It’s been a while I stumbled upon Bart-Jan Verhoef‘s site and his three-part tutorial on how to create a worn look to a site. He was kind enough to share a template page to show how he built up the final design. I liked it instantly and decided to implement it for WordPress.
You may remember I have been dissatisfied with how the journal was designed for a while now. I wanted something cleaner, wider, more serious and less emo. Bart-Jan’s worn look is just like that with the additional perk of keeping the aged papery texture of my old clumsy design. So here’s how SeSam.hu will look from now on.
I was trying to be as faithful to the original template page as possible. However WordPress has some specialities and it needs to integrate a wider array of functions which made it necessary to move a few pixels around. (The IE bug that prevents elements from floating properly in rows is a prime example. That one took hours to fix and caused a significant headache.)
I have to admit, building a template for WordPress is not an easy job. Unlike when I was just designing for myself a proper distributable template needs to be a lot more flexible and adapt to all the different blogs out there. The design must be prepared to handle a plethora of data structures. It remains to be seen how well I did to achieve that.
Not all the features I wanted are included, but I felt the design was ready for a live beta. Please if you encounter any quirks, malfunctions or errors do contact me or comment to this post.
Features or functions missing that I’d like to implement:
- There’s no indication when you’re browsing the archives of where you actually are. As in “You’re browsing the archives for August 2006.” or so. Search results lack likewise.
- I’d like a search form on the index page, but not sure yet where to put it.
- Blockquotes should get a nicer design not just an indent.
- The 404 page is missing.
- At least the single post pages should show the categories and tags. I found that there are too many of them to fit in the little “entry details” field and when I tried it broke the grid layout.
- I should add some more usability enhancements such as indicating required fields when commenting, listing the usable bbcode, links to trackbacks and pingbacks…
- Code needs cleaning for validity, something I haven’t yet checked.
Features unlikely to be implemented:
- The design is theoretically a three-column one, nevertheless there’s not enough space for sidebars, so there are none. A possible rework of the entire index page might introduce them…
- I am not really familiar with the process of making a template open to language packs, therefore that feature is missing.
- Having too many pages will surely break the header. The template is ill-suited to such sites.
I’m sure as soon as I press publish a dozen more will spring to my mind.
Anyway, if you like it and would like to use it I ask only a little bit of your patience just yet. Before making a downloadable version I’d like to sort a few things out and add the missing features. The reason why I applied it to SeSam.hu is that I’d like to test it live. Naturally since the whole site is licensed under creative commons if you insist on having this beta version email me and I shall send it to you.