Working with post formats in WordPress can be challenging because of the lack of structured data. For instance, just because a user selects an “image” post format, there’s no guarantee that an image was actually attached to the post.
Alex King has created a plugin and submitted a couple patches, but until the WordPress UI catches up we as theme developers need to be a little creative.
In the most recent version of Portfolio Press, I ended up styling the image format to look like this:
If you want a highly customized theme for your WordPress site the only option is to self-host, right? Not so fast…
I just finished a small project for Bluefin Software redeveloping their blog. They wanted to stay with WordPress.com hosting because of its ability to scale and low maintenance. And incredibly, by using just the custom design upgrade and widget areas in the Coraline Theme, it was possible to build exactly what their designer had envisioned.
I’ve been working a lot with Canvas, a new framework by Woo Themes that gives users a plethora of design options. This video by Magnus shows a little how it works.
When setting up a new site with Canvas, I’ll make new default style settings using a child theme. This is the safe way to set up the theme, because if the design is done purely through the admin panel there’s the chance we’ll lose it if it’s ever reset. It also gives us the full css toolkit rather than just the options that Woo has provided.
Additionally, by using a child theme, we can make changes to the markup (adding extra divs or wrapper for styling)- and not be worried about losing those customizations when a new updates of Canvas roll out.
The learning curve on Thematic is a bit steep if you’ve never used filters and hooks before. The Thematic guide is a great place to start, and by looking at the functions files of other released themes I’ve found most of what I need. But here’s my growing list of Thematic filters for easy reference:
Matt Cutts, a software engineer for Google, gave a talk at WordCamp San Francisco 2009.
According to Matt, “WordPress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of ) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)”. So by using WordPress, you are already better positioned for search than the majority of websites. But what else contributes to page rank and search optimization?
I would highly recommend watching Matt’s presentation in full, but if you don’t have 45 minutes to spare, I took some notes: