If you haven’t noticed by now, particularly those who are reading this from your FeedReader, come check out the site in your favorite browser as I have finally put the finishing touches on the Jeffro2pt0 redesign. The problem with blogging for other people is that it leaves little time to do things to my own personal site. So, I spent two very long nights/days going through my theme and doing a complete redesign so that I could get the weight off my chest. The weight stems from looking around at other blogs and noticing they have a pretty good looking theme and when I look at mine, it just sucks. Also, I was sick and tired of worrying about doing the redesign when all I really want to do is publish content. Thats why I really put some elbow grease into the design and got it done as soon as possible so I wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore.
I have to thank David Peralty for launching his new blog design (BrandingDavid.com) which started my thinking process of redoing mine. His site has a minimal look to it, doesn’t fill the page with widgets or chichlets so that all he has to worry about is writing and publishing content. I wanted to travel the same road by eliminating things from my theme that I didn’t need and get back to basics. I’ve eliminated the featured post block as well as the container that held all of the categories I write about. This used to be displayed underneath the header.
With regards to the header image and the trees. The fact of the matter is, I love forests. I love forest photography and I love hiking through them so I figured I’d take something I love and put it on the blog so I can see it everyday. The great thing about this header image is that I have about 6 different scenic images that I can substitute the trees with. Once the first day of Winter arrives, I’ll be changing the header image to a picture of snowy mountains.
As for the color scheme, I’ve always enjoyed darker themes but I can never seem to get the link colors and content presentation down pat. This time however, I browsed through template monster and through the galleries presented at VandelayDesign.com as sources for inspiration in terms of text colors to use on a dark theme. The current design is definetly colorful but it falls right in line with my header logo. Also, the colors don’t make the site boring and in fact, the color scheme changes slightly from the home page to a single post page view.
I was going to use the comment threading feature found within WordPress 2.7 but I’ve found out that it’s current implementation sucks. I can’t style it and modify it’s look as easily as I could do with the old comments system. So, I’ve decided not to use the built in threaded comment feature or threaded comments in general. However, thanks to some code that was given to me via Kaspars (Konstruktors.com) commenter’s can now click on a reply link which works exactly like the link in the WP Comment Remix plugin except now I don’t have all of the extra baggage that the plugin provided. The code is not publicly available but with some coaxing, we might be able to convince him to release it.
Speaking of Kaspars, I really want to say thanks to him for all the help he provided to me. Thanks to him, I was able to finally get a styled, working version of his Tabbed Widgets plugin. Also thanks to his help, I’m able to configure specifically where widgets are displayed within the theme using his unreleased Context Widgets plugin. I’ll write about this in a future post but in a nutshell, it is an easier to configure version of Slayers Custom Widgets.
As for comments, I completely redesigned that area as well, thanks again to Kaspars. Ajax edit comment works and so does the comment luv plugin although you can not save the options for comment luv. There is some sort of incompatibility that the plugin author is aware of. I also installed the Quick Tags plugin to make it easier for you to style your comments if you choose to do so. Much better plugin than the Tiny MCE for comments.
There is plenty of other stuff to talk about including a post describing why threaded comments in WordPress 2.7 sucks. Stay tuned for that and more, including an updated list of plugins I’m using.