Comments 15

What’s in a Theme?

For you lovely people out there who follow my blog, I need your help.

I would like to know: What’s in a theme?

When I begun as a blogophile I wanted the simplest theme that no money could buy…

But, with the growing addiction I have to my blogging my eyeballs appear to be crying out in protest. Do I need glasses? Quite possibly. Or is it too much small black print on a throbbing white page that is sending them into paroxysms of pain? So for the health of my eyes and that of others, I have changed my theme to one with larger writing, and done away with the vast expanse of pure white page.

Can I ask your opinion? Is it better or worse? Does every new blogger go through these agonies of indecision, not wanting to appear superficial but fearing that you might be coming off that way nonetheless? Does it even matter?

On an amusing side note, a few years back I went through a minor pretentious stage in which I desperately wanted glasses. Did I need them? Probably not. Ok, definitely not. But I went into the optometrist just the same, and bored her silly with tales of my failing eyesight, and my need for glasses. After copious amounts of tests in which I sincerely considered lying about the letters I saw, she came to a shocking conclusion. I didn’t really need glasses. However, she must have sensed my desperation, or just wanted an easy sale, because she offered to fit me for some reading glasses, ones which students often wear when spending long hours in front of a computer screen. Happily I picked out two pairs of frames, and handed over the exorbitant amount of $250.

Did I wear those glasses again? Of course I did! I wore them the day they arrived. For about 20 minutes. Before taking them off and placing them in the bottom drawer of my dresser, never to be seen again.

I pulled them out a few days ago, thinking, hoping, that they might alleviate the eyeball strain I’m currently feeling. Well. The first pair fell off my face, fell off my face, as in, the arms were too wide to even reach my ears. The second pair fitted ok, but gave me a kind of dizzy, drunk feeling, not unpleasant but not particularly conducive to reading or writing.


Ahh, the follies of youth.

So I put this question out to the far more experienced bloggers out there, what’s in a theme? Do you prefer this one? Is there nothing in the world you could possibly care less about? Did you eve once crave glasses so badly you considered lying to the optometrist just to get them?

Happy Sunday.


  1. To be honest I think a good theme is one that is silent in the sense that it enhances the content without being noticeable. I have tried several and still have not found what I really want. The font size here is a bit large for my liking but it is a beautifully clean, minimalist theme. I need something to show off photos. Text comes second unless its the other way around 😉

    If you struggle with glasses, just wait until you really do need bifocals or worse, variofocals like me. Nightmare! Trying to find a frame and lens that works well with camera viewfinders, binoculars and telescopes…… pretty tough. Good luck. I’d let the theme marinate for a while before you decide.

    • M. R. says

      You’re spot on, Andrew! content enhancement without screams of “look at MOI!”. But surely there are tons of themes designed specifically for photos?

      • There are indeed Margaret Rose. Plenty of them. But not one that has appealed to me enough to buy outright. I do write narrative. Sometimes even with no photos to enhance my word-salad (tossed inexpertly with a light dressing). I could write two different blogs but I am a bear of very little brain and easily confused. Two blogs???? So I soldier on, changing occasionally but invariably undoing the change in quick order. I am a demanding blogger in some ways.

  2. OK, so this made me laugh. I wanted glasses as a kid but then later when I actually needed them, I hated them. I would go with a theme that makes you happy, the rest of us will follow along. So maybe keep this for a few days and then see what you think?

  3. Oh, I know what you mean by eyestrain…too many blogs, too much reading…what to do? For me, this one’s too big somehow. Maybe it gets brighter when it gets this big, and the brightness hurts. Just one person’s opinion though…and thank you so much, btw, for following my blog- I appreciate the interest and I hope you enjoy it.

  4. Thanks for your input everyone! I think this font is a bit big too, if only you could change font size without paying to do it. 🙂 thankyou all for your suggestions, and as always, thanks for following my humble blog!

    • I have no problem with the font size. As to Andrew’s remarks about presbyopia, there are other visual problems that factor in from a publishing-for-others-to-read standpoint. If they have cataracts, floaters, macular degeneration or other visually limiting afflictions, the larger type face is more desirable. I am browsing this in Mozilla Firefox. I sometimes use (gag) MS IE. It is slightly easier to enlarge a page in IE by clicking at the bottom right in the status bar. In Mozilla currently you have to Ctrl+. Why is this important? I bump up to read easier, even with a 22″ screen. Themes will handle this differently. Some will bump up the page as a whole and at some point the edges of the page “run off” the screen. Not good. What you want to happen is the type size to keep enlarging with each adjustment and reformatting to fit the screen so all the information is viewable. This was the very first thing I considered when choosing a theme for my now week-old blog. I had been to others where I never could get the type face up enough before it spilled over. Try enlarging the page in whatever theme you are considering to see how it handles type and all the information on the page.

      In video production, we use an 80 to 90% white (going toward gray) as “white.” In television it reads as “white.” I find the same on blog pages. A very, very light gray or beige with black/brown (as this: type works well for not fatiguing the eye. I know of a blog that uses a white page with a gray/blue type face. It’s very easy on the eyes as are all the “pumpkin” shaded graphics on it. Take a look:
      I realize both of those are much to cluttered for your purposes, but evaluate them on color of page a type for readability and fatigue and they also bump up in the way I describe. You shouldn’t only be pleasing yourself. If readers can’t read it for reasons not affecting you, then read they won’t. Few people would take the time to copy and paste into Word and manipulate the font style and size so they could. If you are delivering in a format easily read, why are you writing? You get to deliver “large print” product at no extra charge to those that need it. How many bestsellers in paper have that going for them. Be happy with what you choose, but don’t neglect end-user functionality if you want to develop and maintain an end-user base.

  5. Ok final adjustment, smaller font and now I’ll let it marinate for a while like you say. Thanks again for your valuable help!

  6. LOL, first of all I DEFINITELY wanted glasses AND braces and got neither until I was 35 (braces) and 55 (glasses). Now I can’t see without them and wish I didn’t need them 🙂 . Second, I’m not a fan of plain white with text. Give us some pizazz please !!!!

  7. You are so funny…I am still smiling about your glasses. Ok, Theme. for mine I just wanted something that would work for both pictures and words. Strange I picked black though. I would never use a black matt for my photographs, but it seems to work on the computer display.

  8. M. R. says

    Oh, THEMES … I’ve tried so many and asked so many questions of Support about each one that when I finally coughed up a whole sh*tload of moolah and bought one, they were all immensely relieved. 🙂 There’s no right and no wrong; everything is totally subjective. Like books, eh? I was lucky, in that I came across one that had more or less every requirement that had occurred to me; and that’s why I was prepared to pay for it. But I am a bit puzzled about what you write: I mean, this IS a bright white page, isn’t it …?

    • Gosh you have found an old post! I wrote this back in May when my blog looked a little different, before I switched to this theme. I was using ‘truly minimal’, which is just a small block of text in the middle of the page. It was quite hard on the eyes!

      • M. R. says

        Ah, OK. Gotcha. And yes, I never hold back from roaming all over blogsites: if I comment, you’ll be informed. (Lucky you!)

      • It is interesting to read old posts I think – it shows where the blog has gone throughout its life! Roam away! 🙂

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