Theme Hybrid’s new look

Theme Hybrid's redesign

Theme Hybrid is finally getting the redesign it deserves. I’ve been tinkering with different ideas for the last few months but hadn’t found the time to give the site’s design the attention needed for a complete makeover.

So, I finally just carved out a good bit of my schedule and finished it.

Well, it’s not completely finished just yet. The forums and showcase blog both need to be transitioned over, but that’ll take a few more days.

Before I get into the details, I want to give a major thank you to Ian Stewart for some great ideas he so generously offered a few months back.

Completely different front page

If you’ve taken a look at the front page of the site today, you’ve probably noticed a major change from before. I’m thinking this new look should be much more inviting to new users and help our community grow.

Theme Hybrid front page

Revamped themes page

The highest priority on my redesign list was giving the themes page a visual overhaul. No longer is it just a list of links; you can actually see the themes before getting more information on them.

WordPress themes page

Sliding panel

I’ve also implemented a sliding panel at the top of the page. The information given is slightly different for logged-in users and logged-out users. The idea was to add useful information and links without cluttering the rest of the design.

I tried to keep this useful rather than flashy. I pretty much hate all flashy JavaScript that gets in the way of a nice design.

Sliding Panel

What else has changed?

Pretty much everything is a bit different around here. Users of the Hybrid theme will likely enjoy the new Hybrid theme page, which separates the 30+ tutorials into categories, making it easier to find just the right documentation needed.

I’ve also implemented a new blog page that’ll give you easier access to older posts on this site. Along with that, I’ve added an archives, tags, and topics page. This site has never really been used as a blog, but I want to start taking more advantage of WordPress’ blogging features here.

The main goals of the design were to make everything easier to read and easier to navigate. If I’ve accomplished those two things, then I’m satisfied.

Built on top of solid code

In case you were wondering, the new design is a child theme based completely off the Hybrid theme framework.

Everything was done through my child theme’s functions.php, style.css file, and a few custom page templates. No, I didn’t cheat or change anything in my parent theme (Hybrid). In fact, my functions.php weighs in at just 4.39kb.

I just wanted to point out how versatile this theme framework is.

Final thoughts on the redesign

I’m using a lot more JavaScript than I’m normally comfortable with, but I tried to minimize this as much as possible. We’ll just have to see how long the sliding panel lasts. I’m also giving nested comments a test drive, which is something else I don’t normally like. But, I’ll give them a chance for now.

I absolutely refuse to view this site in Internet Explorer 6. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, I don’t care. Fewer than 1% of visitors to this site use it, so I won’t be bothered with its oddities or people that check a site’s design in IE6 just for the sake of checking it.

Of course, everyone will have their own opinions. Feedback is something no one is short on here, so let me hear it.

Mostly, I hope you enjoy the new design and find it easier to get around this site. I’m still working out a few kinks, so be patient if something’s a little wonky.

39 Comments

  1. rgregory

    Looks great! Keep up the good work


    1. rgregory — Thanks. I’m about to test out my first threaded comment here too, so let’s hope it works right.

  2. Paul

    This is Amazing !
    Can’t say no more.

    The ThemeHybrid is the only theme framework that really works.
    Among other frameworks out there, this is the only system that is
    constantly active and always on the development.

    The body_class thing that will be included in wordpress2.8 is already there in
    hybrid 0.5.1 which means that hybrid is a step further.

    I have no regret choosing hybrid as the only wp-theme that I use.

    Keep up the good work.
    Paul.


    1. paul — I’m just glad I managed to fit Theme Hybrid’s entire design into a few files as a child theme of Hybrid. Other than CSS, there was little codework.

  3. Many

    One word : awesome !

    You made an awesome work. Really love this new design : fresh look and more practical than the previous one.


    1. Many — I like that word. 😉


  4. Justin, seriously, view the site in IE6!! – You’ll be surprised big time!


    1. Benjamin Cahill — I’m not sure if I want to be surprised. It’s too early in the morning.

      1. In reply to Justin Tadlock

        In other words, it works great!


    2. But you should upgrade your IE6 to IE7 Benjamin, that’s long overdue 🙂

      Otherwise I’ve heard of little fellow called Firefox 🙂 Once you try him you’ll never look back.

      1. In reply to Thomas Clausen

        Oh yea, I use Firefox, but I have a testing machine that still has IE6 so I can keep compatibility with people that use it (lots of my visitors still do).


  5. this is just AWESOME !!!!!!!!


    1. dinu — Thanks. I’m glad you like it.

  6. Matthew

    Good work, Justin. I really like your use of space. It’s not cluttered.


    1. Matthew — That was the plan. I hate clutter. Mostly, I wanted to make everything more readable. I hated even reading the blog posts and tutorials on here before because it wasn’t clean enough.


  7. This looks great Justin.

    I especially hope that you start targetting stuff at us 🙂

    I have little need for the big commercial of joining (on the front page), when I’m logged in as a Exclusive Member.

    Here you could try to get users to upgrade their membership Normal to Exclusive. And the ones that are Exclusive could be made aware of your freelance prices and possibilities with custom plugins or something like that.

    But all in all I like it, and I can see why you thanked Ian, there are interesting similarities.


    1. Thomas Clausen — I’ll definitely be putting something more dynamic on the front page, depending on who’s viewing the site. I just wanted to get the design up first.

      I’ve already made my big honkin’ red “Upgrade” button for normal members. I just need to put it all together.

  8. Dhaval Jani

    Looks great!! I love the new site…. I also like the way my fonts look (nice n smooth) in this form while I am typing this comment!!! simple, practical and good looking layout… Congrats… you did it again…

    1. Dhaval Jani

      Opps i screwed up my email in previous comment so my avatar is gone n its all messed up hehe sorry…


    2. Dhaval Jani — I’ve always like the wavatars because they look kind of funky. 😉


  9. Looks fantastic! I am totally a Theme Hybrid junkie! It just does so dang much and does it beautifully!


    1. dawn — Well, I’m glad you’re addicted now.


  10. Looks great Justin. I love the Slide down!


    1. PegasusTeam — The sliding panel was fun to work on. It’s one of those things that’s fun to create that I thought I’d never add to my own site, but it works well with this site’s design and amount of content.


  11. Justin! I want to let you know that you are a wordpress Genius. You Free Theme is worth more that a million dollar.

    Thanks


    1. Victor — Now, if I could only get someone to give me a million dollars, I’d be a happy man. 😉


  12. Wow..!! Just Wow…!! Shows how simple can stand out in design..!!

    I just took a few sdays off and once back checked this site. At first i thought i landed somewhere else. Then i remembered you talking about not updating the themehybrid for long. hmm.. very nice customization.

    Especially the top pull down menu..!! How did you do that..??

    Every time i get stuck between making a new site loaded with graphics or making it simple yet elegant.. i just look at one of your sites… And justin next time don’t say you are less of a designer… This is a great Design you have got here. Simple yet Stylish. Kudos..

    Regards
    TJ


    1. TJ — I like to keep it simple. I’ll probably write up a tutorial or release some code for the sliding panel at some point.

  13. Mart

    Really slick, great work! Maybe a stupid question because I’m a complete WordPress Newby and came over your hybrid-site more or less accidently: Will you publish the new design as a child theme?


    1. Mart — Nope, I won’t be releasing this publicly, at least not anytime soon.

      1. Mart In reply to Justin Tadlock

        Ahh, what a pity 🙂 Anyhow, thanks for the reply and all the best!


  14. I like the look of your blog templates. I have downloaded them and can see that I should become a club member now for the best results. I have been using Alex Syseof’s blogging templates for a few years now, but I want something easier to navigate.
    I definitely want to experiment with the News template. So far I have it downloaded, but it is not transitioning well on the site.

    Once I pay the $25 then I can find more support, right?


    1. Rocque — Yeah, there are tutorials and loads of information available on the support forums to help you out.

  15. baheth

    Awesome theme! I really liked it, simple yet powerful.

    Great job Justin.


    1. baheth — Thanks. I’m glad you like it.


  16. You are so bless with your talent Justin. One word coming from me “AWESOME”

    Well, hope you will continue to share your knowledge by continuing also to give more brilliant themes at the coming days. Just enjoy what you’re doing I’m sure there will be a lot of blessings coming your way.


  17. Hi.
    I just already install hybrid-news and it’s awesome. I know I still have to learn how to optimize it, since I just new and only know a little about css. I love hybrid news… keep up the good work.

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