Last updated on April 23rd, 2021 at 08:49 pm

Start a blog they said.

You’ll get lots of free stuff, they said!!!

While I started blogging long before it started paying people’s bills, there are core elements of the trade that never change—like the need to back your stuff up!

#100HappyDays—Day 17—VaultPress

Since migrating to WordPress some years back, I’ve tried a few solutions for archiving my work.

BackUpWordPress was good until it bogged my server down enough for my webhost to kill the automated service and slap me with a warning. For a while, WordPress Backup to Dropbox worked too, but as your site grows, it voraciously consumes what little free space you have in your Dropbox.

You ultimately get what you pay for and after finding a number of old images mysteriously absent from my blog, I thought it was time to invest in a better solution.

#100HappyDays—Day 17—VaultPress—Dashboard

Enter VaultPress, a paid backup service built into WordPress’ Jetpack plugin. It backs my site up with every change I make. It’ll automatically restore my site with the press of a button. And I can spend more time working on my site and less time rebuilding posts when things go wrong!

And that’ll do until I renew my site 😊

#100HappyDays Day 17/100, c’est tout!

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

Themify Review | The Need for Themes

Last updated on January 16th, 2021 at 12:52 pm

Last Updated: January 16, 2021

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

The method of madness I use to come up with posts: 4" x 6" Post-it notes
Don’t judge. Though it’s a haphazard method for coming up with post ideas, it’s EFFECTIVE, damnit.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Originally, this was just going to be a review of’s Fullscreen theme and what it’s done for me so far, but with the unexpected madness that’s been November; the hoops I needed to get through in order to get my site back and running; and the vast amounts of sleep I haven’t been getting through this entire process, a simple task exploded into one big learning experience. It’s been, without a doubt, a November to Remember.

But I digress—let’s start at the beginning—let’s talk themes.

Feeling Frumpy

A shot of me in a hoodie aboard a plane to Europe
If I could build a time machine, I’d go back to 2005 and teach 2005 Casey how to dress…

If you’re into the world of website development, there are few simpler options than building one with WordPress. Speaking from experience, I know I’d get frustrated when building sites in the past, not knowing what to include, how to structure things, whether my code was up to current standards, etc. was all a huge pain in the ass.

I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner, but eventually, I moved to WordPress and everything just… clicked. Aligning strongly with my belief that we should leverage the knowledge and abilities of the many rather than constantly try to do everything by ourselves, WordPress is the sum effort of a cast of thousands of developers, making it way simpler to integrate things like security, design and functionality features.

However, when you create for mass usage, you often run the risk of everything looking the same, and that’s a hurdle that all WordPress users need to overcome at some time or another.

Solution? Get Yourself a Premium WordPress Theme

And thus, enter the premium theme. For a relatively low cost, you can pay for the fruits of someone else’s labour and buy a theme that’ll help you stand apart from the rest of the pack with a slicker look and additional functionality. There are more companies putting these themes out than I have fingers to count, but Toronto-based is the only one so far who’s been kind enough to let me review some of their stuff, so I’m here to try one out! I’ve actually dealt with Themify themes for a little bit now, but I had my eye on Fullscreen specifically since the day it came out.

Designed for people leaning toward using a site as a visual portfolio, Fullscreen lives up to its name and immediately presents your images on the front page the way you intended for people to see them—spread across the full dimensions of your browser.

Fix Up, Look Sharp

The imagery used on the Themify website for its Fullscreen theme
Themify’s Fullscreen is what’s UP.

Just like how sometimes we need to reinvent ourselves to keep aligned with how we want the world to see us, the tools we use to represent ourselves often need love, too.

And this includes our websites.

I’d never meant to keep my site as a blog along, but never really got around to finding a solution that’d help me get any further.

However, I think that Themify’s Fullscreen is definitely part of that solution, though!

In a world where we’re all trying so desperately to be heard—whether it’s sharing thoughts through the power of social media or making our faces known about town as local socialites—it’s important to stand out. When you have a site, you might write with the right words and tell some amazing stories, but if your site looks like everybody else’s, you’re just about guaranteed to get lost in the shuffle!

So, I think it’s all about trying something new.

Fullscreen, or—”Something New”

Fullscreen does something that a lot of themes out there don’t bother to do — make an impact the very first time you see it!

Tons of themes I see want you to be one thing or another. You’re either a writer or an artist. You either take photos or draw comics. You either write for fashion-forward women or sports fanatics. No one fits into one box so easily—we’re all a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Fullscreen helps me express this a little by including both a rotating background gallery that showcases my favourite drawings and photos and a slick layout to show all of my blog posts.

Doesn’t hurt that they’ve included an easy-to-use interface behind the scenes for all of you out there who never learned how to code! The ability to quickly switch design and functionality elements is built right in so that you never need to code an iota if you don’t want to!

The numerous design options that Themify offers when putting a theme together
If this doesn’t help you individualize your site—NOTHING will. That is, unless you want to go code it yourself…

New Blog, New Me?

All in all, I’m happy with my blog’s new look. It’ll take a bit of time and elbow grease to truly master it and call it my own, but I think it helps to define a new Casey for a new age! Fullscreen has a lot to offer, and while moving from one company’s premium WordPress theme to another means that I’ll lose some functionality, it’s nothing that a little tinkering, coding and ingenuity won’t fix!

My only beef is that I don’t immediately know what dimensions of photos work best for the theme, but I’m sure some research will help me fix that.

Themify’s all about supplying cost-effective solutions to make your WordPress site fresh to death, so if you’re ever wondering why your site isn’t getting the love it deserves, maybe it’s time to give it the makeover it so sorely needs. If you want to be a step ahead of the rest, support a Canadian company and make your life easier, I suggest looking at Themify’s themes for WordPress. There’s no way to look this fly in life for this cheap, so hey—why not start doing it right somewhere?

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad

P.S. In our next chapter, we discuss my best-laid plans and what I actually managed to accomplish this past month other than growing facial hair and writing some words!

[Disclaimer: Post written in exchange for a free install of Themify’s Fullscreen theme, which now powers my site. Huzzah!]

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