Updates to the Theatre Breaks blog
A couple of weeks ago we changed the theme on the London Theatre Breaks blog from the old Regulus which served us well for a couple of years but is now looking out dated, which frankly it is. We chose a variant of the magazine theme Mimbo which seems to suit the type of content we publish about West End theatre breaks, and makes use of of thumbnail pictures in the extracts for navigation. At the same time we abandoned the practice of having the blog on a different page to the home page, losing the static front page. There are pros and cons to this decision so we’ll have to see how it works out in tandem with other changes to the way the blog works in the light of fluctuating conditions in the market.
The other thing that has been implemented is the Contents list on category pages, which we hope will aid navigation within the topics for each show for visitors. This has been acheived using a specially commissioned WordPress plugin, small but effective. The idea is that when a visitor arrives at the blog, probably through organic search which throws up the URL and page for the category page in the search results, then the list of contents published at the top of the category page, a list of clickable links, will enable the visitor to quickly navigate to one of the articles which most closely matches what they are really interested in. This method has been tested already on the DARnet blog where it seems to be working OK and has also been extended to the TAG pages. The downside might be that severeal different ways of arriving at the same content might be presented to search engines but the feeeling these days is that this won’t actually do any harm as long as it helps the visitor to get access to the information they are looking for.
The Mimbo theme uses an image manipulation script called Tim Thumb that has been known to cause problems with some web hosts, depending on how paranoid they are at configuring their own settings. It takes the image which has already been uploaded to a subdirectory within the wordpress installation and then creates alternative sized versions of the image for use in thumbnails pictures on the home page , and also on the category and tag pages depending on which template is enabled.