Blogging 201: Day Three

I spent the first half of yesterday trying to get ‘Showcase’ to work (Day Two), and the rest of the day fine-tuning my look which today’s assignment. Here is my final cleaned-up page using Oxygen, thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions on how to reduce the clutter…

cleaned-up Oxygen theme

Here is my Oxygen theme, cleaned up to the best of my ability

Today I am spending my time test-driving other themes thanks to some great suggestions.

Christopher Barnes of made some great suggestions that show up under my Notifications icon. I would have liked to reply to him but that didn’t seem to be an option. I also couldn’t find where he made the comment on the Commons so I have added his comments and my reply to this post. From Christopher:

I like your headers. They’re all very sharp and really convey a brand image.

I think I like the 2014 theme version better for what you’re doing. I bet if you look in the appearance menu, you can find an option so it only posts a summary/shorter version of your post. I use the Oxygen theme and it’s a time commitment on the graphic side to use the rotating part. Plus your graphic heavy layout does look cluttered with Oxygen.

And my reply:

Hi ChristopherI had a free day today so I ended up spending a lot of time trying to get the Oxygen theme to work.  I agree with your comments about the amount of time it takes to get all the graphics to work properly in Oxygen. They all have to have different shapes: horizontal panoramas for the regular blog listings, and landscape for the sliders, when sometimes tall and skinny would work way better.

Having spent the entire day working on Oxygen, I don’t have any time left to work out all the quirks of the 2014 theme. However, I did a quick preview mode to see how my blog looks in 2014 now that I’ve finally got the ‘Showcase/Feature’ page working. And in the process discovered that there’s TWO options for the Feature page in 2014: a grid and a slider. Neither is perfect, but they certainly look a lot less cluttered, and I will be exploring them more at a later date.

2014 Theme with the Feature Page as a Grid

2014 theme with the ‘feature’ page as a grid. I would use this page for when my feature posts are unrelated to each other. And it’s really easy to change to the slider view below.

2014 theme with the 'feature' page as a slider

2014 theme with the ‘feature’ page as a slider. Because it doesn’t  show the images below it, it’s a whole lot cleaner looking. I figure the slider would be great for running a series of articles, i.e. this series could be a selection of posts on what to do and see in Hue, Vietnam.

Note from three days later: This blue 2014 Theme was certainly hands-down choice for anyone who looked at this post and I think it looks classy too. However, I still can’t find any way to make the ‘unfeatured’ posts run as shorter summaries though, and even in this great demo each post is run in its entirety: Since I really don’t want this I think I’ll have to stick with the slightly more cluttered-looking Oxygen for now (but maybe try a blue header and hope it was the blueness that everyone liked!)

redstuffdan suggested I try one of the ‘Able’ themes. Dan says.

As someone with poor sight l found the blog too cluttered and everything seems squashed into a small space. Your pictures are great so why not emphasize them a little more by choosing a theme where you have more room for everything like Able for example. I really like your brand image – very eye catching and original.

And my reply:

Thanks Dan. I didn’t even know there were ‘Able’ themes and they certainly are very clean and legible. I tested out the two most graphic-oriented themes: Triton Lite (didn’t work for mobiles) and 2011 (did work for mobiles but I found that the black background didn’t work for all of my photos. It also didn’t have all the features that got me excited about 2014.)

The 2011 theme looks dramatic but it doesn't have all the features of the newer themes.

The 2011 theme looks dramatic but it doesn’t have all the features of the newer themes.

For more on Blogging 201:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s