New Design

It happens every so often. Time for a new look on the blog. Most of the redesigns are hand-coded but not this one. I decided to use a commercial WordPress theme: Thesis.



It takes a lot of time and effort to build a WordPress theme from scratch. Most of the effort is in coding the CSS and getting all of the page elements to work out — column widths, typography, image handling, color. Thesis allows me to design from within the admin panel without using text editors and ftp tools. I can quickly and easily change design elements on the fly and not have to worry about a lot of coding.


When I build my own theme, I am the only person using that theme. Not much of a community. There are roughly 40,000 users on Thesis and the community is quite vibrant. Good support material and responsive online support.


I am not a full-time web developer or web designer. I keenly follow design trends and I enjoy learning about the finer details of things like CSS and PHP. But it is a fast moving space and it is much more effective to leverage the talent of the community and focus on the reason for the blog in the first place: staying in touch with family and friends. Using a commercial theme will keep me current on the WordPress platform and allow me to leverage new features and capabilities.


I can still manage my online brand through a commercial platform like Thesis. I can still decide on the layout, typography, color, images — in effect I am still producing a unique design for the site. For this refresh, I decided to go more towards the minimalist approach and to simplify.

3 replies
  1. Rob
    Rob says:

    OK, so what’s with the messy string ends on the Stratocaster in your banner – quite unlike you, Richard! 😉

    Mine must be cut short and neat, but only because it makes me feel better; it does not appear to make me play any better! R.

  2. Richard Cleaver
    Richard Cleaver says:

    My wife asked the same question 🙂

    The Strat in the photo is not mine. I haven’t figured out how to take a picture of myself from that angle while keeping the depth of field in the appropriate zone. I may substitute the header with a photo of one of my guitars. Now that you mention it, those string ends are really annoying!

  3. Rob
    Rob says:

    Having said that, it IS a good picture of the Strat.

    How are you at Photoshop? 😉

    Why not a family photo? Your “guitars and amps family” all together that is…..


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

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