Overturning stones.

Picking a Theme

It’s upgrade time! Actually, the time had come and gone long, long, long ago. My website was woefully unresponsive to mobile platforms and terribly out of date. Time to choose a completely new design.

Enter WordPress and the overwhelming number of choices in themes. What to do, what to do?

I guess it was time to try some out and see what I thought. After looking at a number of themes, I decided that I wanted to use a parallax one page theme that would translate well to the business of writing. With that in mind, I needed a theme that didn’t require a long learning curve – something that would take me away from my primary focus of writing!

The first theme I tried was Access Press Parallax, an awesome looking theme with strong support from its creators, Access Press. I loved this design and what would be possible with the standard features. However – though I am not completely without any idea of how things function in the world wide web – I found myself chasing my tail trying to set up my website. I watched a couple of videos on Youtube that explained things quite well, but even so I found it a little unwieldy for my needs. There was definitely an order to things. If you strayed from the order in matching the elements together, the site did not function as intended. So for me it was just a little too time intensive. I am sure that it would become simpler with constant use, but I just didn’t want to expend the time to reach that stage.

I should add that some of my issues with that theme resulted from not removing all the remnants of the preloaded WordPress Theme: Twenty Seventeen. As a result, strange things popped up at random places. That was on me. Still, I could see where I might end up spending more time managing the site than I had to offer.

After totally removing the WordPress program and all its associated files – a completely clean slate – I reinstalled the program with the standard Twenty Seventeen Theme. It didn’t take very long to realize that it didn’t meet my needs. Though a simpler backend then Access Press Parallax, it still seemed unwieldy to me. After only a short time of playing around, I found myself ready to try something else. Funny thing, I really can’t remember what it was that turned me off to the interface, but I was just ready to move on. I reasoned that I could always come back to Twenty Seventeen or Access Press Parallax if nothing else out there met my wish list.

Okay, so time to create a clean slate again. Some would call it overkill, but remember the last time I left fragments of Twenty Seventeen on my system I had phantoms showing up in my new install. Of course, the new install comes with Twenty Seventeen already loaded. Just don’t make my mistake from the first install: accepting the plugins recommended for this theme.

Enter Eleganto by Themes4WP. Right out of the box it was different! I found this theme so completely intuitive. The learning curve was nothing like the last two themes. Plus under the Customize button – at the top of the screen or found under Appearance on the dashboard – you can access each of the sections on the page. From there you can hide the sections not in use, plus drag and drop the different page sections into different orders. I do wish within the Portfolio feature that you could drag and drop posts into the order that you want, but I assume there is a work-around for that. For me, I just made a point of adding the posts in reverse order so they ended up in the correct order within the section. Besides, it’s not like I will be making changes to the Portfolio element all the time as I am using it less as a portfolio and more as a prelaunch for my book.

That’s one of the biggest things I have learned about all three themes: The section elements are designed to work a certain way, and you need to figure out how you can use them to meet your individual needs. By the time my book is live on Amazon, I will upgrade to Eleganto Pro so that I can create a better purchasing experience.

In future posts I will add more of what I’ve learned about working with Eleganto.

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