I’ve developed and managed a few WordPress websites for myself (and for clients) and recently I’ve been using the Jetpack plug-in. It’s actually a collection of plug-ins that provides additional functionality for your WordPress blog/website. I like it!
Jetpack supercharges your self‑hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com.
Jetpack is made by Automattic, the company behind WordPress, and was orginally only available if your site was hosted on WordPress.com. Now, it’s available for self-hosted sites as well. So, what does it provide? Here are some of the options in the Jetpack package.
I like to run a few personal websites and really enjoy writing articles for these. The articles are not about web-related technical stuff but describe things I get up to in my spare time. I guess this is a bit of a ‘diversion’ for me and one way to get away from my 9-to-5 job as a freelance web developer/designer.
One of these websites is Clive Goes Cycling …
I’ve been using some WordPress themes from StudioPress in recent months and have been pretty impressed – so I thought I would highlight some of the reasons why in this short post.
Info: I have used the Genesis theme with various child themes on several projects.
One thing that I have been pondering recently is whether to use web templates or (WordPress) themes more regularly in web design projects. Yes, you might view this as a cop-out or some indication of lack of creativity. On the other hand, if you want to jump-start a website design and get straight into the front-end build CSS and HTML, perhaps a theme/template is a good starting point?
Whilst I was thinking on this, imagine my surprise (perhaps surprise is too strong a word but you get the idea) when Sabrina Dent, a designer whose work I have often admired, wrote this blog post called Confessions of a Template Whore where she outlines some of the advantages of using templates. One of the main reasons cited is for clients who don’t have a large budget. Hey, I get that all the time!
In my experience, a client is rarely satisfied with a template off-the-shelf and customisation will always be required. However, when a template or theme ticks most of the boxes, customisation becomes easier than starting from scratch. In addition, you can always learn from the way that another designer does things. Just because you always float a specific element does not mean that is the only way of doing it!
Now, I’m not saying you just choose any old template here. The client’s objectives, budget, and type of business will all influence your choice of theme. You might decide to spend quite some time at the start of the website design process choosing one or more themes or templates. Although a template can be a quick start for your web design process, don’t rush the template selection process. I like to look at a variety of themes and assess which might be best.
So, what’s your take on this? Are templates bad for web design or are they a smart way of getting the basic structure and design established quickly, with client customisation to follow?
Related: ThemeForest has some high quality templates and themes.
There seems to be a whole lot going on with Wordpress themes at the moment and the WP community seems pretty active. Textpattern is a great CMS, and I like the uncluttered way it just let me get on with the job, but development progress sometimes seems slow. I know that a lot of hard work has gone into Textpattern but I wonder if I should be trying something different myself.
One of the disadvantages of moving would be a big upheaval of the blog and a potential disruption of URLs and other search engine problems. On the other hand, a new system could provide fresh impetus to write more. It’s a tough call.
I have been using Textpattern as blog software and as a website content management system (CMS) for a few years now but my colleague (who shall remain nameless) is a bit of a WordPress fan. We each argued the case for our favourite but both systems seemed to have advantages and disadvantages depending on the website scenario. In actual fact, neither of us has used the other software 'in anger' so-to-speak. Until now that is.
I was perusing my Flickr website inspiration photoset and I came across a screenshot of a blog theme that I saved. Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say 'Wow! That's a great design'. So it is with Glossy Blue from N.Design Studio. It's a fantastic looking blog theme (for WordPress).
I particularly like the page background contrast with the rest of the theme and the styling of the post dates. I have seen this sort of treatment before but it works really well here.
Additionally, the blue and green image backgrounds for the header and navigation tabs are great and the overall colour scheme is a harmonious blend.
Brilliant work from N.Design Studio.
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