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Blogiversary Giveaway Winner and New WordPress Theme

First, I’d like to announce the winner of my first anniversary bloggiversary giveaway. Drawn by random.org, the winner is…….

QL Girl

I’ve sent QL Girl an e-mail as well as an e-mail to J of Budgets are Sexy, who will be creating a 125 x 125 design. Thanks to everyone who entered and everyone who’s read and commented on my blog in the last year.

Some other exciting news on the blog design front this week, I Silver Light 3-Column (my first formal, modified WordPress theme). It’s based on the Silver Light WordPress theme, only it has 3 columns instead of 2 and allows for gravatar support in the comments (which can also be turned off).

I don’t know whether I have the creative vision or desire to create WordPress themes. But I like the idea of taking a theme and making it somehow more usable. Creating 3 columns, for instance, allows the user to put a good deal more in the sidebars. The Silver Light theme is lovely and clean, you can see a working version at Working for Financial Freedom.

I’ve also assembled some posts on how to choose a WordPress theme:

  • 5 Tips for Choosing a WordPress Theme. This article emphasizes simplicity, few “effects,” and general lack of cutting-edge technology. Effects and cutting-edge looks aren’t bad of themselves. But they may slow down loading time, make your site more confusing to navigate, or just make it cluttered. For instance, the idea of having theme options (like the ability to see financefreelancelife.com with an orange background or something) sounds great. But adding that would probably just clutter the blog and be used by few people. One more distracting item.
  • 5 Things To Look for in a WordPress Theme. I particularly agree with the menu location. Besides all the other important considerations, a good navigation bar/menu makes all the difference in getting anywhere from any page. In customizing a theme, I’d also put the search box in the top part, particularly above any “enter your e-mail to subscribe” boxes, which may confuse people.
  • 10 + 1 Tips for Choosing a WordPress Theme. Good pointers here, especially whether it’s widget-ready. Very important for less experienced bloggers. Also, something that’s hinted at is simply picking a theme. You can always change it. Look for a theme that works well for you, but you don’t have to take forever (especially if you’re not a business) tweaking it or looking for more, because your theme will never be perfect.

And some lovely theme roundups from Smashing Magazine which spotlight particularly artistic themes, something the classic free theme site doesn’t do:

Have an excellent weekend, everyone!


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mrs Micah's Mom August 19, 2008 at 12:00 pm

If you ever have time, could you explain briefly what a theme is in the blog world?

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