Blog Relaunch With Thesis DIY Theme

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So I decided to re-design my blog.  I’ve thought about it for a while. I wasn’t sure.  I went for it!  I decided to go with a new theme, new look and change the name.

New Theme

I looked and looked and looked some more for a new WordPress theme.  I finally decided to go with the theme named Thesis from DIYThemes.  There are so many themes from which to choose.  I knew about Thesis from months ago.  I started exploring it more.  Some of the sites designed by Thesis can look very similar.  This put me off a bit.

Then, I found a great looking blog designed with Thesis. It was designed by a 15 year old.  It’s called Blogussion.  I don’t mean to say that it’s so easy to design with Thesis that a 15 year old can do it.  I was just amazed.  Clearly, this young man is very talented.  I then found the Thesis Gallery.  Seeing how versatile this one theme was combined with all of its features, I was sold!  I decided to buy it.  Yes, of all the hundreds (thousands?) of free WordPress themes out there I bought one.  No one needs to buy a theme for WordPress.  However, Thesis is ready to go out of the box.  Great support, easy to customize (see below) and easy to change basic things like layout, font, etc. with the click of the mouse.  Yeah, it’s like a new toy.  It was an integral part of the redesign so I’m telling you about it.

What makes the designing customizing easier is using what is called hooks.  That is, once you learn how to use them.  They’re really fairly simple and quick.  But what was I going to do with Thesis.

The Design

I sort of figured that with a new theme my design would change a bit.  I wanted to get away from the standard blog look.  At least somewhat away from it.  Thesis provided just the ability and then some.  The redesign started with the header.  This was tough since my previous header was a picture I took using one of my Bibles and a friend’s piano.  Many people like that picture.  As hard as it was, I started designing a new header to see where it would lead.

I’ll show you some of the fun I had.  My scratch pad of sorts started here, here, here and here.  Then I started talking to Micah at Digital Concepts Design.  Showed him where I was.  Told him I was looking for sort of a grunge look.  He showed me this.  I kicked it around.  Decided to move away from the grunge look.  I just couldn’t make it work.  I came up with this and then added a few things.  I was on the right track.  Close.  I showed Micah and he came back to me with what you see above.  Header done!

I figured out that I’d like more of a magazine type look.  So that’s sort of what I have now with the teaser posts and images.  I will continue to keep my eyes open for new ideas though.  I had the header and overall layout done.  During this whole time and prior I was thinking about the name.

The Name

Many people know the name Sweet Tea & Theology.  It’s a different kind of name.  I like it.  However, when I got hereiblog.com it was in reference to Martin Luther’s speech at the Diet of Worms.  In defending his writings and stance against the Roman Catholic Church Luther is alleged to have said, “Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.”  That’s how I came upon the domain name.  This name is easy to remember, especially, using the historical tie in to Luther.  As tough as it was I decided to go with the Here I Blog retiring Sweet Tea & Theology.

And Finally…

It was really fun putting everything together.  Sure, there were times of frustration.  There is a slight learning curve on Thesis for those of us who aren’t fluent in CSS.  I was ready to just release anything some days.  The support for Thesis is great so I got through just fine.  I did enjoy the challenge though!  I will continue to make some adjustments here and there.  I wouldn’t want to take all of the fun out of it.  I’m still redoing the blogroll, for example.

I appreciate Micah’s help as well as my friends in #pros (and a few others) who would give me input along the way on the test site.  So here you have the new design.  Hope it works for you.

For what it’s worth…

Mark

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The above article was posted on May 13, 2009 by Mark Lamprecht.
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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Darrin May 13, 2009 at 11:12 am

I think the new look is terrific.
And now the header is more Reformed than Southern, so that’s good too! : )

2 Jason May 13, 2009 at 11:17 am

Looking good!

3 Russ May 13, 2009 at 11:30 am

Mark,

Looks great man!

Russ

4 Mark|HereIBlog May 13, 2009 at 11:35 am

Darrin,

Thanks! more Reformed than Southern made me laugh. Bes’ not tell the other SBCer’s!

5 Mark|HereIBlog May 13, 2009 at 11:36 am

Thanks, Jason! I know you’ve designed some sites so I appreciate the input.

6 Mark|HereIBlog May 13, 2009 at 11:36 am

Russ, your link is missing!

Thanks, bro.

7 chris giammona May 13, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Mark

The final design looks great.

Chris

8 P.D. Nelson May 13, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Mark got to be honest I mainly read the posts through the RSS feeder so 90% of the time I am not looking at the actual blog. However, this looks good but it does appear to be “WIDE” some of your info being cut off at the right side unless I scroll all the way over and read it. Might I suggest you either let the reader know the optimal viewing resolution or change your template to fit a smaller resolution. And if your wondering I am at 1440×900

9 Nathan W. Bingham May 14, 2009 at 5:35 am

Good choice using Thesis; I love it. Also wise choice reverting to “Here I Blog” as the name, as until I read this post I had no idea what the domain meant. I was reading it as “Herei-blog” kind of like Heidelblog except I didn’t know what Herei referred to.

Here I Blog is actually very clever. 🙂

10 Mark|HereIBlog May 14, 2009 at 8:27 am

Chris,

Thanks! I did put some time into it.

11 Mark Lamprecht May 14, 2009 at 8:28 am

P.D. Nelson,

Thanks for letting me know about the viewing issue. I will look into it.

Anyone else having trouble viewing the blog?

12 Mark Lamprecht May 14, 2009 at 8:30 am

Nathan,

I’m liking Thesis so far too. Funny, when I read Dr. Clark’s site I think of my domain. What’s really clever is http://cal.vini.st/ 😉

13 Barry Wallace May 14, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Nice design. I really like the header.

14 Mark|HereIBlog May 14, 2009 at 1:28 pm

Thanks, Barry!

15 Nathan W. Bingham May 15, 2009 at 1:54 am

Thanks!

Nathan W. Bingham’s last blog post..Donnelly on Our Inability of Reaching Heaven

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