Design process

Some time ago I had an idea of creating a small site, containing a blog only with optimistic and positive articles. When I met a friend of mine who really liked the idea – we just rushed into buying domain and hosting.

It was a month later, when we had 8 articles, but still some boring theme as design. It was high time for me to design something proper for the topic of the site and its name.

Literally in English the web site would mean “I’m beaver”. In Bulgarian it sounds different because the word for beaver is almost the same as the word for good and that’s how I set the positive tone. From here I started sketching a beaver for the logo. From paper sketches I moved on to Illustrator and PhotoShop. It took me a whole morning until I made something that I liked.

  • It was time to find a nice WordPress theme and modify it a bit. I stopped at BlackPower theme by SkinPress. Here are some of the modifications I made:
  • Add a wooden background – connected to beavers, and setting more natural look to the page
  • Remove the twitter background picture. Twitter is not that popular and broadly used in Bulgaria
  • Change the place of the search bar, as it doesn’t need to be on so important location as it is in the original theme
  • Remove RSS feed image and link – those things are not used in Bulgaria
  • The background of the content area was changed in Photoshop. Now it’s more colorful, and brighter
  • All advertising fields where removed
  • All text message (Older posts, Newer posts, Author, Category…) were renamed from the php files into Bulgarian as the theme didn’t have localisation.
  • The background of the main container was lifted few pixels on top of the header black background. This gives a nice 3d effect of the environment.

Plugins: There are some plugins that I use on each WordPress installation. Contacts form 7 is something that you would always need, and it always goes hand by hand with Simple Captcha. Than I’d use Google XML Sitemaps and All in One SEO Pack for search engine optimization. WordPress.com Stats is not a must, but it’s nice to have it. I advise you to use Google Analytics as main (and only) analytic tool. Additional stuff that I’d use is WP-Cumulus, which is probably the best (visually) plugin for tag cloud. Another plugin makes it easier for users to add the web site to a popular Bulgarian social network.

That’s how I glued together this humble web site. I don’t claim it unique as the theme is built on the foundations of another, but still it’s slightly changed. After being add to many search engines and web directories, Bobre-sam.eu reaches 173 visits in May. By now (21/06/2011) it has only 13 posts.

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