Nothing Motivates Writing Like a New Theme Design
I know to non-bloggers, writing a blog post about blogging is a kin to photographers talking about equipment (which we love to do), but to the rest of the world, it's... boring... that is unless you love photography, or in this case blogging. If you know Wordpress, their mantra is Code is Poetry, and maybe that's why I love their coding.
Funny thing is, I find more people interested in new theme designs than I find people interested in writing on their blogs so go figure. I really try not to change themes too often, and Google doesn't like it all that much either, but this time my last highly customized premium them, called Portfolio by Wordpress only lasted about 3-4 months (see scalability issue below).
It's Not the Theme It's the Content
I'm not really sure why this is, but it seems to be true, even though I refute the notion when asked. I hear it all the time... if I just had a new, fresh, nice looking, well designed, custom coded, update to my blog, I would write more. And every time I hear that, my response is always the same. If you don't write on your blog when it's ugly-ish your not going to write on your blog when it's beautiful. The phrase amongst websites and blogs that "content is king" has been true for years, and will remain true for all foreseeable futures of Internet knowhow. There is just nothing that makes up for good content. If you doubt this, just check out three of the worst designed websites on the Internet; Craigslist, Drudge Report, and Reddit, who are also some of the highest traffic sites on the Internet.
Still, every time I update my theme (which I try not to do very often), I get reinvigorated and excited about my blog. I still think my advice holds true, forget your design and just start posting good content and the design will works it's way in. If you are in the habit of producing high quality, consistent content already, a new theme will be even more invigorating.
The New Twenty Twelve Wordpress Theme
Some of the most versatile website designs today are from Wordpress. I have written on them many times before so I won't repeat that here, but if you have that strong desire to change designs like you change Facebook profile pics, Wordpress is for you, at least theme wise. For the first time, I have gone with a custom design of a default Wordpress theme from the guys over at Automattic, called Twenty Twelve, so this them I used here is available to anyone with a Wordpress blog.
My top priorities when it comes to design are readability, typography, clarity, customization, scalability to move from one design to another, and a design that will fade into the background allowing the images and writing to take over, and Twenty Twelve hit these requirements quite well. This new them has one thing my previous theme didn't have, the ability to move on to the next theme. The greater the customization, the harder it is to move on to the next code.
Twenty Twelve, launched on August 28, 2012, this theme is now going to sit as the Wordpress default theme, an update to their "Twenty something" series of themes. It uses a new typography from Google (Open Sans), which is one of the most readable sets they have produced. If you have a Wordpress blog, check it out, but you might already be using the theme and just didn't know it. Thanks for another great theme Wordpress. In my relentless desire to find the cleanest, minimalist theme design, you have brought me one step closer to perfection, at least in my mind.