So, I finally changed my theme.

Wow!  I changed to the Twenty Eleven theme!  Granted, it’s a similar theme to the Twenty Ten theme I was using.   But I’m proud of myself for taking this scary step.

It took me two years to work up the courage to change my theme at all.  I didn’t dare try anything too drastically different from Twenty Ten.  I was terrified of losing all my information, post counts, etc.

It wasn’t so bad.  In fact, I think it’s a much cleaner look, especially since I changed the color theme and background photo to something less dark and depressing, and more soothing and oceanic.   I changed the font as well.    The only thing I’m displeased with is the header menu.  I can’t seem to change the font in that.  I think it’s clunky looking, so I may get rid of some of the topic headings to make it more streamlined at least.

I was able to replace most of my old widgets (they do disappear when you change your theme, so you have to put them in again) but chose to leave a few out.  Again, I’m going for a cleaner looking, more readable blog.    I also changed the Sharing buttons to the stylized logos, which I think look better.   It appears my post counts weren’t lost, which I was afraid of, so that’s a relief.

I hope you all like my blog’s new look.  Please leave your (honest!) opinions in the comments.  Even if you hate the new look, please let me know.

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I might want to change the look of this blog, but…

what_to_do

I’m considering changing my theme to a completely different look, but I have a question for WordPress bloggers who have done this.

I’m really nervous about changing my theme because I’ve heard horror stories of people losing their posts, comments, likes, etc. I’ve also heard you can lose all your widgets and have to start from scratch putting them back up. Is that true? That would be a heck of a lot of work and I don’t have time to do all that.

Also, because this blog is becoming so much more active and popular (and fairly soon I will run out of space if that continues), I’m considering switching from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, which would mean I’d have to find an outside host. How do you find an outside host? Is it expensive? Are there free hosting sites? If I have to use an outside host, then what becomes the role of WordPress?

Switching to a WP.org account makes me nervous. When you import from WP.com to WP.org, what happens to your blog while it’s importing? Is there a chance it could get lost in the ether and disappear? The prospect of that scares me a lot. I’ve heard it’s happened to people.
I have no idea how to save a backup copy of this blog while it’s importing, or is that automatically done as part of the import process?

What happens to the sense of community? One of the things I love about WP.com is that sense of community and the ability to follow other WP bloggers. With WP.org do you still have that capability? I’ve been told you do not.

If I use WP.org, do I need to know how CSS works? I am not a web designer and even though I have the upgrade that includes CSS, I have no idea how to use it. 😦

Is there a way to compress or put old articles in an archive or zip file, without having to switch over to WP.org? I know, so many questions.

Any advice anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated.