Okay, it has taken over a year but I think I have finalized a design for this site. Being a front-end web developer I was looking for a design that I could re-code and make my own. After searching many sites and harassing the designers at work, I finally found a starting point. It came in the form of a smashing magazine post about a new free wordpress theme.
It’s hard to pinpoint what attracted me to this particular design. Was it the grungy look, the colors, the new style footer or its overall uniqueness? Whatever it was, I decided to begin my long theme development journey with WordPress.Fun. One great feature about the smashing magazine theme is that all of the source materials were provided. Armed with the psd and my limited design skills I decided that I first wanted to pick colors that were more to my liking. With the help of a designer friend, the colors you see were updated in the file and the development could begin.
I have been using the sandbox theme as starter wordpress code for sometime with client work, so I decided to begin my masterpiece there. After modifying the code and adding all the hook’s and divs that I like to use, the design started to take shape. I cropped, copied and rotated the textured backgrounds in order for them to repeat correctly (as this is a scaling layout) and used as many advanced CSS3 techniques as I could to produce front-end code I could be proud of. The only images used in the design are the four or so textured backgrounds and the colored footer transparencies. For the rest I used the border-radius, box-shadow, text-shadow and other advanced CSS.
That’s the overall gist of how we got here. I could go into more detail but I think that would be too much excitement for one post. I will now let you peruse the site and check out some of the new features. As always comments and suggestions are welcome and encouraged. One of the things I always wonder about blogs sites I visit is ‘what plugins the site is using’ so I will now leave you with a list of the ones I have used on this site. Many hours of research went into picking them and I encourage you to check them out for your site.
Note: This list is current as of the day of this post. The list may change over time. I may keep an updated list on the site somewhere, but for now, this will do.
- Art Direction – Per post styles for new age art direction
- CSS Naked Day – Automatically strips off stylesheets without editing themes during the Annual CSS Naked Day
- Domain Theme – Allows you to specify more than one domain name with your WordPress installation and associate a specific theme for each domain
- Easy Contact – Easy Contact is a simple, semantic contact form that utilizes the Sandbox design patterns
- Google Analytics for WordPress – Makes it simple to add Google Analytics
- Google XML Sitemaps – Generates a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your WordPress blog
- IM Online – Displays status for MSN, Yahoo!, AOL, Jabber and ICQ via onlinestatus.org
- Lifestream – Displays your activity from various social networks
- MobilePress – Turn your WordPress blog into a mobile website/blog
- Raw HTML capability – Lets you enter raw HTML in your posts. You can also enable/disable smart quotes and other automatic formatting on a per-post basis
- Sociable – Automatically add links on your posts, pages and RSS feed to your favorite social bookmarking sites
- SyntaxHighlighter Evolved – Easily post syntax-highlighted code to your site without having to modify the code at all
- Theme Switch – Use different wordpress theme for logged in user
- WP-MostCommentedPosts – The name says it all