Tumbled reaches 200 downloads

Today I’m celebrating as my first free WordPress theme – Tumbled, has reached 200 downloads. Now 200 is not a massive amount, but it still amazes me when I see …

Read more

Ugly Squeeze Pages and Design

The Landing Page or Squeeze Page as it is more commonly know, is seen by some as the most important part of any opt-in email or affiliate driven website.

uglesqueezepagesA typically Squeeze Page tries to entice its “target” audience with marketing and copywriting techniques such as headlines, bullet points, teaser copy, deadlines and testimonials. All of which are generally so well researched that they can take the author days and several attempts to perfect.

But something that I just can’t fathom out, is why such a well written bit of marketing tends to have to look so aesthetically unpleasing to the eye. I have found myself on several occasion just giving up trying to read such a page as the design is so appalling.

The classic example generally has a blue or grey background with either a white of light yellow text area. The text for some god-awful reason seem to usually be Courier – can anybody tell me Why? And with alleged meaningful words and phrases picked out in a collection of insipid Red, Yellow or Blue bold text makes the whole thing unbearable.

Read more

Tumbled – A WordPress Theme

This is my first WordPress theme I have made publicly available, and it’s not something I have had sitting around for ages either – I started it yesterday afternoon with the soul intention of making it purely for public release.

So here goes, I would like to introduce you to Tumbled, a single column, no nonsense theme loosely based on the popular Block style on Tumblr.

Yep, that’s right, you can now have that Tumblr look on your WordPress blog.

I must warn that Tumbled is still a Beta, but rest assured I have tested it in Safari and Firefox on the Mac, and Internet Explore 6 and 7 plus Firefox on the PC. Everything seems to work fine, although there is a slight discrepancy with the navigation in IE 6 – there always something wrong in IE 6 though isn’t there!

NOTE: A problem was found where Smiley Faces inherited the default image styling! It is recommended that everybody downloads the latest version to avoid the visual unpleasantness – sorry about that!

Read more

My Top 5 Website Building Tools

Designing and editing websites and blogs can be much easier with the right tools. Here is a list of my top 5 website building tools:

smultronSmultron: A free text editor for the Mac which is both easy to use and powerful. It is designed to not confuse newcomers nor disappoint advanced user. I have been using Smultron for well over a year, and it has become my default text editor of choice for .txt, .html to .php

Website: Smultron by Peter Borg. Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4.9 Tiger or later
Price: Free!

csseditCSSEdit: This little application is quick, clean and offers superb CSS styling of absolutely any web page. It is the fastest, easiest CSS editing application I have used, and find using anything else a real pain in the …

Website: MacRabbit. Requirements: Mac OS X 10.4 or higher.
Price: $29.95.

photoshopAdobe Photoshop: Possible slightly over the top, in price terms, for most web-designers, and can be a bit daunting to use for the first time. But I’ve been using Photoshop for fifteen years now and know it like the back of my hand – so I never start a new design project or website without mocking it up in Photoshop first. It is always running on my Mac and allows me to edit any image instantly.

Website: Adobe. Requirements: PS CS3 Mac OS X v.10.4.8 or higher.
Price: from $649.

transmitTransmit 3: If you design your site locally like I do, then you need a way to get it from your desktop to your server! For pure simplicity I have used Transmit for years now, as it does just that. It is the FTP app of choice for a lot of Mac user, allowing perfect Synchronisation between Your Stuff and Theirs (local and server).

Website: Panic. Requirements: Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher.
Price: $29.95.

parallelsParallels: If you build it you really (really) should make sure it works in every browser! I must confess I am slightly cynical on the whole browser testing thing because I use Safari for most of my browsing these days, and generally it seems to work with 99.9% of every website I visit. Firefox does come a close second, and I do use it for writing and editing posts on my WordPress sites as this is one thing that Safari doesn’t like (sigh!).

Read more