The problem with writing a blog post daily is that I have to look at my blog every day. Seriously. I look for comments, post the entry to my Flipboard and Pinterest accounts, and use it to jump start my daily thinking since I had written the post on the previous day. Do I still feel the same? More importantly, were there any typos?
After a while, it becomes a bit boring looking at the same theme and colours. I thought – if I just blogged once in a while then it wouldn’t be such a big deal. It would always look new.
So, if you have been following along on the web, you’ll notice that I made a big change to the appearances around here last week. After a while, “features” become “old hat” and you want a change. That was me.
The orange-ish theme that I had used previously was built around a sunset picture that I had taken a while ago. It all seemed to match nicely so I was very happy with it. Then, I got a couple of requests asking how to get to the “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” archive. When I looked critically at the design, it and all the other quick links had all been rolled up into a hamburger menu and you had to dig into that menu to get there.
As a result, I went to see what was new with WordPress. Quite frequently, talented artists will provide new themes designed to make things look differently. It reminded me of why I chose WordPress as a blogging platform to begin with. It’s so customizable. My poking around had me looking at a theme called Lodestar.
Then, it was off to customize.
As I was looking at the various permutations of colours, I thought that I would address something that had sort of bothered me for a while. The background of the previous theme was a bright white white to mimic paper. It looks great when you’re in a brightly lit room but if you scan the blog in bed in the dark, it was a little harsh on the eyes. I found myself turning down the brightness when there just because… Later, I would turn it up.
Lodestar had a fix for that. One of the palettes had a darkish background. It reminded me of the colours of the Cinnamon desktop default.
I liked it – chose it – and applied it to the blog and sat back and enjoyed. Not only did I think that it looked good but all of the things that were previously hidden in the hamburger menu were now in the header and the right column so that they were easily available. I even ditched the previous header image in favour of one that came with the theme. I was pretty geeked about things.
In good design principles, I checked it with a number of browsers, on a tablet, and on my phone. Looking good; let’s put it into production.
Then came a message from my friend Andy Forgrave. Could I go in and fix some typos that he had made? Using the browser on his iPhone, he couldn’t see things in the editor with the new theme. Of course, I made the changes immediately for him. Not only was I happy that someone had replied but that they had actually proofread their reply.
If you know Andy, you know that he’s always willing to help with things so I asked him to reload the page to see if the problem persisted. In fact, it did.
This just wouldn’t do. When you’re lucky enough to get a commenter, you want to make sure that they have a good experience. I guess the dark theme isn’t for every device. While I liked the theme, I chose the different palette you see today. It was important to me that the background wasn’t bright white so I settled for the pink/grey/off-white colour. (I’m not really sure what colour it actually is… little help here?)
Things aren’t perfect. If you check the right column, you’ll see that some of the graphics don’t have a transparent colour option and so they sit on a white background. I probably should tinker with those to see what I can do.
For the most part, I’m happy and will stick with this theme for a while until the itch starts up again.
Maybe someone should start a meme and suggest that you change your theme when you roll your clocks backwards or forwards. It’s easier than getting the ladder out to change the batteries in the smoke detector although nowhere near the same priority.
How about you, fellow bloggers? When was the last time you had the blogging itch and decided to change things up a bit. Or, does it matter to you?
p.s. I know some blogs that I certainly would change if I was the owner…just sayin’