Tag Archives: theme

Posterous Takes Aim at WordPress

With Twitter taking over so much of our time these days, many of us pay less attention to our “traditional” blogs. They’re cumbersome, take more work to manage – not to mention more time. Posterous recognizes this, and is working hard to make things easier. They want you to blog – and they’re willing to help you move away from your current WordPress setup. There are a lot of “features” in the backend of WP that most of us never use. Those items have been stripped away from the new Posterous platform.

The new WordPress blog importer is scheduled to launch tomorrow. It will grab blog posts, comments and tags, and stuff them into a Posterous account. For those of us with a LOT of content, this process will likely take quite awhile. However, it’s not something you have to stare at as it does its thing. Just start it and go grab some dinner with friends. It will work quietly in the background, grabbing your life from one platform and seamlessly moving it over to another.

In return, you’ll find yourself faced with a streamlined backend, free of all of the features you never once used. There will be no more spam – Posterous is free of that (for now, at least). You’ll also be surprised to find how simple it is to email in your posts – even from your phone. If you can email something, you can blog it from your phone. This includes photos, videos, text documents and even spreadsheets!

Prolific blogger Phil Campbell has already made the switch. Will you be joining him?

Create Your Own WordPress Themes

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If you have a blog, you have a theme. Chances are, you downloaded a theme off the web somewhere. It’s okay that you don’t know how to code your own customized theme from scratch! Very few people are capable of doing this. You want your blog to say “YOU”, but you don’t want to pay a designer a ton of money to accomplish this. It’s a good thing Artisteer now makes it simple for you to create and customize your own WordPress theme with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Everything and anything you can think of that you might want to tweak in your layout can be done easily with Artisteer in just a few seconds. You don’t have to try to learn HTML or even CSS. All you have to be able to do is click your mouse buttons, and decide what look is right for you.

Move your gadgets to a different side. Change up your text with different colors and fonts. Heck, change the header or background image while you’re at it. Don’t like what you’re seeing? Psh! Just click a button and start completely over. It really is that easy.

Best of all, Artisteer doesn’t only work on WordPress. Create designs for web pages, Blogger Blogs, or make professional Joomla! and Drupal templates.

Artisteer is probably my favorite new discovery in a long time. I’m having so much fun that I’ve now created probably 30 different themes, just by playing around. The only limitation to this program is your own imagination. So… get creative!

[awsbullet:wordpress theme]

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WicketPixie WordPress Theme Screencast

I wrote about it yesterday when I initially rolled out this new WordPress theme, but now I’ve had time to make a very brief screencast that explains a bit more about it. You’ll see that there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. WicketPixie gives you:

  • Your own Activity Stream / Social Graph page
  • Your own Collected Favorites page / News Aggregator
  • An easy ability to change certain style elements
  • A high-quality Web design for your site
  • A clean way to present ALL your social profiles
  • The freedom to donate to future theme development
  • Gravatar support within WordPress v2.5+
  • The ability to use any feed source as a Status message
  • Areas optimized for advertising

Not bad for free, eh? I’m likely to use CC BY-SA 3.0 for the license, with the hope that a small group of enthusiasts can help me maintain and build it further.

Right now, we’re working our way through a few last-minute layout bugs (cross-browser compatibility). I’m considering holding off a public release until it’s been modified for WPMU and implemented for bloggers on Lockergnome – which I don’t know how to do, since I’m not a WPMU guru. If you know any experienced developer who can help with that part of the process, I’m all ears. Until then, this screencast should whet your appetite:

I really want to ask you this, before I make the files available for download: would you rather download the plain version of WicketPixie or the version I’ve tweaked for my own site (understanding that with the latter, you’d have to make more changes to the core templates).

WicketPixie: a Social Media Theme for WordPress

Today, I’m officially unveiling my new theme for WordPress – and in a matter of days or weeks, after a few more tweaks, it will be available for you to download and install for your own WordPress blog (recommended v2.5 or later).

Welcome to WicketPixie – a Social Media theme for WordPress.

When I say this is a “Social Media” theme, it’s not merely because there’s a Twitter widget sitting somewhere in the sidebar. No, it’s a bit more involved than that. You’ll have your own “Activity Stream” page, your own “PopURLs” page, and the social profiles that you import can be used as separate widgets throughout the sidebar. It’s all about helping people discover more about you.

You can call these types of pages just about anything you want to call ’em – I’m going with “Social Me” for my aggregate social graph, and “Faves” for all my favorite Web sites. Of course, you can see all my Web profiles listed in the sidebar – and yes, those favicons were automatically pulled in!

You don’t like the colors or background image of the theme? WicketPixie comes with its own design configuration tool, allowing you to easily change elements and colors throughout the theme. And yes, the theme was designed by the very talented Matt Brett, with app design by the Other Chris.

I’m considering offering two separate downloads: a very generic version of the theme, and the theme as it currently exists on my site (which would require you to replace my own account information throughout the theme with your own). I wanted to tweak certain elements and incorporate my “essential” plugins – not to mention optimize for advertising and SEO. Either way, you’d be on your own for support.

The theme is the app, to me – and I hope WicketPixie will be your next WordPress theme for that reason. Your own blog can also serve as your social nexus, where people can easily find out who you are and what you’re doing anywhere else on the Web. Consider this a v1.0 release:

I ran out of budget, and time, to add more functionality and configurability to the theme – but it’s my hope that we can reach our donation goals quickly to begin work on extending what WicketPixie can help you accomplish (and manage) out of the box. We really wanted to tie in more external social conversations / data, but it wasn’t possible to integrate cleanly without further financial considerations. Still, most of your existing WordPress plugins should work fine with WicketPixie – including Disqus and FriendFeed.

I’d consider this a free premium theme because of its extended capabilities, and if you’d like to help push it to the next level – I’m all ears. I do request that if you change the theme in any way, all credit is pushed forward (and you let me know, please). If you’re interested in helping build ‘er out, we’re off to a running start.

Do you want it?