As you may have noticed, this site has gotten a much-needed (interim) face-lift. The old Wulan theme was nice in its simplicity, but it was ultimately broken.

I spend a couple hours this morning browsing through the big ol’ WordPress Theme Viewer to see if I could find something that would serve my purpose, and I’ve got to say I’m amazed at the amount of sloppy work out there! I went through almost 800 themes looking for something that had (a) Clean Design and (b) Complete Functionality.

I was amazed by how almost every theme was good at only one of those criteria. There were lots of graphically stunning (if not distracting) templates that were unable to display subpages or sub-categories properly. Other templates just fell under the “your artistic license should be revoked” category. And then there were the incomplete proof-of-concept templates that showed off flashy things like dynamic pull-down menus, ajaxy stuff, but were still buggy and unprofessional.

Now, I’ll be the first person to admit that I couldn’t do better. I will admit that personally I’m a horrible graphic designer. I don’t have that special magic to understand line and form and color. (Although I have enough of an eye to identify really bad design.) I DO think, however, I would be good as a technician, working through the technical details and making sure a template was functionally complete and bug-free.

Oh how I’ve wished in the past that I could find the person on the opposite site of that spectrum—the brilliant designer who was in search of a good technician. It would be fun to collaborate with someone and create a truly professional, top-notch WordPress template that would be selected, adapted and used by dozens or hundreds of websites out there!

Oh well. I suspect that’s just not written in the cards. Too many things have higher priorities right now. So I have to decide on the best strategy for this website. It would be lovely to take the time to build a new template from scratch, but that’s unrealistic right now; I’m just too busy. I kind of suspect I will not be sticking with this theme for long. (Although I haven’t made a solid decision yet.) I know I will be selecting some pre-fab theme and then modifying it heavily to take on an individualized look and feel. It’s important this website get resurrected quickly.

Author: Murray Todd Williams

I live in Austin, Texas. I'm enthusiastic about food, wine, programming (especially Scala), tennis and politics. I've worked for Accenture for over 12 years where I'm a Product Manager for suite of analytical business applications.

3 thoughts on “Facelift”

  1. Hey Murray,

    I just wanted to say that I envy the fact that you are Google’s favorite Murray Williams. No hard feelings, but I do have to pump my fist everytime I do a vanity search and your site comes up.

    Google’s Second Favorite
    Murray Williams

  2. Hey Murray!

    “So, we meet at last.” Or, rather, again online. 😎 I’m glad I was able to find your website.

    Anyhow, a relevant comment: I understand what you mean about struggling with design. I go through a similar process: Go through the WP theme viewer, pick several, pick a few from those pickings, select one or two. Then hack, tweak, polish till I get something that looks and works right. Repeat last sentence as needed, especially during WP and theme upgrades.

    I found that while I’m not a designer, I do have opinions. I like clean, uncluttered layouts, avoid rounded corners, avoid bright colors, prefer emphasis on text, etc. Just having those inclinations helps refine whatever theme I choose –which in by itself a design process, right?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *