Thematic Insufficiency


One thing that has always amazed me about WordPress is simply how many bad themes exist for it. If you’re interested, mosey on over to the Theme Browser and take a look for yourself. In a basic browsing themes I find about 1% of these themes visually interesting. That said, visually interesting themes usually mean somewhat overbearing themes. On further inspection I found a number of more generic themes that I thought could work well.

I downloaded a few and had at it. Strange how you won’t notice the immediate flaws of a design until it is already on your site.

  • ChaoticSoul — This design looked nice until I loaded it up on my site and I realized that it was overriding the blog’s title with the theme name. How rude. After a few seconds I also noticed that it had no categories, no archives, truncated every post after the first… Definitely needs work.
  • Anthurium — I don’t know why I downloaded this theme at all. I must have misclicked, I swear.
  • Kurtina — A nice design that I downloaded despite knowing it didn’t fit this blog. I thought it might be nice to look at and possibly modify. On loading it up my eyes can barely stand to look at it, it is so bright. It also has the truncated posts after the first, a stylish but ultimately bad decision. I don’t want people to have to click any more than they must in order to navigate the site.
  • SlatyStain — Theme broken by ir2ImageSnag.
  • SG/Dark — I downloaded this design mainly because it is unique, putting most of the navigational elements in the footer of the page. Upon actually loading it up here I can see that its functionality is really very bad though. It displays a maximum of two posts and displays them side-by-side in two columns. It’s a pain to read and it’s obvious why, for usability’s sake, this sort of innovative layout doesn’t work. Good try though.
  • Manji2 — The two main problems I have with this design are that the sidebar is on the left rather than the right and that the site name is not included in the header area. The only other issue is the way that it clutters up the blogroll with my descriptions of the URLs contained therein.
  • Terracotta — A nice theme with some problems. Main issues that I want to resolve are potentially moving the sidebar to the right side of the layout and improving the distinctiveness of post headings. It also needs borders around image tags to blend images more fluidly into the layout.

Currently I’m going with Terracotta, although by tomorrow I may have either changed it to Manji2 or back to the default theme. I do like the play of Terracotta with the title, which is primarily why I chose it. At least it has full functionality, unlike most of the others. I’m not sure when I’ll have time to get around to working on my own theme, I suspect it’ll be one of those projects that stays on the backburner for awhile. I’m pleased though, got something substantial accomplished that I can check off my list.

2 Responses

  1. Martin Mihalev

    I’m glad that you posted a comment about Terracotta here. I’ll keep in mind your notes for the next version release. Thank you for your time.

  2. Excellent, I’ll be looking forward to see what you do with the theme in the future.

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