Archive | May, 2011

New free WordPress eCommerce plugin JigoShop released – jaw drops

31 May 2011 comment icon19 | Categories: featured, theme news

Jigoshop from Jay Koster and the rest of the Jigowatt team shipped it’s first public beta today. Jigoshop is a free eCommerce plugin for WordPress. As someone who has played with just about every eCommerce plugin for WordPress, and who does a lot of work with other eCommerce platforms like Magento, OpenCart and Prestashop, I couldn’t wait to take Jigoshop for a spin. WordPress eCommerce plugins to date have always come up short in key areas like UI design, core Admin UI integration and at best were just ok – and a worst a maddening heap of crap.
I’ve just spent the last hour playing with Jigoshop.
Well let me tell you boys and girls – eCommerce …

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Roots HTML 5 WordPress Theme – First Look

30 May 2011 comment icon3 | Categories: theme news

So I’ve been dabbling in a bit of HTML5 of late and have been reviewing how things have progressed in the WordPress development community with HTML5 themes in the past few months. Previously we looked at the Toolbox theme and the reasons why you should start using HTML5 in your theme development.
There’s a few very interesting HTML5 themes starting to pop up for WordPress and we particularly like themes based on the HTML5 Boilerplate project, including:

BoilerPlate by Aaron T. Grogg
NakedCompass by Andre Deutmeyer (based on Starkers and the Compass CSS frameworks and also has a slightly modified version of the very nifty Boilerplate build script)
WP-theme-html5-boilerplate by Jeffrey Sambells (see related blog post here)

But the one …

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Must read WordPress theme development tips from Carl Hancock

19 May 2011 comment icon0 | Categories: tips

Envato Founder Collis Ta’eed posted an excellent response to that other recent post over on WPCandy.
I think Collis and the Envato team are a really smart bunch and clearly understand the concerns expressed by the theme development community recently with regard to themeforest. What’s more they’re not just listening – they’re acting on it and responding with new initiatives like Envato Elite. I’m waiting for Collis to call any day now to tell me he’ll be flying me down to Melbourne 🙂
In his post, Collis referred to a tweet from Carl Hancock (developer of one of the best WordPress plugins around – Gravity Forms) and how Carl would going to invoice Envato every time he …

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Configuring nginx, php5-fpm and user permissions

15 May 2011 comment icon31 | Categories: performance

“Nobody can hurt me without my permission.” Gandhi*

*(and anyone who has ever used Linux)

I recently moved the blog over to a pretty cool new server config, the same kind that some of the really big boys like Mashable,, WPengine and PHPFog use. What started off as a simple exercise to tune up my existing hosting environment to cope with the increased traffic we’re getting lately turned into a full month long exploration of how to tune the hell out of a VPS for optimal performance for extremely high load and in particular extremely high load with WordPress. (Sidenote: I find it hard not to fall down the rabbit hole once I start digging into …

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Say hello to

10 May 2011 comment icon1 | Categories: theme news

I was delighted to hear today that Jason Schuller (of Press75, themegarden) is in the process of launching – a new site for all things WordPress theme related including tutorials, articles & videos. Jason has gathered a crack team of contributors for including Lisa Sabin-Wilson, Mike McAlister, Orman Clark to name but a few. This is a really strong team of people coming together to share what will no doubt be incredibly interesting insights into their experiences in building cool stuff for WordPress. In fact, they’re straight of the gates with a great post from Sawyer Hollenshead about lessons learned in getting involved in the commercial theme building business. Some great advice in …

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Moving servers

08 May 2011 comment icon0 | Categories: systems

Hi all,
We’re tinkering with our plumbing at the moment and moving to a brand spanking new server to speed things up a little bit so apologies if you noticed some downtime the past hour. We’re all done now so everything should be nice and stable now.

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Great new Bug tracking theme from WooThemes – FaultPress

07 May 2011 comment icon2 | Categories: theme news

WooThemes have launched a cracking new WordPress theme this week called FaultPress. FaultPress is a highly advanced WordPress theme that transforms WordPress from a publishing platform into a full featured trouble ticketing system. This certainly isn’t a new concept. We’ve seen the Quality Control theme late last year, but what is interesting about FaultPress is the skill and attention to detail in it’s execution.
Some key highlights:

HTML5/CSS3 – A lot of work has gone into creating a wonderful looking UI for FaultPress
Responsive Web Design – This is a biggy. I’ve played around with FaultPress on both the iPad and iPhone and the responsive design execution is wonderful. We’ve not seen a lot of WordPress themes yet …

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New WordPress Theme Twenty Eleven – First Look

05 May 2011 comment icon15 | Categories: theme news

So it looks like the Theme Wranglers over at Automattic are getting close to completing the first version of the new Twenty Eleven WordPress theme which is based on the excellent Duster theme created by Automattic and recently released in the theme repository in April.
The team are working hard to ship V1.0 of Twenty Eleven with the next version of WordPress, 3.2.
I was up for a bit of semi productive procrastination this evening so I checked out the latest development version of WordPress from the trunk and took Twenty Eleven for a spin.
Here’s the initial scoop.
Twenty Eleven Unboxing
The first thing I noticed after firing up Twenty Eleven and dropping in a couple of hundred blog …

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Genesis Framework powers over 200,000 websites

04 May 2011 comment icon0 | Categories: theme news

In amongst the comments in the Hypercritical Analysis of WordPress themes post over on WPCandy came an interesting stat from Brian Gardner of StudioPress.
Rough numbers indicate that a 1/4 million sites are running Genesis. I’d say that’s a stable environment to build for.
That’s a huge number in my opinion – especially as the framework has not been around as long as some of it’s competitors. We’ve made no secret of our love for the Genesis framework and it would seem that we’re not alone by those numbers 🙂
Go check it out today.

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An Analysis of WordPress theme pricing

04 May 2011 comment icon0 | Categories: theme news

Some great stuff from WPCandy this week that has prompted us to publish a highly irregular post 🙂
First of all go read the excellent Hypercritical Analysis of $35 WordPress themes.
Theme developer Mike McAlister takes us through his thoughts on why he think commercial WordPress themes are priced too low.
Mike makes the very interesting and valid point that while themes have advanced significantly over the past few years that prices have largely remained static and are not a fair reflection of the value provided by some commercial themes.
As someone who builds WordPress themes for a living I can sympathise with Mike and know exactly where he is coming from. While I build WordPress themes for a living …

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