At the end of last week Erin decided that her Erin King Photographer blog, while really nice and functional, needed a bit of a face-lift. There were a couple of reasons for this:
- The NextGen Gallery plugin being used didn’t work 100% correctly with the WordPress theme we chose.
- The best way to showcase photography isn’t to use thumbnail-based galleries anymore.
- The existing theme was getting a bit dated – not because it used old techniques but because it just needed a change.
Without going into detail that people aren’t interested in, the basic way forward was to choose a new theme and modify it to suit our needs. I’m running the blog on WordPress 3, my blogging engine of choice for client sites that don’t require extreme levels of customisation. I’m also a bit of a WordPress fan, which helps. 🙂
So, with the blogging engine already well-established, the major decision had to be made – which theme to use. Now, when I say ‘which theme’ I’m sure there are a ton of people that always design their own. This isn’t ideal for Erin’s site because it needed to be updated quickly and still needed to retain the management/configuration options Erin was used to. For this reason I decided to use the built-in Twenty Ten theme and modify the CSS as required. For this particular redesign I was kinda the "hired hand", with Erin dictating how the site should look.
I’m pretty happy with the result because it’s not garish or over-the-top and doesn’t have a stupidly high number of on-screen elements. It retains all the customisation options that Erin needs (widgets etc) but now shows the blog posts’ photos full-size without the use of any 3rd-party gallery plugin.
What does it look like?
Here’s a low-resolution view of what the site looks like now. It’s clean, simple, and draws the reader’s eye to the photos, not away from them. To visit the real site, please feel free to check Erin King Photographer’s blog.