Following are the questions I am most commonly asked via email and I thought it might be helpful to have the answers all in one place rather than re-typing them all the time.
Question: “I downloaded your theme and I want to make some changes to the design, is that okay?”
Answer: Absolutely! I think half the fun of having a blog is being about to modify your theme and make it your own. It would be great if you’d leave the link back to my site in the footer, but that’s not a requirement either. Have at it! Hack up the theme! Make it your own.
Question: Maybe you’ve read my article, The easy way to learn CSS and customize your blog theme and you want to try making changes to your blog only to hit the issue that one user of my themes recently e-mailed about: “I’m locked out of the edit process with a message saying ‘if this file were writable you could edit it’- help!”
Answer: This happens because the “permissions” need to be changed through your FTP client to make your theme files writeable. I always point people to this post that gives instructions on how to do a CHMOD (the fancy, techie term for this) in several commonly used FTP clients.
Question: “I want to edit the About section but I can’t figure out where to do that.”
Answer: You can edit the theme files in the Editor under Appearance in the WordPress admin menu. Look for r_sidebar.php to edit the About section in the Bluebird theme, for example. However, I really recommend that you instead use Widgets to manage your sidebar. When you put widgets in the sidebar sections it overrides what I’ve put there by default in the theme.
Question: “Did you know Twitter stole your Bluebird to use in their logo?”
Answer: Yes. Yes I did. Those jerks! ………just kidding. The bluebird is a stock illustration for which I paid a lot of money to be able to use it in a theme. I happened to buy the same one that Twitter did. Why would the application that is the most popular thing since sliced bread use a stock illustration for their brand image? Hmmm… good one. I don’t know- see if it’s in their FAQ.
Question: “Why do you have comments turned off on all your posts?”
Answer: I have found that after a certain point in the life of a post, the overwhelming majority of comments left are from those who are purely looking to get a “followed link” from my site. They found me listed on some “get a followed link from a high PR site” post or forum somewhere and stop by, barely read a post, and leave a lame comment with keywords in the name field and leave, never to be seen again. Moderating all those comments got really old, so once I realized I was getting no comments of any value after a certain point, I turned them off.
Question: “You’re supposed to be a “do follow” blog. I can see with my special Firefox plugin thingie that not all the links in your comments are followed though – you hypocrite!!!”
Answer: I choose whom I will and will not follow based on several factors. A wise blog owner gives link love to their readers who comment, and not the drive-by commenters who will never be seen again. Also, obsessing about “do follow blogs” is so last year. Try obsessing about creating great content instead.