ElegantBlue Theme Released!
After days of work, and a couple of major and minor setbacks, I’m proud to announce my best, most feature-rich theme yet!
ElegantBlue was initially developed for my personal/religious blog, NathanRice.org, and after several requests to release the theme for public consumption, I began working on editing the theme for public release a little over a week ago.
It is a 2/3 column, option packed, wide content column, widgetized theme ready to use out of the box with no coding experience necessary. That’s right, there are several options that will help you customize this theme without ever touching a line of code!
This theme features:
- 2/3 column layout, with a right split sidebar (2 sidebars total)
- Both sidebars are widgetized.
- WordPress 2.3 compatibility, and backward compatibility for previous versions.
- Tagging Support
- Options to use either a graphical or text header
- Theme Options that let you integrate your feedburner account information seamlessly!
- Separated Comments and Trackbacks (thanks to this code)
- Post Author Comment Highlighting
I’ve never spent more time and effort on a free theme release before, and you get to reap the benefits of all that hard work FOR FREE!!!
Download and Demo
ElegantBlue has been upgraded to fix the trackback/comment count bug.
Click here to download the 1.1 Upgrade Package (485)
Occasionally, there will be a bug or two in my themes. I want to be sure that if I release a bug fix, you’re going to know that I’ve done so, so that you are able to upgrade as soon as possible. So, if you would either subscribe to my main RSS feed or input your email address in the form below, I can be sure that you’ll know when I release updates. BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR EMAIL AFTER YOU SUBMIT THE FORM AND VERIFY YOUR SUBSCRIPTION!
After you have downloaded the theme zip, unpack it and upload the entire ElegantBlue folder to your /wp-content/themes/ directory on your server.
Log into your wordpress dashboard and click on the “Presentation” tab. Look for the ElegantBlue theme in the list of available themes and click the image. This will activate the theme on your site.
I’ve included the option to customize the theme a little by using built in theme options. All you have to do is click on the “Presentation” tab in your WordPress dashboard, and activate ElegantBlue. After it has bee activated, you should see a new tab under “Presentation” called “Current Theme Options”. Click this tab. You should see two options below that you need to fill in if you wish to use them.
This is the address you’ve set up in Feedburner to track your feed subscribers. It will look something like this: http://feeds.feedburner.com/nathanricenet where “nathanricenet” is replaced by your unique feed address. Please copy everything into this box, including the “http://”. Once you have done this, click “Save Changes”.
Once this is done, there are several places where the defaul WordPress feed address will be replaced by your feedburner address. In the auto discovery code in the header, in the sidebar where the large feed icon is used, and at the end of single posts where readers are invited to subscribe to your feed.
You may notice in the demo that there is a large section in the sidebar inviting readers to subscribe to my feed via email. By default, this option in ElegantBlue is turned off. To turn it on and get it working correctly, you’ll need to input your Feedburner ID into the second input box in the theme options page. To find your Feedburner ID, click to read this story. It explains everything from how to find your Feedburner address, to activating the feedburner email delivery service, to locating your feedburner ID.
Once you’ve entered your feedburner ID and clicked “Save Changes”, you should now see the large “subscribe via email” section in your sidebar. Also, at the end of each single post, the theme will invite the reader to subscribe to your feed via email.
I also included the ability for you to change the header from the default text header to a graphical header, without ever touching a line of code.
All you need to do is download the header_sample.png file I included in the theme’s images folder, use your favorite image editing program to insert text, images, or a logo, and save it back into the theme’s images folder as either header.jpg, header.gif, or header.png. Once you’ve done this (saved the image to the images folder on your server), the theme will automatically recognize the new header image and use it instead of the text header. If you want to revert back to the default, all you need to do is delete or rename the file.
If you have support requests or bug reports, please use the comments of this post to let me know. Also, other users may be able to help you out as well. Harness the power of the community and surely someone will have a suggestion for you. I will certainly be active in the comments if you have any questions or comments.
If you use this theme on your blog, and would like to say “thank you”, you’re more than welcome to donate a little cash to help cover the cost of hosting, time, labor, etc. It’s not necessary, but it’s a nice way to say “thanks!”.
I’m sure that I was inspired by a website design along the way somewhere, but I honestly don’t remember. I suck at design, so I rely heavily on the influences of others. Thanks to FamFamFam for the arrow icon, thanks to The Undersigned for the awesome code examples to include theme options with this theme, thanks to the guys who put together the feed icon “official pack”, thanks to a certain client who forced me to figure out how to separate trackbacks and comments, thanks to the readers of NathanRice.org for being a huge group of long-term beta-testers, and thanks to PHP for being such an awesome language and super easy to learn and use!
I ask that you do keep the author credits in the footer if it’s at all possible. If you need to remove them for some reason, please contact me. Please do not EVER remove the author credits in order to give credit to yourself. That’s just wrong.
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