Chi on iPhone

New blog theme

Last time I’ve redesigned my website when I was still in the university, though I was happy with it at the time it didn’t look quite modern anymore. Pages were a bit cluttered and UI elements got in the way of content. I needed a clean minimal design that could serve as a good platform for my blog and photos while being more subtle and non-intrusive.

An ability to create child themes in WordPress makes designing themes a breeze. My new theme is based on the recently released with WordPress 3.5 new default theme Twenty Twelve. Choosing it offered me quite a few advantages:

  • A robust community-designed theme that uses the best WordPress practices;
  • Mobile-first responsive layout;
  • Support for a wide variety of browsers and platforms;
  • Minimal default styling, making it perfect for building upon;
  • Additional post formats, allowing publishing other content then blog posts.

My new theme is optimised for mobile, tablet and desktop screens. There is no sidebar, articles take up most of page width so nothing would get in a way of the content.

When I blog I always like to take a photograph to go with the text. Before on my website they used to look small and obscured by sidebar widgets. Now featured images are large and go from edge to edge of the content box. This makes photos really stand out, especially the wide shots. Each article container has rounded corners and a box-shadow with featured image sitting right on top. It makes blog posts look a bit like cards arranged vertically.

The text is now also more readable and visually pleasing thanks to Google’s Open Sans font. For the headings I used a beautiful sans-serif typeface Raleway by The League of Moveable Type. It’s thin and light letters look especially good in large type.

This is still very much a work in progress as several aspects need tweaking and improving,  namely I still need to add a proper image gallery among other things. But I wanted to update the design as soon as possible. It’s probably better to make incremental improvements rather then let the grass grow under my feet.

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