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My Blog Redesign

For those returning to the site, first of all I thank you :) . Secondly you will probably have noticed a new design. If you can’t see it maybe you need to try a hard refresh in your browser. Just use shift+F5 and you should be ok. Anyway to give a run down on the redesign I put together a quick post.

To start with the website is currently running wordpress. Which is an extremely good blogging platform and relatively easy to customise its looks and feel. I say relatively because you need to be able to get your head around some php code. If you have designed a template for a CMS system before it might not be too hard. I was lucky enough to have already created a template or two for Joomla, which is probably somewhat more difficult to do than wordpress.

The wordpress documentation for creating a layout is quite good, but in all honesty I actually found it alot simpler to follow the wordpress designer’s tutorial. If you are somewhat more technically inclined it may appear a bit basic at the beginning, this for me is no big deal because it gets to the core of the task pretty quickly. Its always nice when someone explains something in layman’s terms.

I deviated slightly from the tutorial myself and went with XHTML strict instead of transitional. Since wordpress is extremely standards friendly you can pretty much avoid all tables being used for layouts. Let me just say that many people think tables are not XHTML friendly, but in fact this is not the case. Tables can be used for tabular data on a website (such as race results at the local track), they should not be used for layout and design if you use the XHTML strict markup.

I am also considering releasing the template for gavindoolan.com to the public, obviously slightly varied with a different logo, but if you are interested in the design or would like to have a copy of the theme, please leave a comment and I’ll try and get back to you. If there is enough demand I’ll release a similar version for public use.

Finally feel free to run the website through the w3c validation service, it should validate perfectly to XHTML strict. Also the CSS validates perfectly too :) .

2 Responses to “My Blog Redesign”

  1. The thing I like about theming wordpress is that it doesn’t mess with the admin panel, so you’ve fewer things to worry about breaking… Drupal on the other hand… well let’s just say things got a little hairy there for a while. :)

  2. Yeah I found WordPress to be quite designer friendly, making it easier to create a valid XHTML strict design.

    I have read a fair bit about Drupal templating, but I haven’t actually attempted it yet. It looks easy enough from what I’ve read, but I won’t know till I try.

    You can get an administrator theme for Drupal 5.7, but I’ve only played with Drupal 6 really. Depending on how things go, I might post a tutorial about going from a photoshop mockup to actual template.

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Gavin Doolan has been working with Google Analytics since it's launch in 2005.