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Epiphany about themes... (15 posts)

  1. honewatson
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    A lot of wordpress themes are butt ugly. Set up by seo guys to get backlinks. So I think its better to have a much smaller amount of themes - only the ones that look good. Then overall your Mu install will look good.

    So what are your favourite themes?

    Also, how much overhead does having all these different themes put on your MU install?

    It would seem most themes could be coded using sandbox and css. Then you could just have a sub menu in the 'Design' menu which allowed you to select a skin for sandbox.

    That way whenever you had some major update like avatars to wordpress you wouldn't need to go through and change all the themes just change a few different sandboxes.

  2. amanzi
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    I've just worked my way through all 100 of the themes in Farms's big theme pack, and I must say that there are some really ugly ones. But I guess that some people must like them otherwise they would never get made... Personally I prefer the clean, simple designs - I especially like the Ocean Mist theme.

  3. Farms
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    Amazingly, all of them are used too.. some quite a bit.

    Borderline Chaos for example, seems to appeal to people!

  4. amanzi
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    @Farms - yeah, that's a particularly nasty one.

  5. honewatson
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    @Farms, just to clarify your theme pack is much appreciated.

    On another note, I'm wondering if anyone knows how having lots of themes effects performance?

    And is there a plugin for the kind of functionality at these wp theme generator sites?

    http://www.wppal.com/
    http://www.yvoschaap.com/wpthemegen/

  6. amanzi
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    I can't see how it can be an overhead apart from looking at the pages in the admin site which actually display all of the themes. Even then, you could probably paginate that screen relatively easily (though I haven't looked into it.)

    My reason for offering lots of themes is that I think the users appreciate having lots of choices. So they can try to find a unique one that fits their style. Hopefully it encourages new users to sign up too.

  7. honewatson
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    That's an interesting perspective amanzi.

    But I think rather than lots of choices of pre-designed themes, most people actually would prefer to 'pimp' their theme.

    Myspace sites which allow you to generate css code for your profile are super popular.

    That's why I think being able to generate your own css is would be a great feature.

    Not hand code css.

    Rather, some sort of ajaxy font selector and color picker.

    People spend hours at playing with these, and if it was mostly javascript it would add no significant overhead to have that functionality.

    Now the next step after that is to have some appropriate advertising in your admin theme.

  8. amanzi
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    Have a look at the visteredlittle template that is included in Farms's big theme pack. That has quite a bit of CSS editing through a php-based stylesheet and admin functions. That might give you some ideas of what can be done.

  9. demonicume
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    i went theme crazy when i installed mu. i've been silently realigning them to the recycle bin. when i do my next upgrade, i'm trashing like 50.

  10. amanzi
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    The hardest thing with having lots of themes is maintaining them all. Especially if you're looking to ad your own ad code to each theme. There were a couple of themes in the Farms pack which I just couldn't use because I couldn't fit my adsense code into it.

  11. andrea_r
    Moderator
    Posted 14 years ago #

    Even if you let users have soem way of really changing up their theme, you'll always get soemone who comes up with a butt-ugly combination.

    Myspace ain't known for their looks & great design. ;)

    Having said that, I *do* provide a load of themes for my users,
    no it doens't make a huge overhead because they aren't all run at once,
    yes you an paginate the presentation panel - it's in a thread here soemwehre,
    and using Sandbox and a pile of skins that look like seperate themes is a good start.

    I find if one theme has skins, users won't find them unless it says so on the presentation page blurb itself.

    Variety is key though - because what you might find nice, someone else will hate and vice versa.
    The other thing to keep in mind is your site's audience. I have a lot of colorful flowery cute themes because my demographic is 99% moms.

  12. tdjcbe
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    We actually have a section within our faq documents that covers themes. Gives details, links to the standard header if the theme allows one to change the image, lists page templates available, gives a link to the creator's home page or, if they are no longer online, a download link to the zipped theme, etc.

    If you're worried about the amount of space the themes use, consider moving the image files over to amazon:

    Link

    One big suggestion though and I've got to admit that I look forward to the day that Farms finally does this. All those screencaps in there? Convert them to *.jpgs and make them the correct pizel size. Loading an 11 meg theme page that I found on one site is not a fun experience. Theme designers like *.pngs for their screencaps and some like using hugs sized files when (I forget the correct size. It's something like 300 x 240.) will do.

  13. andrea_r
    Moderator
    Posted 14 years ago #

    I think the screenshot format was done that way because the first ones came out as png, and thus set a "standard" that everyone and their dog followed. :D

  14. tdjcbe
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    Most normal installs of wordpress will have less than a half dozen themes installed anyway.

    Oh, we also link to optional header images as well. I think it's cutland that comes with a bunch.

  15. honewatson
    Member
    Posted 14 years ago #

    @amanzi I had to get visteredlittle out of my recycle bin. I actually overlooked this one. It's pretty good.

    Mandigo has some nice theme admin options. The suck thing is it uses a big fat table for the middle area layout.

About this Topic

  • Started 14 years ago by honewatson
  • Latest reply from honewatson