Noir – a WordPress theme for film buffs

Written by on September 29, 2006 under Software

filmreel

Kickass Webdesign has a theme called Kickass-Noir. It’s a theme that’s quite classy with its gray, white and black feel. It also has a film reel for a background image. Best of all: it’s widget-ready! What more could you ask from Kickass Webdesign? ;)

Plus points on:

  • Creative design
    A film reel as a background—quite cute and nifty. Also, the use of the grayscale makes it even look more nostalgic than anything.

  • Fonts
    The fonts used here are pretty big so anyone could read the blog entries. By default, the font-size is pretty good so you might not have to worry about changing those details in style.css. There might be people who would say that the font size is too bis so you might as well change that the moment that you see for yourself how it affects everything.

Minus points on:

  • Too many fixed stuff on the layout.
    In case you don’t like the widths of the divs, etc. try making a set for your friends’ project. Well, in any case you need such stuff, you wouldn’t have much trouble. In any case you forget to

  • Fonts too huge.
    Maybe in a way, it was a pretty good font but it’s really not the same as with the other much more common WP layouts.

In any case, it’s still up to you. You could choose to simply leave the theme at that but if you like something else, you could come up with your own ;) Your blog is your space. I personally think movie review blogs would look good with this layout. Or maybe even those that talk about movie stars and other such news.

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Customize your blog with K2

Written by on September 27, 2006 under Uncategorized

k2Do you want to set your mark on your blog but are having trouble with finding a framework to suit your needs? K2 is a simple, fully customizable two-column theme for WordPress from the authors of the default Kubrick theme. It’s clean-cut layout can be adapted to your needs by selecting and creating styles on the K2 options panel, and you can upload your own header images.

Some things about the theme (all colors are from the default setting)
Color scheme: blue, white
Number of columns: two (sidebar is on the right)
Headers: gray
Links: gray for the main column, blue for the sidebar
Text: gray
Search box: at the sidebar, upper part
Images in the post: customizable header image
Other distinguishing features: A navigation system called rolling archives, which lets you navigate through search results and archives without reloading the page. It also has AJAX-powered features like live commenting and livesearch, which means your reader can comment and search your blog without reloading.

K2 was the first theme outside of WordPress.com to support widgets, and it comes with
sidebar modules, created by Ben Sheratt. These modules allow you to fully customize your sidebar to include whatever plugin you wish to add or create if you’re feeling adventurous. A widgetized 3-column K2 created by Bharath Kumar which can be used without K2 is now available, and it has the same versatility as its source. Go hack it, if you want!

Something about the theme creator:
Michael Heilemann authored the default wordpress theme Kubrick. Other developers include Chris J Davis, Zeo, and Steve Lam.

Information:
Download K2
Forums for modifications—Look like a pro!

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Scrobbler – your playlist, on your blog

Written by on September 23, 2006 under Software

headphones

Music lover? Some people might not understand what it is about sharing playlists with other people but there’s something about putting up your personal playlist for the whole world to see. It says something about your personality and it could also be a good way to start a conversation with other people online. If you like such things, you could use the Scrobbler widget on your WordPress-powered blog.

Scobbler? Audioscrobbler? What?
If you haven’t heard of Audioscrobbler, it is basically a service that keeps track of the listening habits of different people. Whatever kind of media player you are using, as long as you have the Audioscrobbler plugin, the songs that you listen to will be added to your music profile. Nothing here about downloading music. It’s really more on music listening habits and the nice thing about the database is that you could have so many nifty stats regarding musical preferences and the like.

Scrobbler fun
If you have the Scrobbler plugin, the nice thing is that the readers of your blog won’t really feel some site-reloading and stuff because of AJAX. They would simply see the updated list on your blog. Less of a hassle, right?

What you need
Scrobbler!
WordPress 2.+
PHP4 and up
an account on AudioScrobbler/LastFM

Once you have the requirements, you shouldn’t find it difficult to install it. When you have the Scrobbler plugin active, you don’t have to put the function call for Scrobbler on your template. You could simply use the widget :D Don’t you just love such nifty widgets? :)

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Widget-ready theme: Orange Crush

Written by on September 17, 2006 under Uncategorized

theme
Click the image to view it better.

Do you love the color orange and want a widget-ready theme? You can check out Lisa’s Orange Crush WordPress theme. Here are some things to note about the theme:

Colors: orange, white, gray
Header: predominantly orange; has space for your blog title and description but it looks like it wouldn’t be too friendly with blogs with long titles
Posts: Each post would have a section but it’s not within box. There are, however, orange lines beneath the title of each post. The date of the posting is underneath the title. It looks quite elegant actually. The categories of each post do not appear though so you might want to tweak the theme’s template before using it.
Sidebar: As is commonly found in sidebars, there are links, the calendar and archives, the link to recent posts. One of the nice things about it is that the categories and subcategories show up nicely. The subcategories are indented. That is something really nice and awesome.
Blockquotes: no fancy background colors or borders whatsoever.

This widget-ready theme is good for bloggers who want to be taken a bit seriously and still show some funk through their layout. The orange color isn’t too bright so it doesn’t hurt the eyes. It’s pretty refreshing, considering that it has orange, somewhat a strong color.

This WordPress theme could probably be used by those into serious writing or a bit of problogging. That or a food blog, perhaps. They say that the color orange stimulates the appetite that is why it is a popular color used in the marketing of fastfoods. In case you plan to use this, make sure that your blog title is short enough so it wouldn’t be a problem later on.

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Progress Bar widget for your WordPress blog

Written by on September 11, 2006 under Software

progress barAre you someone who is constantly working on so many things all at once? Don’t you wish people would be able to see your progress? Or maybe you could keep a progress bar on your blog’s sidebar just for the sake of knowing your progress.

Worry no more! The progress bar widget is interesting. You could have different progress bars for each project you are working on. There are instructions in English so it should not be too troublesome.

Things to love about it:
You could change the color of the indicator. These are the things you could customize:

  • Background color

  • Bar color

  • Frame color

  • Frame width

It is simple to add. Just put the widget file in the plugins directory and activate it. (Don’t forget to make sure you have the WordPress widgets plugin active and that your theme is friendly to widgets ;))

You could directly put a link to your project’s url and when your progress bar shows up, people can click the name of your project and see how it goes. Maybe you’re working on a really fun game and a series of stories. You could have them all listed on your sidebar :)

The not so good stuff

If you are not familiar with hexadecimal colors, you might not find it easy to use because you’d still have to learn what number to put in the boxes. You could go read up on hexadecimal colors as soon as you can hit the create new tab option and make a Google search on it ;)

Another not so good thing about it is that the blog where it could be found is in a language other than English. The creator of the widget could write in English so I think it shouldn’t be that bad. Then again, it’s really straightforward so you might not need a how to put it on your blog guide. Tweaking it would be another matter though.

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Widget for adding PHP

Written by on September 9, 2006 under Software

PHP logoHave you encountered difficulty in adding certain codes on your blog’s sidebar? Some plugins don’t have widget counterparts just yet so it would be really neat if you could find one that allows you to add them, right? Hooray for the Samsarin PHP Widget—it allows you to make sure you have your PHP code in place ;)

Samsarin PHP Widget

Version 0.2 has been released last month and the creator of the widget welcomes suggestions for improvement. In any case, all you need to do is make sure that you download it, unpack it and upload it into your plugins folder so that you could start using it.

Using it is easy because it’s very straightforward. You simply place the code in the box. Actually, you are not limited to PHP code. You could place text or HTML there. Maybe even blocks of ads for those who monetize their blogs. In case you want some text on your sidebar, this is also nifty. And if you want it to be formatted, just use HTML.

A good thing about this widget is that even in the title field, you could put HTML and PHP. Nifty, huh? You could also leave that part blank, if you don’t want to add any.

This is a nice plugin. For those the PHP geeks and those of you who want to add bits of code and template tags, for that matter, now you could do it without much trouble. Because it’s so direct in terms of its user interface, you surely won’t be overwhelmed.

Find it useful? Drop by and contact the widget’s creator.

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The widget Paypal users want: The Paypal Donate Widget

Written by on September 7, 2006 under Uncategorized

PayPalWant to find ways so that people could easily donate to your work via PayPal? There is what Patrick Chia calls the Paypal Donate Widget Plugin. As with other widgets, it requires WordPress 2+, a theme that is widget friendly and the widgets plugin.

Simple install procedure

If you have the prerequisites, you could start installing the widget on your blog. It is really easy:

  1. Download the widget here.

  2. Extract the file on your computer then upload it via FTP and make sure that you place them in the /wp-content/plugins/widgets directory.

  3. Make sure it’s active then drag drop it on to your sidebar.

  4. Configure it.

Wasn’t that quick and easy to remember?

There are many developers out there who have been creating really nifty blog plugins and widgets for public use. Why not spread the love? How? By giving them a little something for the time and effort that they spend, especially if you ask them for some technical help especially if you are new to using these plugins and widgets. One other group of people I think who could directly benefit for this would be the graphic designers who come up with themes/templates/layout.

If you think that you could use this widget, go ahead and install it. In a way, this helps everyone online when it comes to getting some financial help. Aside from that, it’s fairly easy to use because it’s quite direct. In case you’re using it already and would like to suggest some improvements, you could contact Patrick Chia on his blog.

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King widgets framework

Written by on September 5, 2006 under Software

king of spadesPersonalizing your blog is something that is really fun to do. If you have had a blog and you don’t like the way it looks, don’t you wish you could just move things around without much mucking into the WordPress themes? Some people are comfortable with it but others are not because they are new to blogging. In this case, you could probably enjoy using the King widgets framework.

If you are thinking of using King Widgets, you must have the framework first. These are the files included in the framework: – language file for the King Widgets – CSS Styles – JS used – Images (the ones used in the Admin area) – PHP libraries used in forms and admin head includes

You have to make sure that you placed the files in the plugins folder. Activate the framework first. Else, you can’t use the widgets that require it, like the King Calendar widget.

The Media Projekte team

The people behind the framework and the widgets are the Media Projekte team. You have there a team of designers and developers. Surely, they know what they are doing that is why the framework they released is one of the must-haves for WordPress users. If you want to contact them you could view this page.

The King Widgets

If you want more of their widgets, check them out here. You could now add to improve not just the design but also the features of your blog. Their blog is surely something to watch out for in case they have news of updates and new widgets.

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Surprise yourself with the Flickr widget

Written by on September 1, 2006 under Software

Flickr widget at workAre you a fan of a particular person’s Flickr photostream? Or maybe you are part of a group of Flickr users and you really enjoy looking at your group’s images. Hmmm. You could actually take it one step further if you are able to actually share it with others. How? Through the Flickr widget. This is a widget which is automatically available for WordPress.com users. (Yes, this is the hosted blogging service of WordPress.)

The Flickr widget

You have a Flickr RSS you want to appear on your sidebar? Find out the RSS URL by going to the user’s page and get the RSS2 URL from the lower left bottom part of the page.

You could also just leave that URL field blank so that you could get a random Flickr photo or photos, depending on how many you have set to be displayed.

You could set the number of photos to be displayed. But if you only want one photo at a time, it is also possible.

Give it a title! Be creative. If you have, for example, your photos there, you could say it’s “Photo time with (your name)!” or if you have the photos of your photo group “(group name) photos.” You could make it have a title suitable to your blog theme too.

Photo sharing fun

This is the nice thing with Flickr—you could share photos and what is better is that there are ways that make it possible for you to put them on your blog. You could have themes for your blog sometimes, like if you have a group which has a set of photos that suit your topic, you could probably use the URL of that for your widget.

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