Themes, Plugins and Widgets: From A++ to B-

By | October 12, 2007

InvestorBlogger has been trying out some new themes for the blog. In particular, with a growing interesting in using the WP as the website, for a number of well known magazines and lesser known ones, too, there is a growing number of themes designed for magazines and journals.

Check out the Revolution Themes by Brian Gardner, I love the fact that the themes make good use of front page space, allowing main features to be shown, recent articles, videos and large graphics. There is also space for a lot of other things, too, at the bottom and in the middle. Nice. It’s not free, but at $99 for a single install, it could be a good deal! His other themes include the Zinfandel series.

news revolution

I also found a couple of ‘free’ themes that work along the same line of thinking, of which the best seemed to be ‘The Morning After’ from Arun Kale. It works a little differently, and requires a little tinkering to get it working. I’m sorely tempted to try it out.

home preview tma

It certainly would be this blog more of a magazine format… I don’t know how that would go down with readers, but it would certainly help to emphasize much more of the content that is hidden away (now nearly 800 individual posts!).

srg clean archives

Clean Archives is back. Last month, I removed some of the bloat from blog, including the ‘Archives’ plugin. Hah! You didn’t notice it, did you!? We were still using SRG-Clean Archives 3.2, but it had been upgraded to 4.2. It’s got some nice touches, but doesn’t play well with this theme MistyLook yet, so I can’t let it have full rein just yet. It has expanding month categories, with post and comment counts. Very neat. Try it now, just go to the Archives page on this blog and you’ll see what I mean.

eye candyI added a couple of items to the sidebar, too, mostly in HTML and Javascript to make sure things go quickly. First is using Picasa WebAlbums and the HTML/Scipt Slideshow object, I uploaded all the images on IB to Picasa using the Picasa Desktop (very easy), and created the object. It’s just a bit of eye candy, really, but I positioned it between the text links to break things up and create a bit of movement in the peripheral vision area. You can click on it, if you want to, but I didn’t intend people to do much of that!

At several suggestions, I added a sidebar tool from WidgetBucks.com, too to create extra visual impact, generate some affiliate sales, but I’m not very happy with its performance right now. It slows down page movement a great deal while it loads, and that seems counter productive.

widget sales

It’s generating quite a few impressions, but hardly anyone is bothering to click on it. I’m going to experiment with size and placement over the next few days, and see if I can get any clicks. But so far, it’s zero. I’d rather use the space for something else. So that’s how I’ve been working on my blog. Some good stuff, some things to think about, and some things that need work! What have you been doing on your blog recently?

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Author: InvestorBlogger

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2 thoughts on “Themes, Plugins and Widgets: From A++ to B-

  1. Jorge

    I picked up SRG after your comments on your BUZZfest. By far one of the best plugins I’ve used to date. The only feature I wish it had was to display articles by user specified categories. But I can’t complain. It cleaned up my sidebar quite a bit!

  2. Kenneth Post author

    Thanks, Jorge. Yes, I liked it. Now it’s faster in version 4.2 as well.

    Kenneth

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