Be Water My Friend… With Thematic

At last i’ve re-align my website. The last time i’ve updated my site design I’ve thought that this is it, i wont change it anymore, but after a couple of month i have some doubt, Google doesn’t give me enough love juice.

Google always acknowledge me on what that i put on my first page, and just that. For the time being I prefer to have more exposure for all of my posts content, yes the first purpose of the design before this (puspaningrum theme) is that i want more exposure to each new post content that I’ve write, but beyond that, looks like Google bot didn’t read the sidebar recent post, because of that, there’s no other topic that appear in Google search beside the one on my home page. So I’ve decided to change it.

Two choices

Blogzine design is the one that appeal in my mind, but then i have to change the typography a lot more, every time i’ve publish a post, I don’t have a lot of time, i want to post once a week or twice a week, without the hassle designing each of it (for now).

Then magazine themes comes to my mind, i love the structure and the small thumbnail for each post that could make my posts look more interesting, so i decided i want to create it. The only hurdle for this kind of design is the thumbnail, if i upload my images in my server then i can automatically scan each post to create thumbnail in the home page, but alas since the beginning of my writing in this site, i use Google Picasa & Flickr. I believe that images is the biggest bandwidth hog for a site, so i rely on both of them to do the job. Unfortunately my favorite thumbnail maker (timthumb) doesn’t allowed to create thumbnail from external server images, so it discourage me to re-align the new design.

Two month ago after i subscribe to Binary Moon (Ben Gillbanks), a friend of Darren Hoyt (my favorite WordpPess designer ) I notice that he release a beta version of timthumb for external server, like a message from heaven i was completely happy. That means that I could automatically creates thumbnail on the fly from major image hosting site like picasa or flickr, but back then, i was handling two client online store project (Living With Nara & Asibune) so i haven’t enough time to create it.

Now i have the times, for about two-three days i have finish my website re-align, why re-align? because i felt my old design is my signature, simplicity. I prefer to stick with its typography and color scheme and only re-design the content layout for the home page, category and tag page.

by shizenquest

The Framework

Thumbnail is ready, design sketch is ready, the psd file are ready so the last thing that i want to do is choosing the framework to create a new child theme, my recent design i use Thematic framework but then i was interested about WooThemes Framework
what i love about WooThemes is that it uses 960 gs for the layout, it makes the layout designing freakishly faster than others that don’t. Thematic doesn’t use that.

I have some doubt in choosing WooThemes, because unlike Thematic that offer fully gpl, the WooThemes have multi-license in some of the script, some of the admin feature use cc license. so i choose Thematic instead. Beside the utterly helpful forum , right now there are a lot of reading source about Thematic so i’m sure that it won’t be a problem for me.

I find many fascinating stuff designing with Thematic, i thought it’s going to be difficult because i see no child themes that uses multi-column for its layout, so i expected a rough ride in coding the themes, but fortunately i was dead wrong, it was very easy designing with Thematic :)

There are two methods that you can use to change the content layout in Thematic (as a child theme). First, is using a page template, like adding category.php or tag.php on your child theme folder and the other one you can add a filter or hooks in the function.php, Using page template is easy and quick but by using it you are ignoring the biggest advantage of using Thematic, the themes hook & filter.

Most of the Thematic feature that i’ve use in changing the posts layout of this theme is using Thematic filter. There are only two files that i needed to see to learn how to create a filter, function php and content-extention.php

About the code, i’ll share it in the future post about how i change the layout for the home page, the category page, the tag page, filtering post for image, get the image in post, changing the excerpt length.

Here are the screenshot of my old design (using Puspaningrum Theme)

The purpose of the old design is major exposure on the content on the home page and i was considering in developing blogzine for future upgrade, but as time gone by, i prefer in using a magazine layout for the moment.

here are the new design screen shot.

Right now, I won’t release the design to the public like Puspaningrum theme, because I want to polish it event more, like adding more admin feature, custom widget or as we all say to make it more premium :)

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6 thoughts on “Be Water My Friend… With Thematic”

  1. Nice design, glad you’re able to make good use of the new TimThumb beta. Do let me know how you get on with it in the comments.

  2. Hello, wow i didn’t expect Ben Gillbanks himself to comment in here, Thanks for the timthumb Ben :)

    to use timthumb, I use catch_the_image from wp recipes to extract the image from each post, then i put it in the index loop with url_encode, there are a couple tweak that i have to put in the timthumb like adding the domain for Picasa image ( and add internal link ( manually because it wont take images from my own domain.
    I’ll share it in detail in future post

  3. I love the new design. I’m looking forward to when you release it to the public! …Is that still going to happen?

  4. I experimented with woothemes. I love their framework.

    But even with their new framework, and WP 3.01 with integrated thumbnail operation, Woothemes can not resize thumbnails from Picasa, although it does it correctly from Flikr.

    They may have a workaround on their forums, but I refuse to pay money to see a solution that should be automatic.

  5. if you use the timthumb.php on woothemes, you should correct the picasa address on timthumb source code, the correct address for picasa album is
    ‘’ not ‘’

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