New blog design

I seem to have spent quite a long time of recent attempting to redesign various blog pages, and it made me realise that I had always planned to put some effort into the design of my own blog.

This blog runs on the rather excellent octopress, which has a rather nice standard blog theme. However, its success has meant that more and more sites on the web have the same look. This isn’t ideal if you’re attempting to make your blog even slightly memorable.

Since I last investigated changing the theme, a rather wonderful website opthemes has appeared with a good selection of themes you can just drop into your octopress site.

I particularly liked Aron Cedercrantz’s BlogTheme, so decided to fork it, and apply some of my own customisations.

Installing an octopress theme

Installing a theme in octopress is simple. Firstly add it as a submodule:

$ git submodule add .themes/BlogTheme
$ git submodule update --init

And then you need to install the theme in the source:

$ bundle exec rake install\[BlogTheme\]

Customising a theme

Once you have the theme submodule installed, you can then fiddle around with the theme’s source in .themes/BlogTheme, running the rake task each time you want to pull the changes over to the blog source. Remember you’ll have to regenerate the blog after doing this, or as I prefer, have the watch task running:

$ bundle exec rake watch


Design isn’t my speciality. I’ve attempted to choose fonts and colours which are coherent and easy to read. In theory anybody that comes across this blog will be here for the content, not the design.

Hope you appreciate it - let me know in the comments or on twitter.

If you’ve enjoyed this post why not follow me on twitter - @iwantmyrealname.

sam x