Sans Style

If you’ve visited my site (as opposed to reading only via feed reader) today, you may have noticed that the site is very, well, naked, stripped down to the basic style included with Thesis.

I did that because I was getting a little sick of the previous blue-themed customization that I was running here. I know I’m no designer, and those styles were simply my best attempt at something other than the default. However, as one of the pillars of the Thesis community, I think my personal site’s style ought to be just a little more impressive than that.

So I stripped away the previous style so that it could no longer sit there lookin’ all mediocre, found I site whose style I could shamelessly steal base my own entirely original code off of. And I’m venturing forth into areas I’ve never tread before as an amateur designer — using Thesis’ full-width framework and a healthy dose of CSS 3, for example.

Oh, and the primary colors will be purples and pinks.

I also make no guarantee that the site will look decent at all in any version of Internet Explorer, as usual. My Windows comp — a Dell of less than two years of age — takes over twenty minutes to start up, and I’d rather just let it rest in peace. I’ll be testing the style in Firefox, Safari, OmniWeb, and other Mac browsers. My faith might be historical, but my coding style doesn’t have to be.

Some things that I’m doing for this redesign:

  • I’m going to be serving as much static content as possible from a subdomain to allow users’ browsers to download more at once. I don’t yet have enough traffic to justify using (& paying for) Amazon CloudFront (which Dreamhost supports with just a few clicks) or some other content delivery system, but having the content already segregated on a subdomain will make it that much easier should I ever decide to upgrade in the future.
  • I’m organizing my customizations better as I plan on releasing my Thesis custom files (via a Creative Commons license). I’d like to think that at least some of what I’m doing will be interesting or even useful to others!
  • I’m re-thinking which features of Thesis I use. Sure, the multimedia box is a great feature, but do I really need it, at least in its current implementation? Likewise, I ditched the Thesis nav menu entirely and used a greatly trimmed down, hand-rolled menu. Yes, I lose the ability to customize it via WordPress’ backend, but does that hurt my feelings? Nope.
  • I haven’t started on this yet, but I want to make my site more interesting to visitors, especially first-timers. I’m eyeing a number of plugins which will help to do this. I may be stripping a few plugins too. Along with releasing my customizations, I guess I could share a list of which plugins I’m using too.

And there are probably more, they just aren’t coming to mind right now. And I know that all this has probably been a bit boring, so I’ll leave you with a sneak-preview of the new design. Keep in mind I’m actively working on this so the final result might change quite a bit:

Sneak Peek

Bonus points if you can identify the site which has inspired me. ;)

11 thoughts on “Sans Style

  1. andrew says:

    Dude, I’ve gotta say I’m excited to see the final product. You always do good work so it’ll be interesting to see what you come up with next. And yeah, bonus points are not in my future. I’ll save that for another commenter.

  2. Michelle Lamar says:

    Hi Rick-
    I am sorry to leave this on a comment but I have an urgent Thesis question I need to get some professional help on right away. Can you please email me at your convenience? Thank you!

  3. MJ says:

    Shouldn’t the ‘3’ in ‘CSS3’ be an old-style numeral to match the small capitals?
    And there shouldn’t be an apostrophe after clicks in ‘which Dreamhost supports with just a few clicks’.

    Just being very nit-picky…

  4. Rick Beckman says:
    Student of the sciences, the religions, the science fictions, and the fantasies… But mostly I’m just trying to find my groove in this big, crazy world.

    Michelle: The support forums at DIYthemes.com are the quickest means of getting support. Girlie is there quite often. If you need e-mail support, try [email protected].

    MJ: Quite right about the apostrophe. Thanks. Not sure what you mean about the “3” though. I don’t shrink any other version numbers. Maybe I just need a space between it and the product.

  5. MJ says:

    What I mean is that in expert typography, if you’re using small capitals with a numeral, the number should be an ‘old-style figure’ (also known as ‘lower-case figure’ or ‘text figure’), something like this: CSS. The typefaces Constantia and Georgia have these numbers as the default; Adobe Pro fonts encode them in codepoints U+F643 through U+F64C.
    (Of course, it’s not a must, especially on the web, but if you’re concerned about perfection…)

  6. MJ says:

    (And those codepoint names should be in small caps and old-style numerals, but the font doesn’t seem to want to co-operate…)

  7. kristarella says:
    Kristen Symonds, aka kristarella, works as a Happiness Engineer for Automattic. She is a WordPress fanatic with a love for photography, craft, SciFi and Fantasy, board games, and more. …

    Look forward to seeing it! I’m sure I recognise the influence, but I can’t put my figure on the name of that site to search for it!

  8. Rick Beckman says:
    Student of the sciences, the religions, the science fictions, and the fantasies… But mostly I’m just trying to find my groove in this big, crazy world.

    Before I take the style live, I’m gonna give it a critical overview for color-adjustments and that sorta thing. Then I’ll put it live and open up for criticism from everyone else. I want it to be perfect. :D

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