Category : Design

Code Design

Master: Premium GPL WordPress Theme

As announced in the introductory post of Master WordPress theme, I am releasing my first ever free WordPress theme. I am very happy to have achieved this and I am very hopeful that 2009 will be a great year of success for my WordPress freelance experience. Below I have taken an two paragraphs from my introductory post for the master theme I am releasing.

Do I have to pay for the theme?

No, the theme will be available for free download and usage. The theme in fact is being released under the GPL license which is the same license that WordPress uses. The theme will also have free updates and upgrades forever. Also, I hope we guys build a great support forum for this theme and others to come which will also be free to access, ask and answer.

What do I have to pay for than?

You might never have to pay for anything. But, in case you need help to set up the theme, configure the plugins etc, you might want to buy one of the five (5) service packages that will come along with the theme. These packages vary from setup to theme enhancements and even PSD to the actual theme. More information about this topic will come along with the theme release.

Master Theme Features

  • Modern and beautiful web typeface.
  • Tableless design and 100% CSS-based layout.
  • 2 columns of fixed width.
  • Widget Ready.
  • XHTML 1.0 Transitional valid.
  • CSS 2.1 valid.
  • Search Engine optimized coding make wise use of h1, h3, h3.

Master WordPress Theme

Preview and Download

Support and Customization

Master Theme Pack 1 Pack 2 Pack 3 Pack 4 Pack 5
Theme download Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Updates and upgrades Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Knowledge base Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Forums support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Site/Blog Setup Yes Yes Yes Yes
Plugin selection and configuration Yes Yes Yes Yes
Email Support and on-site support Yes Yes Yes Yes
Color and font customization Yes Yes Yes
Structure and look customization Yes Yes
PSD to Master theme conversion Yes
Fees Free $39 $79 $99 $149

Installation

STEP 1. Extract the files it contains. You need to preserve the directory structure in the archive when extracting these files.
STEP 2. Upload the theme to your /wp-content/themes/ directory.
STEP 3. Now go to Appearance >> Themes and activate the “Master” theme.

License

Master theme is licensed under the GPL. It may be freely modified and copied as long as the license stays GPL. This means that you may use it for your personal and commercial projects and you may also make any changes you like.

Change Log

2009-01-07: Initial 1.0 release.

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Code Design

Blog Design: WebVideoMax.com

Andrew Kelly contacted me for a kind of business blog project that he was working on. After I showed him some of my previous works and we agreed on the price, I began designing a WordPress theme for him. He had previously chosen to use as a theme the semilogic theme framework. Well, his decision made me suffer until I suggested him that I developed the theme for him from scratch. He agreed and on this we went on. This project took a little bit long as I was working on other projects simultaneously. However working with Andrew was a great experience.

Design

When Andrew contacted me, he showed me a couple of sites that he wanted his blog to look like. He wanted something fresh and have a web 2.0 feel. Some guys might argue that web 2.0 means nothing, however there are a lot of designers and blog writers that have listed out the features of web 2.0 – but this is not the point of this post. Let’s focus on the design process. I used an heavy blue color throughout the blog with some fresh web 2.0 effects. I did all this with Inkscape, my favorite vector graphic design application. I cannot say I am a great designer, but I can reach high quality in design if clients describe me clearly what they want.
webvideomax

Coding

As I said earlier, the early coding process was very painful. After we decided  to have the theme developed from scratch, it was a very nice experience as coding is the part I like most. I had to work with XTHML, CSS, PHP with WordPress flavor.

The theme is coded in tableless XHTML/CSS. At first it was pure and valid, but after my client, Andrew implemented Awaber subscription code into it, it turned to have some validation errors. It is not a situation I like to be in, as I claim I code only valid talbleless XHTML/CSS websites and WordPress themes, but I cannot interfere with my clients choices.

Layout

The theme has a  two column layout. It has a left main column where the blog content is placed and a right wide sidebar. On front page it has a big welcoming video before the fold under which four other posts queried according to categories are shown. It is a nice simple layout informative layout.

Widgets

The theme has a fully customizable, widget-ready sidebar. Widgetizing WordPress themes is a pleasurable experience for me  and I could not leave it unwidgetized even though widget are little employed by my client, Andrew.

Testimonial

After a lot of frustration working with many Web Designers it has been a real refreshing change to work with someone like Baki, his constant follow up and willingness to over deliver on all levels has made a huge difference to our productivity and our web business bottom line. Nothing is ever too much trouble for Baki which makes him a real pleasure to work with. I just wish all our team could be as reliable and project focused as Baki! Andrew Kelly of ClickSmartMarketing.com

Conclusion

This is all I could write down about my experience with Andrew Kelly. I would love to hear your thoughts about this theme. Also, please consider subscribing to my RSS Feeds to have the possibility to read and view more great articles and projects. In case you need a WordPress theme, you can drop me a line using my contact page. If you are not sure, please have a look at my portfolio to see more works of mine. Thanks for reading!

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Design

Design Prinicples

Hi guys! I just couldn’t resist to share with you something I read at SitePoint Forums.

1) Knowledge of Photoshop or other software techniques does not make you a designer. Techniques are simply tools. A talented sculptor does not need the best tools. Having the best tools simply helps the sculptor.

2) There are no “rules” in design. There are only problems and solutions. How you go about finding the latter to solve the former is up to you.

3) Schools teach you techniques, give you ideas, and help inform you of approaches, beliefs, and theories. You can learn all this yourself if you’re passionate about what you do.

4) Design isn’t something you can “learn” like a skill set (e.g. plumbing). It’s like music. Either you have it or you don’t (as American Idol has showed all of us). If you have no passion for it, you will never succeed.

Basically – if you’re doing it for the money or the fame, prepare to fail, badly. No successful artist / designer ever worked for financial stability. They did it out of love / passion for it. The money just came later.

5) The competition is very, very, very fierce. I’ve heard lots of sob stories about “wannabe” artists giving up because they couldn’t match the current level of design a good number of people are producing. Know what you’re getting into first, because you realize very early on that it’s not going to be a walk in the park.

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Design

What do you think about my new design?

This posts covers my first design. I have redesigned my site and hopefully this will have its own post very soon.

During this days, being very busy on my freelance web and blog design tasks, I have dedicated some hours to my new design for my blog too. I tried to have something neat and working. What you can see now is what I managed to do. I know very well that this is not a perfect theme, so I need your much appreciated suggestions and help to get it as near as possible to being a perfect theme i terms of design and accessibility.

Color Combination: I would like to be discussed is the color combination. How do you find it? Is it eye-friendly? What about the background, do you think it should have a color, or it is alright?

Images: What do you thing about the images? Is there something that needs to be removed or something that needs to be there and is not? what about the actual images design, how do you like them?

Sidebar: I do not like the sidebar myself, however I need some suggestion how to get it better as I cannot do much now that I am tired. A good question would be: what needs to be there and what needs to be removed? but this is not the only topic to suggest about.

Monetization: As you can see a have monetized the blog. How do you find the placement of the ads? Do you have any suggestion?

This is all. Any suggestion would be very much appreciated. Thanks to all.

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