A blog is something personal, and theming it just right is a challenge. You’ll surely have noticed that the theme of Alien Pastures has been changed overnight.
This blog started out with a theme by Andreas Viklund (wp-andreas01) but that did not scale well on mobile devices, also it did weird stuff with user comments. I liked its visual quality a lot but the usability challenges were not fixable even by rummaging around in its code.
Eventually I replaced that with a new theme by Rajeeb Banstola (techism) but during my recent WordPress blog-code update I realized that this techism theme had not been updated for years, the author’s website has disappeared and the Freemius SDK from which that theme is created has a XSS vulnerability. Real shame because I thought it was beautiful, light, responsive and it fixed the user comment issues I mentioned previously.
So I have used my December holiday to look for another theme, experimenting with several, but I wanted to end with one that at a minimum allows me to have two columns: one for the articles and one as a sidebar with widgets showing all kinds of permanent info. Three columns was what I had with wp-andreas01 and techism, but I could live without one of the two sidebars.
I finally found a theme collection created by Anders Norén. On his page teman he showcases several that I find appealing, but after some experimenting I chose his Lovecraft and Hemingway themes over Baskerville. I kept the visual style of the new theme as close as possible to the old one (header image, top menu, sidebar widgets etc).
A note about the header image – that one has changed a few times over the years. I always use a picture I have taken myself and I rotate them on occasion.
At the bottom I was able to add three widgets that otherwise would have gone into a left sidebar. I think it’s cleaner now. Plus, one of these bottom widgets shows posts that have been most popular during recent weeks. That’s always interesting information to you (visitors), previously I would be the only one with that overview – it shows in the blog’s admin dashboard.
I am still undecided whether Hemingway or Lovecraft will make it as my final choice. Hemingway theme shows the number of comments to each article and it’s visually somewhat more condensed. Lovecraft on the other hand is aesthetically more pleasing to my eye.
I hope you like and appreciate the change and the new interface does not pose any difficulty writing and posting your comments. Feel free to comment below of course!