Ever since Scott Tribe (Scott’s Diatribes) and Debra (April Reign) helped me upgrade to WordPress 2.7, I’ve been trying to find a new blog theme. You’d think, with the hundreds of free themes out there, there’d be something I’d like either straight out of the can or with a few modifications.
But no. It wasn’t that easy. I suspect most themes are designed by young men. Nothing against young men, but fortunately I don’t share their tastes. (Or, unfortunately, their eyesight.) They like sub-microscopic grey text on a black background, and action-packed, cold, hard themes, whereas I prefer a cleaner, lighter, warmer look.
I liked my old theme best, with the sheep and the whiteness and the quirky-pastoral fusion thing going on. I wanted a new theme that could be tweaked to pretty much mimic that look. (Why didn’t I just stick with the old theme in that case? It wasn’t compatible with WordPress 2.7 and couldn’t take advantage of its features and improvements.)
I spent weeks downloading and trying on many themes from many sources, but rejected them all.
Scott made it his personal mission to get me a new theme. He put me on speed dial on Skype. He downloaded even more themes and tried to squeeze my sheep into their headers. But the sheep weren’t cooperating. The ideal header image is a lot wider than it is tall, and the sheep weren’t. They refused to look good.
It wasn’t just the header, either. There were lots of things that bugged me about the various themes. I didn’t like when the Comments link was hard to find, or when each post was truncated so you had to click a link to read the rest of the post. Mostly I didn’t like the colour schemes, graphics, typography, or the ‘feel’ of most themes.
Call me a girl, but I’m just not into raw butt-ugliness.
I was willing to take my time and be patient, but apparently when Scott’s on a mission, he’s seriously on a mission. He was relentless.
Eventually he found a highly customizable theme called Atahualpat. He then proceeded to customize all the things that had led to my rejections of the previous themes. Then he showed it to me, and it was pretty good. But I still wasn’t entirely happy, which I think exasperated him. We both had to remind ourselves that it’s my blog.
I spent some time changing the things I didn’t like while GC made me a brand spankin’ new banner for my sheep.
Finally I pressed the button.
Scott was shocked. I think he had resigned himself to having invested all that time for nothing, since he didn’t believe I would ever push that button.
It’s not perfect, but I’m not a perfectionist (Scott would disagree). As for Scott, he’s a keep-your-eye-on-the-prize, damn-the-torpedoes, get-’er-done kind of guy. If you need someone like that, I highly recommend him. Thanks Scott.
As for the theme, what do you think? Do you like it? Is it fast enough? Does it feel comfortable? Is there anything about it that bugs you? Do you have any suggestions for improvements?