Ghostbird is a free one-column theme for WordPress and it’s really, really close to being completed. There are more than a few things that I need to address before officially releasing it, but I wanted to get it out there and see what people think about what I have came up with.
Here’s a link to the latest development release:
Installing this theme on any previous version is a really, really bad idea.
I would really appreciate comments on anything and everything that think about it. If you absolutely hate something, please let me know :) If I have done something horribly wrong, don’t just laugh at me, leave a comment below or on Github so that it can be addressed.
Here are a couple of sections of interest:
I’ve added support for all post formats except for links and would like to know your thoughts on how they are treated. A few notes: Image formats have a custom filter which will allow you to enter only the url of an image. This should only work in case where the post_content contains only a url to an image. Chat formats work best if you enclose the transcript inside a
pretag. This is the only way to trigger the custom filter.
Quote formats require the quote portion of the post to be wrapped in a
Audio formats have no special styling. Outside of adding an icon (which I do not want to do) there is not much that I can really find to do with this format. The first thing that comes to mind is to find the first link/url to an audio file in the post_content and swap it with a fancy flash audio player. IMO this is best done through a 3rd party plugin and this is what I will suggest in the documentation.
- Titles – All formats can optionally display a title. If an author desires no title for a formatted post, they can leave the “title” section of the post blank.
In hindsight adding support for all post formats seemed to be a bad idea. While it was fun to write some custom code to tweek their display, the over-all design of this theme does not support all post formats as I would like. While I’m nearing the end of development of Ghostbird it’s seemed like I only had two options:
- Change the entire visual to accommodate.
- Drop the post formats that don’t fit.
I decided to take the second route. I really like the visual aspect of the theme and, in my opinion, that’s more important than supporting all of the available post formats. It made sense to me to only support the post formats which looked and worked the best in the theme. Here’s the new list of supported formats:
Custom Taxonomies and Post Types
Support for custom post_types and taxonomies have been added directly into the theme. These elements should display well throughout the theme whether being referenced in metadata or displayed as archives. If you have an installation with custom post_types or taxonomies already defined it would be interesting to know you thoughts on how Ghostbird handles your data.
Ghostbird currently has 4 widgetized areas. One that gets prepended to the the textarea in the contact form and 3 that display at the bottom of the
#page div in a div with an id attribute of “widgets”. The bottom three work a bit differently than you might expect:
- If there are no widgets in any of the areas, no html should be printed for the the #widgets div.
- If only one area has widgets, each widget should fill the horizontal area available. The only exception here is the calendar widget which should always be ~14em wide.
- If two areas have widgets assigned then the left-most area will have a width of ~66% of the available horizontal space. The remaining 33% will be used for the second widgetized area.
- In cases where all three areas have widgets, each area should be approximately 33% of the available horizontal space.
- Although the widgets are numbered, the numbers to not define their position rather their order. If only areas 2 and 3 have widgets, they be be displayed in positions 1 and 2 in the html. Likewise if only area 3 has widgets, it will be seen as being in position #1 in the markup.
I would really like to know your thoughts on this process. Do you see it breaking any custom widgets that you use?
- SEO Stuff – Ghostbird contains no seo tools whatsoever. It is my opinion that this functionality is best provided via plugin and really does not belong in a theme. Ghostbird has been tested with Yoast’s WordPress SEO Plugin. Users are suggested to use this if they want full control over their SEO.
- Social Media Stuff – Ghostbird provides no built in method of interacting with social networks. There are plenty of plugins and users are urged to find an appropriate one for that meets their individual goals.
Did I miss anything?
If you feel limited by the functionality of the Ghostbird theme, please sound off. I actually found myself deleting functions left and right the other day in hopes of simplifying the theme as much as possible. I also moved as much html as possible from the functions files into the template files which will hopefully aid in customizing the theme. I’m sure I probably overlooked a few things. Please let me know.
Other than that, Ghostbird should work just like any WordPress theme. There is a todo list in functions.php of things that I need to deal with. I would love it if you could download the theme and test with your own custom data. I feel like I’ve designed this thing about 5 or 6 separate times in the past month. This being said there might be code fragments here and there which make absolutely no sense at all.
Things I plan on doing before release
- Style global tables.
Revisit post formats. Document everything in the Functions subpackage.
- Test “big” tag across browsers – not sure about positioning here :)
- Completely test and rewrite all examples in docs or remove if feeling lazy ;)
Excerpt filters for [...]
- HTML validataion.
- CSS validataion FWIW.
- Add meta to search archives intro box.
- Update and test style-editor.
- Lighter fonts in Widgets.
Add Ghostbird settings page link to menu bar.
- Style all features of the Syntax Highlighter plugin.
Add credit link in the footer.Credit links are lame. Add donation link in the settings page.Settings pages are lame.
- Pretty-up the calendar widget.
Alpha for yellow-dots.png. Change name to halftone-small.png. Ensure that all settings actually do something. Less saturation on #author-box bg color.
- Make dialog colors match new theme colors.
Version 0.9 is far from perfect and should not be used on live sites currently. I’m using it on mine and you can too, just don’t blame me if if the sun falls out of the sky :)
Thanks for reading!