When I originally started Butterfly Mind, I planned my site to be an online home for writing. I wanted words to be the focus – I didn’t foresee using photographs at all – and I selected Oulipo, a journalist theme (layout), to highlight that intention.
That was almost three years ago.
Recently, I’ve been feeling the limitations of that choice. I’ve started posting more images on my site, and my original theme was not kind to photography. The column was too narrow to showcase landscape layouts, and there were no options to feature images.
But aside from that, I felt an itch to move the furniture.
Back in June, Cheri Lucas Rowlands wrote about her choice to redesign her blog. She got my wheels turning, and I think I browsed the WordPress.com theme showcase at the time – just to see. I didn’t do anything with my site then, but the seed had been planted. Though I didn’t water or feed it, it grew anyway.
When I returned from Hawaii, I returned inspired. More fluid. Vulnerable to beauty. The past few nights I’ve been staying up, computer on my lap in the big comfy chair, while my husband watches The Walking Dead. I signed up for a free site, set it to private, imported all of my content from Butterfly Mind, and started playing with themes.
I tried several that didn’t suit me, then found a post highlighting themes for writers on Hot Off the Press, the WordPress.com news blog. From there I narrowed my choices down to two. I tweaked widget areas, played with featured images, rearranged menus. And I ultimately decided (with our 9 year old daughter’s help) on Hemingway Rewritten; I was a little giddy that the theme that works best for my blog is named for one of my favorite authors.
The influence of Hawaii is obvious in my color choices and header image, and what I love about Hemingway Rewritten is that it still offers a sidebar like my previous theme, but it eliminates a third column by moving the menu to the top.
Now photographs can take up more space. They can breathe. And I particularly love that I can customize a particular post’s header by attaching a featured image, like here, here, and here. Of course, that means I need to go through nearly 300 posts to attach featured images, but that’s okay – my husband has a lot of Walking Dead to watch.