This page catalogues old themes that I have designed for this site over the years.
For the first 10+ years, I just used off-the-shelf themes; graphical design isn't my forte. However, I was inspired to create something really unique when I returned to blogging and revamped my website in 2021, so I went all-out and made this:
At that time, this website was hosted with NearlyFreeSpeech.NET, so I had full control over both the layout and style.
The theme used retro fonts from the very cool Ultimate Oldschool PC Font Pack by VileR, and I was particularly happy with the nav bar icons I created. However, I soon grew tired of creating new ones every time I wanted to add a new page, and I didn't like the amount of space that the nav bar was taking up. I decided to replace it with a simpler one:
This amended theme served my site well for a long time. It also looked pretty good on mobile, but not quite perfect.
In January 2024, I decided to move my website to Bear Blog. Bear Blog's theme support limits you to changing the CSS only, which meant I had to rethink my strategy. The above themes relied on some kludgey nested
<div>s to get the window layout to look right, and that would no longer be possible.
The closest CSS-only alternative I could think up was to use
border-image-slice. It does the job, although it results in a bit more internal padding than I'd like. I haven't yet figured out a good-looking way to move the page titles into the window title bar, but for now I'm happy enough with how it looks empty.
If you haven't spotted the trend yet, I'm a big fan of Windows 3.11. It was the first version of Windows that I ever used, and is iconic in its presentation. I hope it gives you the same feeling of nostalgia that it gives me!