Tag Archives: Wordpress

BenBishop Blog Redesign: Refracted

Posted on: January 15th, 2009 by Ben Bishop No Comments

In the three years since I last redesigned benbishop.me.uk, my personal blog, there have been significant developments in web design. From CSS frameworks like The Blueprint, JavaScript library’s like jQuery to development WordPress themes like Sandbox, all have been designed to decrease development time from concept to implementation.

‘Refracted’ is the product of three years experience with commercial clients and the implementation of many of these techniques.

Design

I had the idea of the logo image in my head for a while and was quite determined to go with a light and vibrant design. Contrasting significantly with the previous ‘Satin’ theme, a light text on dark background theme, I wanted ‘Refracted’ to feel like a change from the old.

The layout was sketched out with old fashioned pencil and paper (!) and the design was composed in Photoshop with Illustrator being used for the 3D typeface effect in the logo. Then Photoshop was used again for the rainbow striped effect for the backoground to the logo and the footer.

Coding

Using the Sandbox wordpress theme, I was able to rapidly convert the design into the valid xhtml and css WordPress theme that you see on the site at the moment. Using Dreamweaver, the code editor is excellent, I began the process of adding the header image, and then working methodically through the design as I got dirty with the CSS, making use of the semantic mark up included with Sandbox.

With the basic design done, I installed and configured the widgets to the preconfigured 2 sidebars and finally did the cross browser compatibility changes requried.

End Result

With the theme 90% finished, I still need to monetise it asap, I have gone live. More information can be found here or take a look at the site itself, benbishop.me.uk

Eminent Style Relaunched

Posted on: November 8th, 2008 by Ben Bishop 1 Comment

222 days!

222 days since I last posted. Some could accuse me of being slack or distracted and it could be a combination of the two. The truth is that, thankfully I have been very busy and I have learnt a lot since I launched this site originally nearly 3 years ago.

When I went live with the first version of the site, it was the first time I had implemented a WordPress driven site and I was naive with the way I planned it all out. With a lack of understanding regarding the architecture of web design and WordPress I installed a ‘blog’ in a sub folder called news. So while updating blog or news posts was done through the dashboard of WordPress making any changes to the site’s static pages was a tiresome job.

Welcome to the new version of EminentStyle.com

The site is written semantically and is valid xhtml transitional. Eminent Style v2 is fully optimised for WordPress 2.6.x and is widget compatible. It also makes use of the hAtom and hCard formats – more on this below.

Adding new items to the portfolio is a breeze with custom fields and the excellent JavaScript library jQuery adding hover effects to the thumbnails. The case study pages also make great use of jQuery with the slide effect displaying screen shots.

The contact page is more useful than just having a contact form. Significantly this makes use of microformats hCard for the contact information and allows users to easily download and store this in vcard format compatible with Outlook and other contact managers.

With the power of WordPress and the ability to use pages making it a valid CMS, Eminent Style v2 is now fully customisable. Making much use of the core WordPress features and a few tweaks I am very happy with the result. I hope you like it! Let me know what you think.