Mou

New site design – moumeukv4 hits the web

Seems like years since I last updated this site (18 months in fact), but after so long my photoshop trigger finger was starting to itch a little and I decided it was time for a change. And so I bring you – moumeukv4, the latest of the mou.me.uk WordPress themes.

Up to now I’d followed a similar pattern of design, so this time I’ve gone all out to mix things up. Gone is the black text on a white background, gone are the heavy layout graphics on every page and gone are the ridiculous sidebars that span 9 or 10 screens down.

Key differences are:

  • A completely reworked homepage, designed to take put some of the focus onto the rest of my online life. I’m posting a lot of photos at the moment, both on momentile and flickr (for the dailyshoot project) and I’ve always played a lot of xbox, so it made sense to have all of those featured at the front of the site. That along with my blog posts, my mobile blog and the place I seem to spend a lot more of my time nowadays, Twitter. Last.fm and a latest projects section will be added soon.
  • The all over “dark” look. Its something I’ve really fallen for over the last year and this was the perfect opportunity to see what I could do with a black/grey colour scheme. I’m still not sure how well the link colour works against the shade of grey used in the background, so either of these may well change in the next few weeks depending on how much they bug me.
  • A smaller header/logo etc. After checking the old site on an 800×600 resolution I developed a sympathy with people that were forced to see nothing but my site logo and a title on every page load, so now there’s a lot more visible above the fold.
  • A brand spanking new 404 page, starring the gorgeous Lissa. Thanks for modelling for me! :)

I also had to write a couple of plugins to get the homepage looking the way I wanted it, running alongside my Momentile on WordPress plugin (shameless plug). Most notably the Xbox recent games plugin took a bit of research to get the info I needed, so once I get some time to tidy up the code and add an options page I’ll get it released.

And thats about it. Hopefully the design won’t start pissing me off in a few weeks, and I can go another 18 months without getting “the itch”!


22 Responses to “New site design – moumeukv4 hits the web”

  1. Looking fab mou, i guessed some bits, new the colours would be same, but I like the way you have got rid of the white box that made the main site, I need to do that on mine soon. And the suttle gradient lines here and there look great too, how did you get lilly allen to model for the 404 page? You must be a pretty big face in the web biz mr mou.

  2. Looking fab mou, i guessed some bits, I knew the colours would be same, but I like the way you have got rid of the white box that made the main site, I need to do that on mine soon. And the suttle gradient lines here and there look great too, how did you get lilly allen to model for the 404 page? You must be a pretty big face in the web biz mr mou.

    • mou

      ha! I’ll let her know you think she looks like Ms Allen, I’m sure she’ll be well happy with that! 😉

  3. Nice redesign indeed!

    Please post another blog entry when that Xbox recent games plugin comes out, won’t you… i *must* have that plugin!!!

    • mou

      No worries Richard, I might get that released this weekend if I have time. I’ll be sure to blog about it when I do. :)

      • Excellent :-)

        I look forward to hearing about it!

        One more qusetion… would I be correct in saying that the current colour scheme and layout is all your own work (i.e. not one of the standard downloadable templates)?

      • While i’m on the topic of color schemes/themes etc… on my blog I’ve copied the “sandbox” folder to a new name, modified the bit at the top of “style.css” to reflect my new theme, and I’ve begun trying to sort out my own theme.

        However, despite my knowledge of HTML & PHP and my vague knowledge of CSS, i’m finding it *very* difficult to figure out. Very difficult indeed. There are so many files!

        Anyway… i’m perfectly happy with the layout of the basic sandbox theme – i just want to sort out the fonts/colors etc… but i’ve no idea where to begin! Are there any basic tips you can give me for modifying “sandbox” accordingly? i.e. which files do i need to care about? what is the general structure?

        the readme file in “sandbox” isn’t helpful as it references example files that don’t seem to be in my copy of the theme!

        So… if you can offer any guidance whatsoever, i’d *really* appreciate it!

      • I’m sorry… i keep spamming your comments!

        If you don’t mind me asking yet another question… how did you make the layout on the homepage different from the rest of the site?

        • mou

          – Yep, all my own. To be honest its not a very graphic heavy design. The general layout itself I think is only 3 small images + logo, and the rest is CSS. Only other images used for layout are the image replacement on the section headers on the homepage.

          – I don’t have a copy of sandbox to hand, but it’ll be relatively simply to change them I imagine. First search styles.css for all mentions of font-color and work out what they apply to. If no colours are set, you could probably just get away with assigning a font-color on the “body” tag, and then doing the same with links (the “a” tag).

          – index.php is the homepage. So I styled just styled the content area how I wanted it and left out the sidebar.

  4. Also, if you don’t mind me asking… how did you get the twitter/facebook/digg etc… links at the bottom of your posts?

    And how did you put Twitter on the homepage? is that a plugin too, or just HTML pasted into the theme?

    Thanks again!

    • mou

      The share links at the bottom of the page are just a little something I threw together. The homepage twitter section is powered by Twitter Tools. I nearly wrote one of my own, but this does everything I need so I decided there was no point! :)

      • thanks for the info…

        as for the share buttons, did you literally make that all yourself (i.e. photoshop the icons, decide which ones to use, find the necessary URLs for them etc…)?

        Basically, any work you have done yourself, I am happy to figure out my own way for, but if you had a good starting point for those links, i wouldn’t mind knowing what it was :-)

        Also, how did you get rid of the last from Twitter Tools (the “More updates” one)? Or did you somehow apply CSS to the last item and turn it into the “MORE” button?

        • mou

          I used a free icon pack I found online, the links I worked out for myself just from a combination of toolbars, bookmarklets and googling.

          I’ll put it all in the blog post at some point soon, if you still need it you can grab all the info from there. :)

          • Thank you very much for that… if you really would be so kind as to provide the xbox plugin and the share buttons code or plugin that would be amazing! I’ve come up with the best attempt at sharing buttons on my knowledgebase site, and to be fair, it took me ages and is pretty awful!

            I realise, however, that some aspects of your site you’d rather keep private, otherwise everyone’s sites may start to look like yours, but if you were planning on sharing the sharing links plugin/code, that would be great :-)

            Thanks again! Your help is really appreciated!

  5. Glad to see you got your new theme released, it remind me i need to update my blog when i have the time. Ive been too busy working on my gaming clans/communities website atm. It will get done eventually, i hope!

  6. mou

    I know what you mean, when it comes to putting together designs for your own site it always takes a back seat to just about every other project that comes your way.

    Definitely worthwhile putting a week aside for it though!

  7. Any news on the Xbox recent games plugin, or maybe releasing the social bookmarks as a plugin? There are plenty of social bookmarks plugins out there already, but they all either hide the bookmarks or look terrible!

    No worries if not – i know you’re a busy man!

    • mou

      Hi Richard

      I did a quick post about the share icons here: http://mou.me.uk/2010/02/14/adding-custom-share-bookmark-links-on-posts-pages/. I’m not sure I’ll be releasing it as a plugin, simply because as you say there are plenty of others out there that do the same job. Plus I’ve written it to use the sharing services I care about, which may not be the same services other people are wanting to use.

      For the Xbox plugin I have a plugin respository location ready, so I just need to finish the coding side. I got stuck on this obsession with making it so you could display several accounts at once, but so far I’m not happy with the implementation. I think I’ll probably abandon that idea for the first release, get it out in the wild with push an update out later to add multi gamercard functionality.

      Thanks for showing interest, that’s what pushes me to get things done. :)

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