New design on it’s way

For a while I’ve not been happy with the very basic theme I have on this blog. So last week I started work on a new one, something much more exciting to look at and much more me. I wanted something professional but personal, something slick but not too Web 2.0 and something which would stand out. I don’t think I’m too far off!

To make this I have used nothing but the magnificent program that is the Gimp and the Kubuntu text editor Kate. All open and all I need.

It should be finished in the next two weeks but for now here’s a little sneak preview.
Feedback very welcome!

A quick screenshot of work in progress on my new site design.

Moved webhost and nearly finished new theme.

Last night / this morning I finally moved host over to MyFireHost. My previous provider was so slow and subject to so many problems with mysql that I just couldn’t take anymore! I finally finished moving everything over this morning and have activated my work in progress new design. It’s not quite finished yet but it should give you some idea of where I am going with it.

Autumn is the best time of year!

I’m also starting a little project with my brother; the fruits of which should be a slew of new and sexy wordpress themes.

Watch this space.. and another one soon!

Ridiculously good-looking but just ridiculous underneath

Finally I’m nearly there with the basics of this theme. The look and feel is about right, and when I load the page I like what I see. I just don’t like the code that creates it.

The code behind it is a hugely modified version of the Writers Blog theme by Eric Crooks. I loved his simple yet elegant theme and knew it would be a great starting point. However; there are a few things now I need to do with the theme to finish it that require a rewrite of the basics to accomplish.

I don’t like monolithic programming structures. That is Microsoft’s biggest mistake in my opinion; and the reason Windows gets so slow after even a short period of use. But what I have here is a combination of so many little css hacks and alterations that reviewing my code makes my eyes water.

Bad Benjy.

So, it’s time to stop it and tidy up (fantastic cartoon when I was growing up – anyone else remember it?) With all this colour and panache I’ve lost what I hold dearest in web design: semantic markup + clear and concise CSS = ease of use/adaptation for all.

Once I’m happy with it I can get on with uploading some of the other wordpress themes I’ve been working on.. and everything else I tinker with when I’ve half the chance.

Upgraded to WordPress 2.8

This week I upgraded to wordpress 2.8, and despite a few warnings the upgrade went utterly without a hitch. Backing everything up first helped to alleviate my worrys. After ensuring everything was tickety boo I did a little googling to see what people thought about the new release, what troubles or successes they were having and during the course of my searching I came across this little nugget of a review/guide:

webdesignbooth.com/wordpress-28-and-10-things…

The article covers most of the improvements/updates succinctly so I won’t go into too much detail here but I will say the wordpress team have put ever more work into simplifying many of a blog owners functions and tasks.

The widgets configurations screen is a vast improvement, no fiddly save settings – everything is accomplished through seamless AJAX. I also really like the new html/css editor for your themes; now with functions lookup and syntax highlighting, making editing template files online now much quicker.I tinker with my layout too much for this not to be a great addition.

After all, who can keep all the functions in their head at one time? The wordpress codex has become my most visited site in the last few months according to firefox..

Anyway, to sum up: thumbs up; fantastic new additions to the wp backend and overall productivity within the blog.

Basic theme for now

Well, after a bit of faffing (pottering to you or me) I’ve settled on WordPress for my portfolio for the time being. It’s simple, gets the job done and allows me some time to polish all my templates and make them WP ready. Who knows, if I can clean them up in time I might enter one into my web hosts little competition on their forum. So for now, thanks go to Scott Wallick of plaintextblog for the simple theme currently in use. Nothing worse in my opinion than a bog standard install with Kubrick left on. So lazy!