Pied Type is moving on. Theme-wise, that is. Say goodbye to WordPress’s The Morning After and hello to Oxygen.
I’ve long fought the urge to change themes, but not because I didn’t like TMA. It stood the test of time. I used it for more than two years, far longer than any other theme I’ve tried. But periodically I just need a breath of fresh air, a new toy to play with.
Oxygen happens to be one of WordPress’s “responsive” themes, meaning it will readily adapt to the smaller mobile screens being used by more and more readers. But that’s not why I chose it. I just like its contemporary look, its clean grid design, its dynamic slider feature.
So far I’ve not discovered a feature I don’t like and/or can’t change with CSS, but that could still happen. It takes time to ferret out that one detail that drives me to abandon a theme. I may, for example, get worn down by the fact that for a post to appear in the slider, which one logically expects to be the newest posts, its featured image must be at least 750 pixels. That’s a big image. I often don’t choose images that large. Yet now I must if I want the post to show up in the slider. (Those big images will gobble up more of my free media storage, too.)
I have mixed feelings about the narrower measure for posts. The text area in The Morning After was some 700 pixels wide, far wider than the optimum for good readability (2.5 alphabets, or about 65 characters, is old rule I was taught), but great for displaying beautiful images, pull quotes, double columns, etc. In time I may discover the narrower measure is just too restrictive. It will undoubtedly break many of my post layouts that depended on a measure greater than Oxygen’s 450 pixel maximum and that may well be the deal breaker.
I’ve already found one detail that will drive me nuts until I either fix or remove it — perhaps with an assist from one of the CSS geniuses in the WP forums. The ornamental quotation mark that’s used with Oxygen’s block quotes is backwards. It’s a close quote and it should be an opening quote. Those WP theme designers must hate my niggling and nit-picking, but gosh darn it, don’t give an editor the wrong quotation mark!
There are three different menu options with Oxygen. You’ll notice the bar at the top of the page is now categories only. My About page, contact form, and other administrative and guide pages are in a mouseprint menu at the bottom of the page.
No doubt there will be lots of tinkering and tweaking in the days and weeks to come. Rearranging elements. Changing fonts and colors. Adding or deleting things. And who knows, one day I may just throw up my hands in exasperation and go back to The Morning After. I saved all my CSS, just in case.