Jeff appears to have a great article up regarding StudioPress, and it helps answer some common questions about the company, its goals, and direction. If you are interested in knowing what Brian Gardner thinks of his critics, outsiders views on his goals, and his design style, you need to check out this post entitled An Inside Glance At StudioPress.
Who creates the graphical side of StudioPress designs?
95% of the graphic/design elements of StudioPress themes were created by me â€“ while Iâ€™m not a trained graphic designer, Iâ€™ve been able to learn Photoshop and put together most of our work. We are now beginning to branch out and contract out upcoming theme designs for a few reasons. One, Iâ€™m so busy doing other things (like running StudioPress and overseeing all that goes on) and just donâ€™t have the time to design, code, support, and provide tutorials for all of our themes. The other reason, and more significantly important reason, is that we want to offer a variety of designs to our users.
I think that more WordPress theme companies should open up their schedules to talk about what they are doing, who is involved and what they think of the WordPress community. There has long been flack given to Premium theme companies, and I think while that flack has lessened in recent months, a fair number of people still don’t totally understand what makes these companies worthwhile.
Looking for a new Premium Theme company to buy your products off of, then you’ll be happy to know Nathan Rice has created a new company called ModThemes.
As you know, I live and breathe WordPress code (pretty much). Iâ€™ve written countless tutorials, built themes, written plugins, even submitted a patch or two to the WordPress core. Letâ€™s just say that when it comes to WordPress, I know my stuff, some of which has recently been added as new functionality to the themes at StudioPress.
So it should go without saying that if Iâ€™m going to be helping run my own WordPress business, itâ€™s going to be top-notch quality with some solid code. You can count on it.
Looks like it could be a smart move for Nathan and team, if he can crack the ever increasing competition in the market these days.
Recently, I was given the ability to go crazy and get Blogging Pro redesigned. It was a task that I didn’t take lightly, but I knew which designer I wanted to use, as he had worked on my site, Branding David. James McDonald is an amazing designer, but he doesn’t do slicing and coding and he definitely doesn’t do WordPress theme coding, and so I had a choice to make: let him use one of the people he knows, or find one of my own.
I chose to find my own, and after asking around, I went with PSDtoWP, a company that recently went through a name change to comply with the WordPress trademark. They had done work on a few sites, and I knew the business owner, and so I handed over the PSD created by James, and let them get to work.
I have had notoriously bad experiences with having others change my PSD’s into WordPress themes before, as not all coders are good coders, and the design had some more “advanced” features than the typical theme. I wasn’t sure they’d be able to hangle my request, and do so with decent code.
3. What is involved in getting my design transformed into a WordPress Theme?
You upload the files, fill out the form and let us know what you would like to have done. After receiving 50% upfront, we can get started. Once we have coded your theme, we upload it to a demo server and allow you to have a look at what the finished product will be like. We make any necessary changes and send you the theme ready to upload to the destination server.
Much to my surprise, the code produced was clean and easy to use. The theme was ready to drop into the WordPress themes folder, and activate. There wasn’t much that needed to be done. They did miss two little design elements, but after mentioning this, they were quick to not only fix the error, but give me a list of changed files, so that I could upload only the changed files, thus keeping the changes I had already made after the fact (I never leave things the way people give them to me). They wrote the code for the features box, and implemented the box in the content area with the listing of the most commented posts.
I didn’t have the ability to use their recently coded Task Administration panel, but I hear that will help keep the person requesting the job more in the loop regarding the status. I just had to e-mail them, and I quickly received a response on how much longer it would be.
I was impressed with the professionalism, the speed, and while the cost is more than you’d pay on Digital Point Forums, the quality matches the price. I was very happy with my purchase, and would probably purchase from them again.
If you are looking to get a premium quality theme coded for a reasonable price, I’d suggest checking out PSDtoWP. If you would like $20 off your purchase, feel free to mention BLOGGINGPRO20 during the check-out. Prices start at $330 USD.
Note: I could have sliced and coded the theme myself, but the time it would have taken me to do it was more valuable to me spent elsewhere than the price I paid to have it coded. Also the code is much more organized than it would have been, had I done it all myself.
A great friend of mine, Elena of DesignDisease has released another free WordPress theme called Evidens. It comes in both a white version and a striking black version.
Evidens is a new 3 column, full width theme from Design Disease. Featuring both White and Dark variations, this modern/industrial theme is both elegant and edgy at the same time. The three column layout is perfect for adsense and text link integration. The design features ample space for your blog content, making sure you have room for the latest widescreen web video, as well as bright, beautiful images. Advanced options like Flickr Photostream and Twitter integration allow you to keep up with the latest social networking trends, and update your siteâ€™s content anywhere, anytime.
The modern/industrial look of the theme gives it almost infinite versatility, making it a perfect fit for blog topics ranging from technology, menâ€™s interests, and even fashion design. Also be sure to check out PremiumThemes.com, a new project from Design Disease.
Released in the middle of last month, the Evidens theme already has many fans using it, and it is easy to see why. As the designer of many amazing blogs, including this one, Elena has a style that is very recognizable, and modern. Check out the Evidens theme today.
You’ve probably seen at least a couple of their themes around, like Dilectio, or Smashing.
Personally I’d love to see them do a theme focused on Podcasting, which thankfully is one of the options in the poll, but all the choices sound pretty cool really. So if you haven’t yet voted, there is still time…but not much…so head over to the poll and have your say.
As WordPress themes become more complex, they continue to add back-end features to their themes, but have to be judged on their front-end, as there is no easy way, that I know of, to lock down WordPress installations so that a back-end demo can be set up that won’t be “taken advantage of” by the darker people on the Internet.
This is a problem I’ve been having in marketing WPUnlimited, as I recently posted on the blog. I am trying to video all of the important features, but surely, there has to be some way of locking down WordPress, or showing a theme back end, without opening the door for all kinds of abuse. Anyone have any tips? Please let me know.
Recently, there has been a re-opening of the discussion on if Kubrick should be replaced as the default WordPress theme. While I am not a fan of the Kubrick theme itself, I find the creator, Michael Heilemann an interesting guy, and his work in Kubrick deserves continued support from the WordPress users of the world.
I think it is the original, classic theme that should be replaced, and Kubrick should become the new “classic” theme being replaced, but not displaced by a new default theme for WordPress.
I think WordPress users could still learn a lot from Kubrick, and be inspired by it. Also, it has the right amount of design for someone starting blogging.
Here are some thoughts from Jeff Chandler about the whole issue:
The way I see it, if you attack the root of the problem and replace Kubrick with a base theme that contains everything DD32 mentioned, this could do nothing but positive things for the WordPress community. First time theme developers would have an excellent base to start from and learn a thing or two in the process with documentation included within the theme.
I disagree with Jeff, and think that too many WordPress “gurus” expect early WordPress users to understand how to change a theme, but if that were the case, I think far more people would use the built-in header change tool that comes with Kubrick by default, rather than sticking with the stock settings.
For the Lose has a great post up about WordPress Theme trends and how you can implement some of those features in your blog today.
What are blog posts? Blog posts, when you really look at them, are nothing but walls of text. So what separates them from a page from a high school textbook? Blog posts have personality. You gain readers by being able to implement your personality into your posts. You have to make them feel comfortable, reassure them that they’re reading your posts for pleasure, not because they have to.
Things like tabs, post thumbnails, and theme options pages are mentioned, and instructions are given regarding each one. If you have ever wanted to “pimp your WordPress theme”, this post might help you do that in a way you might not have thought possible, if you aren’t a programmer by nature.
I have been trying out various WordPress themes for a long time now. I have commissioned some custom ones for myself, used both free and paid WordPress themes, and even released a few of my own. Today, I am releasing a new theme that solves many of my personal issues with WordPress themes, and plugins.
So yesterday, I finally officially launched WPUnlimited, a WordPress theme system that does many interesting things.
It takes things that people find normally complex, and tries to find a way to simplify them.
First off, I made sure uploading and displaying headers, and backgrounds was easy. Also WPUnlimited comes with various SEO options built-in.
Another important thing with this theme was to make sure that the main features that people normally require plugins for were no longer plugins.
Why would I do this? Well, because I wanted to put the onus on me to make sure features on your blog always worked. Plugins are usually delayed a while as WordPress versions come out, and I have always been frustrated by this. WPUnlimited includes many features, usually delegated to plugins like showing social media promotion buttons for Digg, StumbleUpon and more.
How much is WPUnlimited? Being that this is a theme that will constantly be developed, upgraded, modified, and supported, WPUnlimited is a paid WordPress theme. For a personal license you will be looking at only $59, which will allow you to install the theme on one blog, not including anything hosted locally on your computer for testing, get access to upgrades forever, and support. A developer license, which gives you access to using the theme on any number of blogs, including projects you develop is only $150, or less than three personal licenses.
Why should you care? If you are looking for a strong, easy to customize theme, that doesn’t leave you with WordPress theme files that don’t make any sense, then you’ll want to buy WPUnlimited.
If you want to make some money, I have set up an affiliate program that should entice some of you to help. I only want you to sign up if you think WPUnlimited is a good product because you shouldn’t sell what you don’t believe in. You can earn 40% on any and all sales you make, and 10% on all sales done by people you get to join the affiliate program under you.
If you want to learn more about WPUnlimited, please check out the site relating to the theme, and let me know what you think.
If you would like to see someone that has already started to use the WPUnlimited theme, check out Jim Kukral’s blog as he has begun to customize his own installation of WPUnlimited.