I decided it would be worth some time to make my blog look a little distinctive. As an engineer by background, I usually consider aesthetics superfluous, but I have learned over the years that a few flashy graphics go an awfully long way, especially in first impressions. Unfortunately, I also have very little skill in this area, so I turned to the internet for help.
I started by looking for a theme that I liked. After downloading and installing about ten that I found on the Theme Viewer, I tried them out on friends and co-workers. We settled on Limelite, which is basically Kubrick with different colors. I didn’t like the fact that the permalink pages didn’t have the sidebar menu, but that was easily tweaked. I also fixed the archives to have entire entries instead of just excerpts – again a one-line fix. Gotta love well-written code.
Next, I needed to get rid of the lime in the header, and replace it with something really unique. Because of the name Oxyfish, and its derivation, I had the idea that a fish talking on a cellphone would be interesting. Enter Elance.
A friend of mine (who works there) told me some great stories about simple projects he had contracted Elancers to do, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I posted a logo design project, and within a day or two had 24 bids, at an average price of just over $100. Even more impressive, several sent me mockups based just on the description of the project. I shortlisted a few that looked good, and finally awarded the project to betterHalfDesigns in Puerto Rico who had sent a great mockup. After minor modification, I had him put it in the header you see above.
Some of my friends really like it, some think it’s cheesy, but all agree, it’s pretty unique. Mission accomplished, thanks to the internet.