Justin Tadlock

Redesigning Pop Critics: Part 1

Redesigning Pop Critics

As some of you know, I recently took over a new site reviewing popular culture — Pop Critics.

Being a WordPress theme developer, it was in my nature to change the look a bit.

The previous design didn’t focus well on the content. This is not to knock what Jason and Mike (previous owners) did with it. They had great content, but it was a bit hidden away amongst everything else.

The problem

I needed to get out a new design quickly.

There was little time to focus on completely making a new theme. I also needed something that could easily handle multiple authors without any individual author breaking something.

Child themes to the rescue

I’ve been talking a lot lately about how child themes are changing the face of the WordPress theme community. Ian Stewart has been letting us in on this little secret for a while.

I also recently released the Hybrid theme framework. That was my starting point.

I spent a good deal of one day mocking up the design in Photoshop. The next day, I laid out about 90% of the code. On the third day, I finished the child theme, tested it, and put it on the site.

I done this with a style.css file weighing in at 10.9kb and a functions.php at 3.96kb.

That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less.

I had given the site a complete overhaul with minimal work because I used a solid framework to build from.

What do you think?

There’s still more design tweaks to come as we take on new writers. I’ll probably go with a more magazine-style front page once the content warrants it. I still need to add some things such as a search bar, email subscription form, and a more dynamic sidebar.

For now, the basic design is on the site and I’m fairly happy with what we have.

There’ll be more to come in the next part of this series as I lay out some of the specific things I done from my child theme using functions.php