Digital Farm new theme design

After a month of pushing pixels around in Photoshop, playing with colour combinations in Illustrator, and arranging layout grids in Dreamweaver I am proud to announce the launch of the new theme design for my website.

Digital Farm New Theme Design

This may come as a surprise to you as I have not even hinted at a re-design in the last month. I have gone for the opposite approach to most bloggers and decided to keep it under covers until I was completely satisfied with the end result. That’s not saying there will be no tweaks in the days ahead, as I’m sure to stumble upon a few bugs. However, I have extensively tested this theme in Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7, Firefox, and Safari and, touch wood, it is looking pretty solid.

With this theme design I have introduced widgets to the mix. I have three columns, spanned across this site, that all support widgets. With my last theme design I opted for a more manual approach, editing the sidebar.php file everytime I needed to make a change to my menus. As my confidence has grown in styling widgets I have decided to now update my menu items via the wordpress backend, quickly and efficiently. Widgets rock!

The luscious green grass can still be seen across the site header images, with splashes of colour, illustrations and creative outbursts dotted around it. I have opted for less of the colour green in the content and menu areas, and replaced it with a dash of red. I have also enhanced the typography across the site, using san serif fonts, including Tahoma, Helvetica and Verdana. I have also heavily concentrated on the navigation around this site in the new design. I hope that is noticeable, and look forward to seeing the results via my Google Analytics.

The reasoning behind this new theme design is something I wish to elaborate on. However, I will keep that for another post and end this one here. Please, please, please don’t lurk. Browse around the site and leave a comment below telling me what you think of this design. I can take criticism as long as it is constructive…

P.S. The Link Love and Portfolio area of the site are still under construction. This is an ongoing project.


25 responses

  1. Aaaaah… so *thats* why you been so fricken quiet!! Love it – looks gorgeous. Only problem I have, but it was with the old one as well, is that it takes *so* long to load. I know i know, quality takes time, stop being so bloody impatient. But just thought you should know.

  2. I’ve been a busy bee πŸ™‚

    Glad you like it. Regarding the load time I have been trying to decrease it by scaling down the quality of some jpegs. I’ll keep working on this. Half the problem is the load time of some of the plugins i use. I’m going to have re-evaluate some of them…

    In the mean time stop being so impatient would you GW.

  3. when you post i wanna read it *NOW*!

  4. Looks shaweet, although not so sure about the styling of the comments though. Loading time seems fine to me.

  5. Thanks Wezzo. I have made a few changes and already decreased the load time by over 100kb. The lightbox plugin and flickr plugin were both heavy on the loading time. Glad it is quicker now.

    I was looking at the comment styling earlier today and agree with you that it might need some tweaking.

  6. Looks good – realy good.

    Great job!

  7. Hey Mark – very nice dude. I’m a huge fan of your design. Well done.

  8. I really like the background image as well as the header. Comments look fine to me.

    With regards to the categories under the menu bar, they look weirdly spaced out. Yes?

    Other than that, its kickass.

  9. Tripeak, Shane and Jason: Thanks for all the positive feedback guys, especially good to hear it coming from quality web designers like yourselves!

    Jason: With regard to the spacing of the categories, do you mean the drop down menu that appears when you click on “Archives”?

  10. I was a big fan of your old site design, and you’ve upped the game even further with this one…
    LOVE IT!

  11. Very nicely done (again) Mark. Your headers are always so creative. πŸ™‚ I like the colors and the width.

    Was it from scratch?

  12. WOW Man this is just awesome!!! I need a new theme… wanna talk?

  13. It’s good, good, good, it’s good, it’s nice!!!

  14. Very nice Mark! So refreshing.

    Two small things I noticed: the footer on your post pages (such as this one) is falling out of the white container, and then in your “recent posts” list, the item’s hover state is applied to the whole item but only the anchor text is clickable so it feels a bit deceiving. I’d also decrease the line-spacing when these items wrap over multiple lines. The same applies to “recent comments”.

  15. Thanks again for the positive feedback you non lurkers.

    Hash: It was done from scratch, copying a few little features from various wordpress template designs.

    Justin: Let’s chat partner.

    Coda: Your crit is always much appreciated. I’ve already made all the changes you recommended. The footer problem was caused by one too many closing div tags. The list links on the side menu have been changed to display: block, and the line spacing has been decreased.

  16. Awesome dude.

    The colours are really sweet – loading time’s not too bad (I suppose you’ve tweaked it quite a bit)… I’m sitting on a 2G wireless connection the middle of the Karoo as I type this, and nothing bothered me.

    I specifically dig the comment styling, it’s actually pretty unique and IMHO works well.

  17. muuuuuch better. loads quick as a pip now!

  18. the more I look at it the more I like it and the 3 column layout actually works well.. So how much do you charge I may have some work for you?

  19. Great Job Mark… the new site looks awesome…

  20. Martin: If it works in the middle of the Karoo then I know it will work anywhere else, thanks for that test! Glad you like the comment styling. I think I may do some very small tweaks, but nothing too big. I get Wezzo is saying. It somehow doesn’t quite fit in with the styling of the rest of the site.

    GW: Good to hear. Happy birthday for this last Saturday!

    Aquila: Glad you like it. Drop me a mail with your requirements and I can quote you accordingly πŸ™‚

    Gregg: Thanks mate. Having so many great SA web designers approving the design is a great feeling.

  21. Hey Mark.

    I’ve been so busy of late, I haven’t even had the time to comment on the new design! πŸ™‚ And I must say – I love it!!! This is the type of WordPress competition I need in South Africa.

    I love the colour scheme – it’s so refreshing and inspiring, and it makes we want to go to McDonalds and play around in the ball pool! πŸ™‚ Keep up the good work!

  22. Haha! Thanks for the compliment. Glad it gives you such a youthful, energetic feeling Adii! Love that description.

    Remember these days geographical location means nothing with web skills, I am definitely your competition πŸ˜‰

  23. very kewl dude! small thing, search box, when u click in it and type, u have to delete the stuff in it manually, should autoselect so that when u start typing it deletes copy… otherwise impressive, thanks for doing the Archers Aqua banner! Client has asked that it only stay on for a week… shot

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