I thought a nice way to kick off this new blog might be to explain how I made it. One for any webheads out there. The bare bones is the TwentyEleven theme from WordPress. I then made a child theme on top of that which changed a few things such as the width, banner, sidebar, colours etc. It’s a great framework to start from as it is clean, HTML5 compatible, and also responsive. I’ve got mixed feelings about responsive design and I will blog about them in a future post but I thought that I shouldn’t dismiss the technology without experimenting with it first hand on a site that isn’t for a paying client. One area that I had heard could be a bit sketchy on responsive sites was video. The beauty of modern WordPress sites is that you don’t have to even get the embed code for YouTube video. You just paste the URL of the YouTube or Vimeo video and it automatically detects it and embeds it as video. Nice and easy. I was hoping I could use this and wouldn’t have to muck about with plugins or jQuery just to get video playing properly at all the responsive sizes. After testing on various platforms and browsers it seems to work ok on most of them with the notable exception being my Android mobile. It doesn’t scale at all on that. Some others just have a slightly stretched bounding box around the properly resized video which to me isn’t a big issue.
I’ve also included some basic CSS3 effects, again just to see how well it works on different browsers. If you roll over the blog title and most other links on posts and in the sidebar then they should transition from grey to black or vice versa and back again on rollout. This seems to work fine on Firefox and Safari but on Chrome there is an annoying little bug which means that it stops working on links that you have already visited.
In terms of design I wanted to keep it ultra clean and make it all about the content. To highlight the content even more I made the banner and sidebars grey unless you roll over the links. I plan to try to include a full colour image to all posts to help enhance the content and make the homepage look more attractive. I’m also currently playing around with some jQuery animation ideas to possibly add to the sidebar.
More to come I’m sure! Blog version 1.0