I 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.
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.