I started working on a new theme a couple weeks months ago. At this point, it’s pretty much finished so I’ll go through it a bit.
In terms of general changes, this design features HTML5, much more CSS3, and far less images in the layout structure. It’s probably not as easy on the eyes in non-modern browsers, but it’s not like there’s a ton of styling going on anyway. I’ve stayed mostly with black and white which transfers easily across any browser you could think of. I haven’t done any extensive testing across browsers, but I rarely do for personal themes. I know — it’s a bad habit to get into, but this site is so always evolving and I would be in a constant holding pattern if I decided to do extensive testing before pushing it live.
The home page still has the same stuff going on as it did in the last revision, but this time it’s much more linear and not quite as many photos. The main page title is just text — there’s no CSS images going on here. I’ve tried to lighten the load on images that are loaded into the page. You’ll probably notice the little Typekit bug in the corner of the page. They’re generously supplying some of the non-standard fonts for the page.
I’ve added a few new feeds to the social section and also removed some background images from there. The fading at the end of each line is now done via a white shadow on the date. I’ve removed the “joshbetz:” and also added some links with regular expressions. You’ll also see that I’ve brought back the feature that displays only the time if you’re looking at something that happened in the past 24 hours and the date otherwise.
The photos are still coming from flickr and being generated by (a very old) FancyFlickr. The photos in the Photos section are bigger with less of them. I really need to get out and shoot though or people will start to think those are static. The random photo that I had wanted forever has also remained.
On the sidebar I’ve added a small photo and a short biography which links to the newly re-crafted About page.
You’ll also notice that the big “Josh Betz” title doesn’t appear unless you’re on the homepage. This is another feature that I think is very important. Not quite as much here as on other sites, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for quite some time now and decided to add it. While there’s no title on the page, there has to be a way to know where you are and how to navigate around the site if you need to, so I’ve decided to go with a fixed “title” bar with some basic menu options to get back home and to some of the other pages on the site. I really like how it fades out when you scroll away from the top too.
Look around. What’s your favorite part? What do you hate?
Some people have asked for my old themes in the past and I’d love to be able to just zip them up and put up links, but they’re so personalized that it will take some work to generalize them at least to scrub my name off before they’re ready for the real world. It’s one of my goals to have this done for a few of them at least by Christmas. Maybe.