Finding a good theme for a WordPress blog is hard

I’ve been looking around for a decent theme for the whole time I’ve had this WordPress blog. I’m experiencing a strong case of analysis paralysis, there are so many themes available for WordPress but also there’s a huge hole in the themes available. Most theme authors/creators market their themes as being very design heavy and photo heavy, take a look at the current popular themes on WordPress:

Popular themes on wordpress.com

Most blogs with long form text or just text as their primary form of writing are not considered in these themes. The official WordPress themes are decent, I’m using a Automattic created theme at the time of writing this called “Blank Canvas”. I edited a few things like the header to make the logo size smaller:

Current theme on my blog

A few years ago, when I was working on the Leaf theme, I ran into this weird issue where I was working between the theme and trying to make it as simple as possible but I lacked the design sense to make it appear as nice as I wanted to.

I’m writing this post so that I can distract myself from starting yet another theme effort to make my ideal blog theme.

The things I’d love to have in a blog that would just be a perfect theme:

  1. Prioritizes long form text, posts lacking photos still look good.
  2. Homepage displays blog posts as the primary content, no big images or homepage specific content.
  3. Top header is minimal and present on all pages but is not imposing.
  4. Has legible typography, uses the best readability styling on mobile, desktop, dark mode or light mode.
  5. Has a nav item that shows selected or all pages.
  6. Footer is minimal, post footer can have related posts.
  7. Specific content types are styled and covered, e.g. blockquotes have proper styling, code snippets have fixed font.
  8. Is free and open to contributions.

This idealistic list can be used to create a fairly decent theme in my opinion. After typing this out, I am thinking it might just be best I start working on one. So much for resisting the urge 🤣.