Soooo…I’m looking at my theme and thinking, This page just doesn’t convey the point of my blog.
It’s certainly bright enough—a nice sunny yellow border. And a lot of people like sunflowers, like the ones I have at the top of my home page. I had taken that photo a long time ago, when I still lived in the Los Angeles area, where a bunch of in-season sunflowers were relatively inexpensive. I love sunflowers, and so I scooped up a couple of bunches at Trader Joe’s. The problem is, sunflowers have so little to do with learning of any kind, much less learning about writing. Time to reassess the photo.
But there are other things wrong with my page. First, some of the other blogs linked in the header haven’t been touched in years, especially the ones on Blogger. The Blogger sites were used to review books written for children and young adults. When my general ramblings turned into activities for teachers and parents, I thought I would be linking to these blogs to provide helpful ways of using books and stories in working with children with learning difficulties or behavioral issues. Even though the blog sites were right in front of me, I kept forgetting I had them, kept forgetting to write reviews on children’s and YA books, and—because I was rather inconsistent with my blogging—forgot that those sites even existed. In fact, I think some of the sites no longer exist. Clearly, the “blog roll” needs to be updated and changed.
And then there are all the tags and categories added when I had no idea what I was doing, not that I’m much more aware now. Some of the posts are ancient history. These need to be re-categorized and archived. Lots of work to be done there…
However, what about the basic theme? The sidebar is so cluttered that I know I need to get rid of some of the widgets, or at least move them around. And the widgets along the bottom…well, they need some work as well.
The real question is whether this theme—Twenty Ten—is the one I should continue to use, or whether I should choose a different theme. The rest of the items I mentioned above are all easy enough to fix in this theme. I can change the background color, the photo, rearrange the widgets or remove some, change the blog roll in the area just below the photo… In all, I like the simplicity of this theme. And yet…
Things I can’t do with it are change the font. This may sound like a minor inconvenience, but to me it is a problem. I love playing with fonts and using different ones for different purposes. I don’t like to have one default font that is basically forced on me. I like the ability to change the font of the title, and to change my headings and subheading the way I want. I don’t like that I cannot change the color of the font in various places to serve as emphasis or to mark a change in the direction of the content, especially in the headings. I like colorful delineation, and fonts that are different for the headings. And I do not like the default (read: only) font used for the title of a piece, and I hate the font used for my blog name.
So why haven’t I changed the theme? Well, the theme I started out with at the very beginning—or perhaps it was a former version of this theme—was great and gave me a lot more flexibility in the appearance of my site. This theme, however, provided more flexibility in things like the number of widgets and placement of certain items. I don’t remember exactly what caused me to change the theme, but I have used it for several years. I am not sure when I lost the ability to choose different fonts, and suspect that that occurred during a theme “upgrade.” Whatever the reason(s), this theme either was OK with me at the time, or I didn’t have the necessary information and skills to change to another theme. To be honest, every time I look for another theme, I feel overwhelmed by the number of possibilities, both free and for purchase. So I have left the theme, with its many faults, the way it was when I started. But that is going to change as I begin experimenting with various themes over the next several weeks or months.
My wish list for a theme is
- Clean and simple appearance
- Room for lots of widgets
- Availability of different fonts
- Ability to change the color of fonts wherever I want
- A more powerful blog name area
- A choice of title fonts
- Ability to easily change the site’s header photos
- The ability to add photos in the sidebar
- A better blog roll
- A place to add blogs I follow that are relevant to my blog’s purpose
The list is getting longer as I type. I hadn’t realized I wanted so many things, only a few of which are available from this theme.
Time to go “shopping” for a new theme—don’t be surprised when you return to my site sometime in the near future and everything about it has changed except the name of the blog…because I really do like “Write of Passage.”