Intro to my new theme

As mentioned in my earlier post, I’ve outgrown my old theme and I found that it didn’t resolve properly in Internet Explorer. One would load the home page and the content would not seem to appear. In actuality, it was there but you had to scroll past the sidebar in order to view the content. Not a great thing considering the market share that IE still holds globally, though it is shrinking every day! Go Firefox, go Flock!

So I took the Fjords01 theme and tweaked the footer to include a get footer call as it wouldn’t work with Casey Bisson’s bsuite stats plugin out of the box. Since the Fjords01 theme supports widgets, I took the opportunity to see how they worked. I have to say that if I end up changing themes again, the use of widgets would save a ton of time in recoding the theme to accomodate my particular needs. For more info on WordPress widgets, check their Codex.

So here is the rundown of the plugins I’m using:

  • Akismet – Stock plugin for prevention of comment spam, works pretty well for the most part.
  • bsuite – to collect stats over time such as total hits, recent comments, most read, incoming referrals
  • Category Converter – To merge my blogroll and topic categories.
  • del.icio.us widget – Serves up my del.icio.us feeds quite nicely
  • Dofollow – Gets past that annoying nofollow property
  • Feedburner Feed Replacement – Redirects native WordPress feed URLs to your Feedburner URL
  • Google Analyticator – Simplifies the process of embedding the Google tracking code
  • Google Search widget – Allows your viewers to search your site using Google search rather than the default WordPress search
  • Optimal Title –
  • podPress –
  • Sidebar Widgets – Allows for the use of widgets in your sidebars, I particularly like the ability to add RSS feed and Text/Code blocks! Adding the Sidebar Widgets drops in the del.icio.us and Google Search widgets listed above.
  • Subscribe To Comments – Allows readers to get updates when new comments are posted to a specific entry.

Beyond the plug-ins, you’ll notice a number of features in my sidebars which I dropped in using a Text widget rather than hard coding into my theme. In my sidebars I have links to the following:

  • Google Search widget
  • Google Reader Shared Items feed – I use this to act as a tickler for me and for my readers to see what I think is important in the current state of the edublogosphere.
  • Recent Comments widget – So that readers can see what others have written
  • del.icio.us links widget – This points to my general account but you could point to a specific tag as well.
  • EdVentures pbWiki link – This points to the pbWiki resource I’m using.
  • myBlogLog Recent Readers script – A blog meets mySpace kind of visual community indicator.
  • Google Search widget
  • LinkedIn contact link
  • Technorati script
  • Feedburner script
  • Talkr feed links – A neat service that turns your text to speech. A little mechanical but a far cry from the old days of text to speech converters.
  • And then your standard Pages, Archives and Blogroll links

[tags]wordpress, blog, plugin, theme[/tags]

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3 thoughts on “Intro to my new theme

  1. Thanks Casey! For some reason I had to add to my footer in order to get bsuite to work with this theme. It wouldn’t display visitor stats otherwise. I also stretched the columns a bit to fit a 1024px wide display.

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