ThemeLab » Site News http://www.themelab.com We build High Quality, Good Looking Premium WordPress Themes that are Easy to Use and ready for just about anything. Thu, 10 Apr 2014 12:33:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Another New Theme Lab Design by James McDonald http://www.themelab.com/another-new-theme-lab-design-by-james-mcdonald/ http://www.themelab.com/another-new-theme-lab-design-by-james-mcdonald/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.themelab.com/?p=2708 December 5th, 2009. This was the date I last redesigned Theme Lab, coincidentally also done by James McDonald.

Probably the most prominent feature in the new design is the homepage design.

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December 5th, 2009. This was the date I last redesigned Theme Lab, which coincidentally was also done by James McDonald. Here’s a screenshot below for posterity purposes.

Theme Lab First Redesign by James McDonald

The Homepage

Probably the most prominent feature in the new design is the homepage design, which is notably different than the blog-style homepage of the previous design.

At the top are the three latest posts, then below a few featured articles to the left of a subscription area. Below are the latest five themes displayed in an interesting non-slidery way.

The Rest

Most of the rest of the features of the site are more are less the same, including threaded comments, tag pages for different types of themes, etc.

There’s a bit less emphasis on social media stuff, especially on the single post pages where I’d have share icons for MySpace, Technorati, and other sites you probably don’t even use.

There’s still a simple Facebook/Twitter link on the left side of the content area on single posts though. If you really feel the need to share a link on MySpace, however, feel free to do that as you normally would, but without the aid of a social networking icon link here.

Recommended Products

On every non-post page (except the homepage) I have a listing in the sidebar for “Recommended Products,” which are basically just affiliate links to paid WordPress themes and plugins I would recommend to others.

On single posts, this area is replaced with a “Related Posts” section.

Conclusion

So that’s about it. There may be a few kinks here and there, if you notice anything feel free to let me know in the comments (that are still threaded, by the way).

Oh and also, if you’re using IE6, this site probably looks like garbage because I use a lot of transparent PNG images, and I don’t intend on fixing it either. View it in a modern browser.

Let me know what you think in the comments! Oh yeah, and hire James McDonald for all your design needs, and hopefully me to code it.

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Theme Lab is 4 Years Old Today http://www.themelab.com/fourth-birthday/ http://www.themelab.com/fourth-birthday/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.themelab.com/?p=2697 As the title says. Yes, it’s really been that long. This year has been relatively quiet compared to previous years.

In the past year, four free WordPress themes were released along with two free CSS templates.

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As the title says. Yes, it’s really been that long. This year has been relatively quiet compared to previous years. In the past year, four free WordPress themes were released along with two free CSS templates. There was also one “donation” theme.

Like I outlined in my Thank You theme post, I’ve been a bit busy the past year off at school, hence the lack of posts. In the rest of the post, I’ll outline some future plans for the site.

The Future

First of all, a new site design is in the works. In fact, it’s already been designed. You can probably spot a few teasers on James McDonald’s Dribbble page, who was also the designer of the current theme you see here.

There are a few more theme releases in the works, which may or may not be commercial.

Conclusion

I hope to have some new themes and tutorials published in the coming weeks. Thanks for sticking with me so long, even through the times of not so much activity (like the past few months).

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Thank You Theme for Relay For Life – Looking for Donations http://www.themelab.com/relay-for-life-theme/ http://www.themelab.com/relay-for-life-theme/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.themelab.com/?p=2664 It’s been a while. Two months and 15 days to be exact. What have I been up to? I don’t really go much into my personal life here, but starting at a new college this past year has consumed a lot of my time. I’m participating in my school’s Relay for Life program. For those

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It’s been a while. Two months and 15 days to be exact. What have I been up to? I don’t really go much into my personal life here, but starting at a new college this past year has consumed a lot of my time.

I’m participating in my school’s Relay for Life program. For those who don’t know, it’s a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, culminating in a 12-hour event throughout the night. There are 5 days until the event.

I don’t ask for much here, but I wanted to make a quick solicitation here for donations. In return, I’ve developed a pretty simple Twenty Ten child theme that I’ve entitled, Thank You.

Thank You Theme

More About the Theme

  • Coded in almost entirely CSS, the only image is for the sidebar list item backgrounds
  • Makes use of WordPress 3.0 menus, supports descriptions too
  • Widgetized sidebar
  • Check out the demo

Being coded in almost all CSS makes it really easy to customize the colors. Also make sure to utilize the WordPress 3.0 menus with descriptions, otherwise the menus will look weird.

How To Donate

It’s pretty simple, just go to my personal Relay for Life page and click the “Donate” button. You’ll be taken to a page which will let you donate by credit card, directly to the American Cancer Society. There is a minimum donation of $5 (set by them, not me).

There is also an option to mail in your donation but credit card would probably be more convenient. Any donation is greatly appreciated.

P.S. To any Jersey Shore fans, the “DTF?” on my shirt stands for “Down to fight?” and not what you’re probably thinking.

How To Get the Thank You Theme

After you’ve donated, simply e-mail me directly at lelandf@gmail.com or my contact form with the full name you donated under. I get a notification of all new donations so I’ll know who donated what.

I’ll respond with the child theme as an attachment. I’ll be trying my best to monitor my email box throughout the day.

Support Policy

You should think of this theme as a simple token of my appreciation for donating, not like you’re purchasing a premium theme with support expected.

I have tested this theme pretty thoroughly with theme unit tests and such. And keep it mind it’s a Twenty Ten child theme, so the core theme should always be up-to-date with the latest WordPress standards.

Of course, if there’s some grievous error within the theme, just let me know via comment or email and I’ll look into it. Anything customization related, however, I really can’t offer support for it.

License

GPL. Once you have hold of the theme, you can do pretty much whatever you want with it.

Conclusion

I’m not a big fan of apology posts, and only like to post if I have something actually worth posting. All I have to say is, expect some more activity this summer when I have more time.

And keep following me on Twitter, as I still do check it every day, despite my evident lack of regular tweets.

Most importantly, thanks so much for supporting this cause. If you have any questions or comments feel free to shoot me an email or leave a comment below.

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The Best of Theme Lab in 2010 http://www.themelab.com/best-of-theme-lab-2010/ http://www.themelab.com/best-of-theme-lab-2010/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.themelab.com/?p=2554 2010 was a great year for WordPress. It introduced the much anticipated release of WordPress 3.0, along with a new default theme aptly named: Twenty Ten. 2010 was also a great year for Theme Lab, releasing lots of cool new content including free WordPress themes, tutorials, reviews, and other WordPress and coding related goodness. I’ll

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2010 was a great year for WordPress. It introduced the much anticipated release of WordPress 3.0, along with a new default theme aptly named: Twenty Ten.

2010 was also a great year for Theme Lab, releasing lots of cool new content including free WordPress themes, tutorials, reviews, and other WordPress and coding related goodness. I’ll list some of the highlights below.

Reviews

In 2010 I reviewed some pretty cool WordPress themes and plugins, here are some of my favorites:

  • Builder Theme Review – In this theme review post, I went over iThemes’ Builder theme which features a layout builder feature (hence the name).
  • Carrington Build Review – Another “layout building” WordPress product from CrowdFavorite.
  • Quality Control Theme Review – This theme lets you turn WordPress into a ticketing system, definitely one of the more innovative themes I’ve seen in a while.
  • WordPress SEO plugin review – This complete WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast is definitely my new SEO plugin of choice.

Theme Lab Downloads

Back on Theme Lab, I released some cool new design-related goodies.

Other Articles

Other Milestones

Most notably, Theme Lab turned three years old which I celebrated with a massive giveaway of many popular commercial WordPress products.

On a personal level, I also attended my first WordCamp which led to a video interview by Jeff of WPTavern.

Conclusion

Thanks for sticking with me through another year. Let’s hope for a great 2011 for the entire WordPress community!

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Massive Theme Lab Domain Blowout for Black Friday http://www.themelab.com/domain-blowout-for-black-friday/ http://www.themelab.com/domain-blowout-for-black-friday/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.themelab.com/?p=2483 As you probably already know, all the themes here (at the moment) are free to download. With no other paid products, I’m kinda left out of all the Black Friday WordPress deals this year. I can offer one thing, however, and that’s my unused domain names. I’ve had some listed before but rarely with fixed

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As you probably already know, all the themes here (at the moment) are free to download. With no other paid products, I’m kinda left out of all the Black Friday WordPress deals this year.

I can offer one thing, however, and that’s my unused domain names. I’ve had some listed before but rarely with fixed prices. For the following weekend, I’ll keep this post up. After that I’ll remove the names and prices from the post. I expect a lot of these names to sell quickly, so act fast.

The Domains

Most are registered at GoDaddy unless otherwise noted. Wherever its registered, a free account change (or “push”) is available.

BasicWebDesigns.com
BeWP.com – $125 (Moniker)
CodingPlanet.com
CommentStyles.com – $25
CoolTutorial(s).com (both singular and plural included, will not separate)
FreePremiums.com – $100 (site negotiable)
LoudPress.com – $35
NakedTheme.com
ThemeBible.com – $50
ThemeCoding.com
ThemeDeal(s).com – (both singular and plural included, will not separate)
ThemeNews.com

Update: Names that are crossed out have been sold already.

“Theme” related domains are very hard to come by these days, so this may be your chance to grab a quality domain to start a new site around it.

How To Buy

Let me know you want to buy through my contact form or via comments. I usually accept payment via PayPal, but let me know if you have another preferred payment method. It’s first come, first served.

I’ll periodically update the list to reflect sales.

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WPCandy Launches WordPress Theme Finder http://www.themelab.com/wpcandy-theme-finder/ http://www.themelab.com/wpcandy-theme-finder/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.themelab.com/?p=2450 WPCandy has just announced a new project called Theme Finder. It allows users to pick out WordPress themes “visually” through a number of criteria including by color, free or paid, and layout. Here is a screenshot of it below: My Feedback At the moment there are a solid number of themes in the database and

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WPCandy has just announced a new project called Theme Finder. It allows users to pick out WordPress themes “visually” through a number of criteria including by color, free or paid, and layout.

Here is a screenshot of it below:

themefinder

My Feedback

At the moment there are a solid number of themes in the database and according to the announcement post, there should be “tons” more on the way. Right now most of the themes are commercial, so it would be nice to see more of an even mix with free themes as well.

With an even greater number of themes, it may be a bit difficult to scroll through all of them. It may be useful to have a feature that will group all like themes together on top of the highlighting feature.

Even still, it should be a much quicker way of finding a new theme for your (or a client’s) site, as opposed to the old method of browsing through several different sites trying to find a suitable theme.

So check out Theme Finder and give it a try.

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Three-For-All Giveaway Winners Chosen http://www.themelab.com/three-for-all-giveaway-winners-chosen/ http://www.themelab.com/three-for-all-giveaway-winners-chosen/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.themelab.com/?p=2233 First of all, thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes to Theme Lab’s third birthday. The response was way bigger than any of the previous birthday posts, most likely because of the massive giveaway contest. The Winners As announced on Twitter yesterday, the winners are @momma_money, @WPminme, @ronaldb. I have already gotten in touch with

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First of all, thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes to Theme Lab’s third birthday. The response was way bigger than any of the previous birthday posts, most likely because of the massive giveaway contest.

The Winners

As announced on Twitter yesterday, the winners are @momma_money, @WPminme, @ronaldb.

three for all winners

I have already gotten in touch with all of them and in the process of organizing the prize distribution. Big congrats to them.

The Prizes

As a refresher, here were the prizes again:

Thanks to all the generous sponsors, couldn’t have done it without them! Well, actually I could have but it would have cost me $587.70, so it’s probably better that they donated the prizes.

Conclusion

I plan on writing up a review of the service I used to draw the winners, Tweetaways on my personal blog soon. There were a couple of minor glitches but overall it worked as advertised.

And now back to your regularly scheduled content. WordPress 3.0-friendly themes anyone?

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Theme Lab Is 3 Years Old Today – Massive Three-For-All Giveaway http://www.themelab.com/theme-lab-is-3-years-old-today-massive-three-for-all-giveaway/ http://www.themelab.com/theme-lab-is-3-years-old-today-massive-three-for-all-giveaway/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.themelab.com/?p=2211 Update: The contest is now over, and the winners have been chosen. I left a little hint at the end of my last post, and to some this may not be a surprise to you, but to any Theme Lab is three years old today! It’s exactly three years after the first post here. In

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themelab cake 3Update: The contest is now over, and the winners have been chosen.

I left a little hint at the end of my last post, and to some this may not be a surprise to you, but to any Theme Lab is three years old today! It’s exactly three years after the first post here.

In the past year, lots was accomplished. Most notably, a new design, along with several new free theme releases and various coding tutorials and tips.

I wanted to celebrate the third birthday with a giveaway, so I contacted a select few of the leaders in the commercial WordPress product arena to donate three of each of their respective flagship product.

Giveaway Inspiration

My inspiration for this giveaway is pretty much all thanks to a tweet from @bradleypotter.

WordPress 3.0 + Genesis 1.2 + Gravity Forms + BackupBuddy = Killer Website

Note: Genesis 1.2.1 was released yesterday. Contest winners will receive the latest version.

So I thought, those prizes would be perfect for a giveaway. And there should be three of each, since it’s Theme Lab’s third birthday, it would only be fitting. But I didn’t stop there.

The Prizes

Three lucky winners will win each of the following:

*This is actually a $39 coupon which could be used towards a Gravity Forms multi-site or dev license as well.

Check out the screencast below for a more in-depth overview of the various prizes.

And as promised, here’s my BackupBuddy WordPress plugin review.

How To Enter

I said in the video the giveaway would be like the previous giveaways here. I have since decided to use Tweetaways so you don’t have to leave a comment here to enter the contest.

  • Make a tweet with the phrase “Rocking for 3 years” and “@themelab”
  • More happy birthday wishes are welcomed, but not required.

Note: You have to use the exact phrase “Rocking for 3 years” because it’s how Tweetaways keeps track of the entries. And also make sure to put “@themelab” somewhere in your message. This is the bare minimum of an acceptable entry.

rocking-3-years

On Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 12:00 PM EST this content will be closed to new entries, and I’ll pick three winners (besides me) at random.

It would help if you followed me (@themelab) so we can communicate via direct message if you’re one of the three winners.

Conclusion

Time has really flown by. I’m using Tweetaways for the contest so in the comments, feel free to sound off with feedback of Theme Lab over the past few years. What do you think of the content? What do you think could be improved? I’d love to hear about it.

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Page.ly Free Site For Life Giveaway Contest http://www.themelab.com/pagely-giveaway/ http://www.themelab.com/pagely-giveaway/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.themelab.com/?p=2024 Page.ly is a WordPress hosting service which describes itself as simply the fastest & easiest way to set-up a WordPress website. Some of its highlight features include automatic core updates and automatic nightly backups in a secure web hosting environment. To get an idea of how simple it is to set up a WordPress site,

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Page.ly is a WordPress hosting service which describes itself as simply the fastest & easiest way to set-up a WordPress website. Some of its highlight features include automatic core updates and automatic nightly backups in a secure web hosting environment.

To get an idea of how simple it is to set up a WordPress site, take a look at the following “2 minute set up” video:

Joshua and Sally Strebel, the people behind the Page.ly service, have offered a giveaway of a free site for life for one lucky Theme Lab reader.

It’s really simple to sign up, just a simple comment + retweet. Read on for details.

Features

First, I want to go over some other features included in every Page.ly plan.

  • Managed WordPress Hosting – As mentioned above, automatic core upgrades and nightly backups are taken care of for you.
  • Premium WordPress Themes – Page.ly has partnered with commercial theme vendors like WooThemes and StudioPress to provide easy set up of their themes for an additional fee.
  • 5 Gigabytes of Storage – Which is plenty of space, 20 email boxes, unlimited email forwards, and 8-Core Xeon Servers

How to Enter

The rules are pretty much identical to our previous giveaways.

Keep in mind Page.ly hosting normally costs $14.98/month, and the winner will be getting a free lifetime account. Of course, their terms of service still apply.

  • Tweet a link back to this post saying you just entered the contest to win a free site from Page.ly, along with @themelab (my Twitter username) and @pagely (their Twitter account). If you need a short URL, use this: http://www.themelab.com/2024. For example: I just entered a contest at @themelab to win a free WordPress site from @pagely – http://www.themelab.com/2024
  • Post a comment here with the permalink of the tweet you just made. It should be in a similar format to this: http://twitter.com/themelab/status/10079435298
  • That’s it!

Please, only one entry per person. If I catch you trying to cheat, you’ll be disqualified.

On Friday, May 21, 2010 at 12:00 PM EST this content will be closed to new entries, and I’ll pick one winner at random.

You’ll be contacted through the e-mail address you leave in your comment, so please leave a valid email address, otherwise I’ll have to bother you on Twitter.

Conclusion

With all the hacks going around infecting WordPress sites with malware on certain hosts, it is very important you choose a host that takes security seriously. With Page.ly signing a deal with Firehost to maintain a secure server infrastructure, I’d say they do take security seriously.

So let’s start seeing those tweets + comments. Best of luck in the contest!

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Announcing the Underground + New Newsletter + Free Theme Bribe http://www.themelab.com/announcing-the-underground-new-newsletter-free-theme-bribe/ http://www.themelab.com/announcing-the-underground-new-newsletter-free-theme-bribe/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.themelab.com/?p=1724 Some of you may have noticed the new ladder image labeled “Underground” in the top right corner of the site. I’ve been working on this behind the scenes for a while, basically it’ll be a new section of the site with primarily paid content/access. What is the “Underground”? Inside I’m planning on having a few

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Some of you may have noticed the new ladder image labeled “Underground” in the top right corner of the site. I’ve been working on this behind the scenes for a while, basically it’ll be a new section of the site with primarily paid content/access.

What is the “Underground”?

Inside I’m planning on having a few things:

  • Private forums where you can ask for WP/HTML/CSS help directly from me.
  • Exclusive WordPress themes and tutorials coded and written by me, respectively.

Best of all, you’ll be able to buy individual themes and tutorials a la carte, or get an all access pass for the whole kit and kaboodle. Forum memberships will probably be a low monthly fee.

When will it launch? Aiming within a couple months, but an official launch date has yet to be determined.

New Newsletter / Mailing List

In other news, I’ve been meaning to start a mailing list for a while (that’s not directly tied to my RSS feed). I finally started one with MailChimp and it was actually way easier than I thought. I’m still learning more about it but the basic set up was pretty painless.

In the newsletter I’ll announce any news regarding Theme Lab, share any cool WordPress tips I come across, and other stuff. You can sign up using the form below.

* indicates required



Just the e-mail is required. You can enter your name too if you want the emails to say “Dear Your Name” at the top, but not necessary. Don’t worry, I won’t spam.

After confirming your e-mail address you’ll get the download link to the free WordPress theme below.

Free Theme

This theme is called Bright Spot, I’ve been using it as a “framework” for semi-custom themes. By framework I mean I customized the base theme with custom colors and a header, not to be confused with the likes of Thematic. I’ll go over this in the following screencast.

I went over all these in the video, but here are the basic features:

  • Three color schemes: blue, green, red
  • Integrates with WP125 for 125×125 ad management
  • Integrates with WP-PageNavi plugin for numbered pagination
  • Social networking links below each post

To download it, just sign up to the mailing list, confirm your e-mail, and the download link will be in the welcome email. You can check out the live demo too.

It might be a paid theme in the future, but for now I’ll leave it as a bribe to get people to sign up to the newsletter. If all you care about is the theme, feel free to unsubscribe right after you confirm your email address and download it. You’ll be missing out on some other newsletter goodies though.

Conclusion

Some of you may have seen this coming. I’ve had so many requests for detailed tutorials on coding/porting WordPress themes, but I felt that a high-quality detailed tutorial like that could (and should) be paid.

With the new forum, I’m hoping it can become a bustling community where people can get answers to their CSS and WP problems, fast. It will also be the home to all the free theme support, which means the current (sparingly used) support forums will be closed.

Oh by the way, the ladder graphic, Underground landing page were designed by James McDonald, the same guy who designed this site.

I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on this, any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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