When I first moved to WordPress I played with a bunch of different layout themes, before ultimately building my own. My first design was a simple two column layout based on one of the existing WordPress templates. Version 2.0 extended that to a three column layout.
In doing both designs, I taught myself enough PHP and CSS to be dangerous, but not much more. So, while the designs were clean, neither loaded quickly, nor did they format the same way on Firefox as on IE, and odd layout quirks from time to time produced unexpected results — primarily due to my limited understanding of formatting tools. Legions of people started to comment privately about this to me.
So, earlier this year I decided that my old design was getting kind of long in the tooth. Nor did I have the time to devote to building a new one for myself. It’s quite a process! But I did have enough in my adsense earnings account to pay someone to do the work. Enter Blend Interactive.
I told the team at Blend that I was looking for:
- a three column layout, on all pages. My old theme laid blog entries out differently when they were viewed individually. It caused formatting issues, and also made it difficult to manage some of the features that I wanted to have appear on every page.
- colorful, but still clean. It was time to get away from my stark white. I wanted the new site to good to look at, but not garish. I also wanted a design that was uniquely mine, and not just a packaged off the shelf theme.
- neater on the front page. I wanted some of the features, like the blogroll, moved off the front of the site. They had become too long, and loaded too slowly.
Because I’m busy running a startup, and Blend has larger clients operating on real deadlines as opposed to this blogger wanting a fresh new look, it became a backburner item over several months for both of us. Yesterday morning, in my hotmail account I found a note telling me that the theme had been installed, and that I should go ahead and activate it. Woo hoo!
Over the next few days we’ll be addressing any final implementation quirks. If you see any odd behaviors, or things you don’t like, let me know.
And if you’re looking for a site design, consider the team at Blend Interactive. I’m pretty pleased with what they’ve accomplished. I’m sure you will be too.