HUNTING FOR A THEME

Having crashed and burned with Blogly, I’m not about to buy another theme. Probably never. Regardless, we all need a theme, a template for our pictures and writing. During this past week, I used two themes I’d worked with in the past: Yoko and Able. Both are clean and simple.

I quickly abandoned Yoko after encountering a problem with font sizes in the headers. I went back to Able which, while uninspiring and lacking pizzazz, is stable and more or less glitch free — at least as far as I can tell. It’s my fallback position. Able isn’t fancy, but it works.

twenty-fifteen

Nonetheless, I wanted a theme with a bit more dash. As I’ve been visiting other bloggers, I’ve also been theme shopping. Looking at templates to see if they might suit me. And — I think — I found one. I hope.

So far, so good.

Twenty Fifteen is the most recent of WordPress’s annual default themes. Each year beginning in 2010, WordPress has created a “flagship” theme for the year. It becomes the default template for new blogs. Thus, if you are a new blogger, this will be the theme you will automatically use unless you pick something different.

When I visited Nancy Merrill today, I noticed she had changed themes, had switched to Twenty Fifteen. I liked the look of it. I asked her how she liked it. She said she did like it, though it had taken a bit of fiddling with the header image (really, in this case, a sidebar image) to make it look right.

Forewarned is forearmed. It turns out that the default proportions of many of my pictures fit neatly in the sidebar. The only problem was getting the text to show up clearly against the picture. And matching the background color.

Lucky me, I have the customization package which lets me change colors of fonts, backgrounds, headers, and links. I can also alter other template features, depending on the theme. Some are more amenable to customization than others and it is often impossible to know exactly what you can do with a theme until you test drive it. The package also gives me a domain and more storage space in WordPress’s cloud.

I have come to appreciate being able to customize themes. Fonts and colors make a huge difference. Any theme you use becomes unique. And I have to admit, it’s fun playing with graphics. I enjoy messing around with fonts and backgrounds.

This theme is designed differently than anything I’ve tried before. It doesn’t allow a standard header picture, which is a big change for me. It does let you put a picture in the left sidebar under the text. Like wallpaper. I can change it as often as I want, but I’m trying to lessen the amount of maintenance my site needs. I want to build a little library of sidebar pictures I can change with the seasons, holidays, or special occasions. Or my mood.

So far so good. I haven’t bumped into any glitches. Of course, I’ve only had it up for a day, but it is a well-supported theme. Maybe WordPress’s best-supported theme, being it is the default for 2015. I’m hoping it’s solid.

I’ve learned a lot about what I want in a theme in recent months. The big one, which I never considered in the past, is support. Ironically, there’s better support for popular free themes than for expensive purchased ones. I think that could be considered ironic. Sort of.



Categories: Blogging

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23 replies

  1. I LIKE IT! (Your new theme design) Also, congrats on your FRESHLY PRESSED badge. Well-deserved! ❤

    Like

    • Thanks sweetie. I like the look. I’m not sure how much I like the way it works. It is very slow loading. Unless you know something I don’t know, I’ve had that freshly pressed badge for more than a year. I think this theme shows stuff off better. It was harder to see before 🙂

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  2. So Twenty Ten was the first? Hey, that’s me!

    I’m sure there are numerous bells and whistles I’m missing out on by staying in an old theme (Like colored text… can’t do that), but the tradeoff is the comfort of always having what your theme can do, which other themes might not accommodate. You can’t miss what you never had in the first place…

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  3. I didn’t realize how much I’m missing by blogging from my phone. I can’t see any themes, just photos and words. I’ll have to make a point of sitting down at the desktop occasionally.

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    • I can’t see much even on the iPad — which has a pretty good-sized screen. I have to at least use the laptop (14″) if I want to see anything properly. Especially photographs. I do not like what WordPress is doing with the sizing down. Before they started “improving the experience,” you got a compressed version of a site. Now, you get bits and pieces. Anything smaller than a 7 inch tablet, it isn’t even worth looking.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like this theme, it’s not too fussy and the sidebar is pretty terrific.

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  5. I think it’s pretty — I was playing around with mine a few days ago and then returned to what I was already using.

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    • Thank you. I like the way this looks. I’m not sure yet if I’m happy with how it works. I need to give it more time and see how it shakes out. Yours is just fine too. In the end, the content is what matters. But I do love messing around with graphics.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I like the theme a lot, but have a hard time reading the left side. The white font is hard to read with the back ground picture. OK it might be just me…I need to find my glasses I know they are here somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It IS hard to read, but it’s just the sidebar. The regular posts are okay. I have to diddle with font sizes and colors and see if I can make it better. It also doesn’t look good with my menu and I miss having a menu. But I need to give it a bit more time to see. I’m running out of choices.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I tried the Twenty Fifteen theme for a few days at the beginning of the year, but after just a few days, switched it out for the Big Brother theme. I wrote about why I switched here. But, what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander, so the important thing is whether or not you like it.

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    • The lack of a menu annoys me. And getting the fonts to show over the sidebar picture will need more work on my part. I want to give it a little more time. There are things I like about it, but things I don’t like. It is very slow to load, and that may be its downfall in the end. It loads slower than any theme I’ve used to date. It’s not the size of the picture, or at least I don’t think it is. I want to give it a fair run before I abandon it, but I’m always looking. Reminds me of job hunting. I was always updating my resume. Just in case 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. love the look and the the sidebar!

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  9. I am not keen on tranparent themes, but this one is fine. I like to have the emphasis on what I write, so please big print. I am not so themy, just like to have a header picture to change now and again. My problem at the beginning was choosing a name but then my long time online colleague Mitch helped me out. I have known him since the days of Multiply, a half profi photographer above all. He is not in wordPress, more in facebook groups and Blogger, but he came up with the name “Cat Chronicles” about my cat stories and I adapted it to my own blog, so I now have “Angloswiss Chronicles”. Thanks Mitch. He still looks in daily on my cross posts in Blogspot. I like playing with my photos sometimes to suit what I write. My photoshop disappeared with my toshiba computer which I no longer use because it has Vista, but Ribbet does a lot similar in their advanced programme.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the post layout on this one. I think posts are pretty easy to read, good size text and I can adjust that size, too. Not equally happy about the sidebar text. That’s NOT easy to read … but the posts are and that’s the most important part. I have yet to find any theme that’s has “got it all.” Everything has something I don’t like. I love the way this looks, but I don’t like the lack of a menu or how slowly it loads. It’s particularly sluggish on the iPad where it is so slow I wonder each time if it is going to ever finish. I’m still looking. I wish I could find The Perfect Theme, but I think maybe it doesn’t exist.

      I have never heard of Ribbet before. Lucky for me, I have the DVDs for Photoshop, but it will eventually get old and I am not going to subscribe to it so at some point, I’ll have to get something else. But not yet. So far, so good 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I quite like how this one looks.

    Like

    • Thank you!! I like the way it looks too, thanks. But it is very slow to load and I wonder if it is loading at all on other peoples’ less powerful computers. I need to give it some time, but I do really like the way it looks. If only “looks” were the only consideration!

      Like

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