I really liked the way Twenty Fifteen looked, especially the transparent left sidebar. It was elegant. Unfortunately, the issues I noticed when I started using it only became more intrusive over the weeks.

  • Slow loading. It not only loaded slowly, it suffered from blackouts, sometimes so long, I wondered if it was gone for good.
  • Text handling sucked. Bullets, block quotes, numbering? All useless. Would not align with the main text.
  • Font size. Everything looked tiny on the dashboard, huge on the display.
  • Spacing. Lots of glitches in spacing. That’s a problem with WordPress in general since they decided that how things look is more important than how they work, but much worse in Twenty Fifteen than anything else I’ve used. I like white space as much (or more) than most people, but not quite that much. Lots of space left at the end of each post and no way to remove it.
  • Headers were disproportionately large compared to text. It looked ugly.
  • Formats were weird. Twenty Fifteen offers a wealth of post formats, but most of them don’t work. They display poorly, size badly, and are unstable. I stopped using everything except “standard.”

It felt fragile, as if it was going to blow up any minute. When I changed the “header image,” really sidebar pictures, the original solid blue would show, which means the theme doesn’t clean out the previous item, just puts another layer on top of it. That’s a lot of stuff for a theme to deal with. No wonder it was so slow.


This is Wilson. It looks a lot like Twenty Fifteen, but without the transparent graphical sidebar. It doesn’t allow a header picture, just a small logo graphic over the blog title. I decided I could live with it. Serendipity is graphics-heavy anyway.

This — presumably — gives me most of what I want and doesn’t require I completely redesign everything. I haven’t tested all its functions yet. There may well be glitches I haven’t encountered.

At least I like the way it’s shaped, how it presents photographs. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but maybe that’s just as well since the bells and whistles seem to be a minus rather than a plus.

I want something that has good navigation in a left sidebar, gives pictures room to breathe. Handles text at least as well as early versions of Word Star (for you senior geeks, a blast from the past). Understands the concept of left alignment, and offers a balanced white-space-to-text ratio.

I’m getting weary of trying to find a theme the looks good and isn’t full of bugs. Let’s hope this one fits the bill. I’ll get back to you on this.

Categories: Blogging, Graphics and Design, Software, Technology, WordPress

Tags: , , , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. I need to change my rather ageing theme, but I’m too lazy and I’m worried about all the work I might have to do in reformatting and such 🙂


  2. I understand completely! I’m having a hard time with my own theme and have tried several, as you know. I am getting fed up with all the glitches, but am determined not to leave WordPress because I really can’t afford a private blog, etc. Hope this one works for you and does everything you need!


  3. There are some blogs I visit with really painstakingly slow loading themes, even worse than what Twenty Fifteen was doing to yours. I love the ones that load the text, have it all disappear for 5 seconds, reload it again only to have it once again vanish… rinse, wash, repeat however many times WordPress so desires. Some of the funky loading may be due to widgets or other features those people have on their blogs, but I visited a blog earlier this morning that would have given an epileptic a seizure with all the loading and reloading it was doing. It would be about 30 seconds before I could FINALLY read the damn post! Do they even test these themes before they unleash them on the masses? Well, I guess we all know the answer to that question…


    • I’m careful to limit the kind of widgets I use. All just text or simple graphics, nothing fancy, nothing animated. I think it was that transparent sidebar … but it did the disappear, reappear, disappear and finally, slowly, one pixel at a time, load thing. The text handling was primitive and BAD. Twenty Fifteen is their “flag” theme. You’d think at least this one theme would work properly, wouldn’t you? Well, we’d be wrong. Anyway, if this starts to misbehave, I don’t know what to do next. I’m running out of options.


  4. Simple but elegant. I tried the Twenty Fifteen theme and gave it up within hours. Totally useless. So I changed to the Bouquet theme. It took a bit of work and trying to find the right images to get rid of the sickly pink colours but I can live with it now, but only just.


  5. I like this theme, but I prefer my sidebar on the right. Is that an option, or is the sidebar only available on the left?


    • This is not a very flexible theme, so I think it’s fixed left. For photographs, I like the left sidebar. For text, I don’t care, but I always feel like my pictures are trapped by a right sidebar. You can take a look at it. But I think it’s fixed left. I would have used a right sidebar if I hadn’t been able to find an acceptable theme otherwise. I’m getting tired of changing themes. I need this to not break down.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I do like this, I just can’t see using it for myself. Fingers crossed that Wilson behaves for you 🙂


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