Finding the “perfect” theme

So this blogging thing all started for me when my brother needed a website to promote his freelance business. Years of relying on old clients and word-of-mouth recommendations wasn’t working so well in this new economic climate.  His shock at some days having nothing to do (after years of having too much to do),  but tidy his office and take the dog for a lot of walks, made him realise that I was right all along. He needs a website.

The more I thought about it, the more I thought that maybe I (being a programmer – albeit a dormant one) should volunteer for the job.  Big problem for me was that although I have a lot of computer experience, it isn’t in web design.

The shock when I turned my computer on, and started delving into the web design world, was immense.  Here was a whole new world of software and jargon I’d never heard of. And lots of acronyms. I know I haven’t been working regularly in a couple of years now, but this felt like I had landed on another planet where they didn’t speak English, let alone any computer language I was familiar with.

After spending a couple of days researching the scope of my problem, giving it a lot of thought and taking our dog for walks (it didn’t inspire me to clean my office though!), it seemed to me that programming a simple site from scratch was a bad idea.  I’m in the “least effort for most gain” club. Enter WordPress software and WP themes and Cascading Style Sheets.  So then I came up with an even worse idea: volunteering for the job FOR FREE (an offer which my brother, always keen on a bargain, quickly realised was too good to pass up on!). After all how long could this take me? A couple of hours? A day? I had that kind of time.  And after all he was my brother . . .

Well, now I’m a couple of weeks further down the road, and I’m realising a couple of things:

  • There is no “perfect” WP theme out there.
  • It’s really difficult to make a minimalistic layout (on instruction from my “client”) look interesting and professional.

So what does this mean? Well, it means that it’s time to get my hands dirty. Which for me means doing some more homework . . .



Categories: Science/Technology


I live on the Southern coast of South Africa, and write about the things that interest, amuse or inspire me. You can find me at and (my photoblog)


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2 Comments on “Finding the “perfect” theme”

  1. VirtualAssistantZA
    July 22, 2010 at 3:59 am #

    New projects are always a lot of fun, right?

    I find that a temporary onset of ‘the fuddles’ (caused by too much information gathered during the research phase) is worth it in the end and so is the appreciation of a happy client – brother or not.

    Good luck with this . . . and don’t be surprised to hear a knock at your (virtual) door for some tips 🙂

  2. Dave Joubert
    July 26, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    You write succintly, comfortably and entertainingly. You really seem to have come to the party, hit the ground running and are plucking the low hanging fruits. I know this response should be to your entry on cliches but I am at a foreign computer that takes ages to navigate around. Ok, Ms Blog, next thing, write a book, you can probably use a dictaphone and a programme that translates into text.

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