New Theme for Devils Workshop!

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If you have visited Devils Workshop from your web browser in last 18 hours, you may have noticed new theme by now.

As expected, I received mix response for theme. But before analyzing them, I would like to highlight some points which were on my mind while working on new theme.

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First thing, I was so sure about was simplicity and performance. So this theme have just 1 image as its part! Next as Devils Workshop is more than 2 years old now, I wanted to come up with navigation which will be easy, relevant and contextual in nature.

It took me around 6 months to finalize things which you can see now. Here are some details which may go unnoticed…

Navigation…

  • Home Page: Rather than blindly listing 10 recent posts, Homepage will now have at the top “Featured post” section, the most important one. Next a user can have a look at “New (recent)” and “Best” content simultaneously. Scrolling further, one can check in decreasing order of importance posts marked for Social Networking users, Bloggers, Internet & Technology. At each level, tabbed-navigation is provided to show most popular relevant subcategories.
  • Single Post Page: Most of the users visits single post pages via search engines. So it is very important to show them “best” and “relevant” content. Now just after the post, one can see, “Related”, “Most Popular” and “Recent” Posts in single place, again using tabbed-navigation. Tabbed-navigation really make use of screen-space efficiently. It also hides unnecessary information as per user-choice and saves a lot of scrolling.
  • Archive Pages: Similar “tabbed-navigation” is used in archive pages but with relevance. For example, if you are visiting a monthly archive, you will be most popular posts in default tab. If you are visiting a category page, you will see most popular posts in that category in default tab. A visitor will always get “local view”. This is sort of tracking user activity without any cookies or privacy concerns. 😉
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Aesthetics…

  • Colors: Theme uses 2-shades of blue, 1 shade of gray with default white background and black text-color for main (post) contents. There is no images, no-rounded corner and other so-called “web 2.0” stuff.
  • No First Impression Philosophy: I do agree that first impression lasts longer. But hate it or love it, Google will force you to visit Devils Workshop again and again. So its better to go for minimalistic design, where you can spend more time on reading articles, without putting strain on your eyes.
  • Many old readers are disappointed with new designs aesthetics. But I really think you will soon adapt to new theme soon. When wordpress changed its admin interface in version 2.5, I hated it, because I had my own comfort-zone with old theme. But now I am comfortable with new theme as well.

Designed for Multi-author…

  • Every single post and archive page will have authors avatar beside it. Also author comments are highlighted on their posts.
  • A dedicated introductory paragraph “About Devil”, from bottom part is replaced by contributors list. Also article count beside author name is removed. Some said it should be put back. Again your opinion is waited on this.

Credits:

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This theme is made using so many things, that permanently carrying there names in footer will clutter it. Still here is my vote of thanks to…

Thanks to Anil, Deepesh, Johnson, Gaurav, Gautam, SauravjitDeepak, Debjyoti and Manpreet. These guys spent their time and energy to improve this theme when it was under-construction.

Here are some valuable comments/questions…

Arjun suggested a separate “recent post” widget in sidebar. I guess one after the post in tabbed-navigation box is enough.

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Pavan reported a bug in Firefox 2.0 which was almost distorting all comments, including comment form. Thanks Pavan for quick reporting and attaching screenshot in your mail. I made some changes now, and tested it on Firefox 2 from Windows XP machine. I hope its fixed by now for all. If you see any problem with theme, please let us know. Also include your browser information in it.

Feedback Please…

This is my first wordpress theme from almost scratch. As Johnson suggested, I should have posted about all issues/codes used in theme. Bit in 6 months time, I have gone through more than 500 wordpress themes, and have 200+ bookmarked resources, tutorials on wordpress and in-general CSS. So putting all efforts at one-place is quite hard.

Still if you like something particular and want more detail about it, please let me know. I would love to post about any part of this theme. I am working on few more themes so your feedback can help me make them better as well.

Thank you all for your time and valuable feedback.

Enjoy new Devils Workshop… 🙂

18 replies on “New Theme for Devils Workshop!”

  1. I didn’t find anymore bugs..
    But the empty space below ‘recent comments’ section is looking bit odd 🙁
    It would be better if you place some elements there

  2. Wow. The new theme looks neat, but I used to love that colourful theme a bit more I guess… 😛 Anyway, good work as usual, Rahul!

    And moreover, I noticed that this is Devil’s Workshop’s 500th Post! Congratz once again, keep going!!!

  3. Rahul. a few thing I would like to add, about the recent posts at index page, when you had uploaded it the first time, it just had the Recent posts at blog and forum in tabs. Currently both are separate and summary is being shown for posts at blog. What I would have wished for was summary for the latest post, and headlines for the next 9 recent posts. Reason for this, the Page length is getting longer. Preferably you could do the recent post like the featured one, using full width of the post area.
    Secondly, there is an odd space beneath the recent comments, Possibly you could fill it up with Twitter activity , like you had long back, or maybe something even better
    Here is a Visual prototype of What I recommend 🙂 http://corpseofattic.com/images/dw.png

  4. Hey, everything ok with my browser now… But have some suggestions about the look. The color you have used on this theme F1F1F1 is not so much attractive. I guess that could be changed with DAF2FC as I see it good with flexi blue theme.

    Also the color 007CAB at header would be better if you pick that too from flexi blue – 7BD0F4.

    Sorry that I am commenting too much, but just its my view…

    Also, don’t you think that the login section in the header be NOFOLLOWed.

    One more suggestion, after this comment section, put a horizontal rult to separate footer section, that would be cool and won’t eat up resources…

    Also, Google translate replaced with Nothing to hide plugin would be great…

    What’s your feel about comment luv plugin, may be nofollow one, but it gives credit to commentator with traffic.

    Finally, I report any functionality bugs as and when I find.

    Good Work Rahul.

  5. Nice work Devil.. you worked on my suggestions also.. but why did u put my name in credts :s
    i didnt do anything

    however, very nice wrk
    make the footerbar’s widgets’ headlines underline

    And footerbar ke right side widgets ko right align kardo

    and please improve the footer (below the footerbar), i dont knw why but its not looking gud

    and to fill the sidebar spaces, use sum widget lyk google translator

    there are some more points.. will tell them to you on gtalk

  6. This header image and favicon does not looks that attractive 🙁
    Why don’t you get these works done by some photo editing pros..?

  7. @ALL
    Thanks all for encouraging comments and feedback guys. As you might have noticed many of your suggestions are live in theme by now. 🙂

    @Praveen
    Thanks Praveen, I really missed it btw!

    @Debajyoti & Deepak
    I put logo in header now, which is designed by Johnson. I hope its better now.
    Also I personally find favicon very attractive and matching with theme.

    @Gaurav
    Thanks for screenshot man. Your suggestions are really nice. 🙂
    I made some changes to homepage. I will spend more time on it soon.

    @Pavan
    I will soon test all suggestions made by you offline. I personally feel, there is room for improvement in color.

    About NOFOLLOW for login link, I didnt get reason to add it.

    Google translate is better as it doesn’t put any extra load on server and needed by few visitors only.

    About comment luv plugin, I guess comment should out of genuine interest, so I never used any plugin which will encourage unnecessary comments.

    Finally about separating footer, I am really thinking removing 3 footer columns and add them to sidebar. What do you think about it?

    @Johnson
    Please send me your idea of moving footer content to sidebar.
    And thanks for nice logo buddy… 🙂

    @Gautam
    I appreciate time you spent on giving me your feedback. 🙂

  8. Yea Rahul its frankly a Good Idea to Get them to side bar. There is sufficient place to place Blogroll beneath the rightsidebar(ads section) and mybloglog and contributors beneath the recent comments .
    The Cons I think are: can make it feel cluttered to some readers, and they can lose prominence they share by being in footer column.
    Pros: Usability of left over space, and As i don’t like long pages so probably saving half a scroll 😛

  9. @Rahul Bansal

    The login section is not at all useful for all users, and hence I thought there is no use to get your login section indexed in google. Anyway, it doesn’t matter much.

    It is not the case always that all posts here are long ones. Few will be short also there is a chance that you may not get more comments, in such cases the sidebar will become too long to scroll. Again the footer to sidebar conversion would be a perfect blend for lengthy posts which are more common on devil’s workshop.

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