screenshot of new Photo Performance design based on the Creative Folio template

WordPress Theme Redesign

David Salahi Website Design Leave a Comment

screenshot of new Photo Performance design based on the Creative Folio template

screenshot of new Photo Performance design based on the Creative Folio template

I’m in the process of redesigning this blog and I wanted to include some notes here on the redesign process. I selected the Creative Folio template from {wrap}bootstrap because I like the design and because it’s built on the Bootstrap framework. Bootstrap provides a foundation for building responsive websites. “Responsive” means that the page design automatically adapts to different size devices from phones to tablets to widescreen desktop displays. You can see how that works by clicking the Creative Folio link above, then clicking the Live Preview button and changing the width of your browser window. Assuming that you’re on a desktop PC or laptop with a medium size to large screen you will be able to see the page layout changing as you increase or decrease the width of your browser window. Because so many people are accessing websites today from different devices it’s important to provide a good experience for visitors regardless of what type or size of device they are using.

This blog runs on WordPress which means that its design can be changed relatively easily by changing themes. However, the Creative Folio template is not a WordPress theme. It’s a set of sample pages which implement the design and provide a set of HTML, JavaScript and CSS components for building a website. So, I’m in the process of creating a WordPress theme based on the Creative Folio template. As it turns out, that’s not a job for the faint of heart. I’m a software developer by profession so it’s a task that I’m able to handle but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone without experience building websites from scratch.

A nice thing about the Creative Folio template is that it not only features an attractive, adaptive web design but it also provides a set of pre-selected jQuery components that are useful for photographers. The disadvantage is that there is no documentation and sometimes things don’t work. For example, the template uses the prettyPhoto and Elastislide jQuery plugins which offer nice viewing options for images. Unfortunately, the two don’t always play well together and it took me half a day of low-level debugging to fix the problem. The template, priced at $15, is cheap but there are no instructions and no support so if you’re interested in one of the {wrap}bootstrap templates you need to be prepared to tackle any problems on your own.

At this point, I have the WordPress home page almost done and will need to then implement the blog, single post and a few other pages. It will probably take me a couple of weeks to finish that before I can go live here with the new design. In the meantime, let me know your experiences and questions about implementing WordPress themes. And, later this week I’ll be posting a write-up of my recent trip to New Mexico for a workshop at Santa Fe Photographic Workshops.

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