new theme – thoughts?

new theme

As promised, my new theme went live today. I’ve been working on it for the last few weeks so it’s nice to finally have it up and running.

Initially i had bookmarked this theme on themeforest. I thought it looked perfect for what i wanted (simple, white, all the emphasis on content). I then spent a weeks trying to find something better. I couldn’t. No theme could beat this for simplicity so i went ahead and bought it.

Rather than keep my logo, i also took the opportunity to design a new logo. After much thought, i decided to add the ‘horizontal’ version to this blog.

Although you might take a look at the default theme i bought and ask yourself what have i been spending the last couple of weeks working on, there are a lot of subtle changes.

For example, the header is slightly smaller which pulls up the content a bit. The footer has also been reduced in size and tweaked. I’ve changed the time and date format on each post and of course integrated all my existing plugins in to the theme and added some new features…

One new feature i’ve added has been a jquery ‘read more’ link. This allows me to structure the homepage and make all posts consistent in terms of layout but at the same time it’s not ‘hassle’ to click on a read more link because it won’t take you to a new page, it would load content inline. Go ahead and try it out for yourself 😉

I hate pages reloading myself and don’t like to have to click on ‘read more’ and be taken to another page to read the rest of an article but at the same time i like blogs with structure and the right blend of images and text. Usually they’re called ‘magazine’ themes but this theme is probably a hybrid of a magazine layout and a traditional blog layout.

smemon new theme

There are some problems using jquery on the read more link however…. You can rightly say it break standards or is unexpected etc.. it also doesn’t load the comment section underneath posts which could perhaps be misleading / confusing for people. I’m aware of all that and thought long and hard about it, but in the grand scheme of things, i think there are more pros than cons to using it.

Anyway, without going in to every little detail on every new feature, here’s a quick list of some improvements over the old theme;

  • Smaller in file size than old theme, so more efficient / faster
  • I’ve chopped a massive 24 tables from my database (it had 48, it now has 24)
  • Custom Google search engine replaces default wordpress search
  • Extra wide content area to put focus on content
  • Neat & tidy footer which pulls in my latest tweets
  • Time at which posts are published (on the old theme i just had the date)
  • New favicon

This new theme will also see me introduce 720 x 250px images on every post. I’ve been doing it for the past week or so in a bid to help train myself in to working with photoshop daily. I’m getting used to the extra workload, and so far it’s not proving to be that difficult. I do have to complete posts much earlier in the day though. The days of sitting down to write a quick post at 11.30pm are over 🙂 I need at least an hour to write a post and custom design an image to go along side it – no matter how simple or poor the image is :mrgreen:

So there you have it… out with the old, in with the new. Any feedback is appreciated!

10 thoughts on “new theme – thoughts?”

  1. like it sean, clean as a whistle…

    only suggestions i'd have (you did ask 😉 ) I'd actually prefer to see the first post in full and 'read more' for the others on the homepage. i'd also remove the drop down menu for portfolio and just link to main portfolio page – would prefer if it didnt cover the cover search box… also the footer at the very bottom – bit smaller maybe (i'm viewing in chrome)

    – apart from that great job.. like the widened content section and the new logo looks really clean up there… twitter only at bottom instead of lifestream is much cleaner too – to be honest – i got a bit of a shock when i loaded up there 😉

  2. I like it, really clean and sharp.

    The only downside I see is that your personality needs to come through on each individual blog image, as opposed to having a strong default personality on the site itself – I wouldn't have the discipline to create an image for each blog post myself, but you seem excited by the prospect, so you obviously have no problem with that!


  3. Hi Enda, appreciate the feedback! You're right about the drop down pages – i spent an awful lot of time simply deciding where to put the page menu and how i should structure it, but i never thought about simply removing the sub pages (it makes sense because they're listed on the portfolio page anyway)…

    Good point on having post #1 a full length post, again never really thought about that as i was focusing so much on structure and consistency, but i'll think about that one…

    Reducing footer size is something i was going to do anyway, i had more stuff in the footer when i was working on the demo site but decided to pull it out at the last minute, so that's why it's so big!

  4. I'm liking it 🙂

    I like clean designs … I also like plenty of room for the content and custom post graphics are good as well

    Wondering now if I should increase the width of my own a tad as the main content is felling a tad squished now in comparison 😀

  5. I'm liking it 🙂

    I like clean designs … I also like plenty of room for the content and custom post graphics are good as well

    Wondering now if I should increase the width of my own a tad as the main content is felling a tad squished now in comparison 😀

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