After days of searching for a magazine-style blog theme, I chose Arras. I liked the featured post slider, the thumbnails and a quick search of the support forums showed up answers to most of the questions I had in my mind (like whether I could upload a custom header banner). I admit the featured slider is a bit jazzy, but I am in the mood for a little bling for my blog 🙂
But I still did have to customize the theme. For one thing, I wanted green instead of blue. I wanted to have my own custom header image, I wanted to change the default font and of course the colors. It should have been simple, and it is, but it’s incredibly time-consuming. It would be much faster if you knew exactly which shade you wanted for each area of the site, but if you go through the trial-and-error method, it takes a lot of time. As it was, I was obsessively tweaking all weekend.
This is how the theme actually looks like if you use it without any customization :
There were a few hiccups along the way, like the tabbed sidebar widget which insisted on destroying my entire layout when viewed in IE. But most of them were resolved by digging though the forum archives, though that did take some time as well.
Most of the changes I needed could be done by editing the stylesheet, but there were some (like Sujatha’s idea of removing the text excerpt from the slideshow) which actually involved editing php files.
The customized theme, as you cannot help noticing, is green. But is it easy on your eyes? Would most of you rather prefer blue (just in terms of readability) ? I hope you will answer these and other questions in the poll below. Please don’t limit yourself to just the poll – I’d really appreciate detailed comments /critiques.