Introduction to the theme

June 18, 2009  |  documentation, general, video

BigFeature is a flexible theme with Content Based Design. CBD is when the articles themselves changes the look of the site, with feature images and big headlines. Another important thing that this theme got that makes it a true CBD is that the rest of the design is simple and clean, with no distracting elements to take away the focus of the content. Adding a lot of space between elements is also essential to move to the next generation of CBD.

Stock Images

BigFeature is designed with stock images in mind, and as you can see on this demo site, lot’s of them have been used. You can set the width of the feature/article image in the settings panel. I bought these images at a stock website and found that I could save a lot of money setting the width of the feature image to 848px, since very many images were at least that wide for less money than the more high res versions. The pricing is different on the many cheap stock websites out there, but setting the big image width lower is no problem. Images are not required with the theme.

Big Article Images

The Idea is to also to design custom article images in photoshop with stock photography/vector and maybe some nice typography giving it a more magazine look. An example is the widget tutorial image, where I added some text to an stock image. Very simple, but it looks cool! It’s worth the extra effort, since there are so many blogs these days, and creating design for every article increases the quality of the blog.

Another important feature of this theme is that it is very easy to add images, and that they resize automatically. Other themes use custom fields or grabbing from the post for adding default post images, but I think these solutions are not good enough. In BigFeature you add images by uploading it as an attachment and marking off that the image should be used for this post as default on the frontpage and on article pages. Default images can also be added to pages, some examples here in this demo site. There is also a setting that makes the first image uploaded for a post automatically the default image. On the first page of the blog the first newest article (or one marked sticky) will have the big image at the top, if featured images is enabled.

If the setting for the feature image width is set to 848px (this is the default), then all images wider will be resized 848px width, but if an image below that is uploaded then it will be resized to the post content width (website width – (sidebar + margins) = 528px in this case). If an image below the content width is uploaded as the default image, it will be ignored.

Many Settings

BigFeature has many settings. You can customize the website with just some clicks, set the text font, change colors, upload a logo, add a page/category/link to the navigation or upload your own cool font for the post headings. Here is an overview of all the settings.

Navigation

It’s possible to add pages, categories and links to the navigation. The advantage with not including all the pages to the navigation, as many themes do, is that they can be used for other design purposes too. The “BF Page” widget make it possible to add pages to widgetized areas, for example designs in the main sidebar or an advertisement in one of the Adspaces. There are several navigation styles (a dropdown list) to choose between, to make the website look like you want. It is also possible to create more navigations, to add anywhere is the website (header/footer/pages/posts).

Page Templates

This theme is styled with some common website pages in mind. These are an about, contact and portfolio pages. It is also possible to create a simplified front page (other than the blog front). For the contact page the easy contact plugin must be installed, since there is custom styling added to the theme for this one. Other contact forms might also be used, but might not look so nice. Here is a tutorial showing how to design and set up these pages.

Sidebars and Custom Widgets

There are 7 widget areas for this theme, the 2 sidebars, one for footer links and 4 for ads. The ones for ads can be used for adding other widgets too, but they are not styled for this purpose. Ads can be added with the text or page widgets. The advantage with using the custom page widget is that you can upload and add images more easily (or style text ads). Ads can be added to the main sidebar too of course, and there is also styles for the wp125 plugin/widget. Several custom widgets have also be created for this theme (listed below). See the widget documentation for more information on the sidebars and widgets.

Child themes

Several free child themes have been made for BigFeature. A child theme is a theme that works together with it’s parent theme, in other words, the parent theme must be installed for the child theme to work. The child theme can radically change the look of the parent theme with just some small changes, and to good thing with customizing the theme this way is that you are not touching the parent theme, so there is no problem when upgrading the theme. The child themes can be downloaded for free here, and here is a live example of the free bfnav child theme.

Image gallery

Styling has been added for displaying gallery thumbnails. Here are some examples.

Nextgen plugin Gallery

The best gallery plugin for wordpress, with a very good back end for uploading and organizing the pictures. You can use this with lightbox and the clones. The only disadvantage is that there is no possibility to leave comments on the images.

WordPress image attachments thumbnails

Images must be uploaded to the post and added one by one to the page (with left alignment). Not very practical, but for a few images it’s an OK approach. One advantage to the nextgen gallery is that people can leave comments on the pictures.

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WordPress image attachments gallery

Displays all the images attached to a post as thumbnails with a link to the full image. One big disadvantage is that it displays all the attached images, even the default image, if one set (a way round this is to set the default image in the image url form field). Advantage here is same as the one above, images can link to the attachment template and then people can leave comments for them.

Typography

Big headings

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Phasellus et leo eget tellus hendrerit scelerisque.

In enim justo, rhoncus ut, imperdiet a, venenatis vitae, justo. Nullam dictum felis eu pede mollis pretium. Integer tincidunt. Cras dapibus. Vivamus elementum semper nisi. Aenean vulputate eleifend tellus. Quisque rutrum.

A list style test
  • venenatis ut, lacinia ut.
  • Maecenas pede metus, ultricies non.
  • Curabitur dapibus vulputate nibh.
  • Quisque eget lectus ut ipsum.
  • Vestibulum ante ipsum
  • Sed aliquam ultrices mauris
and cool lists
  • venenatis ut, lacinia ut
  • Maecenas pede metus, ultricies non
  • Curabitur dapibus vulputate nibh.
  • Quisque eget lectus ut ipsum luctus facilisis.
  • Mauris convallis leo sed risus. Phasellus sit amet sapien ut velit aliquet vulputate.
  • Praesent hendrerit tempus risus. Donec sed purus.
  • Pellentesque id nisl. Etiam velit.

Art will remain the most astonishing activity of mankind born out of struggle between wisdom and madness, between dream and reality in our mind

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget dolor.
Table Header 1 Table Header 2 Table Header 3
Lorem ipsum Lorem ipsum Lorem ipsum
Lorem ipsum Lorem ipsum Lorem ipsum
Lorem ipsum Lorem ipsum Lorem ipsum
 $querystr = "
    SELECT wposts.*
    FROM $wpdb->posts wposts, $wpdb->postmeta wpostmeta
    WHERE wposts.ID = wpostmeta.post_id
    AND wpostmeta.meta_key = 'tag'
    AND wpostmeta.meta_value = 'email'
    AND wposts.post_status = 'publish'
    AND wposts.post_type = 'post'
    ORDER BY wposts.post_date DESC
 ";

 $pageposts = $wpdb->get_results($querystr, OBJECT);

Caption

That was a lot, but wait…there’s more…

caption style 1

caption style 1

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caption style 2

woman6caption style 3

caption style 4
 
Yep, this is the end of the introduction to the BigFeature wordpress theme. Buy the theme here. If you want to see more, just browse this demo site or check out the documentation.

6 Comments


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