I’ve been using the same WordPress.com theme ever since I started my blog, the “Titan” theme. WordPress “Retired” my old theme some time ago, and I’ve just done the same today.
Researching current WordPress.com themes I came up with a short-list. And, erm no, I didn’t try out all 384 themes, really only the latest ones.
My criteria for selecting a theme :
- Must be an improvement on the old one
- Must make better use of graphics/photos, ie the visual aspects
- More modern look and feel
Interestingly I found out that WordPress.com have offered some new free features (for *all themes*) which I didn’t know about. Now we can all use free Google Fonts and change the fonts of headings and the rest of the text on our blog, in “customizer”. Also in customizer I now see that limited colour palettes are being offered, which is great if you like the theme but hate the colours.
Something that I found irritating with the previous theme was the category pages, which just consisted of a list of blog post titles, and only around 7 on a page. My new theme includes images and extracts of the text, much better presented.
Also, I wanted to be able to display plenty of blog posts on my “blog” page, in summary format. Not many themes actually support this facility. I wanted this because my blog is about more than it’s last 10 posts. I’m now showing 30+ posts on my blog page.
I wanted a combination of presentation for photography and presentation for writing, one or the other wouldn’t do. I think my new theme does both quite well in fact.
My shortlist was as follows (in perhaps order of preference) :
(I liked the look of the Cubic theme, but it would never load in my browser, and also took forever to “prepare” the page. Shame really as it looks a good theme, but a theme that doesn’t work is no good for me.)
I tested all those shortlisted above in my test blog, and gradually by process of elimination, weeded out the ones that didn’t really cut it. The top four where really close, and ended up with the top two – Gazette and Canard, which I think are probably by the same author, and are very very similar. Canard I didn’t really like the web design of the menu, it’s centred, which didn’t work for me and the logo was too small, aside from that possibly a superior theme.
Pretty pleased I am with the results, and I hope that it will make my blog easier to use and lead to an enhanced experience. Either that or go and find some blogs you do like to look at, it’s the same for me 🙂
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