First of all, I apologize for the slow response times for the site during the last couple of days. If you saw a new template appear a few days ago only to disappear again, and you have noted that the forum is currently offline, the reason is a major update to the forum which did not go as planned. As mentioned in a previous post, I have been working on replacing the current forum with a new one, and I have had the new forum plugin activated for testing for some time now. While configuring the new forum, I made a number of updates to other plugins and modified a number of pages. Something in this process caused an error which slowed down the server which hosts this site a whole lot.
During the weekend, the site went offline for a short while, and in order to get it back in good shape I reverted all updates and restored a recent backup of the content. Since then, I have been making the same updates as i did before, but with a lot more care and a careful eye on the performance meters to see what cause the error. I have also tweaked the settings of the cache plugin I use, and made a number of minor adjustments to the theme. I also switched the current forum plugin off, as it created conflicts with the new forum plugin if both were running at the same time. The result is sweet speed, according to Pingdom Tools (which by the way is well worth checking out for any site owner), the front page now loads in less than a second – down from 4 seconds in the beginning of March.
Now, with the content backup restored, the pages for the latest two templates I released were deleted. Don’t worry, I will add them back again very soon. With the site back in excellent condition, I want to share my schedule for the rest of the week, both for new releases and for my work in general. This is my (preliminary) plan for the week:
Monday, April 4th: Re-enabling the new forum for beta testing, removal of auto-registered spam users and release of an alternate version of Basic Profile – with a fluid layout, a new color scheme and an extra layout option.
Tuesday, April 5th: Release of two new templates. At the same time I will be introducing a new template series, in which each template will include a lot more options (such as multiple layouts and multiple color schemes) by default.
Wednesday, April 6th: A tutorial post about using the many color and layout options in one of the new templates. Also, if the forum testing goes well, an official launch of the new forum. Updates of other pages are also planned, including the WordPress themes page.
Thursday-Friday, April 7th and 8th: On thursday morning I will fly to Stockholm for two days of work and meetings. I plan to publish another tutorial on Thursday, probably about a topic that I have got several questions about: color harmony. But I know that spending time with the creative people I work with in Stockholm can result in exciting new ideas that are quickly turned into new material, so I will keep all options open for these two days.
As I have written in previous posts, I would love to publish material from other designers who share my view on web design and code quality. Themes for WordPress, Drupal or other content management systems, regular HTML/CSS templates and guest blog posts – all kinds of material that could be useful to the visitors of this site are welcome. If you want to contribute, please send me an e-mail and describe what you would want to share!
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.