Making Friends with BuddyPress

This week I finally had the opportunity to use BuddyPress – a forum program who’s very name implies we’ll be fast friends – but the friendship has been higher maintenance than I expected.

According to Wikipedia, BuddyPress is open-source social networking software package owned by Automattic that can be installed on WordPress to transform it into a social network platform. Perfect, I thought, for a client who organizes educational fairs.

BuddyPress includes its own theme, which looks like your average bulletin board from the late 1990s. Functional, but not pretty. Having never used BuddyPress, I was surprised when it activated and replaced my premium theme and had no idea I would have to shake off that built-in theme. Turns out, what I needed was, you guessed it, another plugin.

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The Difference Between Themes

how to choose a free wordpress theme, www.blogsitestudio.comAll WordPress themes are created differently, endowed by their Creator with peculiar features, that among them are responsiveness, theme options, and the pursuit of developer support.

This statement should be written into a WordPress constitution somewhere but it’s not, so I’m saying it here. While the WordPress platform may maintain a certain consistency of usability, the themes created for it simply do not.

When picking a theme for your site you just have to know what you’re getting into before you hit “install”.

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A Friend Indeed is a Theme Developer You Need

theme developer, blogsitestudio.comWhen you’re new to blogging and you see all these free WordPress themes available, you wonder: who are these geeks giving away their themes to people like me? Are they trolls hunched over computers in their parents basements until the day they finally get their big chance to work in a real software company? No.

Theme developers often are the software company and giving away free WordPress theme is not their main occupation. They give away free themes with the intent of possibly selling you a premium theme or plugin once you are ready for it. Theme developers are professionals, not volunteers and as such, it is worthwhile to enlist a theme developer’s help when you have a problem with their theme.

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Responsive WordPress Themes Future Proof Your Site

Currently, the hottest thing in the world of WordPress is responsive theme design. A responsive theme will detect what devices are being used to view your site and will reshape the elements to fit into the space in a way that reflects the site’s original design.

In olden times of the internet, this kind of viewing issue was about making a site friendly to various browsers: Explorer, Safari, Netscape, etc. Now, the increasing use of iPhones, iPads and other devices have forced designers to make WordPress sites visually pleasing on various screen sizes.

The key to responsive design is fluidity. Like water, the grids and images on a site move to fit a limited space. One way to determine from your computer whether a site is responsive is to grab the right side and collapse the screen. Does the navigation bar re-arrange itself? Do the columns stack up? Do the fonts keep their sizes? Those are all signs of responsive design.

Up until recently, mobile plugins have done the job of reshaping your site design to fit on a phone, but it basically reduces it to a simple stack of text boxes. But that look is just plain boring.

Responsive WordPress Themes,

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