If you are one of the two people that have visited this site over the past month or so, you have seen a mess. I have been wanting to refresh the site and move away from the Avada theme (more on that later). I think I am finally on the right path in terms of design and the way forward. The site is nowhere near complete as I started from scratch. I did have some of my posts, but the images may be missing for a while.

Leaving Avada … uh, not so fast

I have been evaluating builders and themes over the past two years, and while there are plenty of options, they just require too much work. As of today (August 6, 2022), I am back to Avada. Why? Speed of work, accessibility, and features. There are a lot of other builders that do a lot of nice things and often without the bloat, but they have a learning curve that I am not willing to pursue at this time. On top of that, many of the others are not accessible out of the box, which in this day and age, should be a minimum requirement. If you are looking for recommendations for something else, here is my short list:

  • Gutenberg
    • GeneratePress and GenerateBlocks
    • Blocksy
    • Cwicly
  • Builders (low code/no code)
    • Elementor
    • Bricks Builder
    • Breakdance
  • Builders (code required)
    • Bricks Builder
    • Oxygen

I have looked at many other builders and themes, but this is my focus list. If I were new to WordPress, Gutenberg is the only way to go, as anything else is really creating technical debt. Breakdance, which is from the makers of Oxygen, is a new product — still in beta. It shows a lot of promise, but it is not Gutenberg-centric. Bricks is on here twice because a lot can be done without code, but it does give you the freedom to do more.

Avada does allow the use of Gutenberg, and it is all I use for posts so that in the future, only pages and templates will have to be reworked.

Not my design – imitation intended to be the sincerest form of flattery

In addition to choosing the underlying themes and plugins, I have been trying to come up with a good design. Unfortunately, my creative juices have been stagnant of late. Fortunately, in my research for builders and themes, I encountered several designs that stuck with me. All of the designs that I gravitated toward were dark and many used yellow as a primary color. As a Nikon shooter, this has a special place for me. The two most recent sites that I encountered that are heavily emulated here are The Admin Bar — a great WordPress resource — and Dirk Beckers’ website. The latter has some really interesting features that I am going to use here and on my Avada Website Builder Tips website — in particular, the link index.

Turtles at the base of a cyprus tree.Woodland Presets
Doe and two spotted children grazing by the golf courseA Trip to Texas

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