Having started out, some time ago, as a Blogger blogger, I appreciate how much better – I’d say more intuitive, but I’m not sure whether blogs are intuitive at all – WordPress is for free blogging. I’m not sure what Blogger looks like now, but in those days there were no automatic options for categories/tags, everything had to be put into the template manually beyond the defaults, there were no comments feeds, you could upload/embed media but it took more than clicking a few buttons, etc. And the system wasn’t all that reliable.
I’ve been unhappy with my old theme for quite a while. The front page looked fine, but the archive and category pages didn’t display the full posts – just excerpts, ellipses, and links to the rest of the content. So last night I finally decided to mess around with the built-in themes.
All I want in a theme is the following:
- Customizable header for an image. A blog called “by the wayside” needs a picture of some kind of landscape, preferably with some kind of road in it.
- No italics for blockquotes. I know you can mess with the span style tags to do this manually, but it’s a pain to have to enter extra code each time you blockquote. You should be able to toggle the italics on or off and blockquote with the same one-click button every time – that’s what the button is there for.
- Full display of posts in the archive/category pages. As a bonus, “more” tags could be expanded automatically in the old pages, but it’s not a big deal.
That’s it. You’d be surprised how few themes satisfy these three requirements. But some do, so I don’t know what the excuse is for so many others not doing so. (They don’t all have to be this way.) There are quite a few themes with custom headers, but few of those made it past the blockquote/archive problems.
I think I’m ok with the new theme I’ve picked now. The header’s a bit thinner, so I found a new image. It’s a bit cluttered because of the cropping, but I think it works. I might pick something else later if it catches my eye.