A New Dawn (WordPress Theme)

Hi and welcome to the first post of my new blog!  Glad to have you come visit, I hope you find something interesting to read here.

Although for years I’ve been making web pages for personal use and volunteer organizations, as you can see from my work history (found at the Résumé link to the side of this post) I’ve haven’t worked professionally as a pure Web Developer.  But over the years my interests have been drifting ever more towards the Web, and now I find the jobs that most interest me tend to be centred around Web technologies.

And since a part of my reason for creating this site was to use it as a home for development projects of personal interest, why not make my first project the site itself?  So as a result I created a WordPress theme – a child theme of the “Dusk To Dawn” theme by Automattic.

You can download the theme I made here:

Loading Screen

In addition to a fresh new design and feel (that you are basking in as we speak), the new theme features a loading screen to hide the gradual display of the site by the browser as it loads.  This ensures a nice, clean transition when browsing pages of the site.

The loading screen came about because I found that due to the way the browsers were rendering the parent theme, you’d see elements of the parent theme flash on-screen before the child theme would get drawn over it whenever you loaded a new page.  While this could have been corrected by tweaking the parent theme, I wanted my child theme to be easily laid over a fresh installation of the parent theme, without requiring special configuration that would need to get repeated after every theme update.  So being a control freak and objecting to the impact this would have on readers’ impressions of my sleek, clean site, I implemented a loading screen feature.

What do you think?  Is it an improvement or just as much of an eyesore?  I like it, and definitely think it looks preferable to randomly flashing elements during every page transition.  Also it was an interesting development challenge getting it to work properly across browsers with consideration for the experience in legacy browsers.  Hopefully it works well in your browser, but if not, please let me know by leaving a comment below!

Theme Installation

  1. In the admin panel for your WordPress site, go to “Add Themes” and install the “Dusk to Dawn” theme, OR
  2. Download the parent theme from this link (http://wordpress.org/themes/dusk-to-dawn) , and use the “Upload theme” feature to add it to your site (Found in the Admin panel under Appearance>Themes) .
  3. Download the child theme from the link above and use the “Upload theme” feature to add it to your WordPress site.
  4. Then under the Themes area of the Admin panel, find the theme called “A New Dawn” and click to activate it.
  5. Modify the file <WordPress themes root>/new-dawn/js/theme_globals.js to reference the theme’s root directory.