Follow Kjell Reigstad’s process as he explores designing a block-driven theme with Sketch, for the Gutenberg era.
Automattic, the folks behind WordPress.com have a great quote on their company site, “Blogging is too hard.” I totally agree.
Why did you start your personal blog anyway? You wanted a place online to share things you found interesting and occasionally write a longer article, maybe even a rant. Right? Did you want to start a magazine site with 40 categories carefully arranged on a complicated home page? Or did you want a blindingly shiny site that looked like it had been attacked by a pack of floor buffers? Probably not. Did you want something simple and cool looking? Something easy to post to? Something that looked and worked like the tumblelog-style WordPress theme MNML? (What’s a tumblelog?)
Maybe. Let’s take a closer look at it.
I’ve been thinking about my next theme (now available), reviewing the themes in progress and looking over my list of plans. I think I’ve come to a conclusion about what the next ThemeShaper theme will be. Oh wait, you’ve already read the title so you know. Yeah, it’ll be a Tumblelog theme.
First things first, what’s a Tumblelog theme? Well in my mind it’s a theme that lets you tumble with the now. A theme that lets you post, post, post—consequences be damned. A Facebook where you’re in control. A tumbling rolling current of links and thoughts that doesn’t try and pass itself off as a community hub, premium news magazine, or anything anti-blog. It’s the bloggiest of all blogs really. Especially in this current phase of WordPress. Continue reading “A Tumblelog Theme for WordPress, a Preview and Thoughts”
I love WordPress, let me get that out of the way at the beginning. But Drupal is really powerful. And terribly exciting—you can do so much with it! But I only like Drupal. Bit of a difference.
I’ll let that serve as introduction to letting you know that I have two projects that will require Drupal as a CMS and I don’t think that WordPress will cut it. WordPress, like I’ve said before, makes a great little CMS. But it’s not for everything. One project is a site for a complex and growing organization that will need finely grained user permissions and the other, a hobby site, is something like a Digg-clone for rating and sorting user-generated content. Sort of the standard “you need Drupal” projects. Continue reading “Developing Themes: Drupal Compared With WordPress, First Impressions”
About 5 minutes after releasing my first WordPress theme, Theseus, upon the world, I had my first support ticket to deal with: A Parse Error. The problem is, I work on a Mac and Macs handle line endings differently than everyone else. Different as in, make Unix computers explode. Unfortunately for me, a lot of web servers are UNIX computers. That explode.
Thank you for this awesome theme, but it doesn’t seem to be working for me.
This is what it says after installing and testing it.
Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_VARIABLE in /home/javitsin/public_html/wp-content/themes/theseus/index.php on line 1
Now a Parse Error happens when, essentially (I say essentially, not exactly, because I’m a designer not a programmer), you make a typing mistake in a PHP file. Thing is, I hadn’t made any typing mistakes—that I could see.
The problem is, I work on a Mac and Macs handle line endings, you know, where you press return, differently than everyone else. Different as in, make Unix computers explode. Unfortunately for me, a lot of web servers are UNIX computers. That explode. Continue reading “How To Set Line Endings in Smultron for your WordPress Themes”
Theseus is the legendary Greek hero famous, amongst other feats, for defeating the Minotaur at the center of the Cretan Labyrinth and finding his way out again, thanks to a ball of string. This theme hopes to do the same, leading your readers through a maze of content, taking them carefully through what they need to see without getting lost.
The WordPress theme, Theseus, does this in two ways; by prominently featuring the latest post in a “feature” category of your choice (conveniently set on the theme options page) and moving all non-essential stuff (you know, widgets) to the page footer. Continue reading “Theseus, A WordPress Theme for Conquering a Maze of Content”
Clicking on the image above will take you to a demo of my WordPress theme-in-progress, Theseus. Of course, depending on when you read this, it might lead to the finished theme. Then again, you may be reading this farther in the future than I’m anticipating and the link will instead lead to a page extolling the virtues of our new Martian overlords. In that case, all hail Theseus, Emperor of Mars! Continue reading “WordPress Theme Preview: Theseus”
This is the scenario: a new visitor, or a visitor returning after some absence, reads through the main page of your blog and clicks a “previous entries” or “older posts” link. Who is this visitor? What do we know about them? Well, 1. they want to read more content (congratulations!) and 2. (in the case of the returning visitor) they’re not subscribing to your blog.
How can we remind them of the benefits of subscribing at just the right moment, when the benefits are clearly apparent? Easy. Use a WordPress conditional template tag.
Bear with me, this one is going to hurt. Load up your blog with your favorite WordPress theme on it. Ready? Scroll down.
Yep, scroll your theme down, down past the header and menu, down past the post titles. Scroll down to a page full of text and links and no distractions. This is where The Ultimate WordPress Theme Test will take place. This is where the best themes shine. Because this is where your readers will spend the bulk of their time and this is where your theme does the real work. Columns too wide or narrow? Font too big or small? Typography lame? Remember, content is there to be read. Don’t let your theme get in the way of that. Continue reading “The Ultimate WordPress Theme Test”
Google Code is Google’s hosting repository for open source projects. Got an open source project? Google Code will host it for free. Want to make a killer WordPress theme that just plain works? Then Google Code is your best friend. Three projects on Google Code will help you get your WordPress theme done right. A trinity of open-source WordPress theme development tools: Sandbox, Blueprint and IE7.js.
On January 30, 2006, A List Apart published In Search of The Holy Grail, Matthew Levine’s answer to the leanest, semantically correct, and bulletproof structure for a web-standards-based, 3 column layout with a liquid center—The Holy Grail.
Three columns. One fixed-width sidebar for your navigation, another for, say, your Google Ads or your Flickr photos—and, as in a fancy truffle, a liquid center for the real substance. Its wide applicability in this golden age of blogging, along with its considerable difficulty, is what has earned the layout the title of Holy Grail.
This article, and others like it, probably saved 1 million tons of lost hair among the web development community. You should read it if you haven’t already. But it’s not the end of the story. Continue reading “The Holy Grail of Blog Design”