Oct
17
2008
0

Website Tweaks

Changing themes for a WordPress website is incredibly easy.  However, sometimes there can be slight problems in the transition.  I had heavily edited and customized the prior theme’s code so that it would be better suited to this website.[1]

Fixing things

Fixing things

Changing the website’s theme has involved a few small tweaks[2] :

  • For about four days the Articles section was merged with the Blog section.  This has been fixed.
  • I’ve found a really great plugin that allows me to insert footnotes into blog posts.[3]  My previous attempts at inserting footnotes manually were either time consuming or incredibly clumsy. [4]
  • I’ve made minor alterations to the current theme – background colors, menu ordering, etc.
  • Some people were separating their WCAB “legacy” number to ADJ number searches by semi-colons, rather than commas.  I believe there’s really no sense in fighting users. [5]  If a slightly different method makes sense to users, go with it.  I’ve adjusted the WCAB “legacy” number to ADJ number search function so that you can separate by semi-colons or commas.[6]
  • In printing out some Average Weekly Wage calculations, I discovered to my dismay that this website looked terrible when you tried to print it out.  Worse yet, the website header, sidebar, and other navigation information took up nearly a page.  This meant that a printout of a calculation might span two or more pages.  I’ve since fixed this using some particularly cool CSS.[7]
  1. Click this link see what the prior theme looked like. []
  2. Photo courtesy of CharlesThompson []
  3. Cool, no? []
  4. A special thanks to Mr. Simon Elvery for writing this great footnote plugin. []
  5. Unlike a certain “web-based” electronic adjudication management system… []
  6. Or both! []
  7. Well, my definition of cool, anyhow. []
Oct
13
2008
1

PDRater.com Facelift

New v5.0

New v5.0

First off, don’t be afraid, this is the same website you’ve come to know and love.  Change can be good!  Besides, this latest change is almost 100% cosmetic.

I have been meaning to change the entire look of PDRater.com for a while now.  Thus far I’ve been focusing on improving the workers’ compensation calculators and the website content.

Previously I showed the evolution of PDRater.com from a ridiculously ugly but useful website into a less ugly and more useful website.  Since these latest changes have been mostly cosmetic rather than functional, this should really be something like Version 4.647.  I figure with adding six new calculators in September and updating the look, I’ve earned the right to call this Version 5.0.

Besides, its my blog, right?

The last theme I used was based upon the fantastic WordPress Themer Kit, which is an incredible tool for people who either have little graphic design skill or who don’t want to build a new theme from scratch.  Ultimately, I just don’t have the skill, time, or inclination to build an aesthetically pleasing theme.  (But, let’s be real, its mostly the lack of skill thing).

That said, I am good at adjusting and incorporating.  The original Aeros theme looked significantly different than the one you see.  I’ve changed the background color, removed the slight transparency, highlighted the different sidebar sections, and moved the top menu to the left side.  Since the theme was open source, this mostly involved tinkering with the CSS and underlying PHP.

How do you like this new theme?  Shoot me an e-mail or leave me a comment.

Oct
09
2008
2

New Look for PDRater.com

I’ve already talked about how much I love using WordPress. Its easy to add new abilities to the program by uploading “plugins” into the program. Its also extremely easy to change the entire look of the website by uploading a new “theme.” Its basically as easy as swapping out a new faceplate for your phone.

I’ve already disclosed what a terrible designer I am. Its for this reason I’m looking for a new theme for this website. You know, something that isn’t a step-cousin to ugly. Take a look at the ones I’ve found.

Top Three Contenders

Since you’re here anyhow, you might want to look at the WordPress Themes page. Hundreds of free themes for every occassion. Just in case you’re a glutton for punishment, here’s a few more potential looks for this site.

Top Three Runners-Up

Let me know what you like and don’t like about them. While I’m no designer, I’m at least capable of chaning parts, combining parts, and putting in new graphics.

“Bonus” Material

These are some of the other themes I briefly considered. Some are just amusing.

  1. ParterProgram – Almost as good as Business-Style
  2. Nostalgia – GREAT menu system (which I may still use) but too monochrome
  3. Extend – A little too flashy for this site
  4. 8some – I’m just not a fan of left side menus or the layout
  5. Aspire – Good idea if this were a website in the Victorian era or it ran on steam-power
  6. Kitten – Everyone loves kittens!
  7. YAST – The theme is actually broken to begin with. Not a good sign.
  8. Company Website 001 – Another theme that just looks broken

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