As I wrote in my previous post, themes in both Tumblr and WordPress frustrate me. This post addresses only WordPress themes.

Aesthetics

My first annoyance is aesthetic: most themes that I found militate against a text-dominant web site. While I know this is partly a matter of taste, it’s not a surprise to me that an information-centric site such as Wikipedia uses a format that prioritizes information and readability over glitziness. Many themes present colors, shapes, animations, and menus that drop down (too easily)—instead of discursive information. What must dazzle many users strikes me as overly busy, poorly organized bells and whistles.

Disabled Features in Free Themes

My second annoyance (although I understand the need for it) is that initially free themes appear to take too much work to modify. Therein lies the incentive to upgrade to the paid version of the theme, a good option for users who don’t want to fiddle around with their site. However, once one learns how to apply Additional CSS and a child theme, this annoyance disappears.

The next post will discuss editing with either the visual editor or the code editor.

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