Blog news

I’m going to update the look and feel of this blog, and it’s going to happen little by little before your eyes.

Nikon N90s, 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6G AF Nikkor, Agfa CT Precisa (expired 1/2006), processed C41, 2018

I like this blog’s current look and feel a lot. But I’m running on an old WordPress template that hasn’t been updated in several years. Its creator appears to have abandoned it. It also doesn’t play perfectly well with the new editor WordPress implemented a couple years ago.

I’ve needed to upgrade my template for a few years now, but I couldn’t find one that offered the look, feel, and features I want. But now WordPress offers a Theme Editor that gives a lot of control over look and feel. I just needed the right template to use as a base. (Unfortunately, my current template is so old it won’t work with the Theme Editor.)

WordPress’s new theme Twenty Twenty Three offers a lot of the look and feel I want, and is compatible with the Theme Editor. I’ve been trying out customizing this theme on my test blog with good success. I’m looking forward to making some improvements that I’ve always wanted with my current theme, including increasing default image width.

I’m going to implement Twenty Twenty Three here on Down the Road and customize it to my liking. But there’s no way for me to do it offline and turn it on when it’s all set. I’m going to have to do it on the live blog. Things will look wonky for a while, until I get everything set. I’ll start the work sometime this week.

A short editorial about this. While it’s disappointing that my old theme is no longer being maintained, this is just a hard reality with anything software related. Technology marches on, and sometimes you have to upgrade things to keep up.


23 responses to “Blog news”

  1. John Holt Avatar

    Jim, if you can, explain your process as you update your blog; maybe I can learn how to work on my own…. Thanks

    1. Suzassippi Avatar

      Great idea!

    2. Jim Grey Avatar

      I am feeling my way through the Template Editor as a newbie and will bumble and stumble my way into things. But I can try to summarize when I get things set well enough here.

  2. lasousa2015 Avatar

    I am sure you will enjoy a fresh start with the look of the blog. I am all thumbs with customizing the themes. Mine is clunky….Be well, L.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      A lot of blog templates are clunky. It’s why it’s taken me so long to update mine!

  3. Suzassippi Avatar

    I tend to like simplicity and first and foremost for me to keep reading a blog, it has to be easy to read–like no red letters on a purple background for example. I look forward to seeing what you are going to do and if you could make some additional comments as John Holt suggested above (without weighing down your primary purpose of the post) that would be helpful as well as interesting.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That’s what I’m after: simple. Single column, easy-to-read typography, plenty of room for my images to breathe. I’ll try to explain what I did after I do it, but I’m feeling my way as I go and may not always know why what I did worked!

  4. Ted Avatar

    It’s probably a good thing that you’re updating your site and replacing an obsolete theme. I don’t use WordPress for my Web sites, but the logs tell me a very significant proportion of my “visitors” are bots incessantly probing for WordPress modules and files. I can only suppose the intent is to find obsolete vulnerabilities the bot’s owners can exploit. That’s another reason you need to upgrade things, to protect your site from hackers.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      True. I’m on Business, so I’m hosted at WordPress, and they keep me on latest stable code at all times. That’s huge to keeping me safe from hackers. But I’m sure there are attack vectors through the templates too.

  5. Kurt Ingham Avatar

    I hate software ‘upgrades’ (for me)at the consumer level . There always seems to be some hassle involved, and often the ‘improvements’ are impossible to detect

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s an unfortunate reality of all things tech.

  6. Julie's Camera Avatar

    All the best for the changes. I quite agree with your disappointment when templates that you enjoy are no longer maintained by the web company. It seems the nature of the beast, these days.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It sure is. I feel fortunate that I’m a techy person – I work in software development. This stuff comes more easily to me.

  7. Reinhold Graf Avatar

    Have fun :)
    Updated mine to twenty twenty one some time ago and I‘m still not really satisfied with it :)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      There’s no perfect template, unfortunately.

  8. Khürt Williams Avatar

    Looking forward to seeing the transformation.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Coming soon, to a blog near you!

  9. Daniel Brinneman Avatar

    Jim, I’d like to see more than the excerpt on your home page. If each section could have an equal height square of text of 1-2 inches from the first paragraph so that the layout would feel more balanced and draw my eyes down instead of left to right because of the stair steps created by the positioning of each entry. My two cents on design.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ll see what I can do, but my options under the post title are either that excerpt or the entire post text. I may be able to format what is presently on the home page to avoid the stair steps. I’ll see.

      1. Daniel Brinneman Avatar

        Jim, switch out Post Excerpt for Post Content then on the hidden menu on the bar click on Show More Options for the Post Content block within the Post Query and you can adjust the amount of text shown.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          I should have answered your earlier question completely. I don’t want to include post content in the grid, because my opening paragraphs are usually not written in a way that gives sufficient clue as to what the post is about. I deliberately write my post excerpts so that a reader can go, “Ah! That interests me!” and click through.

          1. Daniel Brinneman Avatar

            Ah, I see. I thought it was being pulled from the first paragraph already. Maybe there’s a different method for balancing the layout.

        2. Jim Grey Avatar

          It’s on my to-do list to try to figure it out.

          I’m ambivalent about the grid layout itself. The template comes with a list layout. I may try that on for size first.

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