Blog Templates: I'm Going Back to Blogger Dark Dots

I've decided. When I get home from work tonight, I'm going back to the original blogger template I had when I started the blog: The old dark dots.

Image hosting by Photobucket

I really liked the look of the template, and if truth be told, it's really not a lot different than the template I have now, except that my current template has some nice pictures on it. If you look at the sidebar, it's organized the same way. The text, the bullets, the headings, they're all the same, really.

I've decided to go back to Blogger's Dark Dots for several reasons:

1. I've had some complaints that my template takes too long to load because of the background image in dial up. I never considered this. It has been suggested to me that I'm not winning as many battles in Blog Explosion Battle of the Blogs because nobody gets to see my blog before the 20 seconds is up. Actually, I think that problem is more related to Blogger server slowness than anything else, but I think it's also a legitimate complaint for some.

2. While I really love the design of my new template, I think it takes away from the content of my posts. I originally started blogging because I thought I had some things to say. I think pretty pictures distract from that, and I would like to focus more on my content without the peer pressure that comes with trying to compete with other well-designed blogs.

3. Michelle from Jazz Coffee says that thirty years from now, the orginial blogger templates will be viewed as vintage and classic, so after the current fads of cartoon character blogs fade, everyone will want one of the originals. I think this makes sense. So why not just stay with an original all along?

4. Shelly from the Dramedy of Life thinks my blog is hard to read because of the white text on black. Personally, I don't see it. I think my font is quite easy to read, but I use IE7. In truth, Firefox thins out my font a little, so depending on Shelly's screen resolution and browser, it may indeed be very difficult to read. I hadn't considered this. With my current template, I don't have the option of changing the background color. If I did, it would really destroy the look of the blog, and I don't have the heart to go to Stephanie and ask for a redesign. It would take weeks to work out new color schemes and blend them with the photos--we would probably have to change photos and the header graphic and the background to make it all work right with a different color font.

5. Most importantly, the new graphical look isn't helping expand my readership base. I was getting just as many hits if not more with my original look supplied by Blogger. When I was in Alaska, when I started this blog, I was receiving about 550 hits a day. I switched my counter to ClustrMaps when I got back from Alaska, so those initial hits aren't reflected in my current tally; but I was getting emails from climbers at Everest Base Camp because of the info I had posted regarded Denali. It's funny...I was getting more hits from Nepal than I was from Columbus.

So all in all, tomorrow, I'll be switching back to Blogger's Dark Dots. I hope none of you will be disappointed by the decision, but I think in the long run, it's for the best.

Oh, and Stephanie...

April Fool.

Thanks for reading.

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Clublint said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh that was mean!!!

I'm adding your blog to the BlogAdvance Directory and I was taking a thumbnail pic when the title caught my eye and I thought "oh no! This template is beautiful" and damnit I was getting all ready to leave a comment telling you that it was a shame that you had to revert back to a blogger template.

Great blog. The content is top notch and I love the template.

April 01, 2006 8:11 AM
Suburban Turmoil said...

Very funny. :)

If you'd like to join the Perfect Post Awards for next month, send me an e-mail and I'll add you to the mailing list.

Thanks for stopping by!

April 01, 2006 12:21 PM
Ali said...

Can't believe it - I've just begun blogging and I'm trying to find out how to make the thing look better. I started with dots template and wanted a few good examples based on it, so when I saw your post I got all excited. Sadly now it's back to the drawing board and wrestling with html. You did make me laugh though.

April 01, 2006 12:54 PM
Matthew S. Urdan said...


Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your comment. I'm glad I made you laugh, but I didn't mean to discourage you. If you're looking for another look for your blog, I'd be more than happy to help. I started 3 months ago and you can see where I've come from and where I've gone too. There are a number of great free templates on the web that you can use, or there are a number of great web designers out there that will design templates for you from anywhere between $25 and $400 US dollars. I paid $75 for mine, which was triple the asking price of the designer I chose because I was very specific about what I wanted and pretty demanding about adjustments as the template took place.

I'm heading to work right now, but if you're interested on working on changing the look of your blog, or finding new templates, drop me an email. I'd be more than happy to help you out.

Good luck with your new blog! It really is an amazing community out there.

I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but comments are currently restricted to team members, which means might want to alter that if you want other people to leave comments on your blog.

Matt Urdan

April 01, 2006 1:09 PM
ChadGramling said...

I must say, you have beaten me in BOTB many times with both designs - so who knows if my opinion matters, but I'll offer it anyway. When I am voting in BOTB, if one blog is using an obvious template and the other isn't, I automatically give the edge to the one who isn't (unless the template is modified so it is not obvious). I get tired of seeing the same designs - not matter how good they are. So, if you go back, maybe you should try to make some changes to personalize the template. Maybe change the colors of the dots or something. Just my two cents. Keep up the good work.

April 01, 2006 1:15 PM
Michele said...

I knew when i started reading it ,
you were april fooling me matt.

April 01, 2006 2:02 PM
Anonymous said...

The white on black text is a little hard to read. Not because of the size of the font, but because it looks harsh and is kinda bright on the eyes. Even just changing the white to an off white shade would help.

April 01, 2006 2:10 PM
Anonymous said...

LMAO!!!! You really got me! That *certainly* got my attention!! I started reading, and I was thinking "kill....killllll.....killlllllllllll". Man, you really did get me. Michele left a comment on my blog and I fell for it all the way. I was ready to come knocking at your door with a baseball bat :P

If you all knew how long it took and how difficult it was to make this &^#*&^@ template, you'd know that I really was getting very heated reading that. lmao Good one, Matt, you really got me :D

April 01, 2006 2:43 PM
Mr. Guesa said...

If you're having problems with it, go check out this site (this is the woman who created my template, she did it fast and for very cheap).

Everything loads fast, but what you have to realize is that if you want to win battles on 'battle of the blogs' you need a custom template. I just put mine up two days ago after losing around 130 battles before doing so. I've won 9/10 now and I'm sure the template is why.

Check this link out:

Tell her I sent you.

April 01, 2006 2:52 PM
Mr. Guesa said...

Oh, and also. Wager more credits in the blog battles so people will vote on your battle before anybody elses. The one I have going with Rocky Jay right now won't go that fast because we didn't wager that many credits. But that's my advice if you want them to go by in a half an hour, just wager around 40-50 credits each time and they'll blow right by since when surfing you only get .50 credits if you offer more on your battle people jump all over it because they get more credits and waste less time.

April 01, 2006 2:53 PM
Mr. Guesa said...

I'm an idiot...

April 01, 2006 3:12 PM
guppyman said...

Hey... thanks for stopping by today.... I forgot all about the whole April fool's thing today.... But I did get another post up finally.... Now I gotta go think of an April fool's joke or something....

April 01, 2006 4:49 PM
Unknown said...

That's too funny. I clicked in and my first thought was, "Sweet template!" LOL, of course I have broadband, so there was little or no delay loading.

Nice job taking me out in BotB, a good win too, 10-5. I appreciate the comments btw. I actually go to school with a couple of guys from Michigan, nice guys!

April 01, 2006 5:44 PM
New York City's Watchdog said...

That was the GREATEST April Fool's Joke I saw on any blog at all today... fantastic!!!

April 01, 2006 7:11 PM
Anonymous said...

Hah! Here for the first time via Shelly and I was thinking. "Wow, he's really thought this decision through" Then you said the thing about not being able to change the white on black and I thought "that can't be right" so I whipped out the firefox web developer extension (totally good! can change the css without it saving just to see what needs changing!)and was playing with the CSS and got it to black on white. Then I got to the end of the post and here you are - very funny.

April 01, 2006 7:35 PM
Cat said...

I had a feeling...but wasn't sure. I read the post and you were quite good at leading me on!

April 01, 2006 7:39 PM
Shelly said...

Excellent April Fool's joke! I totally forgot that today was the day. When I first started reading all I could think was noooooooo! LOL Have a great weekend!

April 01, 2006 10:50 PM
Matthew S. Urdan said...

Seventeen Replies! What a glorious day I've had. Thank you all for reading and allowing me to have a little or a lotta fun at your expense. I really appreciate you reading my blog, and this post in particular. I hope you all have had as much fun as I've had. Every day in the blogosphere should be filled with this kind of fun for everyone.

April 02, 2006 4:25 AM
Mr. Fabulous said...

18 replies.

Very good joke! I'm glad you went through with yours, unlike me.

Thanks for stopping by!

April 02, 2006 8:55 PM
Anonymous said...

You got me also. This was a classic, I have been to your site at least three times today during your battles, and finally read the ending. This is a classic and should go down in blogging history.

April 03, 2006 12:36 AM
Anonymous said...

Why don't you just optimise your graphics and leave it as it is? My favourite customised blog of the moment is Not sure about the content though.

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