If you are looking for a blogging theme that looks great and is easy to set up, then you won’t be disappointed with Hive. The theme is clean & crisp and has some lovely built-in formatting options. However, Hive is a magazine theme designed with feature images as the focal point for each blog post. So before you steam ahead with this theme – be sure you feel confident that images will be readily available for your blogging venture.
Feature Image or to not Feature Image?
When posting, you have the option of setting a featured image or inserting an image into the blog post. The first image you insert will be the lead image for the post and will display on the homepage. To right, left or centre align an image in your post – hover over the image for these options in WordPress editor.
If you decide to set a feature image, the image will display with a hover effect on the homepage. The hover over picture is a feature of theme and will display the first letter in the blog title. If you changed your blog title and the letter changes, then this will also change.
You can funky up your blog titles for your homepage using the auto-style post titles feature contained within the theme. This uses a series of rules based on your title’s punctuation marks and letter case such as;
Uppercase words and words followed by an exclamation mark are made «bold»;
Everything between : and ? or ! is made «italic»;
Everything before : is made «bold»;
In a title with only a ? in it, everything at the left of the question mark is «bold», and everything at the right «italic».
The theme also offers you a range of formatting options in the editor, like dropped cap, quotes, bold text etc. which brings the magazine design to life.
If you want a post to stay at the top of the homepage – then tick the box ‘stick this post’.
Sidebar or Distraction Free Reading?
The theme does not allow you to limit the sidebar to specific pages. When you start adding sidebar widgets, a sidebar will be applied site wide. However, if you have organised your blog and stay consistent, then categories & related posts sidebar content can help people navigate and stay on your blog for longer. Encouraging people with a call-to-action sign up is also helpful to get your word out there. You can rearrange and change these in the section labelled widgets in the dashboard menu.
If you can’t see the section in your text editor for inserting an excerpt, then check screen options at the top of your WordPress text editor and select excerpt. You have the option to override the excerpt by adding a ‘read more’ tag, which is the introduction paragraph that will display on the homepage. I would recommend that you create an excerpt for each post, which allows you to create a synopsis introduction for your blog posts.
Final Thoughts on Images
Images will help to make your blog visually pleasing, so not only will you need to think about the theme of your blog and blog content, but each image associated with your posts and layout of your blog homepage.
Consider how to use the theme’s grid layout to create the aesthetic of your homepage. You’ll note that the theme’s demo uses black & white images – but colour will work just as well. Also, if your feature image is portrait then the theme will change the layout of your homepage.
Inserting an image is optional, as the demo displays some posts which have no image assigned. Use this to your advantage when considering your blogging schedule and blog homepage layout.
To maintain a consistent homepage, stick to a single image theme, whether it be colourful, minimalistic or white. A tool that will help you create and edit your images is Canva. With Canva you can resize and crop your images as well as apply filters – when applying filters pick ONE filter and stick with it.
Finding images for your blog can be challenging but there are plenty of free sources. Try 53+ Free Image Sources For Your Blog and Social Media Posts
Hive theme is included in the WordPress.com premium plan or can be purchased for a self-hosted site.