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.