Be warned, much of this info would only be interesting to other WordPress hags and extremely bored people.
July 2007 redesign
While I liked the grid layout of the early 2007 AFK Gamer, I wanted a layout that was simpler and easier on load times. With a database of over 1,200 posts and 4,100 comments, Ye Olde Blog just ain’t what she used to be and load times were frequently awful — especially living on a shared server with morons who run huge cron jobs at 9:00 a.m. every morning.
Above all else, the site had to remain easy on the eyes (no 1,000+ widths, please) and pleasantly white-spaced. That meant no dark themes, no (or few) widgets, light on script-ishness because I know you’re all using NoScript (or SHOULD be), easy to maintain for a code dope like me, and no soft cheeses of any kind.
One theme I considered very seriously, DePo Clean by Derek Powazek. Unfortunately, after sandboxing it for a while, I knew it would require too many modifications to do what AFK Gamer required and many of those mods were well beyond my very limited, trial-and-error type skills. Pity, I love that theme. I did lift the idea for the random quotes from past posts in the footer from DePo. The idea and the coding framework, that is.
I reviewed (and subsequently discarded) every theme from this list, 100 Favourite WordPress Themes — a blog intern would have come in handy here — but in the end, what I really wanted was a return to the late 2006 AFK, a one-column + expanded footer ideal.
So tada! The return of the one column! Mouseover everything, explore every corner, I’ve hidden tricks and treats everywhere. Plus, bugs! (I’ll get around to it, probably.)
Additional Site Credits:
Still loving famfamfam’s Silk Icons set.
Still loving red.
Still using plugins, but a lot fewer than before.
Still believing that a:visited is overrated.
Still digging the generosity of open source and WordPress support.
Still learning from Podz’ WordPress guides, years later.
Need to implement noteworthy plugin throughout the site, but what a pain that is.Meh, who the hell needs it, a category seems enough. Author comment styling. Again, pain. OpenID integrated for commenting.Ok, OpenID appears dead for WordPress until someone takes up the plugin for the 2.3 series or they (the royal WP-they who work on the open source WP) integrate it into the core. Safari and iPhone CSS fixes. Goddamn I don’t get paid enough for this nonsense.Width issues, which created margin/padding issues in IE, all fixed. Probably.
December 2006 version
The December 2006 AFK Gamer site is powered by WordPress and the Cutline theme. Previously, I had used a modded version of the Snapshot style and the excellent K2 theme for over a year and needed something … well, different.
The Snapshot website is MIA from the net, but K2 is still alive and thriving — highly recommended. Most everything I know about WP, html, css and whatsits, I learned at the feet of trial and error, and K2.
I reviewed and trialed over two dozen different themes on the AFK Gamer Sandbox subdomain, and looked through at least three dozen others on demo sites. The result of that search was a short wishlist of wannahaves for the blog and a false start: Utom’s excellent 5U theme. While 5U is visually exciting and well written, it just wasn’t right for here, and so the search began anew.
Unlike a site which focuses on shorter posts with a broader topic range, this blog is longer stories (i.e. text) with a very narrow focus. This time, I searched with a clearer idea of what I needed … plus more wannahaves.
I found Cutline one night, when I was supposed to be healing a guild-alt AQ20 raid in World of Warcraft — fuck that, I had to find a new theme — so I was alt-tabbing quite regularly to page through demo sites. Widgets-ready, light on code, well-written, active support and development, and a starting style sheet not that far off from where I wanted to be — ding, Cutline. Many hours of tweaking-this and pimping-that later, the new AFK Gamer is ready for another
year six months of gaming commentary and poorly-doctored screenshots.
Additional Site Credits, in no particular order:
Raster, for (incorrectly) declaring that any shade of green was “gay” … I have him to thank for red. (BTW, green is not gay. Orange is borderline, however. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)
Utom’s 5U theme, for the special date code used on the front page and for the single-post page Category/Tags/Bookmarks section styling.
The Hemingway theme, and its many variants, for the text-focus styling and the expanded footer seen throughout the site.
famfamfam’s Silk Icons set.
Gotchaforce, for his superior game dock icon sets on Deviant Art, used on the Dec 2006 design’s History and Guilds sidebars. I couldn’t find his licensing information in the sets or in his profile — I’m assuming sycophantic linking is sufficient.
The header images are (poorly doctored) screenshots from my gaming collection,
except the one above, which is the famous Maxell dude. I used various photoshopped forms of the Maxell dude (aka Blown Away) for much of 2006’s blog header. His retirement was widely mourned — he lives on!
And, the WordPress support forums for answering the 34,904 questions I had on how to do this and that. Long live open source!
Admin/register tab alignment– To hell with it. Put in footer and slapped some sense into it. Google toolbar autofill– possibly fixed with Google Toolbar 3, otherwise no idea how to fix this Edit this post/page link Noteworthy plugin not operational– fixed. Added if cat call to index, single, and archive.