Wider Themes

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  • #483532

    jtur001
    Member

    Thank you very much for providing us with forum to discuss this issue Lance!

    At this stage of the comments, much of what I would like say has already been mentioned by others, although I still don’t think it can be stressed enough just how important wide themes are to actual writers, like breakthroughtogod said. I regularly write 3000+ word posts for instance (I think my record was over 7000!), and I’d hate to try and read those on a thin theme.

    (I think wider themes tend to have larger fonts too, but don’t hold me to that!)

    One important point I think I <i>can</i> add to this thread though, is the need for more wide themes to be available for bloggers that are ALREADY using wide themes. Sure, it was my choice to use <i>The Journalist v1.3</i> almost as soon as it came out, but now that all my hundreds of videos and images are 680 pixels across accordingly then that means that if I want to change, then what…70% or 80% of the other themes available are simply too narrow for them.

    With only 20% of the themes available though, I simply haven’t been able to find something else that I like so far ( I would be quite happy with </i>The Journalist 1.9</i> though, if only there were an option to remove those ugly link borders around images).

    In short, what I’m saying is that if a blogger decides to use a wide theme like I did, then effectively he or she is stuck using that theme FOREVER because there’s so few other options available. This seems, well, a little unfair!

    Finally, I’d echo those commenters who’d like something like the Journalist, but with color options and header images and so forth. Actually, I rather like v1.3, but it can seem a bit bland sometimes, hence my wanting to switch to v1.9 (but for that one problem I mentioned). What I’d REALLY like though, is a wider version of <i>Bueno</i>! :)

    p.s. I think all us “writer bloggers” would tend to want at least 2 column layouts: that way, as readers scroll down, we can encourage them to read other things on our blogs via our sidebar.

    #483573

    Hi again Lance. Like I said back at Paperpunch, it is the “Magazine” style that I am aiming for: lots of visual content on the sidebar, and highly visual main content too. I also prefer the look of images in one at a time, rather than in as a ‘gallery’. I think this is because when I click on a ‘gallery’ I don’t know how long my experience there will last, whereas when images are entered in one at a time I can instantly see the length of the whole post. Understand? Perhaps we “Magazine types” want Custom Headers, Image rich sidebars, AND nice wider photos (preferably without the funny borders…) and… like @jtur001 above, I am now *stuck* with my theme because many themes do not adapt to my bigger images – they extend over the sidebars of other themes :(

    #483579

    5acrefarmer
    Member

    I’d love a blog that filled up my 1920pixel wide monitor, not that it’s a practical idea but it would look great! But then again, what about when I’m on my netbook?

    I recently changed my blogs over to a wider theme, 930pixels wide I think.

    I think the only necessary reason for themes to be wider is because monitors are generally wider pixelwise.

    #483611

    boles
    Member

    When I moved 13 blogs to WP.com, I was looking for a clean theme without a header. I like white space. I prefer to provide the color. I want my content at the top, not links and not static images.

    My original plan was to have 13 different looks for each blog — but I couldn’t find 13 themes that matched my design want for clarity and cleanliness — and so all of the blogs are using Journalist 1.9 and I like the symmetry using a single design across all the blogs provides. It’s as if you’re reading the same blog in separate domain niches.

    I agree with a previous commenter that the default borders around the images in Journalist 1.9 are ugly and I had to purchase the CSS Upgrade for all the blogs just to remove the image borders.

    I like wide themes because of this:

    http://browsersize.googlelabs.com/

    Our content appears “higher up” in a basic monitor view without our readers having to scroll to read text.

    We tend to write a long articles and use big images and wide themes give the eye more calming white space. Here’s an example of a recent post with tons of text, a few images, and some video inserts:

    http://urbansemiotic.com/2010/05/26/wattstax-and-understanding-the-1965-watts-riot/

    That sort of article fits that wider theme. A narrower view creates an even longer scrolling experience.

    Here’s a shorter example with the same idea — the uncluttered, bright white of the wider theme allows the white space to create the illusion of providing the natural hot sunlight on the main image for the article:

    http://carceralnation.com/2010/05/25/of-magnets-and-moral-mayhem/

    I appreciate this opportunity to share ideas directly with the WP decision makers.

    Thank you!

    #483615

    pixus75
    Member

    I’m really new to wp.com and am planning to move to .org at some point, and one of the reasons is that i DO want to decide about the width of my blog and its sidebars.
    I like 2 sidebars, because I do want to have a ‘normal’ or index/link sidebar plus a sidebar to display flickr photos – all the way down.
    I know many people find 3 coloumn blogs or too many widgets distract from the content in the posts, but that’s just something I like for myself, and I think others do. I like for my readers to be able to see everything at the first glance. (I have a similar, private blog for my family on blogspot and everything fits like I want it.)
    On wp themes, when I set the flickr widget on ‘small’, some themes cut away the black border (i wish it was not even there!) or cut the ‘landscape size’ photos on the side. I haven’t tried them all, but the new Structure theme handles it differently (shrinks the horizontal photos to adjust them all, very neat!) and I think it’s a good idea. Still, wider themes would allow for wider sidebars, and I think that is a reason for many people.
    I am still setting up, and it’s the fun part, maybe I haven’t figured it all out yet.
    But I see there are lots of themes coming in anyway, keep it up ! :)

    #483621

    elsheimy
    Member

    I’m a software developer and technical writer. I can’t demonstrate code blocks or technical illustrations in normal layout themes, so I always use full-width themes. In addition, may aspects and many widgets should be added. Therefore, themes with two widget columns are really helpful.

    #483652

    misouho
    Member

    I didn’t see too many people who are primarily photographers commenting so I’ll add my 2 cents.

    I like to showcase my photos and the story behind them (aka lots of text) so a wide theme is greatly desired. I don’t want my readers to click on each picture to go to the attachment page. I don’t want my readers to have to keep clicking next for every single post (hence Duotone doesn’t work for me, and it’s not even that wide). Can we please have at least ONE wide single column theme? Is it too much to ask for since we already have so many out there that are multi-columns? Thanks.

    #483761

    I post the occasional picture on my blog and also wish that they could be a bit bigger without compromising readability for my readers.

    I think the above points have made a good case for wider-themed layouts but I’ll add that the thin layouts, almost seem to waste perfectly good screen space.

    I’m not a big picture poster and I would like more wide layouts. I have a widescreen computer and the narrow columns make it difficult to read without endless scrolling.

    Thanks for considering to create more wide formats!

    #483765

    timethief
    Member

    I’m all for choices when it comes to themes. Just saying … I’m wondering is the folks posting to this thread have considered the following.

    Devblog provided a link in another thread and it got me thinking.

    Many readers are viewing our blogs on mobiles, ipads, notebooks and on laptops with small screens. I’m focused on my reader’s prefernces and realities as opposed to my own.

    It’s a common misconception that most people use broadband when connecting to the Internet and page loading time is not a problem. That’s simply not the case> In America one-third of the country (or 93 million Americans) don’t have high-speed internet access at home, according to a consumer survey released Feb. 23, 2010 by the Federal Communications Commission. I recently read that 10% of UK households still use dial-up service. Now that’s not to mention the significant traffic flow I get to my blog from other countries where dial-up service is common as well.

    I have set my blog here > Appearance > Extras so it displays a mobile theme for mobile users. I never ever post large images larger than 600 pixels in width and I don’t have a sidebar cluttered with widgets and gadgets.

    I know the average desk top computer user in North America has a 17 inch monitor like me as opposed to a wall sized projection screen. My the screen resolution size is average at 1024 x 768.

    In another thread devblog suggests an overall layout width of 1000px including the sidebar for any theme will cover most screen resolutions without creating a horizontal scroll bar. To me nothing is more annoying than scroll bars. They send me the message that the blogger in question thinks their precious work ought to be on a movie screen so when I experience that it’s kiss of death. I click out never to return again.

    – Most Used Screen Resolution
    Check your screen resolution and find out which is the ACTUAL resolution most users use today! http://mostusedscreenresolution.com/

    #483767

    maidiebike
    Member

    By coincidence the largest images I’ve ever posted have been approx. under 450 pixels in width. This is partially dictated by MistyLook theme which is a slimmer width. But it is a blessing in disguise, when it comes to mobile handheld device viewing.

    Already the visual image impact is enough. It’s not a photoblog but I always try to have at least 1-3 photos embedded to complement the article’s content. There are alot of static photos in our young blogs, compared to other blogs.

    As for the scrolling down to see more than 1 article (instead of just the latest):

    It allows the reader unfamiliar (or can’t remember) with either of our 2 blogs, by a browsing without endless clicking back and forth, to see and gauge the general “flavour” / subject concentration of each blog.

    For many years I have worked with very deep websites and other electronic content products where I had to assess for both product usability (to purchase content licensing access) and content relevance: it is time-consuming and at times, disorienting to click through a range of different article references or even article summaries in order to get a good, but time-efficient broad brush-stroke assessment of what a blog tends to specialize, writing style, etc.

    Some bloggers have not assisted their audience with a succinct explanation of what their blog is about, nor are there categories/tags to help. Lists of most recent titles aren’t always clear indicator.

    Just my preference.
    Certainly when a WordPress theme offers ability to show list of latest posts with title and first few lines, plus a photo, that avoids some problems. (ie. Inuit) Not all themes are like this. MistyLook is not like that unless one uses an Archived list page as a default ‘home’ page which I prefer not to.

    #483798

    nyomomma
    Member

    I do a lot of writing, as well as posting pictures so for myself I prefer the wider themes. I used them exclusively on my self-hosted website.

    Thus far, I really haven’t found a theme that really appeals to myself and am just ‘making do’ with the theme I currently have eventually I’ll be moving my free blog to a self-hosted blog, however, I might be doing it sooner rather than later since I’m just not satisfied with the themes being offered.

    #483799

    timethief
    Member

    How wide is wide? Maximum displayed image width for each of the themes > http://wpbtips.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/maximum-image-width/

    #483822

    janicefbx
    Member

    I’ve been dying for new, wider themes. The new themes WP has made in recent weeks are very nice, but when I preview them, they frequently chop off parts of my photos. Also, stuff in my sidebar tends to disappear. Many of the themes do not have a custom header — or have a teeny, tiny header — Blogger uses big, bold headers and looks better, allowing for more color and vibrancy.
    I’d prefer to fill the space on the screen, not be scrunched into thin borders and scrolling down. Bigger photos are eye-catching — and after all, WP does allow for different photo sizes, so why not make the most of it?

    #483824

    timethief
    Member

    Hi Janice,
    This is just to let you know that your username isn’t linked to your blog and you didn’t post the URL. We cannot see what theme you are currently using and determine what the maximum image displayed width is in it so we don’t know what you mean by wider. How much wider?

    Also, stuff in my sidebar tends to disappear.

    Stuff in sidebars doesn’t disappear unless it contains restricted code. See here > http://en.support.wordpress.com/code/

    Blogger uses big, bold headers and looks better, allowing for more color and vibrancy

    I wouldn’t dream of using my blogspot blog for anything other than a personal blog for two reasons. Blogger themes right out of the box do not validate and there’s no way I’m spending my time validating a an out of the box template that throws over 300 HTML markup errors at me. Also the big vibrant headers that are so common there IMO give blogs a very amateurish appearance that just isn’t suitable for my content and my readers.

    #483825

    debbienorman
    Member

    I agree fully with James whose initial comment caused the thread to be moved here for further discussion. Many of the themes are far too narrow. For comfortable reading, or for showing a decent sized photo. Regardless of whether it is a photo blog or not, photos add to the content of the blog and it’s nice if they are a nice size.
    Also when I switched to a different (narrow) style I got a lot of complaints about all the “dead air” on the screen so I went back to what I had before.

    I would like to see a lot more wider themes, and I wish there were more options that put the content in the center, as opposed to off to one side. Not everyone has, or wants, a ton of sidebar content. It would be nice to see new more stylish versions of Garland. It accommodates nice sized photos, and keeps the content in the middle (with a sidebar on each side). I just wish it didn’t look so… out of date. I stick with it though because it has most of what I want (i.e. good photo size, readable font, and content in the middle).

    I think WordPress is doing a great job. I *loved* the changes/options on twenty-ten. Would love to see something like that, but with a 3 column set up like Garland. That would be awesome!

    #483826

    timethief
    Member

    @debbienorman
    Would you like to share which theme you are using now so we then can know what the maximum displayed image width is on it and what you mean by wider?

    #483827

    lauramichet
    Member

    It’s a bit disheartening to me to see that the theme developers kid of don’t trust that we should want or need wider themes.

    Most of my posts hover around 1500 words, and on a page with a narrow text column and large fonts, this causes the articles to appear prohibitively long. People simply won’t read them if they look that long. With Journalist, the appear much shorter, since the text is smaller and the column wider. It’s a psychological thing.

    I also like to post very wide screenshots from games. It would be totally useless for me to use a photoblog format becuase the whole point of my blog is written articles, not photograps. They’re there as a supplement. They look much, much better when they’re big, but they would be useless alone.

    You should stop trying to get us to use photoblogs when it’s clear that we’re already productively using Journalist for, apparently, a kind of blog you didn’t expect us to create. Text and photos and code sometimes need to sit happily together. Sometimes this only works when the space they share is wide enough.

    Additionally, most of the narrow themes are pretty dull. I sometimes feel like you’re beginning to repeat yourself.

    #483829

    timethief
    Member

    For what its’ worth for those reading this thread who may not be using one of the two versions of the The Journalist the maximum displayed images widths derived the post I linked to above are:

    The Journalist v1.3 – maximum displayed images width – 720 pixels
    The Journalist v1.9 – maximum displayed images width – 680 pixels

    The maximum displayed image widths for all the different themes are found in the post I linked to in my comment here https://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic/wider-themes/page/2?replies=37#post-469655

    #483830

    dtzima
    Member

    I have been waiting for a wider theme as well. I loved Motion. It had the wider side bar, the footers, the width was great for me for the size of photos I add and the text fit nicely. I like darker colors because they stand out. The major problem with Motion was you had trouble reading it. I guess because of the transparency.

    I like a fluid width personally or else wider width with a wider side bar. A lot of my info. doesn’t fit on some of the themes side bars.

    #483836

    I’m thinking of setting up a WordPress blog (based on recommendations from other bloggers). I wanted a flexible-width blog with a custom header. There is only ONE theme with those properties! I hate the fixed-width blogs, particularly the narrow ones, since I usually need to increase the font size to read them, and I end up doing too much scrolling.

    Why does WordPress.com hate flexible width?

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