Zoren

It’s time for a spring clean of the Mexile, Mexican style. In other words, about five months late. I’d been using the Pilcrow theme on WordPress for years. I liked it. Still do. It’s clean, slick and just plain old looks nice. My only complaint was that it’s a little too narrow. Which made my photos a bit small. I often look at new themes, and preview them. And dismiss them. My most comment complaint? They’re too wide.

A narrow theme works well with the text. A wide one works well with the images. There has to be a happy compromise somewhere. Pilcrow has a text width of about 480 pixels. Zoren, 800 pixels. I’m guessing my ideal compromise would be somewhere in between. I think 600 pixels would be just right. Alas, there are no themes I’ve found with a text width of around 600 pixels that I like.

Zoren is nice and clean, and I’ve added a dozen photos for the rotating banner at the top. All taken by yours truly over the last couple of years. I’m not so keen on the huge info bar across the top of each post. An excessive, unnecessary and space wasting bar. It also includes the comment link. Comment links should be at the end of the post. That way, people leave an intelligent comment when they’ve finished reading the post, rather than an uninformed diatribe before doing so. In theory…

I’m going to give Zoren a run for a few days. Maybe a week or two. Just to see if it grows on me. If it doesn’t, then Pilcrow may yet make a return. Feedback is hugely appreciated. What do you think of the change? Is it easier on the eye? Easier to read? Is the comments link placement a deal breaker?! Vote!

15 Comments

  • Pilcrow has a lot to recommend it. In fact, I wanted to use it myself, but decided not to since it’s “your” theme.

    As for Zoren, it’s clean and readable. But I think I share your complaints about the fattish banner at the top of each post, and the lack of a comment button/link at the bottom. Frankly, I don’t know what these theme designers are thinking when they don’t put a comment link at the bottom.

    I don’t suppose there are themes where you can get under the hood and tweak the bits, are there?

    I’m reading this on a Toshiba laptop running Win 7, and I’m logged into my WordPress account.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we are still figuring out this blogging thing. Are you reading?

    • Well, Pilcrow is now once again available… 🙂 I don’t think I’ll go back. Zoren has grown on me. Warts and all.

      As I mentioned in a comment above, once inside the post, there is a comment box at the bottom.

      I recently switched themes on the much less loved Mexile 2 blog. It’s an excellent theme. Right width, nice banner, excellent homepage and not, sadly, available on WordPress.com. It’s WordPress.org only. Shame.

      You can completely rewrite themes if you know a bit of CSS and pay for the Custom Design upgrade. About $30 if I remember rightly. Which isn’t something I plan to do. I used to be pretty familiar with CSS (I designed a blog from scratch when I used Opera) but I’ve forgotten most of it.

  • Sr.
    I voted on I´d like a beer, (you know; it´s very hot in here) you have the company address, so please send it soon. Hope everything is fine with you and Mrs. P.

    • Greetings Daniel! You know, if I posted a beer, the Mexican Postal Service would only want you to pay an enormous amount of tax!! You’ll have to wait till I can buy you one in person. Soon. Hopefully. Maybe…

  • I wanted to view the new format on both my iPad and laptop before commenting. The text fits nicely on the iPad, which can be a problem with some blogs. And easily readable on both.
    I like the side bar with the collage of Community members, it adds a nice amount of color to the whole page.
    Why only a dozen rotating photos for the top banner?
    Even though the comment link is at the top (I must be missing something if it is also on the bottom)it’s not the only blog format that has this annoying feature, just something to adjust to.
    Besides, I don’t like beer 🙂

    • I’m glad to hear it works well on tablets and mobile. It should really – most modern themes are designed with mobile in mind these days. I also like the community bar…

      Why only 12 images for the banner? Because I have to choose theme, crop them to size, upload them and then reselct the crop and it is all a little bit of a pain in the backside! Twelve is enough, surely!? 🙂 I will probably add more as time goes by. I think I had about sixteen images on my last blog.

      As for the comment box at the bottom. You have to be ‘in the post’. If you’re looking at the main page with all the blog posts then it isn’t there. But if you click on the title of a blog post, then you’ll see a white box at the box of the post. Click in it, and hey presto…

  • You are right on the 600 pix for the text width but how do you get to that. Maybe the narrower text might do. In a perfect world I guess that we would not exist so till then keep on tweaking.

  • Actually I do know what a theme is! The picture is a bit long so I’m with you that maybe the test should be about 600 pix wide. This one does not look all that bad so it might be filed under relative perfection. But it is very readable too!

    • I don’t know why, but your comments went into the moderation queue to be approved. You’re normally pre-approved. Weird. Still, I dare not turn off the moderation feature because Akismet, sadly, would let far too many spammers through.

      I wasn’t happy with the comment link being at the top, but I’ve realised that it is also at the bottom. So that’s one less gripe…

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