Well, I’ve finished my first cut, version 0.1 of my custom ‘davmp’ theme and deployed it to my blog. I started from absolute scratch and built up the columnar layout first, but only after doing lots of research on the “Holy Grail” and “One True Layout” and reading up about various strategies. It was very important to me that I have a liquid center column, with equal sidebar columns, all vertically sandwiched between a full-width header and footer. I think my new theme does that pretty well, though I’ve only tested on OSX (Firefox 2.x, Safari) so far.
Admittedly, in order to get through all the CSS and PHP (the first time I’ve ever written the latter, but it turns out not to be too difficult if you’re used to other server-side languages and concepts) in about 36 hours, I have borrowed quite heavily from Cutline by Chris Pearson. But I expect to go back and re-do a bunch of that overtime. I’m just a little burned out by this for now.
Besides the columnar layout, I really like my header where the blog text, description, and page navigation is overlaid on top of the header image. Things look kind of plain if you don’t have an image, but I didn’t want to waste all that space at the top of every page to not have this stuff overlaid.
If you are curious, my header image was taken by either my wife or I (we each claim to have taken it 🙂 ) a couple years ago while we were doing the Norway-In-A-Nutshell tour between Oslo and Bergen. It was an awesome trip and the picture was snapped at this place where you have to change trains in the mountains. Ah, it was such a great trip!
Finally, if anyone has any interest in using my theme, please don’t hesitate to contact me to ask about it. I’m not quite ready to publish it publicly, but I won’t mind early-adopters. 🙂
Over the past few days, I’d grown sick of my old WordPress theme. Don’t get me wrong, Cutline by Chris Pearson is an awesome layout! That’s probably why it’s one of the top 3-column themes you can download on http://themes.wordpress.net — over 20,000 downloads! However, the following are things that annoyed me that I couldn’t fine a good solution for:
- While Cutline was REALLY clean looking and had the three column layout I really wanted, the center column didn’t expand at all (as it seems people like to say, it wasn’t a “liquid center”) so when I maximized my browser, there was ALOT of wasted space on the sides.
- It used a significant amount of space at the top of the page for the blog title, blog description, and a banner image. Just too much space waster here, especially noticeable when browsing from my iPhone.
- I experimented with trying to set different background colors behind each of the three columns, footer, and header, but ran into problems that just didn’t make sense.
So I haved decided to write my own theme.