Had a ton of fun designing a theme for my new Web Hosting Training site and loved the theme so much, I spent another few days porting it over to this site as well.
The old theme looked like this:
Although I liked the theme, after several months of looking at it, I felt it was a bit too dark, a little too much separation between the content sections, and the responsive features of the site just didn’t work the way I wanted. The other issue I had was the amount of images the main page was loading.
After updating to this new theme, I decided to switch to Jetpack, the WordPress plugin developed by the same awesome people of the main WordPress platform. By doing this, I was able to eliminate over 5 separate plugins I was using here all the while adding features like statistics that I was missing.
This theme is based off of the Lifestyle Genesis theme. This theme was recently released by StudioPress on September 30th, and after looking at what they did with the theme, I knew it was the perfect fit for these sites. Which brings me to my next point, I highly recommend anyone who is interested in professional themes to buy the Genesis Pro Plus Package.
When I was first thinking of buying a premium theme, I thought about buying just the one theme I was interested in, however, after several months of being a Pro Plus owner, I’m glad I didn’t. Tastes change, new themes are released, and you will likely want to change your theme to switch things up. With the Pro Plus package, you have the flexibility to switch between all of their themes, including newly released themes with HTML5 support.
Anyways, getting back to Jetpack, one of the best things I’ve found is the integration of Jetpack with Genesis. The two work so well together, even adding the possibility to have the sharebar on the top and bottom of each page. The best part, thanks to the StudioPress tutorials, you can even style the social buttons exactly how you want them.
New Enhancements Added
- Removal of social image icons and switched to Simple Social Icons with custom CSS styling.
- New featured hosts sidebar widget area that is fully compatible with responsive.
- New email subscription widget area.
- Restyled call to action buttons (all CSS3)
- Blog section switched from 150×150 featured images to 266×160 featured images. These look better on social networking sites.
- Completely reworked the footer section. The other template had this massive dark section for the footer that was jarring. Now the footer widgets stand on their own and the actual footer is tiny and out of the way.
The only issue I’m fighting with is my CSS3 plugin for tables. It adds so much code to my CSS file (at least 50% of the size currently), I’m considering ditching the entire system and finding something new. Anyone out there have any suggestions? What do you think of the new theme we’re using?