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Archive for the ‘WordPress Themes’ Category

Blogging Pitfalls: Why You Can’t Ignore Blog Design

There’s a saying on the Web that tells us good content can survive an ugly site. This means that, if you put up great content or otherwise provide a valuable service to your visitors, they will continue to come by even if your site is a bit of an eyesore.

To that end, the Internet is filled with examples of sites that do just that. Craigslist has thrived despite its minimalist layout, as has Drudge Report. It seems to many that site design is of no importance at all.

The problem though, is that it is not nearly that simple.

While content is certainly more important than your site’s design, your look, feel and presentation are all key parts of your site’s image and that, like it or not, is very important to your site’s potential success.

Simply put, though great content can survive a bad site, there’s no reason it should have to. Fortunately, this is a pitfall that can be easily avoided and, when done so, can even help your site grow faster than ever.

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Categories: WordPress Themes

Blogging Pitfalls: Template Fail

Here’s a scary thought for most bloggers. At some point, most likely, you’re going to screw up your site in a very bad way.

Computers are finicky things and your site is no different. With one wrong move you are more than liable to blow your site up, making it either extremely ugly or entirely unusable to your visitors.

This can be a very frightening and embarrassing thing. Not only is it a failure that creates a tremendous panic when it happens, it’s a very public blunder that, quite literally, the entire world can see.

But while there’s no shame in making a mistake with your site and borking it for all to see, it’s a pitfall that is still well worth avoiding if you can. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take to ensure that you don’t fall into this trap and that, if you do, you can get out of it easily. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips, WordPress Themes
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Premium WordPress Themes: What To Ask, And What To Avoid

When it comes to shopping for premium WordPress themes, there are often hundreds (if not thousands) of choices users can choose from ranging from the inexpensive to a few that might break the bank.

Regardless of what your budget is, there are several things you should inquire about before purchasing the WordPress in order to avoid getting burned (even by a reputable theme designer). Read More

Categories: WordPress Themes
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Blogging Pitfalls: Why You Need to Know HTML & CSS

Keyboard ImageIt wasn’t that long ago that starting up a website required a great deal of expertise, time and commitment. There was a reason that those who created sites in the early days of the Web were stereotyped as “dorks” and “nerds”, it was because you had to know HTML, the ins and outs of site construction and at least a decent amount about how the Web worked just to get a basic site off the ground.

However, for Web development, the march of technology has been toward simplicity and ease of use. Blogging and Web publishing in general are both more approachable than ever. Not only can one set up a Facebook account in minutes but they can do the same with a WordPress.com account or a Tumblr blog as well.

In short, anyone who wants to publish a blog can easily do so and almost no experience is required, just the ability to fill in a short form and write some new content.

But this doesn’t mean we’ve gotten away from HTML and CSS being a requirement for creating a successful site. Not knowing these languages can be very detrimental to your site and not only keeps great content from finding the audience it deserves, but can actually cripple your site in ways you can’t predict.

Simply put, if you don’t know HTML and CSS, at least to a minimal extent, you are holding your blog back and gambling with its future.

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Categories: Blog Design, Blogging Resources, Blogging Tips, WordPress Themes
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Why WordPress Bloggers Need To Choose Premium Themes Over Free

In an age where everyone is trying to save some cash, many WordPress bloggers will for go the expense of paying for a premium theme and instead opt for the cheapest price available (hint: free).

While there are plenty of free themes available for WordPress users (thanks in part to generous designers), unless one is running a personal blog WordPress fans should always choose a premium theme over a free one (provided you have the funds of course).

Since some users will balk at the idea of paying for a theme in an age where quality software is available for free, here are 3 reasons why you need to choose premium themes over free handouts. Read More

Categories: WordPress Themes

How To Add Support For Menus In Your WordPress Theme

Are you running WordPress 3.0 yet? If so, you might have come across a nifty little addition called Menus. You’ll find it on your admin Dashboard in the Appearances section, and here’s a little screenshot of how it looks:

As you can see, I’ve set up a new menu named “Lorraine Menu” here, and added various things to it by selecting from the elements on the left side of the page: a link to Devlounge, links to some pages, and so forth.

Also of note is the message beneath Theme Locations that states:

The current theme does not natively support menus, but you can use the “Custom Menu” widget to add any menus you create here to the theme’s sidebar. Read More

Categories: WordPress Themes, WordPress Tips, WordPress Tutorials
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The Good And The Bad About Working With Theme Frameworks

I’ve been working a lot with WordPress Theme Frameworks lately, most notably Genesis, Thematic and Hybrid, when developing themes. Well, child themes really. There are many reasons why working with child themes is a good way to start developing, but there are also some drawbacks. For me the good weighs out the bad in general, but there are situations where the old straight forward theme development method is just plain faster.

The Good

Building with child themes has a lot of powerful advantages. My favorite are:

  • Development Speed: Having an already working theme as a parent theme, a theme that already has been looked at from a lot of different angels as to what it should be able to do, and already some basic styling in place makes it a lot easier to quickly make some changes via the child theme style sheet.
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Categories: WordPress Themes
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Twenty Ten: The New and Improved Default WordPress Theme

Twenty TenWordPress is gearing up to release a new version, WordPress 3.0, which will house a lot of new cool features and the merging of WordPress MU with WordPress stand alone version. Alongside with this release WordPress will also be shipped with a brand new interpretation of what a default theme should be. For years the default theme has been Kubrick, but that’s all going to change.

I’ve never been a fan of either Kubrick’s look or code, but I must say Twenty Ten is genuinely a great base theme to use for all your WordPress projects, especially when working with Child Themes. Sure it’s not as advanced as say Thematic, but it does produce powerful semantic html and is in general very well SEO optimized. No surprise there because Ian Stewart, the creator of Thematic, was also the one who inspired Twenty Ten with his theme called Kirby, and recently joined Automattic as a Theme Wrangler. Read More

Categories: WordPress Themes
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WordPress Theme Review: Pico by Hafiz Rahman

It does not happen often, but occasionally you find a free theme for WordPress that is completely *droolworthy*. I have to disclose upfront that I am a big fan of both grid-based designs, especially when they follow a strict and mathematically correct grid, whitespace and Khoi Vinh.

One of the things I expect from a theme is that it doesn’t get in the way and highlights content and especially with grid based design this is something which can easily be screwed up. But the grid-masters know how to display both content and a strict grid correctly. One of the most popular grid designs for WordPress is without any doubt Grid Focus by Derek Punsalan.

There’s a new contender in WP-town for grid-based design lovers!

Introducing Pico by Hafiz ‘WPLover’ Rahman

Pico screenshot

WPLover is a well-known WordPress news-site edited by Hafiz Rahman, who is also a great WordPress news link curator, and the design of WPLover doesn’t hide it: Hafiz loves the grid.
Previously he already treated the WordPress community with several Thematic child themes, all showcasing mainly the content, while using whitespace as a perfect tool, weapon almost, in his designs.

Pico is Hafiz’ first ‘non-child theme’ released for WordPress and how better to introduce a grid-based theme than with a gorgeous grid-based Pico introduction page? Read More

Categories: WordPress Themes
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First Look at Kirby, WordPress 2010 Default Theme Concept by Ian Stewart

When the WordPress Core Team met after WordCamp Orlando, canonical plugins weren’t the only big announcement for 2010. The other announcement was that WordPress would receive a new default theme in 2010, thus retiring Kubrick by Michael Heilemann.

Jane Wells announced the concept and immediately hinted at what the Core Team was thinking off:

The default theme doesn’t need to be a full-featured framework, it just needs to work well, look awesome, have good code and be a good starting point for beginning themers. We were thinking of a fairly minimalist design that would make it easy to customize.

Basically a ’2010 Kubrick’, a slim and slick theme with modern look and ‘cutting edge code’. Enter Ian Stewart of Themeshaper and Thematic fame. Immediately after the announcement Ian had tweeted that he would make a concept and release what he thinks could be a candidate for the WordPress 2010 Default Theme. Some weeks later his theme, Kirby, was released in the theme directory.

In an introduction post to Kirby, Ian explains the thinking behind his Kirby theme and why it should not be a framework: Read More

Categories: WordPress Themes
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