WordPress Theme Review: WebStyle 1.0

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A new theme by a designer via BloggerLounge seemed cool initially, but disappointed me pretty quickly.

WebStyle 1.0 WordPress Theme

  • Validation: 4/5
  • Look and Feel: 4/5
  • Theme Completeness: 3/5
  • Editability: 5/5
  • Total:16/20

Validation 4/5

I feel alright giving this a 4/5 with strong warnings on the CSS. The only error on the validation was a mistake on defining a vertical-align with a horizontal-align property. Could have easily been a brain-fart; I can forgive it. But the bigger issue is the 32-point long list warning against text and background color being the same. That’s the kind of warning that, if it had been checked over, should be remedied.

So yes, the point comes off for not paying due respect to the validator.

Look & Feel 4/5

I really do like the way the header clearly shows the current page the visitor is on by highlighting the background. This is a great technique (that really isn’t that difficult to implement) which the visitor intuitively understands to mean the page they are one. When it comes to users it’s a great idea to use whatever tools we have at our disposal, and this one in particular can speed up the navigation process for newcomers to your blog.

The contrast on non-highlighted pages could be a bit greater, though. Kind of hard to read.

I would also advise against using long site descriptions on this one, since doing so could push beyond the invisible limits and send the search bar packing. (Translation: it would push down the search bar beyond its intended position. Sorry for being verbose!)

Oh, and it’s nice to see the RSS feed icon prominently displayed in the sidebar. Very Web2.0-ish; it’s at best catchy (at worst trendy). Also notice the cool little icons at the bottom of each page. I like.

Theme Completeness 3/5

This is where WebStyle crashes and burns, in my opinion. Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic.

The 404 page is very strange. Apparently the theme is looking for a sidebar2.php file in the theme directory, but there isn’t one. So it breaks the page. Needless to say, that’s a very bad thing for anyone visiting your site who happens to miss real content and land on the 404. Very bad.

Any users of this theme: It’s an easy fix. Just edit your theme’s 404 template and delete the following code completely from the page:

<?php include (TEMPLATEPATH . '/sidebar.php'); ?>

Just because it’s an easy fix doesn’t mean it’s okay. The theme author should have already taken care of problems like this.

Editability 5/5

The five stars are justifiably earned on this one. The CSS is painstakingly described via comments, even more so than I usually do. I commend author George Trigueros for that…I picked up a couple pointers on commenting just looking through it.

Lesson learned: you can’t describe your own code to too much detail, especially when you are releasing it to the public.

Closing Comments 14/20

Overall this theme is okay. I wouldn’t trust it enough to throw it online without combing through it a few times, but that’s just for the sake of precaution. Luckily, due to it’s careful commenting, doing so would be a breeze.

By the way, if you are interested in having your code checked over for validation and editability, feel free to use the contact form for a free quote on your project.