12 Days of Atmosphere

I want to share and discuss my experience of submitting a theme to WordPress Extend …

I have been creating themes and writing tutorials for a year now, I earn a living writing code for a niche accounting product, to learn how to code themes I started with Artisteer and now WordPress, php and css and this is just a hobby.

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Getting Started Two

For this series of tutorials we need to have a local WordPress setup. This will enable easy deployment of the theme files. This series will be added to over two weeks, rather than one big set of files since we are changing to a more gentle step-by-step approach.

We hope that by the end of this series you would have learned: 1: how to create other template pages with different layouts, 2: add images to the menu, 3: add a different header section, 4:  add a different slideshow, 5: introduce an options page, 6: add social media and 7: add a wide footer with links.

We are releasing the support files for this series at each stage. The idea is still that we work together in creating our templates. If you get stuck, you will have the working examples in the support files. These will also have images and other assets.

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Getting Started

For this series of tutorials we need to have a local WordPress setup, this will enable easy deployment of the theme files, this series will be added to over a few weeks, rather than one big set of files we are changing to a more gentle step by step approach.

 We hope that by the end of this series we would have learnt how to create child themes, create template pages with different layouts, add a second menu navigation bar, add a slideshows likesmooth slider, work with post images, and create two and three column templates.

We will not be releasing the support files for this series, the idea is that we work together in creating our templates, if you get stuck we will answer your emails, and send a the file you are stuck on.

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New Look

Well we hope you like the new look to the website, we thought it was time for a quick update.

As you can see we have been quite busy adding the plasticity theme features and BuddyPress to the website, you may have noticed the login tab in the top right of the screen, this will allow you to login and use the BuddyPress features, not everything is up and running yet but there is enough for an overveiw.

Artisteer

Many of the members and visitors here are looking for Artisteer specific content, all tutorials will work to version 2.4, however we feel that the 2.5 version of Artisteer is to much of a move away from the WordPress core code and the new structure does not fit well, we hope that Artisteer stop and have another look at what they provide, the product was so good at providing a basis to work from while allowing different skilled users to develop the theme.

The latest Artisteer offering is moving more towards a framework rather than a theme generation tool, if we want to work with a framework there are many better free and commercial offering already out there for us to use.

Twenty Ten Children  

We will be moving forward with the Twenty Ten theme and creating child themes, this will enable the Artisteer users to look at what we are doing and maybe select some elements to add to their Artisteer themes.

So you may be wondering “What is a Twenty Ten Child Theme?”, errm! well you are looking at one, this theme is called Plasticity and is a Twenty Ten child theme, it uses the theme as a foundation inherits it style and assets, we can then change and expand these to our own look and feel.

Plasticity Theme

There is quite a lot of work still to do with this theme as we want it to work well with BuddyPress, and be highly customisable, we are developing a number of template pages, like the selected category home page, left, right and two content columns, slideshow intergration and the social icons in the footer.

A lot of theme elements can already be changed, but we have a lot of tweeking and testing still to do, we have also built in the AddText and AddFunction shortcodes and widgets.

Plasticity Project   

This one will be a big step, we would like feedback before we start, the idea is an opensource plugin that will create and update a child theme based on selections made in the Admin area, a repository where members will be able to upload and download new assets shared by other members to use in thier own themes.

We were looking around the internet for Creative Commons and licence free images, they are out, there like the social icons in the footer on the home page from Aquaticus Social on Deviant Art, we also found several websites for backgrounds and other images, if some website designers use this website as a resource and want to contribute some of thier own backgrounds and menu graphics please get in touch.

To create a really good plugin we would need assets like the website graphics, anyone with php skills, solution architect, project managers, testers etc:, if you have some time and want to get involved the contact us.

Twenty Ten add BuddyPress

We had not really looked at BuddyPress because as theme developers we create themes for WordPress, but recently BuddyPress has become a plugin for WordPress and is supported in the single setup user without the need for Multi-User.

So we started to have a look at installing BuddyPress, the process was to install the BuddyPress plugin which has three steps, one includes editing the .config file so it is not quite plug and play.

After we had configured BuddyPress we went to look for a theme without finding one we really liked, so we thought it could not be to hard to merge BuddyPress into our own theme, or could it?

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WordPress adding Cu3er and More

The most search traffic to this website is related to adding the Cu3er slideshow, while working on the Digital Raindrops Plasticity 2010 theme, we developd a little function to add a slideshow function to the page content using a shortcode, this will be built in to the the theme, but it can be added to any theme, with just one line of code or copying the code into your functions.php.

Lets look at the screenshot below, we have the Smooth Slider plugin inserted into a page or post, not just inserted but aligned, padded and bordered.

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Plasticity 2010 Theme

The Digital Raindrops Plasticity 2010 theme,  is a work in progress and will be available from the downloads page in early August 2010.

Each page will have options for menu colour, layout sidebars and our content columns, choose a header title and color, add wide or content slideshows, change the content colours block title and block text, add one, two or no sidebars, templates for single category column content where the page has the same name as the category and a template for two colum columns.

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Migration to WordPress 3 Quick Guide

To much information and still finding it a bit scary, lets us make it very easy, this quick guide is all the code changes except the styling, there are only three code block to do honest, first we need to find the header.jpg in the images folder, and write down the width and height, download the files below and lets get going.

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Migrate Artisteer Themes to WordPress 3

We cannot say how easy it is working with child themes, however we understand that some will prefer editing the original themes, so we are following the child tutorials with a simple two file upgrade and a set of options to add the new features to existing Artisteer 2.3 and 2.4 themes as and when they might be needed. 

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