AJ Clarke over at WP Explorer has recently released a Free theme called Modern Blogger. I had the opportunity to take it for a test ride and I was really impressed. Free themes are very common in the WordPress community, but WP Explorer really raises the bar.
“Modern Blogger” features subtle multi-level drop down windows with a tasteful fade effect. They take advantage of WordPress’s menu management system so updates to your site’s architecture and navigation don’t require tedious coding or technical knowledge.
A featured article slider allows site administrators to highlight new and important articles on a looping slideshow using images. Hovering your mouse over these reveals another nice touch, a fade-in/out effect.
The sidebar has received a nice treatment, guaranteeing WordPress’s stock widgets. I particularly like the wrapping ribbons which give sidebar items a bit more depth and “pop”.
Posts have a date “tab” which extends out making the timeliness of entries stand out for guests; great for drawing attention to date sensitive items. Individual Post pages have the considerate and useful feature “Related Posts” which can be helpful in retaining visitors on the site after they’ve read their first article. Finally, the Comments get a visual/design treatment to match the Sidebars.
Lastly, the designer includes a full width page template; very useful for inserting larger format content and using portions of the site for more traditional web layout.
Fellow code-monkeys may complain about CSS validation errors, but these are mostly due to the use of CSS3 techniques and will actually probably become MORE compliment as CSS3 becomes more prominent in the future. A couple HTML validation errors occur as well, but no real show stoppers. Just as an FYI, because of their complexity, minor validation errors are VERY common in Content Management Systems and shouldn’t be cause for immediate alarm or rejection.
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I'm the front-man of It's WordPress. I come from a diverse array of backgrounds, enjoying the opportunity to expand my knowledge base and skill set by re-inventing myself. I enjoy environments that focus on emerging information, technology and concepts. I put on the technical hat in my early 20s and never really looked back. I'm love technology and the internet, as well as the outdoors and avidly hike, kayak and camp every chance I get.
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