A New Look

This site was long overdue for a facelift.

Last night, on impulse, I switched this site’s theme from a highly modified version of iNove to WordPress’s brand-new Twenty Eleven. Unless I’ve had an impulse to change it again since writing this, you’re probably looking at it right now.

The site was long overdue for the change. A while back, in an effort to show off more of my photos, I’d added a plugin to pull thumbnail images from my photo gallery and arrange them as clickable links in the header. I realized belatedly that this seriously slowed down the loading of the site. Some people even commented about it. Something had to be done.

There are several reasons it took so long to make the change:

  • I couldn’t find a theme I liked. Really. I have a terrible time imagining how I could modify a theme to meet my own needs.
  • Most themes I liked either looked too “bloggy” or too “magaziney.” I couldn’t find one in between that I could imagine changing.
  • I couldn’t find a theme that had built-in support for mobile devices.
  • I didn’t have the time to sit down and do the work necessary to make major modifications to a theme.
  • I actually liked the way my site looked with its current setup.

But after upgrading the site to WordPress 3.2, I noticed a brand new theme: Twenty Eleven. Like its predecessor, Twenty Ten, it had clean lines and a lot of built-in features. It also had the benefit of being created by the makers of WordPress, so I knew it would be compatible and show off WordPress features. Working with it would give me a good opportunity to dive into theme customization again. Even though I didn’t have time to play with it right away, there would be plenty of opportunities to tweak it over the coming weeks and months.

And if there’s something I really enjoy doing, it’s tweaking a WordPress theme to suit my needs.

So yesterday, I made the switch. And this morning, I dumped a few of my own images into the random header folder to personalize it enough for prime time.

I’ll be modifying it as time goes on. Would love to know what you think and am open to suggestions for changes. Use the comments link — well, “Reply” link right now; it’s on my list to change — to share your thoughts.

6 thoughts on “A New Look

  1. I like this Maria. Clean and easily read. I may have to get back to writing. I changed my theme a few weeks back but I’m in a bit of a writing funk. After reading a couple of inspiring books I’m back in the writing mood again.
    I look forward to see what you can tweak with this format and make it even more of your own.
    Be well.

    • Thanks very much, Keith. I like the theme a lot — perhaps because the type is so big I can read it! I need to fine-tune a bunch of things.

      I know exactly what you mean about reading inspiring books. Once in a while, I get in a writing funk, too, and reading a good book can pull me out of it. I’ve been neglecting this blog terribly lately — mostly because I’m busy but also because I don’t seem inspired. Maybe this theme will help pull me out of that.

      I hope you do start writing again. I miss your blog!

  2. It looks great Maria and feels fast. It has a ‘clean’ feeling about it.

    You’re also doing a good thing showing off your photos at the large size in the header. The row of smaller photos was a nice idea, but it wasn’t really fair to any one of them.

    I like it.

    • Thanks very much! I do need to get some better images up there. I just grabbed a few old ones from iPhoto. It’s amazing how bad “good” photos look once your skills have improved and you can do so much better.

      But do you know what feature tickles me most (so far)? The nested comments. My old theme didn’t support it and I was too darn lazy to figure out how to recode it so it would.

  3. Nice, clean new look.
    If I had to compare and contrast, I would say this is a lot less “busy”.
    Have fun playing with it!

What do you think?