Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! New Look for The Freelancealot Herald

Freelancealot.co.uk is happy to release the news that our blog, The Freelancealot Herald, has been given a new lease of life with a WordPress upgrade and facelift.

Screenshot of The Freelancealot Herald Blog
Screenshot of The Freelancealot Herald

We have upgraded to the most current stable version of WordPress, 2.9.2—although the RC1* for WordPress 3.0 is available for download.

When we made the decision to upgrade we also decided to switch to a WordPress theme framework so we could easily adapt the design in future. I’m not going to include a list of the many frameworks available, however after some research, the top three (in no particular order) seem to be Thesis, Thematic, and  Hybrid (the last two are free to use, although you do have to pay USD 25 per annum for support for Hybrid). We decided on Hybrid, as we’d used Thematic for a client’s site recently and we wanted to try something new.

As usual, the WordPress upgrade went smoothly with only a few of the plugins having to be upgraded as well. We installed the Hybrid Tabs plugin, to which we added a custom tab to show our latest Tweets. We chose the ‘Hybrid News’ child-theme, and installed the Hybrid Hook Plugin to add some fixed and absolute positioned graphics to the background using CSS to position the images. All in all, the Hybrid framework was straightforward to use, but having a little knowledge of PHP helps when it comes to customising it.

Wordpress Installation & and Design

We’ve validated the front page, pages, and category pages as XHTML 1.0 Strict, but have been unable to do so as yet with the single post pages due to the Bookmark Me plugin including an invalid attribute, namely badgetype=”logo”, in its code. We are currently looking at ways to fix this.

The Freelancealot Trumpeter
Illustration by Euphrosene Labon

The colour scheme has been carried through from our main website, Freelancealot.co.uk, and we have Euphrosene Labon (freelance writer, artist, cartoonist and illustrator) to thank for her illustration of the ‘Freelancealot Trumpeter’. We would also like to thank New Media Intelligence for the tailored news for the Virtual Assistant News feed .

We’re still tweaking bits here and there, but overall we’re pleased with our new look. We hope you agree. However, if you do experience any problems, then please send us an email with the details.

And of course, if you have a service or product that would be of interest to our readers,  or if you would like to contribute an article, then please get in touch.

* RC1 is the stage after beta and before final release