I guess the original look for WhistlinDixie didn’t last long; two weeks by my count. I didn’t stray far in finding my new theme, though.
My original theme was Big Blue from Blog Oh! Blog, which I found in the WordPress themes directory. While it wasn’t bad looking, it never really pleased me. In fact, I kind of considered it a placeholder until I could find a better one.
Since I exhausted the WordPress themes directory, I decided to see if Blog Oh! Blog had any other free WordPress themes. To my surprise, they come out with new themes quite often, many of which are free. While browsing through their catalog, I came across a theme called Statement. It immediately appealed to me, unlike anything I saw in the WordPress theme directory. I quickly downloaded and installed it.
I noticed that some of the widgets that I was using were part of the new theme, such as the search widget, the archives widget, and the syndicate widget, so I removed them from my sidebars. I also changed the category listings on the posts to tags listings and removed the tags listings from the ends of the posts.
I then noticed that the page logo was a graphic, not text. I looked at the description for the theme, and it mentioned that the original PSD for the default logo was included with the theme. Excited, I opened up Paint.NET and opened the logo.psd, only to find that Paint.NET choked on it. I checked to make sure that I had the PSD file handler extension installed, which I did, and that it was the newest version, which it was (released over a year ago). (I don’t think it makes sense to distribute a free theme that basically depends on a costly graphics editing program.) Bummed out, I went and got out my Photoshop CS2 disks to install the trial version so that I could get the site logo fixed up. Once I got PS installed, I opened up the file, only to find that I lacked the font that the logo originally used.
At this point, I noticed that the banner was on a solid background, without gradients. This would make it very easy to roll my own graphic without needing the original for anything except color references. I grabbed the GIF version of the logo and picked the background color out of it and started up a new Paint.NET image. I decided to use the Blue Highway font since it closely matched the font originally used in the logo. A little pixel pushing later and I had a new logo.
Hope you enjoy the new look. Hopefully, this one will last a little longer than the first one.