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Literally speaking: the best WordPress themes for the text obsessed

As a writer, I have this obsession with text and letters and sentences and words.

This happens possible because I do this whole writing thing day in – at work, where I write technology journalism at GadgetGuy.com.au – and day out – when I go home and write books and other pieces of nonsense that spill out of my head and onto the page.

This obsession with writing makes me want to have a webpage that speaks more in words than playful designs, so much that the big words become the playful designs.

A few years ago, I attempted this style with what is my current WordPress theme, a modification and severe customisation that I later called “Spontaneous Box.” This theme relies heavily on Ozh’s Random Words, a plugin that pulls various lines out of a file and shows them on specific parts of the page.

To date, there are well over 50 in the system, and I want this to still be a feature in my new site, in a redesign of my page.

In fact, an upcoming redesign is exactly why I’ve written this, to show some of the themes out there that point speak in text and showcase big shiny words that yell loud and clear to the reader.

So here we are, reader, with a list that might be helpful to you. If you’re a writer that wants a WordPress theme that says “hell yes, I’m a writer,” this list is for you.

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WordPress scheduling woes and an unlikely fix

Over the past week, I’ve noticed a problem with one of the WordPress sites I maintain.

Perhaps you’ve seen it: articles set to go live somehow miss the schedule.

You swear they should go live, and yet “Missed schedule” still manages to pop up in red screwing up your plans for a planned post.

When it started happening to me, I frantically checked the server time and found nothing wrong. I checked to see if there were any new plugins and nothing had been changed. And then, at last, I Googled, and the results I got were so different from what actually resolved my woes.

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Leigh’s Mobile Gallery

If you actually visit my site (which doesn’t have a lot on it, apologies… sorta going through “stuff” at the moment), you may have noticed a few things on the top have changed.

One is that I now have a CV up there… so you know, if you’re looking to hire me, use that and my review list to determine if I have any worth (to you; I have worth, you just might not see it for your purposes).

The other is that I’ve now relaunched my gallery under a different system. It’s taken a few weeks and it looks very shiny. Apologies to people suffering for loading images, it can be seen as a fairly bandwidth intensive site but I like the look & effect of it.

As of yesterday, however, I’ve modified the WPTouch default theme / plugin for WordPress and now have a mobile version of my gallery running.

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To see it, simply type “spore.leighlo.com” (without the quotes) into your mobile’s web browser. I’ve tested this on Safari on the iPhone but if you’ve got other devices, feel free to tell me how it looks.

More images of it after the jump…

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Thursday Design & Graphic Linkfest!

To shed my Firefox of its weight (because I have hundreds of tabs open), here are some of the links you might want to look at this week (but only next week if you’re feeling… sexy):

If you’re not yet aware of the genius that is the site Smashing Magazine, please introduce yourself to it now. It is a must have for designers and graphic-lovers alike. If you’re into WordPress (which I know many of you are), then it’s got a lot there you can work with.

For instance they give you help for testing your new site, have a nice detailed list of lots of brilliant free fonts (get into your typography now… this is the first time I’m telling you), and a great page on WordPress theme frameworks to help you build that brand spankin’ new WordPress theme you’re thinking of doing (more on that later in the page).

SpeckyBoy has an interesting set of bits and pieces on its site. It doesn’t seem to be a feature-laden as Smashing Magazine, but it’s still quite a good site regardless.

I don’t use Joomla anymore, but these nice templates might help someone who does. WordPress is better than Joomla, though, and here’s how to make it a lot more professional by way of plugins. And if you’re into your photography, you’re either a Lightroom user or a Photoshop user (the two are very different). So if you’re a user of Adobe’s blend of Bridge, Photoshop, RAW Conversion, and ease-of-use, you might want to look up this list of Lightroom presets. The Photoshop junkies might want to get their head around HDR instead.

There’s also the inspiration to love typography. I love my fonts. Do you love your fonts? How about your words? Do you dig ‘em yet? :)

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WordPress: CityRail never looked so good…

Ok so after scabbing so many WordPress themes, I’m now going to try my hand at creating one of those nifty premium style themes.

It of course will be free, and probably poorly designed since I’m not a designer.

But here’s the first Photoshop piece of my first WordPress theme: “You Fool! You Crossed The Yellow Line!”

"You Fool! You Crossed The Yellow Line!" is technically the second CityRail theme I had planned... it's just the first to come out of my Photoshop session...

"You Fool! You Crossed The Yellow Line!" is technically the second CityRail theme I had planned... it's just the first to come out of my Photoshop session...

There’s already a box under the two articles there that could essentially be used for a 4-5 square Flickr plugin and I’ll probably add a gum artwork or dirty ticket above the menu. The main section at the bottom should always be there according to this design, similar to how MNML works.

Some comments would be nice though, since I’m not a designer and this is my first real design.

In case anyone is wondering, the design of the station platform comes from how it looks at Bondi Junction (seriously, look down when you’re there) and while I took photos for inspiration, all of the textures and panels have been generated in Photoshop.