One thing I’ve delved deeper into in recent years is the mechanics of WordPress. The software is easy to use and, for the most part, it makes sense. I attempt to move all my friends to WordPress, especially the ones who think they don’t know anything about technology. I just wrapped up a relatively easy update to my friend Marla Jo Fisher. She’s a long-time journalist in Southern California and she writes the popular Frumpy Middle-Aged Mom” column for The Orange County Register.
I worked with Marla for at least 8 years before we became friends. And that was due to some odd decision by management to physically move the technology team (umm, that was just me) out of the business department and pair me up with the education team. Marla was covering higher education and writing Frumpy Mom on the side. She was one funny lady! My favorite column was probably also a very difficult one for her: She found out she had a brain tumor. Her response? “I can’t have a brain tumor. I’ve got dinner on the stove!”
She needs to write a book. (And I bet she could crowdfund it!)
Back to her revamped blog. She did give me several options of sites she liked. But the themes were several years old. So, I showed her a simpler, un-frumpy theme called … Marla. She loved it! She’s even easier to work with than WordPress!
But really, I chose the theme because it’s:
1. Responsive, as in, the site responds to the size of your screen. The blog should look clear and legible no matter if you’re viewing it on a computer monitor, iPad or smartphone.
2. Widget friendly. Half the boxes on the front page are WordPress widgets. The top three use the Better RSS widget and automatically update anytime Marla writes a new column elsewhere. The boxes below the widgets are any new posts she writes just for her new blog. Technically, she doesn’t need to do another thing and her blog will still look different every day (so long as she continues to write at the Register).
3. Flexible header. Everyone likes a unique look, especially Frumpy Mom. The lovely Samantha Gowen designed the sunset logo. The theme’s flexible header allows the blog title to shrink or enlarge, depending on the reader’s screen size. Of course, if you tweak any code within a theme or plugin, make a note of it because future updates will wipe out your work.
4. It’s name. Marla. Was it fate? It’s minimal, bold and blue, my favorite color. We tweaked all the colors and simplicity though to suit Marla’s tastes. And we may add back a photo of Marla with her classic frumpy hat. But that’s the beauty of WordPress. Tweak, update and done!