Like the new look?

I’ve been meaning to redesign this blog for a while now. Most of all I wanted a better sidebar setup which would accommodate more links and wider ads widgets. In fact, the old Papertrail theme I was using has only a very rudimentary widget support, and with the recent success of this blog I needed more flexibility.

Although still a work in progress, I quite like the results so far. It’s cleaner, it uses less Flash(*) and it loads extremely fast. The design still needs work and I definitely need a better tagline (wanna help me out with that one?).

* = I’ve come to believe that using Flash to create fancy titles simply isn’t worth the trouble. For one thing, most mobile phone browsers don’t support Flash, and the old theme looked terrible on those as a result. Flash is great for lots of things, but having 10+ movies on one page just to have specific font is like shooting a mosquito with a cannon (as we say here in the Netherlands).


  1. Yeah, it’s great. Only the WP-Cumulus in the sidebar needs some tweaking i think…. I don’t like the looks of its background. Should be just the same color of your sidebar background

    Comment by Leon — December 18, 2008 @ 1:23 pm

  2. I usually find 3-column layouts to be too busy but I like how you use 2 columns higher up on the page and then split it further down. It’s a pretty nice, low key theme. I admit I’ll miss diddling around with my mouse on those floaty titles as I read through your entries. 🙂

    No interest in predominantly dark themes anymore? I find white on black to be way easier on my eyes! Plus it’s better for the environment since it uses less electricity on your monitor. If you made some more dark themes I might actually consider switching mine!

    Nice theme, though. The main column feels like just the right width to keep it readable without being too narrow.

    Comment by Brian — December 18, 2008 @ 4:54 pm

  3. Hi Brian. I’ve indeed lost interest in dark themes. I know it’s a matter of personal preference, but I like dark text on light backgrounds nowadays. But then I haven’t released any themes for ages anyway. My plugin efforts have taken up all my free time. Currently, I’m not planning to release this theme because of the extra support emails/comments that would generate.

    The power consumption thing isn’t true anymore btw, because most LCD monitors require the most power when for dark screens (when the backlight needs to be blocked almost entirely).

    Comment by Roy — December 18, 2008 @ 7:15 pm

  4. The dark themes (ie black background) were more of a dot-com phase. They’ve lost all sense of beauty. Now it seems that blue, green and white are the hits.

    Looks great Brian, I know the feeling, I just finished my new “look” yesterday. With a few pages left to create I should be good to go.

    Comment by Daniel Massicotte — December 20, 2008 @ 4:02 pm

  5. I’ve been meaning to update my tired old look of my site for some time. Your updates may motivate me to make that change.

    Comment by Ken Hanscom — December 27, 2008 @ 6:12 pm

  6. Hi Roy.
    I love your Paper Trail theme. Congrats.
    When are you going to share this one? It’s awesome.

    A big hug, from Argentina.


    Comment by Diego — February 14, 2009 @ 2:58 am

  7. This theme is great – I’d love to use it on my site as well. Any chance of releasing it to the public? 🙂 Thanks and keep up the great work!

    Comment by Matt — February 14, 2009 @ 4:39 pm

  8. Hi Roy,

    please let me know when can I dip my hands on your code and insert mine. I would love to.

    Please let me know,


    Comment by luis — February 19, 2009 @ 2:04 am

  9. Hi Luis. As I said in the original post, I feel this design still needs work. The header especially is rather boring, and uses a title image, which makes it harder to release this a public theme (we wouldn’t want my name on every blog that uses it would we?).

    I’ve asked a very talented former coworker of mine to design a better header. Once that is in place, and if it can be converted into something generic, I’ll try and make a release version of this theme. Chances are it will be a very custom made header though…

    Comment by Roy — February 19, 2009 @ 8:47 am

  10. I love the theme! I have been looking everywhere for a plain white theme. ads ready and with 3-columns.

    Hope you will release it soon.

    Comment by Ana Lutetia — October 20, 2009 @ 3:34 am

  11. Hi Roy,

    Could you let me know what plugin you are using to create your Shortcuts Menu Bar? Looks very clean.

    Comment by Greg — January 31, 2010 @ 11:01 pm

    • Hi Greg. The shortcut menu is part of my theme. It’s a couple of html lists, some CSS and a touch of jQuery. The tags, categories and pages come from WP, the other menus are hardcoded. Not something I’d consider releasing I’m afraid.

      Comment by Roy — February 2, 2010 @ 9:36 am

  12. No problem Roy, thanks for the answer. I will quickly throw something together myself. Too many plugins are… well, too many plugins. I figured your menu was too good to be a plugin.

    Comment by Greg — February 2, 2010 @ 10:05 am