As I prepared to launch this site on July 29, 2010, choosing a theme took very little time. Motion by 85ideas seemed to leap off a page in the WordPress theme directory. The overall aqua appearance conveyed a synergistic visual relationship with a business card template I’d found, along with my pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration. I loved the darker look, a preference that many visitors seemed to echo with complimentary reactions. In spite of a few comments critical of my choice, specifically that reverse type (white on a dark background) is hard on the eyes, I elected not to change the theme.
In retrospect, however, I have to admit that although I respected these opinions and the people who provided them, the criticisms initially fell on deaf ears. But after a few months, I began searching for a way to achieve the best of both worlds by lightening the background for the content, reverting to dark type, and thereby still retain the aqua appearance for the rest of the site.
I contacted the designer of the theme and learned that this could be done at relatively little cost. In the meantime, I had decided that a bright white background for content surrounded by the darker appearance of the page might create too stark a contrast. The existing default white visitor comment fields within the pages provided confirmation of that concern, so I asked the designer if we could find a more complimentary color as a background for the text. He never answered this email, so I guess the answer was, “No.”
As recently as yesterday, a friend mentioned that research unequivocally proves the downside of a website with a darker theme: visitors spend less time there. This revelation, of course, is exactly what others had said in different terms, or maybe it simply has to do with me finally being receptive to another option.
This new theme offers far more customization than I know how to use at this point, so it will take some time to tweak the appearance. In the meantime, if you have any comments, please do not hesitate to insert them here or contact me at either of the email addresses shown in the sidebar. I’d really like to know what you think.