If you have been come to my blog before, you might be thinking “What the…?” I have made a couple of theme in the last few months, looking for something that reflects who I am, but also doesn’t get in the way of what I am really trying to do with the blog — write and share my interests. While working on Carla’s site makeover, I found a photography theme that I thought would be perfect. In the process of updating her site, I kinda fell in love with the theme and installed it on my site. For Carla’s site, the theme allows her to present rotating full-screen images, as well as implement rich-looking galleries. It’s clean. For me, the theme gave me the opportunity to share some of my photography on the main page, and display some fun background images on various pages.
The love affair with the overall look, for my site at least, began to fade when I started noticing some really buggy stuff going on with the theme’s code. The developer, though relatively responsive, was not terribly helpful. He seems prone to declaring that any issues people encounter with the theme is due to users manipulating the theme’s style sheet. I have some cursory knowledge of HTML and CSS coding, but I rarely touch the theme style sheets unless I am absolutely certain of what I’m doing. One of the things that posed a problem, on Carla’s and my site, was that the blog page wasn’t rendering the background image for the main blog area. The result was a transparency that made it virtually impossible to see the text of the blog article(s). After begging for some help, the developer accessed the control panel to Carla’s site and fixed the code. I copied that code correction over to my site and things appeared to be working fine — with the blog slider background, that is.
There were other buggy CSS issues that I experienced with the DK theme. I noticed that the use of special characters or ALL CAPS in the blog title weren’t handled well, and the title would partially repeat and quotation marks appeared around the special characters or all caps. This problem mainly affected my “now THIS is friday music” series, but it was easy enough to work around. I just couldn’t use special characters or all caps in blog titles. The real problem was that the blog page background wasn’t sticking. In the DK theme, you can use a static background or chose a background gallery. I couldn’t figure how to change the static image that showed up behind individual blog pieces. Logic would suggest that it should be the static image from the blog page itself, but no! For whatever reason, the theme revered to the sites static image, why came with theme and I couldn’t figure out how to change. My work around was to create single image gallery that would show up behind single blog pieces. It was a pain in the ass to adjust those settings for every.single.blog piece, but I endured. In the last week, though, I started to noticed that the blog post settings would — on its own — revert back to the static image. Interestingly, the static image for blog pieces was a rotating gallery of every image in my media library. That was not good! I haven’t seen the same problem on the blog on Carla’s site, but she doesn’t post as much as I do so it’s hard to say that this problem is not universal. As much as I like the visual presentation of this them, the weird background image issue was the last straw. I had to change.
I have a number of themes saved my WordPress library, and I started to preview a number of them Wednesday evening. Maybe I was turned off by the experience with DK, but I shied away from similar photography themes. After previewing about five or six themes, I turned to WordPress’s own Twenty Eleven theme. In the past, I had skipped over the stock WordPress themes because they seemed so basic. However, WordPress recently released version 3.4 , and a number of the features in this update are quite compelling. I almost went with a writer’s theme called Erudite, but I came back to what you see here, the Twenty Eleven.
I think the main thing for me is to not worry, at least for for now, about style and put my focus on substance.
Over the past year, or so, I have come across a number of bloggers that I really enjoy. It occurred to me, while most of theme have visually interesting sites, I keep coming back for the content. Stylized sites might have be the worm, but the hook that snags me is interesting material. That’s where I want to take this blog. Content. Content. Content. I want to shake off the “Who gives a damn?!” and just write. Of course, I will still post music and bookmarks. Those things are part of who I am, or what I’m about. And that’s the key. I want this site to truly be a reflection of who I am; stuff I think about; and pondering life’s questions — big and small.
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