers, why I changed my ‘theme’ and layout for this site. Prior to the existing theme and layout (that you are looking at right now), I was using the Thesis 1.8.5 framework and a skin I had purchased from Mike Nichols over at ThesisThemeTools.com.   That was a couple of years ago and right now Mike is working with me as my lead developer over at my other website JupiterJim.com.  You see, I also build WordPress websites for small and home-based businesses over at JupiterJim.com, in case you know of anyone who might be interested.

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of the Thesis theme (or Thesis framework as it is sometimes called). On this site, I am currently using Thesis Theme version 2.1.7 and the Social Triggers skin for Thesis 2.1.7.  For illustrative purposes, a ‘skin’ in Thesis is similar to a child theme in the Genesis framework. I share that concept just so you’ll get a better understanding or idea of what I mean when I say ‘skin’.  You can purchase the Thesis Theme and Social Triggers skin using my affiliate link.

The Three Main Reasons for Change

There were probably three main reasons why I decided to change the layout of my site.

1. I wanted my site to be easier to navigate.

2. I wanted my site to download faster.

3. I wanted my site to convert visitors to blog subscribers.

Easier Site Navigation

In terms of navigation, I think we can all agree that the current navigation bar is much simpler and has a lot fewer tabs to click on than the previous version. When I analyzed the data, I realized that most people were not clicking on most of the tabs in the nav menus, so there really wasn’t much point in having so many tabs linking to so many pages.  I actually had two navigation menus at the top of my last website layout with Thesis 1.8.5.  Too many choices for most visitors to deal with.

I believe that the current nav menu makes it a lot easier for visitors to look through and sort through all of my old blog posts and videos tutorials.

Faster Website Download Speed

If you remember my old layout for this site,  Jupiter Jim’s Marketing Team,  you might remember that I had two sidebars on the right hand side of the page. So, essentially, I had double sidebars on the right hand side of the page. After analyzing the data, I realized that no one was really clicking on the affiliate links that I had in the right-hand sidebars. So, all the stuff in the sidebars was slowing down the loading times of my website and not really making me any significant additional money. So now I’m down to a single sidebar with fewer links and widgets.  The colored squares in the sidebar are created with CSS code instead of jpg or png or gif  image files.  That helps speed up the page load time, as well.

Click here to check out your website speed!

Converting Site Visitors to Subscribers!

Ultimately you want your blog visitors to become your blog followers or blog subscribers, correct?  You want to build up that massive email list. Well, when I analyzed the data on my old layout for jupiterjimsmarketingteam.com it was clear to me, based on the number of visitors to my site, that many more people should have been subscribing to my site. I knew I needed to do at least two things to convert more visitors to subscribers. Number One: I needed to change the layout of my website which, of course, I’ve done. That new layout is what you are looking at right now. Number Two: I needed to offer a better ‘free giveaway’ or inducement in order to encourage more visitors to sign up as subscribers. And that’s one of the main reasons that I wrote and am now giving away my free 24-page report called My #1 Blog Secret!

Content is Still King!

You might think that as a WordPress web designer I would have a fancier, more elegant website. But, the important thing to remember is that when it comes to blogging, content is still the king! Yes, Content is King and Marketing is The Queen. I’m convinced that people visit jupiterjimsmarketingteam.com because of the quality of the content of the blog posts and video tutorials, not because it’s the prettiest website on the Internet.

As a matter of fact, I’m using the exact same skin that Derek Halpern is using. Derek Halpern is the owner of the blog socialtriggers.com. You can get the social triggers skin from DIY themes.com when you purchase the Thesis Theme. I believe that Derek has over 100,000 subscribers on his e-mail list right now. That would tend to lend credence to my belief in the power and importance of content over aesthetics in converting website traffic into massive e-mail lists.

Get Your Site to Convert — Free eBook

As an added bonus, and as a ‘thank you’ for reading thus far, and for leaving a comment below (you ARE going to leave a comment, correct? LOL),  I would like to share with you a link to the following blog post: http://blondish.net/ebook-10-reason-why-your-site-isnt-coverting-and-how-to-fix-it/ .  That post contains a short free e-book that will help you convert more of your blog and website visitors to blog e-mail subscribers. The post and the e-book were both written by blogging expert and WordPress designer Nile Flores.  Nile has been a blogger for over 10 years now and really knows her stuff!

Please share your thoughts about my new website design and the contents of this blog post in the comments below. They are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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20 comments… add one

  • Jupiter Jim,

    Thanks so much for this blog post!!! You are right content is KING! and that’s why I visit your blog, because of the content, not because it’s pretty!

    Keep up the great work!
    Robert Cooper, M.D.
    Robert Cooper, M.D. recently posted..Loni Fink, CME, LEMy Profile

    • jupiterjim

      Dr. Cooper,

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thougths!!! I always appreciate it!!!! And your assistant, Patty Spain is the BEST!!!!
      jupiterjim recently posted..How to Add a Gravatar in WordPressMy Profile

  • You truly ROCK Jim! I have been preaching “content” over “glitter” for ages. This site is attractive, clear, clean and most importantly…. functional. The “call to action” is on point. I need to talk to you about what to do next!!

    Thanks for all that you do!

    • jupiterjim

      Steve,

      I’m glad you agree with me on this one!!!! It’s definitely a “content-driven” site! That’s what keeps them coming back. We can talk Friday or next week sometime. Just send me an email when you’re ready to talk! Hope all is well!

      ~ Jupiter Jim
      jupiterjim recently posted..Don’t Get Hacked! WordPress Security InfographicMy Profile

  • I am always confused about themes to use. Happy I must say with the one you built for me. Enjoyed reading you post.
    Lydia recently posted..Facebook UpdateMy Profile

    • jupiterjim

      Lydia,

      I know there are thousands of themes out there!!! I always like to work with Thesis and Genesis and their respective skins and child themes so I know the code is rock solid and is constantly updated and supported!

      Thanks for dropping by!!!
      jupiterjim recently posted..How to Install TubePress Video Gallery Plugin in WordPressMy Profile

  • Love the look and ease of use of the new site, Jim! Thesis rocks!
    Sherie recently posted..How to Overcome Emotional Pain SimplyMy Profile

  • Hey Jupiter Jim, I am very grateful to have stumbled across your site, your number 1 blog secret was value enough to keep me reading.
    I love that you’re into conscious driven content that is highly valuable to us readers. Personally I much prefer content over a blog simply being pretty, however a little bit of pretty doesn’t hurt either right? I’d love to hear how your conversions go after making the change in theme/skin. It is indeed highly irritating when a site takes forever to load (aka more than 5 seconds).
    Thanks again you’re awesome!
    Penny

    • jupiterjim

      Penny,
      Your site looks great, is stylish, has Tons of real value information and seems to load fast when I view it in my browser. When I tested your site on http://tools.pingdom.com/ it got a speed score of 87/100 and a load time of 4.02 seconds. So, overall, I think you’ve got the perfect balance.

      I don’t want everyone else’s site to look as bland as mine. That would make for a very boring world. On the other hand, my site is simpler to maintain, and at this time only takes about a Half of one second to load and it’s easy to navigate and find my old posts. So there’s a trade off.

      Like you said, I am curious to see whether the conversion rate goes up now that I’ve changed the layout AND I’ve started blogging regularly again. The goal is one post or video per week!

      Have a great day, Penny!
      jupiterjim recently posted..How to Add SEO Optimized Images to WordPress 3.6.1 Blog Posts and PagesMy Profile

  • True and great advice Jupiter Jim. I love that you said “Content is King and Marketing is The Queen.” – You sound like me!
    I have been working as a freelancer for past 3 years. Right now I’ve engaged myself in blogging, internet marketing and wordpress blog designing. Because, the earning become limited if I engaged my whole day in writing.
    Thanks so much for sharing! I think you and I would make good coffee buddies since we seem to approach things the same way. Since distance separates us, I raise a cup of virtual coffee to you!
    Mainak Halder recently posted..How to Install WordPress Genesis Theme From DashBoard or Using FTPMy Profile

  • Hey Jim, I really like the new change man although I actually had to go to the internet archives to see what your old theme looked like and I totally agree, it was maybe a bit too busy with the two columns on the right but now it’s fixed!

    I’ve been following Derek for a while and the guy definitely knows his stuff.

    Now, I don’t agree 100% with everything he says but we can’t deny he has done some pretty intensive research on what makes people “tick” when using websites.

    About the Thesis theme, that was the first premium theme I ever used and I still haven’t taken the time to learn the newer 2.x version but I definitely will.

    Oh and the Social Triggers skin looks great here, good job Jim!

    Sergio
    Sergio Felix recently posted..Authority Blog Profits: Behind The ScenesMy Profile

    • jupiterjim

      Sergio,

      thanks for the compliments and for taking the time to visit and comment on my site. I am very good at Thesis 2.1, so if you ever need any help, let me know! I am a huge fan of Thesis and Thesis 2.1 allows you to do so much that would require LOTS of PHP coding if you were on any other theme to do certain customizations like custom sidebars for certain pages, etc.

      And, yes, Derek definitely knows his stuff even if I don’t agree with every single thing either. For instance, he does NOT believe you should have a search bar on your site in case someone searches for something and cannot find it. I need to add my search bar here when I get the chance! LOL

      Very impressed that you went the internet archives to check out my old site! LOL

      Muchisimas Gracias, Mi Hermano!

      ~ Jupiter Jim
      jupiterjim recently posted..How to Add SEO Optimized Images to WordPress 3.6.1 Blog Posts and PagesMy Profile

  • Content is king but in todays time you can’t be dependent only on a thing so the social triggers skin is a good thing you can look to get more out of the business.The reasons of changing is also very interesting and I’m thinking also to do that.
    Frank Simmons recently posted..What Accessories Are Available For Samsung Galaxy S5?My Profile

  • Hi Jim,

    I think your blog with the new theme is looking awesome indeed :)

    At the end of the day you need to do what works and what makes your blog more reader friendly too. With all the new themes coming up that are rightly optimized with all the latest features, it only makes sense to do so – great going indeed!

    Thanks for sharing. Happy weekend :)
    Harleena Singh recently posted..SYPS: Are You Facing These Family Problems in Your LifeMy Profile

    • jupiterjim

      Harleena,

      Love your latest blog post on what exactly is a “Pro Blogger”. I think anyone who is earning half of a full time income is definitely a Pro Blogger. Also, I did a post a long time ago. It said your site has momentum when you’ve got 1,000 subscribers and 10,000 visitors per month. I think anyone with stats like that is either a Pro Bloggers or VERY CLOSE to being a Pro Blogger.

      As for my Thesis Theme skin that I’m using. I’m glad you like it. It’s not fancy, but like I said in the artcile, it downloads fast and is easy to navigate!

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. And thanks for your great blog, too!!!

      ~ Jupiter Jim
      jupiterjim recently posted..Why I switched to Social Triggers Skin for Thesis 2.1My Profile

  • Hey Jim,

    I’m curious… I still use 1.8.5 because I love Thesis and do NOT want to change no matter who preaches to me about Genesis but I was told to not go up to the 2.0 version with a current blog. Is that still the case or did you totally rebuild your entire blog?

    You’re the pro of course and prefer to take your recommendation but I’m afraid that they’ll stop supporting the lower version eventually and I’ll have no choice but to move to another theme or something.

    I like the new look though but I liked the other one too. I hope to make some slight changes in the near future but for now I’m still happy with my boring, simple layout! ;-)

    Thanks Jim and hope you’re having an awesome day.
    Adrienne recently posted..How To Build A Rockin Successful Email ListMy Profile

    • jupiterjim

      Adrienne,

      First of all, thanks for dropping by and commenting! I know you are really busy with your blog. You do NOT have a ‘simple boring layout’ as you say. It’s a great layout. Much like the layout of this site. It is quite clear from the number of commenters on your latest blog post that people are on your site for the content not for fancy banners, colors and layouts. Your site, much like mine downloads fast, is easy to read and navigate. People like that.

      I have heard Chris Pearson himself say that he has tens of thousands of people out there using Thesis 1.8.5, therefore, he will NEVER abandon support for that version or the people that are using it. So when updates are needed to keep up with the latest version of WordPress, or to meet new security requirements, then the updates will be made in a timely fashion.

      Thesis 1.8.5 and Thesis 2.1 are two completely different entities. You cannot simply Update to Thesis 2.1. Yes, you will need to have someone like me rebuild your site. There is no need to upgrade if you are happy with your current site. Thesis 2.1 is MUCH easier to build custom page templates which means its So EASY to create a page that has a different sidebar with different widgets or NO footer, OR a different banner, etc. So when the time is right, you should switch. But as long as you are happy with 1.8.5, then you can keep that for as long as you want without fear of losing support or having it become outdated.

      There are many nice things about Genesis, for instance there are currently a LOT more child themes to choose from. However, with Thesis 2.1 it is easy to make significant customizations on a page that would require LOTS of PHP coding in Genesis to do the same thing. So it is just going to depend on what you are looking for. Obviously, if you are so inclined, I say stick with Thesis all the way!!!

      Keep in touch!!!

      ~ Jupiter Jim
      jupiterjim recently posted..How to Install TubePress Video Gallery Plugin in WordPressMy Profile

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