Testing, Testing…

Well, as you can see, I’m trying out a new theme on the site. I used a tweaked version of the default WordPress theme for ages, and last night I just decided that it looked… old. So this morning I woke up and spent an hour or so looking through themes on the WordPress site.

Although I’m not really excited about the dark blue header, I do really like the rest of the theme, especially the giant font. As I get older, I realize that I don’t like reading long articles in tiny Arial type, so I find this theme much easier on the eyes. And unlike a lot of other WordPress themes, this one more or less worked right out of the box. I did have to tweak a few things, so let me summarize the changes for you now:

– I removed the “Archives” widget from the sidebar. WordPress, by default, puts a monthly summary of your posts in a widget called “Archives”. The thing is, once you’ve had a WP site for a couple of years, the Archive widget becomes extremely long, and there’s no way to compact it (say, by having a collapsible hierarchy for previous years). I’d been using a plug-in called “Collapsible Archives” which was supposed to collapse all previous years’ posts and only display the current month. However, a bug in a new version of the plug-in listed the titles of all posts in the  current month, making the list almost as long as it was without the plug-in. So I disabled the plug-in and removed the widget from the sidebar.

– In its place, I created an Archive page, which does exactly what “Collapsible Archives” used to do, only on a separate page, therefore reducing clutter on the home page. Beware that the plug-in uses JavaScript, so it takes a few seconds to load.

– One of the only faults with the new theme is that it doesn’t handle child categories correctly in the sidebar widget (look at the Categories widget; the “Rants” and “Reviews” subcategories under “Commentary” should be indented, but they’re not). Because of this (and because it never amounted to anything), I removed the “30 Rock” category. All five 30 Rock posts are now categorized under “TV”. Other categories might go away too if the new theme sticks.

– Under the new theme, the search box in the sidebar was the wrong color. I removed it; please use the new search box at the top of the page.

– I officially killed the old PHP-based photo gallery, which hadn’t been updated in years. It’s still there, so you’re free to look at pictures of birthdays from 2005 or nights out from 2004… just know that I officially won’t be updating it any more.

– Killing the photo galley meant that I needed to edit the “About This Site” page. I removed the “Photo Gallery FAQ” and tweaked\updated the information on that page.

– I also updated the Contact page, making it look good in both IE and Firefox. I also added a new way to contact me: Windows Live Messenger.

– I also tweaked a few of the Links in the sidebar and edited the “About Me” page (added a few new things, but mostly broke up the paragraphs for easier reading.

So… what do you guys think?

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