Fiddle Fiddle, 1/11/08

I’m fiddling with backgrounds and so on today and getting used to the backend that’s VIP set-up uses, so don’t be terribly surprised if the site’s look changes on you. Right now it’s got the turkeys and green background, which actually looks a little too “pesto” for me. Later you might see a really big picture of a US flag as the background. After that, who knows. Anyway, if it looks funny, don’t panic.

Also, at some point in the not-entirely-distant future, as previously threatened, the look of the site will probably change dramatically. I’m looking at various themes now that will support the addition of advertising but which won’t also look cheesy and lame; basically, a slightly more professional look than the site has now, although I’m certain to undermine that look immediately because I become so easily bored. In any event, I’m fiddling with some possible themes at my Secret WordPress Test Installation Which You Don’t Know About, so that when a switch does come, I’ll have most of the look of the site nailed down. Hopefully.

Along that line, if you’re a WP geek and know of an ad-supporting theme that doesn’t look cheesy and lame, feel free to tell me about it in the comments. Free themes are good, but I don’t mind paying for a really good and easy to configure theme either.

16 Comments on “Fiddle Fiddle, 1/11/08”

  1. I prefer to use Blog Perfume to hunt down good themes, free and not free.

    Their recent featured theme is Simple Balance, which looks good and has a ton of configurable options. Like, a premium wordpress theme’s worth of options. Good space for ads.

    … damn, I may pick up this theme.

  2. While you’re at it, you may want to consider a plug-in like WPTouch, which makes you’re site friendlier to geeks like me coming in from mobile phones (it leaves your themes alone for everyone else). WPTouch is iPhone-specific but I think there are other generic ones.



  3. Harking back to one of your posts way back when:

    I’m getting the flag background right now.

    Does that mean if I close the browser window the FBI will bust me for flag-burning?

    Or is that only if I empty my browser cache?

    What if I burn my browser cache to a CD-ROM?

  4. Us peasants do “off-the-shelf… You being a world famous author and all, you might want to get with one of those folks who do custom WordPress themes and get exactly what you want…

    May cost a few ducats, maybe not…

  5. … one vote for SimpleBalance here. Currently playing with it in my own Secret Lair.

    And I just have to say…. I. I.

    I usually have to beat a theme into submission. Because even themes you pay for have no clue how to deal with h1/h2/h3/h4. (Indeed, I’d say that Thesis doesn’t deal with h4 correctly, but that’s just my opinion.)

    But this… this…

    And I… I mean. I usually have to, you know, kill the CSS to make some themes do the three column, 2 little ones on the side thing…

    And… and murder the PHP into tiny bits…. okay, I may still have to do that. But nowhere near as much as I had to with everything else.

    I mean, I’ve *paid* for themes that were worse than this and harder to use than this.

    I… I…


    Okay, I definitely need to find out how to hack some numbers into the comment blocks, but then… oh doggone it all you betcha say it ain’t so joe, I’m going to have to find something disparging to say about this theme….

  6. I would also like to endorse Katrina’s (@5) plug for a mobile-phone-friendly theme. One of the many things I like about Whatever is that I can peruse it on my phone during moments of downtime, and that it loads and reads quite easily. Contrast this to a site I love: bOingbOing. I rarely navigate there on my phone because it doesn’t load, scroll, or show images well on the mobile platform.

    Thank you again for being so conscientious in your move towards advertising.

  7. I’ve used WP Mobile in the past to present a mobile friendly interface for mobile devices, and a full-fledged site to everybody else.

    By the way, I’ve picked up Simple Balance for my site. I made a few adjustments (a nice 404 page, numbered comments, previous/next links for article posts). I’ve also been able to come up with a couple “styles” for it of my own. Currently it’s on “Stars and Stripes”, which I did (along with the 404 page and another style, “Fall”) send to the theme’s creator so that he can add it to the drop-down menu and all that.

    I plan on kicking out more styles for this theme. It’s just too wonderful. I don’t even mind if everybody I know uses this theme; that doesn’t grate on me for some reason.

    I honestly have not had this much fun with theme creation since X11 and Sawfish.

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