What would you like to see?

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I am currently working on the last details on the next free template release, a fixed-width design that I originally built a few years ago but which I didn’t release at the time. Atleast not as a basic XHTML/CSS design. Two alternate versions I made of it was included in MODx CMS, but the original templates never got out of the “future releases” folder. While I was working with refreshing the code, I realized that it could be a good idea to ask if there is something special that you would want to see for future template releases. Is there some kind of design or feature that is missing that would be useful to include? Including variations customized for different screen widths is a common request, as well as including source images for easy image editing. But is there something missing in terms of layouts and designs? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas and help me build a better selection for you.

This article was written by Andreas Viklund

Web designer, writer and the creative engine behind this website. Author of most of the free website templates, along with some of the WordPress themes.

40 comments:

CJJune 14, 2010 at 18:23Reply

I meant visitors who DON’T have the images cached. Sorry.

CJJune 14, 2010 at 20:23Reply

Image size is I know always something you’re careful about, but with recent announcements from Google about more emphasis on site speed, smaller images should help especially in cases where visitors are regular repeat visitors who have the images cached.

HumJune 15, 2010 at 04:29Reply

I’d love to have a combined mobile version with the new template [@media]

AlbertoJune 15, 2010 at 07:10Reply

I think it would be great to have some alternative css files which can be choosed to modify the background, text and links colors.

Joomla YannickJune 15, 2010 at 10:00Reply

The trend goes to full flexible designs and absolutly overdozed templates. I don´t like this. I love clean ans simple designs with a clear structure. I would be happy to see more designs of this kind.

regards,
yannick

ChrisJune 15, 2010 at 12:30Reply

Hi, i would also like to see a fast loading template with the option of a iphone optimized layout.

Jascha – Kredit VergleichJune 15, 2010 at 19:33Reply

Yes, this is a good idea, it would be great if you provide a mobile ready template for the iPad, iPhone, HTC and so on…

Jason ColeJune 15, 2010 at 19:42Reply

I’d like to see some different types of navigation, with horizontal & vertical menus, along with tabs at the top. It would be nice if it was available in colours other than blue :P

Kary RogneyJune 16, 2010 at 05:25Reply

Hey Andreas, thanks for asking for input. Have you ever looked at adding social media connectivity for syndication and viral traffic promotion to your sites. Having the ability to quickly edit optin boxes for new give-aways offers is key without always having to go back to a graphic designer is a great feature. What about pop up lite-box video widgets that allow resizing of videos for replay so people don’t have to watch the video on the small side-bar player. Creating a footer widget may allow for expanded video and seo options, too. These are actually some of the features we offer when building out our pages for our clients… to just name a few.
All the best,
Kary Rogney
Co-Owner EmpoweredBlogs.com

AndreJune 16, 2010 at 14:49Reply

Template for iPad. Great idea.

ChrisJune 16, 2010 at 22:04Reply

Its a shame you didn’t had a new release for almost an year now. I always loved your templates. They are simple, still trendy!

Just make sure you keep the same innocence intact in your new releases as well!

DHSJune 17, 2010 at 00:58Reply

Excited to see it, keep us updated on it. Good to see you back!

LeandroJune 17, 2010 at 20:16Reply

I use your theme (andreas-09) and I like it, but I considered changing to a more sophisticated one like Atahualpa. It has more configuration options.
Specially better handling of header/banner images, column sizes, fonts and colors.
keep up the with good work and I’m sure I’ll love and update my sites to your new theme!

LeandroJune 17, 2010 at 20:18Reply

Sure you can edit and remove the name of the other theme I cited on my last comment. I just wanted you to know of a theme I really like. This one doesnt need to be published
=)

ColtonJune 18, 2010 at 11:02Reply

I just recently bought an iPad and I tend to use it more than my laptop! It’s just so versatile! So if you ask me, which technically you have, I say an iPad template. =) I’m actually thinking about getting rid of the laptop, that’s how much I love using my iPad!

ChrisJune 18, 2010 at 11:11Reply

Awesome, Offering something helpful for FREE is a way to give community back from which we have learned so much!

All the best Andreas! I am sure these templates will be better from what you have offered in the past!

Andreas ViklundJune 18, 2010 at 11:25Reply

Thanks for the input! Templates optimized for mobile devices is definitely a priority. My fiancée Johanna has both an iPhone and an iPad and both are really nice machines. I will get the new iPhone 4 when it comes to Sweden, so templates for touch screen devices is something you can expect later this summer. It has actually been the single most common request for a long time.

Would it be a good idea to include mobile-friendly versions in each template, or would you rather see templates created specifically for the purpose? I will probably do both, just asking to see what to start with!

LeandroJune 18, 2010 at 13:21Reply

These are nice gadgets but for my sites they are not even close to be important. The percentage of access from iphone/ipads is less than 5%.
Obviously it’s nice to have a mobile-friendly version of the site (I use a plugin for that matter), but my main interest if a nice and fast theme for web users.
Cheers!

SymbolJune 18, 2010 at 13:37Reply

I think fresh CSS3 stuff would be great to see. Like more round (“border-radius”), and shady things to not look too much ‘classic’.

BTW, why doesn’t your Submit button (below) change mouse style on hover?

RobJune 18, 2010 at 22:12Reply

The themes you developed are great but when a website becomes difficult (with lots of menu-items) I prefer a sepperate menu file that I include with php.
When you only make pages in css and xhtml you have to change a lot when the menu changes. The screens get wider and wider so most standard with will be about 900 pixels. Al lot of WordPress themes are looking old-fashioned after a few years.

Dave BJune 19, 2010 at 01:50Reply

Templates aimed at the mobile market would be great.

Also in a standard template I would like to have rotating images so that ever time someone loads a page the image could change if I have lets say ten different header images.

Also including some Twitter/facebook update box in the design.

ColtonJune 20, 2010 at 06:04Reply

—Andreas

I guess it doesn’t really matter to me how you do the templates, just that you DO the templates, haha. I am also thinking about getting the iPhone4. (I don’t know why, lol. I have an iPad!) But there will be times that rather than pulling out my massive tablet I can just hop on my iPhone and head this way. =D

JohnJune 22, 2010 at 11:24Reply

Really exited, Please do post when its live.
It would be great to have iphone version of it.

DanJune 22, 2010 at 14:01Reply

Andreas, I think almost everybody like “Simplicity concept”. Minimalist appearance and soft color transition from one object to another make a theme friendly looking to the reader. Sparkling things and a distance range color contrast make our eyes inconvenient. I want to see something simple, but elegant, not many distraction around the content space.

Nurul AzisJune 22, 2010 at 17:30Reply

Some of my ideas: Floating social media (Facebook, twitter etc) buttons on the right side (just like the feedback button on modxcms.com) . A short rectangle for a post summary with a little thumbnail (most themes I see, they always have big sizes). Bookmark button on up right. A small gravatar of the author beside a post/article. Related post with small thumbnails if it’s a blog theme located under each article. Simple image slider in a box sized in the top sidebar. Running text to the random link to articles (like in celebuzz.com). Would be nice to see those things within a theme :-)

Greetz, Nurul Azis

DanJune 23, 2010 at 04:36Reply

I agree with others that have commented on mobile templates. I’m finding that area very confusing, and having a really solid example to work from would be very helpful. Thank you by the way for your other templates, several of which I have used.

AinslieJune 23, 2010 at 09:58Reply

oops cant even key in my own domain name!

AinslieJune 23, 2010 at 11:58Reply

Ipod and templates could be interesting.

I would like to see templates to fit a purpose will be more beneficial first as ipad versions can be added later.

midjJune 23, 2010 at 11:09Reply

unbeliavable, andreas is active again here, well done !!

Nurul AzisJune 23, 2010 at 12:25Reply

Last night I thought for another feature as an addition for my first ideas. That is, A pop up of a small rectangle (just like the size of this comment field) wilt low transparency as a message (can be welcoming message, announcement and so on) that pop on the first load of the homepage (there is no much dealing for the usability though) but It just look cool in the artistic way :-)

AdekJune 23, 2010 at 13:20Reply

I think built it mobile friendly version is great, so no plugin need to enhance browsing experience for iphone, ipad and other touch screen devices.
Actually, I like your previous template but if there is a color switcher would be perfect since many kinds of website use your template while each talks about different thing in different niche. So webmaster without technical code can feel it easy to adjust the color that suit with their audience.

DavidJune 24, 2010 at 09:20Reply

Maybe a iPhone (iPod Touch) Template? Most of the new mobilephones supports the iphone safari size..

EdJune 24, 2010 at 20:29Reply

I am a fan of your free templates Andreas. I have used it on various of my clients websites. Yours are one of the best free templates around. One suggestion that I would render is of more professional/business templates with big/header business image, may be!

modaJune 25, 2010 at 13:13Reply

I guess it doesn’t really matter to me how you do the templates, just that you DO the templates, haha. I am also thinking about getting the iPhone4. (I don’t know why, lol. I have an iPad!) But there will be times that rather than pulling out my massive tablet I can just hop on my iPhone and head this way
thanks..

turkeytourJune 25, 2010 at 13:15Reply

I think fresh CSS3 stuff would be great to see. Like more round (“border-radius”), and shady things to not look too much ‘classic’.

BTW, why doesn’t your Submit button (below) change mouse style on hover?

DavidJune 26, 2010 at 12:50Reply

I would like to see templates that uses the same technique as Google with images. They just load one single image and then have all the little icons shown from that image by having coordinates in the CSS. It really speeds the webasite up. Should be common practice when making modern templates.

WikipetterJune 26, 2010 at 13:08Reply

“Would it be a good idea to include mobile-friendly versions in each template, or would you rather see templates created specifically for the purpose?”

The mobile friendly versions being included would just be awesome!

EdiJune 26, 2010 at 14:57Reply

It would be interesting to see extended use of printer and screen css control – I think it would be great if you could stay with one template and use css to provide device specific “looks” rather than having different templates for the same site. But I suspect it’s much harder to do it that way.

Also it would be nice to see a superfish menu option on a template to implement drop-down menus – we’ve done that on our main website and found that the superfish menus are easy to use.

I wish you well with your life and health issues – it’s always nice to see / hear of someone living their life well.

AnonymousSeptember 14, 2010 at 15:43Reply

It would be nice if the theme had 3 blocks (something like 250 x 250 px) that you can move around. Put the boxes on every place you want. Maby it can be done with java and ajax.
keep the
That way you can change the layout quick and keep your readers sharp.

Game RamaOctober 13, 2010 at 08:39Reply

Can you build some templates for WP 3.0?

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