Blog maintenance. I don’t often do it. However, the other day I looked at my WordPress dashboard and was surprised to see that the theme I’ve been using for a couple years (Opti) had been retired. I wasn’t sure what that meant but it didn’t sound promising. A theme is the template or structure of a blog’s layout. (WordPress currently boasts 9,093 free themes!)
It turns out that when a theme is retired it is still usable. Until a certain point in time, anyway. A retired theme is no longer being updated, which means it will eventually not function properly — the older code and features eventually will not jibe with newer code and features as technology evolves.
Rather than wait until cracks started showing, I looked around at themes that are currently active. I also asked Laura to look at some with me. Many of the newer themes are ultra minimal. The Opti theme I had been using was very busy with three columns and lots of features on the main page.
Below is a screen shot of the Opti theme.
Laura spotted a theme called Apostrophe 2. It is much less busy than Opti, but unlike the ultra minimal themes, it does at least have a sidebar, which I like (and will also update soon).
Below is a screenshot of how the same content above looks in Apostrophe 2.
Going forward, it looks like I’ll need to make featured images that are square rather than rectangle to better fit the new theme.
New Title & Logo
I also took some time to think about new branding for my blog. The address will stay the same (chriswolak.com), but I’m changing the title to Stay Curious. It’s positive, encouraging, and reflects one of my core values, life-long learning.
I also created a logo:
The book at the center is an obvious choice for a book blog. It also makes me think of water or waves. Perhaps that is because of the seagull-like birds flying out of the pages like ideas or adventure. Together they make me think of the sea, which I love.
For this last week of 2021, I plan on sharing posts on the libraries I saw on my road trip back in June. This semester was a busy one and my blogging took a hit, but I’m looking forward to having time over the next few weeks to reengage.