It’s Being Done Differently Now

by JustinLL on 16 July 2008

It was time.  I had to do it.  I changed the site layout, or “theme” as it is referred to in the loop.  I’m announcing this obvious fact for the folks in the feed-readers; they can’t see a layout change.  For the most part, at least.

Anyhow, like I was saying.  It was time.  The previous layout was too dark and difficult to read (look at.)  I’m not a fan of sites that use light-colored text on dark backgrounds.  It doesn’t make any sense to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the _look_ of it, but it does not read well.  If you’re planning to have anyone read your stuff, it needs to be easy on the eyes.  I don’t want to get into a long UI discussion (although, maybe I should), but trust me when I say that this new layout is much better.

I’m not sure if the spark for change came from a talk I had with a fellow blogger, or a conversation I had with a colleague about her business’s web site.  Probably it was a combination of the two and, either way, it sent me out tinkering with all sorts of pre-developed WordPress themes.  (An added bonus to using WordPress is the many site layouts that are freely available for personal use.)  After several hours of working with Gimp and creating my own CSS from scratch, I decided it was a better idea, and also much quicker, to mash together a bunch of already existing lines of code.  (Why re-invent the wheel, just make it more round.  What?  I mean make it roll farther.)

This was only half my problem.  I spent a bit of time this evening, searching for a reason as to why my PHP was not working with WordPress 2.6, which I had hesitantly upgraded the site to late Monday evening after trying it on another site I host.  2.6 was working great everywhere I used it, with all my plugins in tact and new features working flawlessly.  But then I loaded up my new layout, which, silly me, I was testing locally on a linux box running WordPress 2.5.  (Imagine that!  It was working in one set of conditions, but not another.)  “Warning!”  “Error!”  “the function() requires a string at line 18.”  Oh my.

What I’m getting at, is that there are going to be some kinks for a few minutes, and I’m doing my best to work those out of the mix.  So, if you would be kind enough, bear with me a minute or two, and, if you notice any errors, please draw them to my attention so I can remedy the situation.  I’m just getting back into the old smell of PHP and, honestly, I was never a CSS fan.  However, it’s proving to make a whole lot of sense now that I’ve plopped myself in the world of web site development. (Is it still a client if you do the work for free?)

I’ll leave you with it so I can get back to it.  My next goal is to clean up the tags and categories.  Both of these are useful tools when used correctly, but we’ll have to let that sit a moment.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam July 16, 2008 at 9:40

Looks good, the new layout’s definitely more concise and easier on the eyes. I do prefer to read serifed fonts as well.

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JustinLL July 17, 2008 at 13:04

Glad you like the new look and feel. I’m still having a bit of trouble with the far right column. I haven’t tried to fix it yet, but the header fonts look out of line to me. I may just leave it for now.

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ExploreSACRAMENTO.com August 1, 2008 at 9:11

It looks good. I’m using WP 2.6 on ExploreSAC, but have older versions on a couple other sites. I’m afraid to upgrade, but may give it a shot when I have a free day, just in case…

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JustinLL August 1, 2008 at 9:36

ExploreSACRAMENTO.com, looks like you have a solid site going on. I’ve added you to my feed reader, so I’ll be keeping up now.

I like WP 2.6 so far. Only had a few quirks with a theme, but I was able to fix that pretty quickly by changing some PHP code. Then the theme released an update doing the same thing.

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John Williams August 20, 2008 at 10:15

Pretty nice site, wants to see much more on it! 🙂

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