For the past few weeks I’ve been debating whether or not to switch to another WordPress theme. Don’t get me wrong, I love the look of DePo Masthead, which is what I’m using at the date of this post. There are definite benefits to using it, but there are also a few things about it that irk me.
I figured that if I’m going to change themes, I’d be better off doing it early on in the life of my blog while my reader base is still relatively small. I doubt a new theme would cause return visitors to think that they were in the wrong place, but still, the less confusion the better. Consider this post my official “heads up!”
The DePo Masthead theme has got a very clean, simplistic look, which I love. Also, the three-column layout on the front page has a very slick, newspaper slash magazine feel. The borders are only a pixel wide, adding to the cleanliness of the theme, and I find that using plain black text for the header, rather than an image, keeps it sleek (which is surprising considering its size). Having a serif font as the default for all the body text makes for great readability, too.
On the downside, the narrow width of the columns turns the inclusion of images and videos into a balancing act. Too small and they aren’t visible enough; too big and they disrupt the flow of text. The width of a post on the front page is also different from that post’s width on its permalinked page (the page you see when you click the post title), so when previewing, I don’t see exactly what will appear on the front page (again, sometimes a little tricky when placing images). I’m generally not a widget glutton, but if I want to use more than three (which I do) I’ve got to stack them in the three designated sections at the bottom of the page, which can be done, but looks a tad dogdy depending on widget choice and placement. And finally, the point that troubles me the most: tags. Tags for posts are displayed before, yes, before the title, and in a font almost as large. You can still put as many tags as you want, but I usually have to limit myself to no more than four or five, otherwise, my title gets nudged slowly down the page (as I made sure to demonstrate with this post). That may sound like a lot of negative stuff, but it was really the tags that prompted me to consider a change. I also want to stress that I’m not saying the theme is bad. It’s just not for me.
I would recommend the DePo Masthead theme to someone who uses exclusively (or almost exclusively) text, and who has already established a significant reader base, thereby eliminating some of the need for tags. I know that from my archives it may look like I don’t use images very often, but now you know why.
So, after weighing the ups and downs of my WordPress theme, I’ve decided to select another one. I’m not entirely sure which one yet, but it will probably be done sometime during my next few posts, so if you come back and my blog looks completely different, don’t come unglued! Just think back to this post and all will be well.
I’ll miss you, DePo Masthead. Perhaps one day, if I have a blog with fewer images and embedded videos, we’ll meet again. Au revoir!
Image: WordPress & Walking the Pattern under GPL