My lazy redesign

I would have liked to have started from scratch and redesigned my site from the ground up, mulling over every pixel and color, and making it my own.

But that would have taken me months of hard work.

Instead, I redesigned my site in no time just by switching the theme.

My job was this :

get rid of the hamburger and the right-align buttons. Use words instead. Then blog about it.

What’s wrong with my site, June 2019

And my month was mostly occupied by this :

A map of the Western United States showing road trip stops and times between each destination. Start in Calgary; 11 hours to Yellowstone; 10 hours to Moab; 7 hours to Grand Canyon; 4 hours to Zion; 2.5 hours to Las Vegas; 8 hours to Yosemite; 4 hours to San Francisco; 6 hours to Redwood; 9 hours to Portland; 13 hours back to Calgary.
A map of my epic western-US road trip that I did as part of my ten graph challenge.

So I kept it simple by just choosing a new WordPress theme. And I’m quite happy with the result.

Before

For the first 3+ years of this blog, I used the theme Eighties, which looked something like this.

Screenshot of my old site header. Name is in giant letters against an image of a mountain sunrise. Icon buttons in the top-left and top-right.
My site header back in June. Note the giant banner, the irrelevant (albeit beautiful) photo, the hamburger icon on the left and the… stack of books icon on the right.

After

Now, I’m using the theme Libre 2, which looks like this. Note that my categories are slightly different from what I decided on last month.

Screenshot of my new website header. Page title is on the left and 5 categories are on the right.
My new site header. Much simpler and cleaner. Hopefully easier to navigate, too!

How I chose it

WordPress allows you to filter by different features when searching for themes. What I wanted boiled down to ABC:

  • Accessibility-ready (allows keyboard navigation, sufficient contrast, and more)
  • Blog excerpts (when listing blog posts, it shows a snippet instead of showing the whole damn post)
  • Classic navigation (no hamburger menu*)

Libre 2 not only met all of these needs, but it was also super clean and free. So I went with it.

*It does use a hamburger menu on small screens, but I’m okay with that, because it also has the word “Menu” next to the icon.

Screenshot of website header for narrow screens. Page title is on the left and Menu is on the right with an icon and the word "Menu".
The mobile-sized header of my new site theme.

Next steps

I haven’t done much customization of the theme, but I’d like to look into adding a little splash of color, maybe actually using the logo I designed a couple years ago, and exploring different font choices.

But for now, I’m going to be happy that the hamburger and the stack of books are gone!

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