Recently WordPress has had a huge popularity surge, with the rise of ‘magazine themes’. At the same time that WordPress’ popularity has soared, people have forgotten about what WP is all about: fundamentally, it is a blogging system. Trying to keep that in mind, I’m releasing my first WordPress theme, NomeBlog. NomeBlog is as simple or as complicated as you’d like it to be.
What makes this theme different to the ton of other themes out there at the moment?
Functionality. Nomeblog has been designed to make your life easier; features include:
- XHTML valid code
- Gravatar support
- iPhone support
- Auto-image resizing
- jQuery navigation
- Widgetised sidebar
- Author info at the bottom of posts
- Related posts
- ‘Login’ option displayed on the navbar to those logged in
- Customised default gravatar
- Support for WP-Pagenavi
- Sidebar blog
- Built in archive
- 125×125 ad ready
- Feedburner subscribe by email ready
- Self explanatory code: no options page, instead the code has explanations on what it is doing and how you can customise it.
Diving into the features:
Ease of use
No more silly custom fields. No more uploading an image of just the right size. No more editing the code because it was customised to the original author’s site: NomeBlog just works. Displayed on the homepage can be the whole post, or alternatively (and what I’d recommend), you can cut off how much of the post is displayed on the homepage using the <!–more–> tag.
Nometet.com, I’ve found this feature to be a lifesaver. You don’t have to use it, but it’s there if you want it to be. You can get an image to appear on the homepage, as shown in the image above by adding a custom field ‘Image’. To save yourself using FTP, just upload the picture into a post, click the ‘html’ tab and copy the img src and paste it in the ‘Image’ custom field. Then delete the image from your post. Simple :D. Just to make that clear – add a custom field ‘Image’ and a thumbnail image will appear on the homepage.
You don’t just have to limit your auto-image resizing to the homepage – the following bits of code you can insert into posts and images will be resized. The image risizing is done by a neat script called phpthumb, so more info (and find about whether your host supports it) on the soundforge site. Anyway. The code. This snippet will resize the image to fit in the post area:
<img src="/wp-content/themes/nomeblog/scripts/phpthumb/phpThumb.php?src=[whatever your image source is]&w=590" alt="" />
or alternatively, if you want to have a smaller image, this piece of code will create a 200px x 200px image, aligned right:
<img src="/wp/wp-content/themes/nomeblog/scripts/phpThumb.php?src=[whatever your image source is]&w=200&h=200&zc=1" alt="" align="right" />
There is a ton of stuff you can do with the script, so check out the example page.
As I wrote on WPHacks a while ago, iPhone support is becoming increasingly a necessity. So I thought I’d integrate it into my theme. This requires a plugin, but I’ve zipped it all up for you so it is really easy to install. Check out this blog post for detalis of how to install it.
Included with the theme is an archive page template, to set it up, just create a new page, using the page template ‘Archives’. Publish the page (without any content in it), making sure the url is /archive/.
You can choose to haveyour own custom gravatar to be displayed when people don’t have a gravatar. Just upload your gravatar in .gif format to /wp-content/themes/nomeblog/images/ , replacing the current file. To activate it, click on ‘Discussion’ under the settings tab in wp-admin. Scroll down and choose your default gravatar.
Author info / Related Posts
Again, something I do on Nometet.com is show related posts. But on Nometet I use a plugin. In the NomeBlog theme, related posts is built in (thanks Jean!). How does it work? By finding posts with similar tags. Thats how. But I don’t use tags! Then the related posts will magically disappear. As I said earlier, NomeBlog is as complicated or as simple as you want it to be.
The author section, as you can see above, shows the author’s gravatar, along with a link to their site. The text description is taken straight from the ‘biolgraphical info’ field in the ‘your profile’ section of /wp-admin/.
You know when I said earlier the theme doesn’t require any setting up? Well that isn’t 100% true – you will need to link up the navbar; there probably won’t be room to fit in all your categories, so you’ll need to edit the header.php file, putting in your own linnks. Don’t worry though – it’ll all explain itself once you’re editing.
You’ll need to edit the sidebar.php file and the index.php so that the right category is displayed on the sidebar blog – find the category ID (Google how to find it) and change the number in the sidebar and set it so that it is not displayed in the index.php file. Like the navbar, the code explains itself.
Feedburner subscribe by email
In the sidebar.php file are details on how to enable this feature.
WP-Pagenavi is highly recommended
Something else I use on Nometet.com is the Drop Caps plugin. I’ll post a tut soon showing how to make it look a bit nicer. Grab the RSS feed or subscribe by email to be notified when I do. Its a pretty cool thing to have on your blog.
The Tweetmeme wordpress plugin is also pretty cool – if you’re on Twitter would recommend it.
I’ve got plans to make amendments and release more themes in the future, so make sure you subscribe to the Nometech RSS feed so you’ll know when I post more themes. Oh, and feedback appreciated – comment below.
CHROME/SAFARI ISSUES ARE FIXED! THE DOWNLOAD HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH THE UPDATE