I spent some time browsing WordPress themes; I found several that I like, and spent a few hours playing around with them.

My initial favorite was 2cDarkGrey; once I actually installed it, though, it seemed a bit dark for me. Also, there were various things that I wanted to tweak, and I had a harder-than expected time doing that.

So I started looking at lighter themes. My next try was Genesis; it was a bit too light, though, and the header was too plain for me.

After a little bit of dithering, I ended up on Kubrick, the new (since 1.5) WordPress default theme. Quite light, a bit of color contrast on the sidebars. I’m still not entirely thrilled with the header, but it’s okay for now.

Having said that, there were several things I didn’t like about it. For one thing, the text was too small for my aging eyes. (I really do need to get new glasses, but web designers also need to stop using small fonts.) I bumped up the text size, which then caused a cascade problem that the main body text area, already narrower than I’d like, really was too tight. In general, the page seemed narrow; I tried enlarging it, but that ran into problems with the images that the page uses. Presumably it shouldn’t be too hard to use gimp to widen those; for now, I left it at the original total width but shrunk the sidebar so the main text area had a bit more room.

Then I fiddled around with how it handles ul items, and added, reordered, and removed stuff from the sidebar. (Ending up mostly where I started, but the reordering stuck.) And darkened the text (aging eyes again), and turned off justification. And here we are.

I’m happier with the new look than with the old. I learned something from the tour, about what’s important to me and what isn’t. I finally started customizing WordPress themes, which will help me in the future. I feel a bit stupid ending up with the default theme, but I can live with feeling stupid.

Having said that, I’m not thrilled with where I’ve ended up. My main current pain point is the header – aside from limiting my width options, it looks pretty clunky. It would really help if I could come up with some sort of picture to use as a header; as it is, I’ve been ignoring themes that depend on an image at the top, and that’s not so good. I did like the texture that 2cDarkGrey used; maybe I could go with that after some sort of modifications?  Or find a nice texture elsewhere?  Dunno.

(Side note: I am not so happy with various aspects of the new interface for writing posts. I’ll live with it, though – downgrading is bad.)

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