Yes, I have redesigned. You are now viewing Version 7 of collisionbend.com.
Version 7? Yes, version 7. Version 6 never made it beyond testing. (Ditto Version 4, so that’s 5 designs in almost exactly 6 years.)
Version 6 continued with the reverse I created in version 5, and I got tired of it. It also used XHTML 1, and I’m starting to get tired of that, too: Version 7 uses brand spankin’ new HTML5.
If you look at this design, you notice that it looks strikingly like the recent free WordPress theme ‘Smooth,’ and you would be absolutely correct: I used ‘Smooth’ as a base for this redesign.
My issue with 99% of the WordPress themes out there is that they are bare-bones, and have little in the way of customization toward the blogger. I have Social Media tweaks, jQuery, photos, and more that I want to display, as well as coding examples. I mean, how could I have a Plain Jane Web site when I tell people that I code in jQuery, (X)HTML/CSS, etc.?
And my issue with ‘Smooth’ is exactly that. What I love about ‘Smooth’ is its excellent typography and its simplicity. Simply put, I dig their chili — but I don’t think it was a complete theme, not by a long shot. I also wanted to use my color scheme — I’ve grown fond of ‘Denim ‘n Dinge,’ and wanted to maintain continuity.
The ‘Smooth’ theme uses XHTML Strict — and (horrors!) Cufon to introduce non-standard fonts. Cufon uses (excuse me, here: cough, cough, hack, hack) Flash to replace the content. I have issues with Flash, and Cufon in particular.
My solution? CSS3 @font-face. Yeah, I know that doesn’t work in Internet Explorer. I’ll feed IE 7/8 a separate stylesheet (dropping support for IE6), so while IE users don’t get to see the magic goodies like rounded corners, fancy fonts, and more, they get… well… a reasonable facsimile. Use a modern browser, get modern accoutrements…
The moblog is gone, and replaced with a photo gallery section (the moblog posts have been removed and the photos will be placed in an album). I really wasn’t using it, anyway, but still want the ability to email photos to the site and place them in an album. My photos are now handled by WordPress Photo Album, and there is only one main Photography page.
My one complaint about WPPA: the author provided his own stylesheet, and used the CSS class name of ‘clear.’ BIG no-no, dude! I changed the PHP files that control that and now it no longer conflicts (and no longer breaks the site).
I’ll add a video page sometime soon.
You’ll find that when you go to a single post, there’s no comment form. There’s no comments. But, wait: there’s a ‘comments’ link to the left of the post. What’s this? It’s a link? And if you click on ‘Comments’ (on a single page), you’ll notice that the post disappears and the form appears in its place. Just a little jQuery wizardry. Eye candy. A little usability work that keeps the site uncluttered.
Once a Buckeye, Always a Buckeye: the other nice part of this design, since I kept my modifications simple and straightforward, is that I’ll easily be able to reset the site for Michigan week. The Denim areas change to Scarlet, and the Gray areas stay Gray. The masthead image changes to a photo or a photo collage of Ohio State Football. It’s too much fun to do this, and since it riles friends and family who went to Michigan, I will continue with my tradition.
Other than that, there’s not much more to add, except that I will be adding an array of stylesheets, over time, to accommodate mobile devices: iPod Touch/iPhone, iPad, Droid, and Blackberry. We’ll see how long this one lasts… LOL