So, here I am using WordPress instead of Drupal – and I’ve been busy making sure the old Drupal blog moved successfully to this and on a new server as well. There were all sorts of considerations, including how to keep the ‘googlejuice’ so that I didn’t disappear completely off the search engines.
However, the most important thing after the technical work is to get it looking right, right?
So I began trawling through the various themes available for WordPress. After several goes I settled on ‘Ocean Mist’ by Ed Merritt – a lovely theme and some nice touches to it. I particularly like the clean lines and the page listing in the sidebar. The use of a drop down menu for the archives is genius, too. However, it still wasn’t quite what I wanted – the ‘edit’ and ‘reply’ blocks seemed too, well… blocky. I also felt that there were some cleaner themes out there that weren’t quite so busy to look at. There were also a couple of bugs in the code that meant if you were not logged in and tried to leave a comment the sidebar would shift down below the main body content area – easily fixed once you have tracked down the offending <div> container in the comments.php file (It’s the last closing tag that needs to go down one line…)
I settled on another called ‘Freshy’. This one has some seriously cool features, including a dashboard configuration tab allowing you to set the look and feel to a number of different parameters – change the header image, change the nav bar colour scheme and so on. I also prefer the additional white space and the way tags like <pre> are dealt with… nice table listings which is important if you are copying out lines of code, for example.
Ocean Mist has been updated to version 1.1 and I ought to give that a go as well – I did try, but there were some problems getting it to run. I couldn’t face working my way through the code again, but I may look at doing so in the near future.
Ocean Mist certainly has some very good qualities, but needs a few finishing touches. Ed Merritt seems to have a winning theme there, and I’d love to see it further developed.