A bit of virtual decorating

Doubling up on the decorating. Image c/o 2day929 on Flickr

I really should have mentioned this in my post yesterday but it seemed to slip my mind.  As you might have noticed, not only am I in the process of a bit of painting and decorating at home, I have also been indulging in a bit of decorating on this here blog.  I had the old theme for quite a while now and I thought it was time I freshened things up a bit with a new cloud photo and a whole new look.  This was mainly prompted by a chance glimpse of WordPress’ Twenty Eleven theme.  I thought seeing as I had Twenty Ten I should maybe upgrade to the new version.  I have to say I really quite like it and would be interested to know what others think.

Twenty Eleven has some quite nice features that I had either never used before or had not been aware of previously. For example, I really love the new ‘Featured Posts’ page that people land on when they visit my homepage.  It can feature up to ten posts displaying either the excerpt or the featured image on the post with the post title.  I had seen this sort of thing before and was unsure how it would work.  After a little playing around I managed to work out that you can set up a separate page for the blog (I thought that the only access to the blog was via the ‘Featured Posts’ page – d’oh!), so if people want to dig around they can just click on the ‘Blog’ link underneath the header image.  It will be interesting to see what impact this change has on my blog statistics.

The other thing I really like about this theme is the ability to choose which pages have the sidebar in it.  I’m pretty sure (although I could be wrong) that on my previous theme the sidebar appeared in everyone.  Now I only have it activated on the ‘Blog’ page making other pages less cluttered and much cleaner looking.  Furthermore, this theme strips the sidebar out altogether when reading an individual post, leaving the reader with just the text and images.  Again, I really like this touch.

Another fantastic touch is the ability to ‘pull quotes’ to either side of the post (like this)

Another fantastic touch is the ability to ‘pull quotes’ to either side of the post (like this). Quotes can be pulled to either margin to highlight key parts of the text that you wish to reinforce to the reader. I am not sure if this is specific to Twenty Eleven, but it is a fantastic tool that if used appropriately can be very effective.  I am tempted to use it all the time as I think it is so great, but I think overuse can lessen the impact.  Again, I am not sure if this is available on other themes (I’m not sure why it couldn’t be) but it is a great touch and another reason that I am so happy with this new theme.

So that’s my new theme and my reasons for liking it.  I would be interested to hear what other people think about this little spruce up of my blog.  Even if you hate it and prefer the old look, don’t be afraid to tell me!  Oh, and I forgot to mention that you can now sign up for an email subscription to this blog.  Never bothered with it before but I thought I might as well give it a go whilst I am fiddling around.  Now, back to the packing…this is going to take a while…

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