Please excuse the buggering around with themes here. I’m having a bit of a crisis of confidence in how the site looks and really can’t find any theme that suits me so it’s a question of which compromise do I like the best. There are 67 themes to choose from in the engine room of WordPress, you would think one of them would be my style but apparently not.
One of the main decisions is how many columns to have, one, two or three. Generally speaking, the main column holds all the posts and the others contain all the bells & whistles, stiff like links, blogroll, archives etc. I find three columns is too confusing and gives too much emphasis to stuff other than the posts, one column is way too skinny so that leaves two columns as the choice and narrows it down to 54 options.
Then there is the question of fixed or flexible width, in other words does the content expand to fill with full width of your screen or is a fixed width in the centre of the screen. I like the idea of flexible but they can look very strange if you have a big widescreen monitor. With the fixed ones, many of them are still too skinny and fill perhaps 25% of the screen width at best. My screen resolution is 1680 x 1050 by the way. So, finding a two column that is not too skinny is tough.
The design of many of the themes is just too feminine with flowers and pretty colours and stuff. I suppose this reflects the high number, and popularity, of “girl power” blogs, which is fine, but they’re not for me. Another 15 themes bite the dust.
Black versus white background? Some of the dark themes are nice but isn’t it a bit depressing and harder to read? On the plus side, photos look good on a darker background so perhaps………
Then there’s the readability, the fonts and size of text. Many themes get this badly wrong and sacrifice readability for the sake of trying to look good. This is stupid, people come here to read stuff. Even more themes die a death.
If you want a custom header – to put you own photo at the top of the page – you’re restricted to 26 themes.
Lastly you have the issue of how the theme works, how it treats your sidebars how it displays posts and photos. Some of them look great until you start trying to work with them. Might be in some cases because I’m using Firefox 3.0 or in others because they are just not designed well but I’ve had a few cases where I’m trying to adjust the sidebars and it tells me I don’t have any!
If I were better at all this IT stuff I could probably do some “custom CSS” and get exactly what I want, but I’m not so I have to make do with the pre-packaged options.
I’ll get there in the end but all comments are welcome from those who actually read this. What’s important to you?