New Blog Theme – Parker by Station Seven

After a long procrastination, I’ve finally decided to change to a new blog template!

A key reason as to why I had to change a new template was because the loading time of the landing page in my previous template was simply too long.

If you’ve been following my blog, I recently (alright it was quite a month ago) achieved a record number of page views in a day!

The lucky number was 2,323 (views) and it was on 25th Jan 2017 (random Wednesday) where a TV Channel shared the link to my post on their Facebook page.

For comparison sake, my 2016 average daily views was only 330 and right now (Feb 2017) my average has increased 3-fold to 1,105!

On a side note, what makes me really happy is that there had been over 100,000 views for my 2 posts on K-drama filming locations (Goblin & Legend of the Blue Seas)! I have been interested in filming locations for the longest time ever, even during the Taiwan drama days and my first post on K-drama locations was back in 2011 and.. six years later, my same passion and interest became the turning point for my blog!

Anyway, I discovered ‘Station Seven‘ while blog hopping (can’t seem to recall which awesome blog) and I found a template which caught my attention (it was actually another theme – Coastal WordPress Theme). After looking through the available themes from Station Seven, I finally chose Parker Theme after a long decision-making process (Yes, it was that hard to choose).

Despite being better than a beginner (I have basic knowledge of HTML), setting up a theme can be really complicated at times (I even paid money on fiverr for someone to do it for me for a theme 3 years back). Unlike the previous free themes I’d used, this theme was a premium theme ($59 USD) which came with a comprehensive step-by-step installation guide! It was pretty easy, at least for the first part. However, as I was using this theme on an existing website, I did not use the demo content and had to manually set up the required pages and change the pictures accordingly.

Also, please note that the CSS customization portion was also do-it-at-your-own-risk but they do have several CSS references that you are able to edit and these can be really useful. It took me close to a month to settle on the colours, theme, style, fonts that you currently see.

Despite all the hard work (could have been easier if I had more CSS knowledge) involved to set up and customize this theme, I still think that the effort is worthwhile and I really do like my new template.

Read more reviews/comments about this theme on Creative Market.

If you have yet to check out Creative Market, do visit their website as it is my new best friend every Monday as you get to download 6 useful things for free! It’s really a heaven for designers wannabes.

To summarise,

Why this theme is awesome?

  • The landing page is neat and gives you a lot of spaces to feature your nice photos! Nice Photos will usually result in more clicks!
    Also, my loading time is significantly lesser at under 8 seconds! My previous load time was about 15 seconds.
  • The instructions to setup the theme on their guide is quite straightforward.
  • It supports Google Fonts and there are so many fonts you can choose from!
    It took me more than an hour to decide on this final font.

What could have been better?

  • No support for CSS Customization (but this information has been made known before the purchase, if you read the FAQ)
  • The re-sizing of photos done for the different ‘featured image’ sizes might not be perfect at times.
  • My website was ‘blank’ for a while as there was an incompatible plugin with ‘Contact Form 7’.
    I haven’t investigated on what went wrong but when I disabled the plugin, everything was fine.

Anyway, changing my theme seems like the best thing I’ve done my blog this year! I’m not sure if there’s any direct relation but my Facebook Page has seen a small jump in the number of ‘Likes’ and I guess my beautiful template could be one of the reasons!

To see more of their work, visit their website below:

Station Seven

 

Disclaimer: Blog theme has been provided to me for free but all opinions and reviews are my own. No monetary compensation was received in writing this post.

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