It is widely recognised that content is the most important aspect of a blog, however it is the look that is first noticed; and just like with people, first impressions do count. So unless all your readers use a feed reader they will gain thoughts about your site from the first few moments of visiting. Now I have to admit I didn’t really like my theme, but stuck with it until I could develop a new one; I just didn’t think it would take three years.
The reasons for wanting a new theme
I also thought the navigation was difficult. I had previously introduced a tabbed widget to include more information in the sidebar e.g. recent posts, top commentors, but think this actually hid the information more! Then there was also the minor details of the dark background and the standard header.
Designing the new theme
I then started adapting the code. Unfortunately my knowledge is not as high as my desires so this was tricky. I cut, paste and fiddle the code, relying on information in forums and blogs when I get stuck. However, I was just about there when WordPress 2.7 came out. I wanted to include features such as nested comments so changed the code, and WordPress 2.8 came out and at that point I gave up as I realised I would not be able to keep my code up to date with the updates to WordPress.
Redesigning the new theme
Improvements still to make
I think the site looks much better and is much easier to navigate, however I know its not yet finished, for instance I’d like to remove the numbers in the header boxes for number of comments and views and the code around the header is not as neat as it could be. Plus I suspect I will discover other features to tweak after using it for a while.
I am excited at finally having a new theme, although there is still a feeling of disbelief that it has finally gone live. Please let me know what you think; does it work on your browser? What features do you like or what would you change? I’m also hoping my new theme will encourage some more comments as I haven’t had any since April and I’m feeling a bit lonely 😉