28 Mar 10 9:27 pm
If you don't want to use the AB theme then there are plenty of others available that'll let you upload pretty much any image, but with most you will not have the same control over the look of the site that you do with AB.
In Wordpress go to appearance, add new themes, tick any of the filter boxes that you want...eg custom header, number of columns etc and see what it throws back to you. dkret3 3.4 by Joern Kretzschmar is an example of a fairly basic one that I used to use.
To be honest, and speaking from experience, you could spend hours on this by the time you have worked out what all the options do (and don't) and still not be happy with the look of your site, so if you are super fussy (like most of us!) and don't want to have to get your head around a whole new set of instructions, then just use the AB one seeing as you already have access to it and know how to use it!
As for your second question, I don't know about the technical aspect of blogs vs pages, I'm sure that someone will answer that for you, but from a consumer point of view - my wife makes most of our online purchases and she hates blogs!
She will use them for information, to gather opinions, for research. She'll socialize on them and normally enjoy them, but when she wants to buy something she will hunt down a site that looks like an 'authority' site. Something that has everything clearly outlined in the sidebar, no bs and good, clear, balanced information within.
Now I know that there are some very cleverly designed blogs out there, but if she even gets a whiff that it is a blog, then her mind screams 'opinion!' and she will buy elsewhere..... and that was before she started on this IM trip!
It might be just her, but it also seems to echo the hop counts and conversion rates that we get from our blogs vs static sites.