Anatomy of a Magazine Style Premium WordPress Theme - Part 1 “The Loop”

Let me say it for the millionth time “content is king” and we all know that, don’t we?

featured wordpress postsSince content is the most important part of a site, your WordPress powered theme must emphasis on its presentation. Most cookie cutter themes come with a post list that runs based on the time your posts were published, in other words a chronological list of posts irrespective of its importance. Let’s face it, not all posts are created equal. Some posts are special, some are important and then some not quite so. Why then should all posts get the same treatment?

Magazine styled themes do a fine job of addressing this by introducing the featured …

Sandbox (CSS) Design Competition Pre-Submission Checklist

For those making the final submission of your CSS designs for the competition either tomorrow or the day after, I compiled this quick (should take less than 15 minutes) and a short checklist to help ensure your theme gives the rest a run for the money. At the risk of being called “Captain Obvious”, here it is:
Hierarchy: Make sure your h1, h2… are all styled using commonsense formats to create a meaningful visual hierarchy. Sandbox does not use h2 in the sidebar like the Widgets do, so think about both scenarios, that is, users using your theme as is and those using sidebar widgets. (Time: Should take you less than 1 minute for this)

Dropdown menu usage: If you plan on using the default dropdown in Sandbox, leave the pages list intact for IE 6 users. If you plan on hiding the sandbox_globalnav, the div id is “menu”, make it “display: none;”. (Time: Again, should take you less than 1 minute to check)

Sandbox (CSS) Design Competition Tutorial

This ‘how to’ tutorial was written for beginners/users designing a Sandbox based theme/CSS redesign using minimal CSS hacks and imagery. The objective of this exercise was to do “as little work as possible” while ensuring the result appears “significantly different” from the starting template. This is not the end-all strategy to design a Sandbox theme/skin, but merely a guide to get started. Enjoy.

Tools needed: Notepad, FTP (SmartFTP or similar) and PhotoShop or similar (any image editor should do).

In less than a couple of weeks, the Sandbox theme competition will decide a winner, but if you are anything like I am, you would probably wait to the very last day to create and submit your entry. So I feel it’s the perfect time to have a “how to” demonstrating the endless possibilities of CSS redesigning for those procrastinators waiting for a sign to get started. And no, this demo theme will not be submitted to the competition but will be released freely for Sandbox users sometime soon. Here’s a quick reminder of the rules.

Just to briefly touch on the Sandbox theme, as described by its creator(s), “The real feature of the Sandbox is its markup. The use of class-generating functions in key elements (the body, post div, and comment li elements) creates the most extensible WordPress theme available”. So all you need is some basic understanding of CSS and you should be ready to roll.

SEO Checklist: Easy Tips to Generate FREE Web Traffic

Here’s a quick checklist of tips on improving site traffic (in no particular order):

Submit URLs to search engines and web directories to start the ranking process: Technorati, Google, Alexa, DMOZ.
A good domain name and targeted meta tags can help improve search engine rankings. Keep your tags relevant to your data.
Check your site validation from time to time.
It would not hurt to keep a banner ad of search engines on your website to boost your own ranking.
Trading links and advertisements with other web sites similar as yours will bring you more web site traffic.
Linkbaiting will tempt viewers to place links to your website from other websites. One of the most important features of site engine optimization is to …