Tag Archives: WebDesign

VectorLover 2 – Initial Release

As previously mentioned, I’ve been working on updating and customizing the VectorLover WordPress theme to include some of WordPress 2.7’s new features and to integrate with certain WordPress plugins which I like. This evening I’m happy to announce the initial release of VectorLover 2.

Features

  • Threaded comments with quick reply links.
  • Integrated plugin support for: Now-Reading, FAlbum, Tweetbacks, wpLicense
  • Custom login page
  • Added a new default Gravatar image to list of options under Settings -> Discussion in WordPress’s admin backend.
  • hCard microformatting to both post & comment authors.
  • A stylesheet to remove unnecessary elements from printed pages.
  • Changed page titles to display as “PostTitle « BlogName” vs the previous “BlogName » PostTitle” for better SEO
  • Wrapped posts in a DIV with post_class() to add support for fancier styling on posts.

Special Thanks

This release would not have been possible without Erwin Aligam — who designed the initial theme, ThemeLab — who ported the design to WordPress, famfamfam — designed some wicked-nice icons or any of these sites: WPEngineer.com, TheEnglishGuy.co.uk, OttoDestruct.com and Sivel.net — all of whom provided valuable information while I was working on this release.

Download

You can download this release from my VectorLover 2 page.

Library Renovations

In the event you notice any irregularities with this site, particularly the library section do not be alarmed. I am currently renovating that portion of the site.

Website Oddness

Worry not faithful readers, I’m simply playing around with the theme of my site and considering another redesign. Things should be back to normal soon.

Web Design for Business Owners

In my day job, I deal with massive databases of business listing information. Occasionally, I am required to go through those listings to review the sites attached to the listings. And for the love of god, people you’re making my eyes bleed. In hopes that some of you out there find this blog post and are willing to fix your site, here’s a few tips.

Give your homepage the title of your company.

When you build your site, make sure your company’s name is the title of your home page. It should not be things like: “Welcome!”, “email”, “under construction” or “index”. This makes your site both more professional and easier for search engines to properly index your site.

Do not use massive amounts of Macromedia Flash/Javascript/Animated Gifs.

Some truly amazing things can be done with Flash. Using it to animate your navigation is not one of them. Flash is best used sparingly as it limits your audience, blocking the blind for your site and users of mobile internet devices (e.g. cellphones).

Likewise, javascript should be sparingly and the site should degrade gracefully when a user without javascript visits. Which is to say if your navigation or other major site features break without javascript; then you’ve done something wrong. So go back and fix it!

The occasional animated gif can add impact and interest to your site; while dozens are annoying and look amateurish.

Color is important, but try not to blind your site visitors.

When you blind your site visitors with odd bad color choices; they will move on to your competitors. Along the same lines if you have overly complicated background images behind the text of your website; you are marking it harder for people to read what you have to say. Keep it simple for maximum impact.

Make sure all your links have logical names.

Naming your various pages as: “Page 1”, “Page 2”, etc… might seem simple and easy, but it makes those links useless to your visitors. How can anyone other than you know that “Page 1” is the page where you sell dildos or whether it is the page where you’re selling balloons? They can only find out by clicking the link.

Avoid Comic Sans MS

While Comic Sans MS may seem like a fun, cheery sort of font to you; it’s been greatly overused and most people find it annoying/unprofessional.

So faithful readers that’s my list of big tips for the small business owner who wants a web presense. Did I miss one of your hot button issues? If so, please add it in a comment!

Updated: 2007-03-19

Kind readers have added some extremely good tips that I should have remembered in the comments on this post!

Finally Upgrading

Ever since I heard WordPress was going to release 2.0.x; I’ve been planning my upgrade. Unfortunately RL kept interferring. Once I got my RL mostly settled down, I started working on those upgrade plans again. But then so many new/cool/wowser themes and plugins were coming out that I ended up scrapping and restarting my plans multiple times. I’ve finally decided to stop scrapping my plans and implement one of them, though this means all my faithful readers will be treated to some sort of blog insanity as I get everything upload, altered, activated, tweaked, upgraded and running the way I want it. After the disruption, I look forward to sharing some new features on this site with you.

And yes, that’s a teaser to make sure you come back once the dust settles around here.

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