Early yesterday — of all days — WordPress.com applied new code globally to their domain as a security fix. For most people, it wasn’t bad or even noticed. But for me, it pretty much signaled the end of using my old theme, Avid, because all the text content disappeared. The post titles remained, but the body copy vanished to all of my 800+ posts, across all browsers and operating systems. Prior to uploading my daily post yesterday, I switched back to the Full Frame theme temporarily because I just didn’t have the time to deal with it.
Why did this happen? Because I had added so much custom CSS code that was finicky to deal with and extremely sensitive to change.
One of the cautions noted by WordPress admins when making changes to themes is that custom CSS code may get broken when security fixes get applied by the WordPress.com system admins, which is exactly what happened with me. I pay specifically for this service, as I don’t want the hassle of dealing with hosting maintenance and the like.
So… That lesson has been learned on my part and I spent all last night coming up with a new theme that does everything that I want and DOESN’T need any CSS code customization in the process. This theme — Opti — has several crucial features I’m looking for:
- Comment numbers for each post are easily spotted at a glance on the front homepage, along with a decent image thumbnail (it’d be nice if it were bigger, but c’est la vie) and a snippet of text. The comment numbering on the front page is one of the most requested functions by my readers, so they can keep current with comments made by others.
- I can populate the front page with as much imagery as I like, the better to showcase my photography.
- Once a post is selected, huge images are displayed on the individual pages, along with links to related articles. Too many themes offered out there don’t support large images.
- The body text is a good-sized serifed font that has a medium weight and is legible for eyes of all ages; there aren’t any jarring colors or design elements; the comments section is easy to use and doesn’t have any issues with background legibility.
- Clear and easy navigation from all pages.
- The mobile version is just as easy to read and use, a crucial aspect since so many people are accessing the site from tablets and smart phones these days.
- Plus it has many other functions that readers like, such as access to other widgets from different pages, follow buttons for email and RSS feeds, easy access to other websites of interest (scroll to the bottom of the page), etc.
All in all, I’m pretty pleased with it and hope you are as well. Any comments or suggestions are appreciated.
UPDATE: I’ve been able to make my old theme — Avid — work correctly again, so I have gone back to it… hopefully for good.