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WordPress 2.1 & a new theme

January 24th, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Well, I upgraded to WordPress 2.1 today and all is well. I love how easy it was to update the blog. It took about 10 minutes, but about 8 of that was spent finding and downloading YummyFTP so I more easily upload the wordpress files to my site from the site (I’m not at home). I’ve been using Transmit, but I decided to try YummyFTP after reading about it on the Circle Six Blog (I’m a big fan!). I haven’t spent enough time to make a good comparison yet, but it worked great for SFTP.

I figured a new version of the framework behind my blog deserved a new theme as well. I borrowed this one from Small Potato who is challenging himself to create 30 themes in 30 days. Again, the ease with which you can update the site is brilliant. Not that it’s all plug and play. I ran into some issues with the way that the sidebars are handled and had to spend some time editing templates and .css to get AdWords, Digg!, and other features incorporated into the new theme. Actually, if you look closely, you’ll notice that I’m not done at the time I post this.

I’d love to get your feedback on the new theme and layout.

A post about the iPhone is coming up next (I know, I know – but really, I have something different to say).

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  1. Small Potato
    January 24th, 2007 at 16:39 | #1


    Thanks for choosing my Digg theme for your blog. Since the release of WordPress 2.1, some tags in wordpress templates have been depracated. I think that’s why you experienced some problems while setting it up.

  2. January 24th, 2007 at 16:57 | #2

    Thanks again for the awesome theme. I’m really liking it, but I need to put my picture of Santa Barbara back at the top of the page.

    I had two problems that I could trace to the theme itself. One, it didn’t seem to work well with sidebar widgets. Everything is hardcoded into the sidebars. While the widgets interface recognized the right sidebar, my widgets were duplicating some stuff that was already hardcoded in there. It also didn’t recognize the left sidebar. I’d like to recode the theme to use widgets in both sidebars.

    Also, the textarea box for comments was too wide on Firefox 1.5 on a Mac. It bled over into the right sidebar, so I just set the textarea properties to 73 columns or something. That seemed to work, but it’s a little narrower on Firefox 2 now.

    The other issues were just the standard stuff like putting Google Analytics script back into the footer, adding Adsense ads in the right place, some custom CSS etc. I haven’t figured out a better workflow to automate more of those changes when I change themes, so I have to edit the new files to show the same changes.

  3. Small Potato
    January 24th, 2007 at 17:59 | #3

    Sorry about that, I didn’t know exactly what to do with the sidebars so I widgetized only one.

    As for the textarea, I’ve been told about that before. So for future themes, I’ll limit the textarea to 60cols.

    If I have time, I will go back to this theme and the original two column version to edit the textarea. I’d also have to edit other language versions of this and the two column, so there’s a bit of keeping track to do.

  4. January 30th, 2007 at 10:31 | #4

    For what it’s worth, I widgetized both the right and left sidebars. I think it took two new lines of code (adding the if loop to the left sidebar) and two edits to existing lines (adding arguments to the sidebar registration and dynamic sidebar functions to specify two sidebars).

  5. Small Potato
    January 30th, 2007 at 13:15 | #5


    I started messing around with widgetizing sidebars just recently and wasn’t aware of multiple widget-ready sidebars instruction on the automattic website (where the widget plugin originated…i think).

    Anyway, just wanted to let you know that this theme has been updated with two widget-ready sidebars and a smaller textarea box with only 60cols. 70-75 would do, but I wanted to make sure.

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