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New website based on Life Series


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8 replies to this topic

#1 kenfeldman

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 04:44 PM

Good afternoon fellow iThemers,
I've just launched a re-design of a client's website — the new site is bult on a Life Series theme.
For this I have made the home page image and the text blurb next to it be equal in width (thereby centering the dividing line beween them). Also removed the top border and dividers off the Nav bar. We squared off the corners, and gave it a light colored palette.
We added a few modified page templates and sidebars to best compliment the respective sections.
Custom Ketubah Art for Wedding or Commitment by Ketubah Graphia<a rel="nofollow" href="http://ketubahgraphia.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://ketubahgraphia.com</a>
We're using the following plugins as well:
All in One SEO Pack Contact Form 7 FancyBox for WordPress Google XML Sitemaps Reveal IDs for WP Admin WordPress.com Stats WordPress Database Backup
Will likely be adding the BackUpBuddy plugin soon, and then send full backups to my back up server in a different datacenter than the one where I host all of my sites.

Hope this is all helpful.

Edited by Kenneth Feldman, 08 March 2010 - 03:48 PM.


#2 kenfeldman

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 05:08 PM

I should mention the following:

A very important aspect of a wordpress theme lies just behind what you actually "see" on the pages of the website.
What I like about the iThemes themes, is the well thought out and implemeted tools that have been made available in the admin panel.
For the Life Series themes (most others have similar tools built in) one can change the header image, and adjust the page background colors or pattern very easily. The built in homepage slideshow is easily edited and is adjustable in size, order, speed and timing.
The theme is also search engine smart, meaning that the title tags, page descriptions and keywords are automatically formed from the information you put in the pages. These are very important attributes to have on any website. (I use the All In One SEO Pack plugin to further enhance my sites' SEO.)
I also love the built in contact page form (page template).
Let me not forget to mention the built in ability to selectivly turn on/off top-level pages in the main nav bar. (The default here is that new pages are NOT automatically included in the Nav bar -- each new page must be activated in the setting panel.)
Lastly, the 4 widgets on the home page allow the end user to managae the content there themselves.

For those that ever take a look at the CSS style sheet -- you'll find a well organized and commented style sheet. This makes adjusting the stylesheet quite easy.

While I have modified the "look" of the original theme quite a bit in my websites, most of that was very easy due to the above tools -- but combined with a basic (or better) knowledge of CSS, many variations can be acheived.

So remember -- a good looking wordpress theme is one thing, but when it's a well built and highly functional theme, then it's really powerful.


#3 Ronald

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 06:22 AM

Hi Kenneth,
am I missing something, or did you forget to add a URL to the site? Anxious to have a look.
Ronald

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#4 kenfeldman

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 09:47 AM

Hi Ronald,

Yes, you missed it -- or rather, I surrounded the link with a lot of my blah, blah, blah!

It's in my first post, at the top of this topic.

Posted Image

#5 Ronald

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 11:48 AM

LOL,
well, you did such a great job customising both the site and the css, that I couldn't even recognise it. I actually thought that the link you included was to refer to a 3rd party that had provided you with artwork or something
Forgive my blindness ... Posted Image
So needless to say that this is a fantastic customisation job! You've basically built a new theme!
Ronald

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#6 kenfeldman

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Posted 09 March 2010 - 12:37 PM

Thanks Ronald.

What I was trying to say in my longer, text post above, is that the iThemes sites are great right out of the box — and are very easy customize too.

I was also trying to illustrate the difference between the "look" or "visual design" of a theme, and the great internal fuctionalities created by iThemes.

Many people may only look at the "design" when they think of a "theme." But it's important to understand that the behind-the-scenes admin tools and functionalities are just as much part of a "theme" as the look is. And iThemes' themes are powerful for BOTH reasons.

Edited by Kenneth Feldman, 09 March 2010 - 11:38 AM.


#7 Ronald

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 11:17 AM

Thanks Kenneth,
and I couldn't agree more with you!

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#8 Robert Schleeter

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 08:02 AM

Nice work Kenneth! Maybe you can help me out. I've got a one Wordpress site coming along smoothly <musicresourcelibrary.org> but I'm getting nowhere with iThemes (Life Tech, url is <bigscore.net>). How do I get the page with the 3 widgets at the bottom to show up under PAGES, or be used as template to create a new static front page?

You use the phrase "right of the box" but it has been anything but that for me. Any idea what I'm missing? Thanks, Bob

#9 kenfeldman

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 08:28 AM

Hi Robert,

The way this theme (and many of the iThemes) works, is that it's pre-coded so that the HOME PAGE with the three bottom boxes is automatically the static home page -- no need to "set" that in the "reading" options.

If you merely install the theme, and then visit its URL, then you'll see the layout you are describing: http://ithemes.com/purchase/life-series/

The tricky thing is that this home "page" is not really a "page" -- it will not show up in the EDIT PAGES list. This is a customized "page" who's contents are controlled via WIDGETS. (Look in the widgets section for access to the main text blurb and three bottom boxes.) The main image (or slideshow) is controlled from the FEATURED IMAGES section of the admin.

Note that this iThemes custom home page cannot be used as a "template" for other pages -- it is hard coded into the theme.

Also note that as you add additional interior pages, you must ACTIVATE them in the SETTINGS panel of the admin -- this extra step might seem annoying, but it allows for pages to be created that may not appear in the main menu -- very useful sometimes.

Also please keep in mind, that modifying any wordpress theme to feel like your own design will require a moderate understaning of how WORDPRESS works, and a working knowledge of xhtml and css to affect any serious design and typographic changes.

Most iThemes site (and Tech for sure) have a series of links to tutorial videos under the My Theme section of the admin. I'd watch all of these at least once if I was you.

So if you install the theme fresh, and make no changes to anything, it should look like these (minus the stock images, of course): http://ithemes.com/purchase/life-series/

Hope this all helps.

Kenneth Feldman

http://www.kpfdigital.com






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