A quick word on WordPress themes and such… I am pretty fond of the blog layout I had been using here for the last 8 or 9 months or so (called “Silhouette,” by Brian Gardner, designer of the famous “Revolution” WordPress theme). I found it amazingly functional. It does, however, have a couple of drawbacks (not much room for a header graphic, for example, which is something I like; and some technical things having to do with the way posts are displayed). Despite the thousands of brilliant designer minds coming up with “new” designs every week, the fact is that screen “real estate” is terribly limited, which means there are really very few basic approaches to blog layouts. You can have some of the elements you want, but never all of them at the same time. The quest for the perfect WordPress theme goes on forever. That said, “Silhouette” is such a great layout (in my opinion), that it’s likely I’ll return to it once I figure out how to make improvements. Sometimes, using a new design can help you approach an old one in a new way.

Not only screen real estate, but reader time is very limited — one typically has seconds to catch someone’s eyeball before they move on — and especially at this time of year. This current layout is a modification of a WordPress theme called “Nature’s Highlight” and had some of the things I was looking for, and maybe a less busy approach as well. Consider it my small offering to any readers who are feeling a bit overwhelmed by life and busy schedules at the moment (aren’t we all…)

I know a lot of people come here just for the New York State links — so although they had to be moved off the main page to their own turf, there’s a new feature, a link randomizer, on the right. I hope that will help people discover some links they may not have noticed before.

4 thoughts on “Blogkeeping

  1. Dan Weaver

    I agree that this is a more peaceful layout. However, I did lke your blog when you used Silhouette and was considering changing over to Silhouette simply because I liked the way your blog looked. My own blog has become busier since I have learned to add rss feeds, etc., and it is always tempting to add more. But there is a limit. I get dizzy now when I go to the Albany Times Union website. is another website where one can get lost trying to navigate it. I am still trying to find the balance between having a blog that has too much and one that has too little.

    As always, I enjoy your blog, even though I don’t always agree with you.

  2. Patrick

    I’m just starting out using WP on a couple of my sites and I can’t even count on how many themes I looked at and tried. Probably over a couple of hours looking before I ended up with the Silhouette theme. There are a lot of good ones out there but like you mention one might have this but not that.

    The biggest thing for me is trying to figure it all out. I can normally change somethings in a template but first I need to find out how to make the templates writable. I’m sure it has to do with changing permissions which I’ll have to read up on. I’m hoping to change GoldenSnowball over to wordpress come next season. I’ve experimented a little bit with trying to import the files from GSB Blogger into WP with no success yet. Google keeps blocking it but I’ll figure that out when the time comes.

    So far I’m loving Word Press and all the options that are available with it. The big thing for me is finding the right template that is search engine friendly for the fact that my income is based on it.

    BTW Ellen, your site always looks nice and clean and I think what ever theme you use it will always look great ; )

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