Sinigang Sinigang For The Soul

What’s New with Sinigang For The Soul? Dress-up Plugins for WordPress
comment 1 Comment January 7, 2009 – 3:18 am
popping..

New year, new theme.

first WP theme sinigang_for_the_soul new_theme

If you are a frequent visitor to this site, you would have noticed that the site’s look have changed three times since I moved to Wordpress a year ago. The changes aren’t drastic and huge- just small things here and there hopefully to make it more appealing and user-friendly.

The beauty and magic of  Wordpress selfhosting is the countless possibilities of what you can do and what is available since everything is open source (free to change and do whatever for personal usage). There are plenty of FREE premium quality themes just sitting around, you just know how to search for it. I don’t have a favorite source for themes but usually just scouring the web with the right keywords would bring great finds. Try “free premium themes WP,” “wordpress free themes,” “quality WP templates,” etc. just mix and match!

I had several choices but the Purple Fever theme won it for me. It’s what I am looking for now, a structured and blocked layout. How can you go wrong with what was once a $49.00 theme now given away for free? The question is how long am I going to keep it? I can’t say because while changing themes keeps your site fresh and dynamic- boy, they take a huge amount of time to set up! For this theme, I had to redo and add several things that were not there before like putting thumbnail images on posts via custom fields, new plugins and changing the stylesheet (css) to the look and colors I wanted. Moving into a new theme requires different set ups which can be minor or major but doable nonetheless- just takes time.

Image Rotator

One of the things I incorporated with the new theme is the image rotator for my header. Everytime you refresh the page or go to the inner pages, the header image changes randomly. There are several plugins available for it at the WP site but none as simple, fast and easy to maintain as that from the brains of Wordpress himself, Matt Mullenweg. He calls it simply The Photo Matt Random Image Script.

The downside of Wordpress plugins sometimes is it is heavy on your site and the loading time is long or slow. I’ve uninstalled plugins because of that no matter how good they are. With this simple image script, you just create a php file, place the unlimited photos you want and call it like you would a normal image to where you want the images to appear and you have an  instant image rotator! It is such a no brainer script that I was able to create it without running into issues. If you want to try this on your site, check out his full article about it first and read the entire comment section for advice and fixes on images not rotating- because of caching issues in IE and Firefox. If you’re still having trouble, let me know I might be able to help or you can always try commenting on Matt’s site- you might get support from there too.

UPDATED: Contact Page

A contact page is a must have on any blog. It is a way for readers to directly contact a blogger for private messaging without broadcasting the message as a comment that may appear on the comments page when automatically approved! I am not sure WHY I am unable to install them on my site correctly since all these Wordpress upgrades! I have been using the most popular contact form plugin, CformsII for the longest time until it stopped working on the site during WP 2.6 upgrade! I’ve tried similar plugins to no avail and I really couldn’t pinpoint what’s wrong.

The solution? Contact form widgets!! I didn’t even know they existed until I was desperate enough to search for it. I just found the best contact form so far!! Check it out on my contact page. It’s simple, not flashy but just what I need and it was such a breeze to create! Thank you to Wufoo.com- another great web find!

I’m placing the contact forms that I initially tried here for posterity. They are still working and you can still send me a mail via this forms.

I am currently trying two contact forms which I found on widgetbox.com. One is from a site called Contactify.com which requires a simple registration that was fast and easy. And the other a Thunderbird Contact form promoting Mozilla Thunderbird. What the hey, I love Firefox so I’m using the form!! Contactify though still in beta is the highest rated/tested widget under its category so it’s worth the try. I can’t decide which one I like to keep so I’m placing the two for the time being. I’ve tried and tested both and got the mails quick! See both of them live on my contact page! When there, send me a note saying which one you like better! :-)

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