When you first install WordPress, you get a very boring theme.Â Boring but functional.Â It does what it should, but looks bland.Â And you know that there are lots of samey looking blogs around.
So what do you do?Â Well, if you know your CSS and PHP, you could create your own.Â Of course, as well as having the coding skills, you would also need a little creativity and an idea of how colours go together.Â So that leaves me out.
I wandered over to the WordPress site and checked out their themes section.Â It was either that or beg someone to make one for me.Â And not even I would go so low.Â (Of course, if a theme designer should wander by and offer to custom create one for me, I won’t argue).Â There are a number of themes there, ranging from the pretty to the utilitarian.Â And they are all customisable.
The theme I use is called Ocadia and was designed by Becca Wei.Â Not for me though, she just seems to enjoy designing themes.Â I like it because it’s fairly clean and is very usable.Â Unfortunately, there aren’t enough of the clean and usable themes around.
I won’t link to the ones I think are too busy because a) I don’t want to offend anyone and 2) I don’t want a flame war on my blog.Â Removing threads is too much like hard work, I’m afraid.
It is telling, though, that the 5 featuredÂ themes on the theme page of WordPress are all clean and don’t take the eye away from the text of the post.Â A theme, you see, is the perfect place for a WordPress fan to show off their coding and design skills.Â A large part of designing though is knowing when to stop and say “it’s finished”.Â No blogger or website writer wants their words and thoughts to be obscured by pretty pictures, changing colours and unnecessary junk.Â Part of the longevity of newspapers is that they are black and white – no distractions.Â Black text on white paper, while very dull, is easy to read for most of us.
If you have ever looked at a MySpace member page, you will understand what I mean when I say “more clean lines, less background images and more readable pages”.