Embracing the Latest Technologies

The best template designers are quick to embrace the latest techniques and tricks, whether they come in the form of a new jQuery slider or the latest additions to the WordPress framework itself. This means that they read numerous RSS feeds daily, and are first in line to beta test the latest versions of WordPress. By doing so, they can be quick out of the gate with a new template boasting the latest features.

Image Sliders

Web template designers are well aware of the latest trends—and boy do they come and go! In late 2009, a wonderful Flash slider called CU3ER burst onto the scene, and proceeded to generate a considerable amount of buzz in the template community. We're all chipmunks: if it's shiny with bells and whistles, it stands to reason that we'll respond with "Ooohh!"

Quickly following the release of this Flash slider, the very talented Christian Budschedl (also known on the web as Kriesi9) released his latest theme, and it just so happened to feature CU3ER. That theme, called Display10 and shown in Figure 8.4, went on to become one of the best-selling WordPress themes on ThemeForest.

This is «display», a unique Themeforest template for showcasing your work and perfect for any business in need of a stunning website...

Figure 8.4. The Display theme, by Christian Budshcedl, featuring the CU3ER slider

This is «display», a unique Themeforest template for showcasing your work and perfect for any business in need of a stunning website...

Figure 8.4. The Display theme, by Christian Budshcedl, featuring the CU3ER slider

These days CU3ER is less widely used in the template community, due to some licensing changes in early 2010 that limited redistribution rights. As such, many designers have recently moved on to the excellent Nivo11 alternative.

Nivo is particularly nice because it mimics the sliding effect found in CU3ER and other similar Flash sliders, but it does so with jQuery!

When adopting any new bells and whistles, it's important to first determine whether you're really embracing new technologies, or just following a trend that will soon lose its appeal.

8 http:// www.progressivered.com/cu3er/

9 http://themeforest.net/user/Kriesi

10 http://themeforest.net/item/display-3-in-1-business-portfolio-wordpress-/74542

11 http://nivo.dev7studios.com/

Custom Fonts

Up until recently, designers were forced to choose from only a handful of web fonts when designing their sites or templates. While you can use Arial or Georgia in your WordPress theme—and in some cases they might be the best tool for the job—it's essential that you take advantage of the latest tools and techniques.

It's almost laughable now, but as little as two years ago, we were using Flash (sIFR) to display text using custom fonts ... Flash! In its defense, it truly was the best option available at the time, and

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