Like the new look?

I’ve been meaning to redesign this blog for a while now. Most of all I wanted a better sidebar setup which would accommodate more links and wider ads widgets. In fact, the old Papertrail theme I was using has only a very rudimentary widget support, and with the recent success of this blog I needed more flexibility.

Although still a work in progress, I quite like the results so far. It’s cleaner, it uses less Flash(*) and it loads extremely fast. The design still needs work and I definitely need a better tagline (wanna help me out with that one?).
More Like the new look?

WordPress theme: Paper Trail

Paper Trail WordPress theme screenshot

I love it when business and pleasure coincide. I had to look into styling widgets today for an upcoming project, and decided to use my Paper Trail theme as test material. Turns out the markup of widgets gives you surprisingly (frustratingly) little to work with in terms of CSS. Still I managed to get the widgets to look like I wanted them to, thus completing the theme.

Paper Trail is a two column layout with fancy Flash post and blog titles.

  • It requires Flash and Javascript (although it doesn’t break completely if these are missing). If your blog targets mobile users (for instance), this is not the theme for you.
  • This is my first theme where I’ve paid any real attention to widget styling. Third party widgets may not look as intended. Chances are they will.
  • Thanks to Geoff Stearns, the use of flash will not affect search engine ranking.
  • The Flash titles contain complex algorithms that change things like line breaks and font size in order to best accommodate your post’s titles. Let me know if they act up. Using very long words in titles might render them unreadable.
  • I’ll not be releasing the source code for the Flash movies. Mostly because I’m afraid you’ll laugh at me for my poor coding skills, but also because I fear you’ll ask me to explain how they work.
  • Paper Trail was built for WordPress version 2.3, and will spend most if it’s time looking for missing things like tags on older versions (and not actually work).
  • Because of limitations in the way Flash handles dynamic text the theme supports basic Latin characters only. Sorry about that.

If you want to give it a try, you can download it here.