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.
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…
- 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. 😉
- 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.
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…
- WordPress Core: Thanks for adding support for magpie feed parser and jQuery framework in wordpress itself. Had I known it earlier, I could have done better! 😉
- WordPress Theme: Thanks to Lins C George‘s Flexi-blue theme. Sidebar boxes are copied from his theme. Also thank to LEMONed‘s Fresh theme, which was our old theme. This new theme uses most of its layout.
- WordPress Plugins: Thanks to Alex King for Popularity Contest Plugin and Mitcho for Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.
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.
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.
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… 🙂