What I love about the WordPress 2015 theme

Typically, I look for my instant WordPress site needs from theme markets such as Themeforest, ElegantThemes and many more. Really, theres a whole lot to choose from but for reliability reasons I always take a good look at the themes wordpress releases. Ironically however I’ve never actually used one until now. Instead, i always just activated it to reset settings and fix errors with other themes that were causing issues, and didn’t really care for them.

I love the WordPress 2015 Theme.

And I haven’t even really used it that much yet. There a few things that I wish were different or easier, but thats more a personal preference thing. Honestly I love this theme because I love the mobile look.

I typically look for a few key things in mobile versions of my WordPress themes. You’re always going to want solid and easy to use navigation, readability, and other factors that make the website usable, but sometimes the small things are really worth it.

WordPress 2015 has an awesome yet simple mobile layout.

Primarily, in mobile the featured images are 100% width of your device while the content retains its padding. It has padding still on a larger device like a 1200 px desktop but can be easily made full if desired.

The stacked pagination at the bottom of the page in mobile is also great with the featured-image being set in the background.

Typically I’m not a fan of dropdown menu style navigation and prefer off-canvas for mobile devices, but I think the way the 2015 theme does it is excellent. Especially how it includes your widgets.

These are all pretty small things really, but its exactly what I needed to get started before I release my own theme again. For what I needed, this was excellent. Hope it does the same for you.

What do you like/dislike about it?

Morning Glory House

This is a piece I’ve done about a year ago, but never wound up adding to my portfolio. The design was made for Morning Glory House which is an elderly retirement home near Kalamazoo, Michigan. They were looking for a solution to create and manage pages so they could easily update the website for their business as well as a floral themed design to match the name of their business.

For this custom wordpress theme development I used the thematic wordpress framework by Ian Stewart to cut down on cross browser inconsistencies and made a general layout.

The Site URL can be found at MGH Seniors.

Starkers and Starkers HTML5 WP Themes

I had recently finished developing a website with Thematic, which at some points were arguably easier then some other frameworks. But what I really noticed after I started working with Starkers was that I really liked the control that it gave me. To really understand thematic, I had to go to the thematic forums to understand how it was built to solve certain problems. It’s definitely a great framework but I really enjoyed working with Starkers for that control.

Well recently I decided that I wanted to start making the move to HTML5 and started looking for a wordpress theme using HTML5 to get started. This eventually lead me to Starkers HTML5 which is basically the same as Starkers, except that its markup is using HTML5 elements and already has the files necessary to get it functional in other browsers.

Divs have been replaced with section, article, footer, header, hgroup and more. It was a really nice find and so far its been a lot of help getting into the groove of developing wordpress themes in HTML5.

WordPress Thematic Framework and jQuery Fixes

So recently I’ve been developing with the Thematic Framework for wordpress. I wanted to get to know some of the more popular frameworks out there and see if it could speed up my development time. Well, I’m not completely certain it decreased my development time yet, but I know for sure that I learned a lot. It really showed me just how powerful action hooks and functions.php is. I did a large percentage of the work by using action hooks and filters. Eventually I went on to writing page specific information and creating separate files for each page, so I was able to get out of using the action hooks for everything. However when I started working with jQuery to get some extra functionality out of the site, I ran into a lot of situations where elements just weren’t responding.

After doing a little research I discovered that the $ sign was causing a lot of problems because there was a jQuery conflict somewhere. I still haven’t found it yet, and at one point I wanted to use a plugin that was written only with Mootools. Again more problems. Even after calling jQuery.noConflict() I still wasn’t able to resolve the issue. The fix I used would seem kind of monotonous to some, but I actually went into the files that were being used and replaced $ with jQuery. All $ really is, is shorthand for jQuery from what I’ve read.

Well rather then go and do it all individually I actually ran a find and replace all on $ to jQuery and reloaded the files. Chances are that if you already are working with jQuery then you already know about jQuery.noConflict() and what $ does. However, if you haven’t maybe this will be of some use. It definitely was useful for me.

NW Soccer League

This was originally a design that I made when I was volunteering as a Web Designer for the Arcadia Commons West project in Kalamazoo, Mi.  We didn’t wind up using this design but I’ve had it shelved away in some old folders and decided to take another look at it and convert it to something more useful. I was using some images from SXC.HU that had a sort of community feel to them and one of them reminded me of Soccer. Long story short, I transformed the design into this wordpress design for a fictional soccer league. All work was done with Photoshop with wordpress in mind. When I get around to coding it I’ll probably work outside of Thematic this time and work with HTML5 since the functionality isn’t incredibly demanding.

Rivizion Framework

Rivizion is a design I made for a fictional framework that’s intended use was for enhancing other Flash frameworks. I wound up creating an entire writeup on this software for a writing class I was taking as well. All colors, imagery and typography were used to resemble the design of Adobes Flash product to help communicate its purpose. The design is wordpress and e-commerce ready.

Terra Construction

This is a design for a fictional construction company I dubbed Terra meaning “of or relating to earth and its inhabitants”. Designed to reflect the ideas of Arcosanti, I wanted to create an earth friendly and anti urban sprawl idea. The result of that exercise was the logo for Terra and an entire package identity. This is simply the website design that went with the package. The remaining pieces will be uploaded to my portfolio as time permits.

Design Formula

This is a wordpress portfolio design I made during the last semester of school. Like some of the other portfolio designs I’ve done I made sure that it was ready for blogging on a Content Management System, as well as ready for a Content slider to preview work.  However, unlike some of the others I had designed this one to have few different view types. The majority of the pages are relatively similar with centered content with a large image and a viewable gallery.