Over the next little while, I’ll slowly be building up a blog theme called “cre8d 2.0″. It’s not built yet, so I’ll be relying on your feedback during the process on how you think it could be improved. There’s a tonne of free templates out there and personally I’m a bit reluctant to start churning out free ones every month as I have enough already on my plate.
I’m hoping that this series of posts will help people see the process I go through to create a new theme and I hope that I’ll also learn from your feedback in creating this.
Blog design steps:
- Consulting with the client about the purpose of their blog, learning about who the blog is aimed at, what style of writing, what feelings they want to convey through the design. Learning about how they’ll be using the blog.
- Constructing a wire frame (if necessary – it depends on the complexity of the layout).
- Constructing an initial design idea in Fireworks. We may go through a series of completely different design ideas or adapt one of the ideas.
- Converting the design into the (WordPress/MovableType) template files (includes installing relevant plugins and writing any code required for the templates).
- Tweaking the design to suit – focussing on the smaller important details such as comment forms, archive pages.
- Re-addressing the blog’s design after it’s been used for a month or two. Usually you find your blog’s “voice” by then and can adapt the design to reflect the key things you’re focussing on.
I think this step is really important and it’s not about adding the latest plugin but going back to the initial questions of the purpose of the blog, what people are looking for when coming to the blog, thinking about how they’re using the blog again. Sometimes things you thought were really important at first become unimportant and unecessary. Other things need improving.
- Blog maintenance – staying on top of software updates, keeping track of how your spam filters are working, checking your error logs, looking at highlighting things people are most looking for, cleaning up your blog and so on.