Archive for the ‘WordPress Themes’ Category
So the WordPress team has released a super theme called Prologue. The basic idea is to create a Twitter-like system for teams of bloggers. I, personally, can’t think of many uses for Prologue, and I know it won’t replace Twitter any time soon, but the uses I can come up with are very interesting.
Twitter shouldn’t fear Prologue because of the differences between the system. With Prologue, you don’t follow your friends, and the system is closed for growth. This means if you want to see what your friends are up to, you have to go ahead and invite them to post on what is basically a tumblelog.
What I do like about it is that it doesn’t require people to go into the WordPress Administration panel to post. If they are logged in, they see a quick way to add their thoughts to the site.
Prologue will make a great inter-blogger communication system for blog networks, and even better, it can be easily closed off to the general public, making it useful for business conversations. Sure, there is e-mail, and instant messaging, but I think Prologue could sit between them.
You need to talk to many people who aren’t always online at the same time, but the conversation would get too unruly in e-mail? You could post to the private Prologue blog, and all the other people on your team can respond via the comment form on the post, making it easy to follow and helping create clear communication.
I am very happy to see that they have already released an update, showing that they are willing to support the community in developing this into a powerful extension to WordPress.
The front page on Prologue originally only showed one post per user. Many people were confused by this or didnâ€™t like it. After taking a step back I tend to agree, so a more traditional stream of the most recent posts is now shown. Pages are first class citizens again with their own template. Since posts in Prologue donâ€™t have user supplied titles it now generates a title for WordPress based on the content of the post. This makes other features of WordPress work as expected (like the Recent Comments widget).
For those of you who want to try out Prologue on your own WordPress.org site youâ€™ll be happy to know that it now works with WordPress 2.3.2 out of the box. Initially Iâ€™d made use of a function (in the author template) that wasnâ€™t available in 2.3.2, now that has been fixed. Sorry about that.
I really love the simplicity of the theme’s design, and I enjoy the fact that they have made it available to WordPress.com users, but I dislike that it isn’t bundled in an easy to use downloadable file for the general public.
Currently, if you want to download and use Prologue, you have to grab it using Subversion, or download each file one by one using your web browser.
It would be nice if they packaged it up, and even better if they continued to help support the theme. I really think this could create some nice communities on WordPress.com and for WordPress.org if given support from its creators.
If you have a customized install of Prologue, with different design elements, or plugins used to extend its features. I would love to hear about it. Is Prologue a great addition to WordPress? Do you intend on using it?
I am thinking about getting the Splashpress team to share a Prologue powered installation of WordPress as part of our communication system. Do we need another communication system, or should e-mail and instant messaging be enough?
Over on Maratz.com, I caught wind of two new WordPress themes. They are the same design, with the style sheet contrast flipped on its head. Balance White and Balance Black have a style about them that I really love, and while minimalist out of the box, they donâ€™t need to remain so.
I was more than happy to contribute in the development of these two beautiful WordPress themes, spiritually named Balance White and Balance Black. The White was deployed first on our companyâ€™s flagship projectâ€™s development blog in itâ€™s original setup and Dudikoff and Roseanne have been customized later on.
Check them out on Maratz.com.
With WordPress 2.5 still months away, and with it the new WordPress administration panel design, people continue to take it upon themselves to tweak the WordPress administration panel design to suit their needs. Over on Web Graphics, there is a new one for the minimalist called Deconstructed.
WordPress has been a helpful tool. Love it, hate it – itâ€™s free, flexible and approachable by average joe web developers who donâ€™t really write programs (me). Thereâ€™s much about it I donâ€™t love, but I use it often. One thing that bothers me each time I install it: the default admin theme. I like the look of the WP-Tiger theme better, but it feels less responsive to me (probably because of client-side layout redrawing?). What Iâ€™ve really wanted is something super quick to install (a plugin-based theme), something responsive and based on the initial layout, but much cleaner/simpler.
So Iâ€™ve made a new admin theme, like WP, itâ€™s free to use and repurpose. All Iâ€™ve done here is stripped out the hideous teal color, made all the fonts sans-serif, eliminated the tab-styling and excessive bordering/shadows. The navigation is still tab based, but uses a simple yellow-highlighter approach instead.
I have to admit to being fairly impressed with this administration theme, though I am not a fan of the yellow highlighting effect, otherwise, it has everything a blogger needs.
Performancing have released a new WordPress theme, designed by Design Disease, my favourite WordPress theme designer, College is a two column theme with an interesting seven colour palette.
It’s a new year and Performancing is excited to get things kickstarted with another free WordPress Theme. Developed by our friends at Design Disease, and available for free download, the College Theme is a two-column theme with sleek, rounded corners and a stylish 7+ color palette.
The College Theme for WordPress would work well for about any blogging application. I can see it being used for a range of projects including music, health, web 2.0, and a whole host of other topics.
Elena, a great designer friend of mine, has put out a new theme via Smashing Magazine called Dilectio and it is definitely interesting and visually appealing.
Here is some text from Smashing:
â€œOver the last year Elena, the creative mind behind Design Disease team, has designed a number of free WordPress themes, as the Smashing WordPress Theme we released as a present for our readers during our One-Year-Anniversary in Septemberâ€™07. Afterwards weâ€™ve contacted Elena and asked if itâ€™s possible to design another WordPress theme for our readers. Elena agreed.
After weâ€™ve discussed the details of the design and the main aims we wanted to achieve, Elena started to do her magic. The result is a fresh, clean, user-friendly and playful WordPress theme â€œDilectioâ€ â€” a smashing Christmas present for Smashing Magazine readers.â€
Grab it now from Smashing Magazine.
It looks like the WordPress Theme Viewer isn’t dead, it is just still being revamped, or at least that is what the latest post on the site says called Upcoming Changes.
Just wanted to do a quick update for those wondering when youâ€™ll be able to add new themes or update existing ones here in the directory. Weâ€™ve been working very hard on a new Subversion-backed database for themes that will allow you to upload themes as you did before, as a plain ZIP file, and weâ€™re transparently check it into SVN so changes can be tracked just like we do for WordPress development.
There will also be moderation and review so that we can scan themes for XSS problems, malicious code, spam links, and other ways that people have been distributing malware themes. Iâ€™m sorry this has taken longer than I thought it would, but the problems involved with doing things â€œrightâ€ are non-trivial. Most importantly we want to ensure that once the re-launch is done youâ€™ll have easy, fast, and stable access to the best and brightest in the theme world, and youâ€™ll never have to think twice about the code youâ€™re downloading.
It should be interesting, but have they waited too long in their relaunch? I guess only time will tell. I do know of a few people creating their own theme galleries, as well as others working on marketplaces for themes. While the official one might always be the biggest in terms of trust, will something else replace it in regards to traffic, themes listed, and other metrics?
I have always been a fan of buying themes that really impress me in the marketplace, tweaking them, and releasing them for free to the WordPress community, and Crystal is no different.
I found the design, purchased it, worked on its code, and seems like it is good enough for a more general release.
Crystal is a two column, widget ready, WordPress 2.3 compatible theme that I am releasing under GPL, and so you are free to do with it as you please.
I have set it up to work well with the WP-PageNavi plugin, a plugin I highly recommend.
If you find any bugs and are able to fix them, please let me know, as increasing the quality of this, and any further themes I release, is always greatly appreciated. Also, please let me know if you decide to use Crystal, as I would love to highlight some of the blogs putting this design to good use.
Check out the release post.
Design Disease has decided to release another free theme, and it will allow you to gear up for the holiday season. The theme is called Christmas Days.
From Design Disease’s own blog:
I wanted to make a gift to all bloggers around the world. The theme has been tested on WordPress 2.3.1 with Firefox , Opera, Safari and IE6/7. It validates as XHTML 1.0 Transitional.
I find it absolutely stunning to look at. It is a two column design, with blue, white, red and green being the focus colors. It makes use of the flickrrss plugin, and is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
I highly recommend checking it out, and downloading it if you are already in the holiday spirit.
A new theme from Chris Pearson has been released, it is a simple, three column theme with a large rotating header graphic.
Here are a few of his own words about it:
If the content of your site represents your message, then typography is the vehicle through which that message is delivered. Ironically, this is probably the most important area where most WordPress themes (and Web sites in general) fall short.
While thatâ€™s bad news for the masses, itâ€™s actually great news for you, because Iâ€™ve got a 3-column cure for all your typographical woesâ€”the Neoclassical Theme for WordPress.
While simplistic, there is something about the theme that really draws me into it. I had an early preview of the theme before it was even released, and I was like “I want that!”.
If you have been waiting for a simple, search engine optimized, three column WordPress theme, Chris has you covered with Neoclassical.
Ahmed has written a great post over on Tech Soapbox about the recent Google PageRank shuffle, and how Matt has written:
Iâ€™m glad the WordPress community took such a strong stand against them in themes. Countless blogs could have been penalized just for the theme they were using, not related to anything they did or did not do on their blog.
Ahmed disputes that point on his blog, and has some decent evidence to back it up. Is Matt spreading more of Google’s fear, uncertainty and doubt to his advantage, or are sponsored themes something to worry about when it comes to PageRank updates?
My own opinion on all this is mixed, but check out Tech Soapbox for more on the mater.