On Changing the Decorations

Christmas has passed (unless you’re Orthodox, and then you have a few days left), and I felt the itch.

The itch to change my blog theme, that is.

I had a wintry theme going for the holidays. The holidays are past. “Change, m’dear, and not a moment too soon!” and all that. 🙂

And since this is going to get needlessly technical and geeky…

I knew I wanted to make some changes to my layout in the New Year. But what?

I’ve become enchanted of magazine-style themes. Partly it’s because of some things I’ve been thinking about for work, where a magazine-format would make more sense than the traditional blog architecture; a magazine puts important content first and highlights it, and then allows the reader to delve deeper as need be. (I flirted with this with my long experiment with Hemingway last winter, but I had one major problem — Hemingway killed my readership, because it was too restrictive on the amount of content available first.)

I looked at Arthemia, which I actually like a lot, and even played around with for a day while I thought about the changes I would need to make to it to fit my needs — and the changes it would make to the way I write. Another I looked at was Visionary, but I’m not really sure it was me. Finally, I was intrigued by some of the RevolutionTwo themes, in particular Structure and Church. However, while I had downloaded both while they were free, after the change in licensing them to paid themes I decided that using them and modifying them to my needs would have been awkward, and given my penchant to change my blog theme the way others change socks wouldn’t have made a purchase of a license worthwhile in the long-term.

So, what did I do?

I downloaded an old version of Tarski (specifically, version 2.3) because 1) I was familiar with it, having used it as my theme base for a long while, and 2) because I really liked the way Tarski, at least in the old versions, formatted comments. The newest version takes advantage of WordPress 2.7’s threaded comments feature, only the comments don’t look as organic as they do in earlier versions.

I probably could have used the most recent version of Tarski I had on my computer – version 2.0.5, except I wanted something more recent. (Also, even though I had that version on my computer, I hadn’t used it; I’d ditched Tarski for first Hemingway and then a succession of Brian Gardner‘s free designs long by that point.)

I haven’t made any changes to it. Yet. Except to upload a custom header graphic. I haven’t looked at the old custom stylesheets I’d created a few years ago. Nor have I looked at the print.css stylesheet Tarski uses. I’ll look at both in the coming days (and weeks) while I figure out what I want to do.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll pull out the old Doctor Who design and play around with that. Or maybe I’ll decide to leave it pretty much as is. Who can say?

I did take some code I’d put into my functions.php file for a while to give me some custom sidebar widgets and turned that into a full-bore plug-in. But that’s simply good thinking for the future. 🙂

I figure this is a temporary waystation on the road to… wherever. I’ll let you know when I get there. 😉

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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