Support » Everything else WordPress » Most WP sites are very plain.

  • Don’t get me wrong, I think there are a lot of good looking wp sites out there but they tend to be created by people interested in code and or design.
    As a newbie to blogging software it seems to me that the design needs to go to another level. I would pay, and I suspect others would too, if somebody could create CSS that made my boring/plain/ordinary site look like these:
    Of course the prices are crazy but I would pay $20 for one, IF it worked with WP.
    Before somebody says “well, just learn CSS and build your own”. I’m not good at design and it’s better left to those that are.
    Am I asking for too much? Is it impossible with just CSS and WP?
    Here’s my idea, run a competition similar to Alex King’s but to view and vote on the entries you need to donate, say $5, this donation goes to the winner. BUT, by donating you get the oppertunity to use the template on you site. This option should only be available for maybe 3 months after the competition. After that the templates are available for purchase and WP gets a small percentage. This percentage may encourage users to buy rather than steal the templates.
    What do other users think?

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
  • I can’t really see how running a competition in which you’d have to pay to vote and even view the templates (note: viewing any web site design is usually free, exept in cases where the content isn’t; heck, design is there to be viewed!) would produce “better” results.
    Obviously, a typical blogger is no graphical artist! Could you maybe point out a site that comes up to your standards? And about “stealing” designs, you are explicitely encouraged to take the competition designs. That’s not stealing.
    My own is not particularly sophisticated, but anyone who wants to use it can email me and ask. Obviously, they can download the css and get inspiration. If it doesn’t look like a perfect clone, I wouldn’t be offended.

    And the last thing we need IMHO is another load of style sheets which are unsuitable for the template.

    I posted this ages ago …….. zero response.

    I like the Blogger approach of providing a number of templates that new users can adopt.

    @planetphilip: You may not be aware fully of the implications of what you are suggesting and what a bad idea it is. You clearly did not read my post and I do not intend to contribute to this dialogue any further in an open forum. A percentage of the readership know what I am referring to and why.

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    Yes you certainly did understand me correctly. I have no objection to anyone taking the index and developing it further. It is only a bit of xhtml. OR If any one wants to generate Gemini or Trident compliant style sheets I would be delighted. I have thought if we had them we could put a style sheet switcher on the blog but offer the interface / without the sw fitted. The question which concerns me is whether the user community would be confused by the choice between the extant style comp and the alternative. That might be divisive and may not be a good idea. On the other hand this is open source and the *support community* can be rich and varied.
    The other issue, now you have got me going is that many style sheet *designers* are blissfully unaware or careless of how their layouts break, when bolted on to the default index; typically seen for the first time when you view comments, and would not see the point in doing any thing different. But I am rapidly losing interest in fixing broken designs from the AK comp in this forum any more. And I am already moving on to my next exciting project anyway 🙂

    I’m just suggesting that sites that aren’t linked to blogging software are often more visually appealing

    And usually it’s on a comercial site where they have $$ to toss at professionals who have been trained to do this kind of thing for a living. I am a programmer by trade & training, but when it comes to graphics and web design, I’m not so hot, hell I barely have a grasp on CSS, but with a little help from people I’ve been able to take Root’s Trident template (thank you very much for that) and do some wonderful (in my opinion) things with it. Take a look! Ok, 90% of bloggers out there have “plain-jane” type blogs, so freaking what? You want yours to be better? OK, fine, but rather that drag those of us who took time to learn a few new tricks down. Ask for help Hell, hire some one to build a look for your site. But I don’t think that another painful competition is such a good idea. Besides, most of us WPers have modified their index.php to the point that you can’t use just any old CSS.
    If you are looking for some great site designs, check out Open Source Web Design they have tons of stuff, some of which I’ve used in the past, some of which might be suitable for a blog…. and it’s all FREE.

    I maybe off the mark here, but since the b2 days there was always a plain template to use. In wp’s case it’s called wp.php. I usually design the site then include the wp.php. It works quite well and I can design whatever I want using css and html.
    I think that if they are plain, it’s just reflecting skill, design, and or imagination. Also it’s a matter of taste.
    Just saying. I’ll continue lurking now

    Very useful link tech. Now I know why your blog always looks so spiffy. 🙂

    My comment wasn’t necessarily aimed at you. I just think it might be helpful to have an “official” section somewhere with those styles from the AK comp that don’t break down, plus Kubrick (so cool!), Trident, Gemini and the current default (if we really have to).
    These could even possibly be shipped with the install-package? I’m not sure that many would argue that the current default is a bit plain, but those less aware may not think to search through the forums looking for other templates.
    OTOH, I think that B2evo goes to far and that their style switcher – and method for installing other skins – is simply going to be too intimidating for newbies.
    As an after thought to the thread title, aren’t most blogs powered by anything plain?

    I’m sorry I don’t understand your last question.
    To clarify, what I meant was that they all look like blogs. That may sound obvious but I don’t see my site as a blog at all, it just uses WP because it’s fantastic software. Maybe what I should have asked for are stylesheets that make my site look like something else other than a blog.
    BTW I have another site that is a blog and I think it’s an advantage that it uses the default template because visitors often know instantly what type of site it is.

    Just another thing to add is that templates such as the ones from major template sites (like the one you pointed out,, etc.) don’t lend themselves very well to a blogging layout. Those templates are built to show many different types of information… plans, prices, features, a body content area, newest products, etc. On the other hand, blogs are typically meant to show chronological information, with a way to navigate through that info, not show off tons of different products.
    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for incredible designs (see or others for good examples) but I just wanted to point out the difference in the way they are designed.

    There was an blogged article I read some time ago, which I just cannot find, in which the author (I think) went round trying to guess the blog program from looking at the blog. If I recall correctly, s/he was quite successful.
    If blog programs were cars, then sometimes you’ll see the odd ferrari but most of the time it’s the mass-produced models, albeit with a few extra bells and whistles (so to speak).
    As soon as you introduce a new style, then arguably the takeup is so high that it’s impact is diluted very quickly.
    The key to this is not downloadable styles, or easy templates, it’s for the user – the blog owner – to realise that there is only one way to make your blog look different – do it yourself.
    Learn the CSS.
    Play with the CSS.
    Expect it to break.
    Setup a testblog and play there so your mistakes are not public.
    Everyone who helps in these forums knew nothing at one time, but they did what I just listed above.
    Matt & co. give us the tools – it’s entirely up to us how we use them.

    i think that it depends on what you’re interested in, and what your readership looks like
    for starters, those image heavy sites are torture for mobile device access, and generally slow loading for a lot of people still on dial-up…also blogs are generally text intensive and are more well suited to text elements and redesign of text elements versus heavy images. for example, at my own site,, my audience is a bunch of research wonks – they do NOT want images, just the information – and i a clearly structured layout (meaning that the main page itself IS the site map – versus using a ‘map’ to the site)
    but i’ve checked out many of the “Your Sites” under these same forums and was impressed by what some people have done…
    again, think about your audience…one place to look are those WP sites that are already heavy on image galleries and related photo archives (moblogging, photos, etc)
    from what i understand, there is no reason why you can’t completely recreate your own intense site design and apply wp elements and calls, or am i missing something? strikes me as unusually flexible in that regard…

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)
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