As a designer, I have a hard time with the concept of a template. I’m used to being able to pick my font, get nit-picky with typography, and place elements/objects exactly where I want on a page. But, I’m smart enough to realize that a web page has different requirements than a print page. Since I’m not ready to learn all the ins and outs of writing code, I know I have to choose what amounts to someone else’s design.
Since I’ve determined that my Green Queen site will be blog based, I looked for themes that feature a few posts rather than one. I cover a variety of topics, so I wanted a way to get that across quickly. The person who came to read a post on repurposing might also want to read one on composting, but not crafting.
I knew I wanted a site I could customize—at least colors and fonts—so I focused on those. Ditto for a responsive layout.
Of the free WordPress themes, I liked two, though neither are perfect. In either case, I would want to pay the additional $30 to customize them—now, no longer free.
EXPOUND has the simplicity I like, attractive fonts, and good photo placement. I prefer the organizational page links to be at the top as these are. I don’t like the black border and would hope that could be changed. The feature photo crops badly, but I know I can fix that. The size of the subhead in the header is too small, but, I assume, I could change that too.
IDEATION AND INTENT (I&I) was quite different as it includes tiny photos from all of the blog posts. Since I do use photos, this could encourage people to stay on my page and investigate other posts. I know this format would not do well on smaller devices—one for the minus column. I do like the text fonts and the placement of the keywords at the top of the post—another way to entice readers. The background color is subtle. I don’t like the font or color for the header, the size of the tagline in the header, or the placement of the menu.
Since I’d end up paying $30 to customize my free WordPress site, I didn’t hesitate when I saw a deal for five themes for $27. One of these five would work well for Green Queen, another for my day-job business.
BREF by Nice Themes, has everything I want: multiple photos on the home page, responsive layout, left-column header, social media icon placement and is completely customizable. I like that you have to scroll past the photos to get to the first batch of text as I believe images are powerful and the best way to grab people’s attention. It even has a “contact us” template already set up. I do want to encourage site visitors to contact me so this is a plus.
Since I can’t import my content into the Bref theme until we migrate to WordPress.org, I’ll work in I&I until we do. It’s good enough for now. I love that you can swap out themes somewhat easily!