WordPress themes

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?


11 thoughts on “WordPress themes

  1. -white background !
    -three or two columns
    -fixed width

    and something with lot of blue/gray and a little bit of black/orange wolud be nice.

  2. I am finding darker (not black, just dark) backgrounds actually easier on the eyes. And as you say better for photos (of which yours are so interesting).

    Am not familiar with the options on WordPress – Blogger’s options are supremely boring, which is why I keep changing my colours trying to liven it up when I get bored with the template.

    Sometimes too much choice is a bad thing.

    And the way it is set up at the moment is NOT good as it does not fit my screen and although I’m lazy with the scrolling ‘right’ to read the other column, I’m also nosey.

  3. Valuable feedback, especially Violet as I rather like this (the journalist) theme because it is not as skinny as others, therefore less down scrolling required. BUT, if it does not fit screens and needs left-right scrolling, that’s not good.

    Okay, back to the drawing board!

    Right – this new one is called “light” and I quite like it. Nice and simple, two columns, fixed width, no custom header but I can live without one. Does this work for you with the width, Violet?

  4. LemonChiffon background, 61% Grey text and Slate Grey header text plus miniscule mascot/id. pics ……????
    Column width ok, rest bin :) (p.s. am viewing at 1280 x 1024 res.).

    Has that helped? ;)

  5. Aaah, the light! The light! They nassty hobbitsses are hurtin usss…!

    Seems to me darker backgrounds make things easier to read. I hardly see the grey of the right column now. [*departs whistling Bruce’s “57 channels and nothin’s on”*]

  6. I think the golden rule is “you can please some of the people all of the time or all of the people some of the time but you can’t please…….”

    Ad – no!

  7. Fits beautifully, with room to spare!
    Miss the custom header, though. But can’t have everything…

    The colour fades quite quickly, but is a nice touch.

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