Artisteer is a prolific web design automation product that helps you easily create fantastic custom website templates and blog themes. With Artisteer you can easily become an expert in web designing, editing graphics, coding XHTML and CSS, creating templates for Joomla, WordPress, Drupal and other CMS in minutes without the need of much technical skills.
- Create WordPress theme designs in minutes
- Export created themes to Blogger, Joomla, WordPress and other Content Management Systems
- Choose and use many included design elements, from backgrounds to photo objects and buttons.
- Design themes without any need to learn Photoshop, CSS, HTML or other technologies
Artisteer has an easy-to-use interface with a wide range of options to customize the look and feel of your template. The changes you make in the menu options are instantly reflected in the preview. This allows you to change the design or further enhance your template according to you needs.
If you are in search of a CMS and are considering MySource Matrix, an Open Source Content Management System then the following screencasts will give you an overview of the two interfaces it offers for content managers, authors and administrators.
The Simple Edit Interface
This screencast gives an overview of the Simple Edit Interface of MySource Matrix. It allows authors to edit content using the WYSIWYG editor on a simple web page interface. This interface offers a strictly limited set of functionality and is designed to allow authors with little or no MySource Matrix knowledge and limited technical skills to edit content.
The Administration Interface
This screencast gives an outlook of the Administration, or the back-end interface which provides access to the full contents of the MySource Matrix system and all of its functionality. The interface is non-technical but it does require training to be able to operate properly.
If you are worried about downloading a WordPress theme that contains malicious scripts or unwanted code, then you might want to to check out a new tool Theme Authenticity Checker (TAC). It scans all of your WordPress theme files for potentially malicious or unwanted code.
So, what does TAC do?
TAC searches the source files of every installed theme for signs of malicious code. If such code is found, TAC displays the path to the theme file, the line number, and a small snippet of the suspect code. It also searches for and displays static links.
If TAC finds something is malicious or simply unwanted, it tells you what file to edit. It even enables you to just click on the file path to be taken straight to the WordPress Theme Editor. TAC also lists static links. All listed static links might not be necessarily bad, it just lists them so you can quickly see where your theme is linking to.
After downloading and extracting the latest version of TAC,
- Upload tac.php to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
- Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress
- Go to Design -> TAC in the WordPress Administration
- The results of the scan will be displayed for each theme with the file name and line number of any threats.
Theme Authenticity checker is free to use and is compatible with WordPress 2.8.
Download Theme Authenticity Checker.
Picapp enables publishers to gain access to a plethora of premium images updated every minute. These images can be used in your blog posts at no cost!. PicApp holds over 20 million premium images covering a wide array of categories. It’s content aprtners include Getty Images, Corbis, Splash News, Pacific Coast News, Newscom, Image Source and more.
And, it supports popular blog platforms like WordPress, Blogger, TypePad and more. PicApp provides publishers with an amazing collection of images for free.
Following are a couple its intriguing features,
- SEO Booster: A built in mechanism which guarantees that each picapp image is indexed by search engines. It not only provides you with free access to premium images but also aids your blog with additional traffic.
- A WordPress plug-in to add images straight from your WP editor.
It enables you to preview the theme live, save and download your WordPress theme as a zip file. It lets you design a complete WordPress theme with widget support in an easy and fast way, without any knowledge of programming languages.
WordPress, one of the popular open source content management systems is also widely popular for its community support. It has a vast directory of free themes and plugins. Earlier we have covered five handy WordPress plugins for Social Bookmarking and Image Galleries. Now, we are geared up with some handy Search Engine Optimization(SEO) plugins for WordPress.
This plugin will enable you to create an XML-Sitemap of your WordPress blog. It supports all of the WordPress generated pages(tags, categories, archives etc.,) as well as custom built pages. Each time you edit or create a post, your sitemap will be updated and all major search engines that support the sitemap protocol, like ASK.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO will be notified about the update.
In order to build the sitemap, you need to have write permissions to the root directory, where you WordPress blog is installed. It provides you with options to set priorities to posts, include/exclude specific pages and change the frequency of posts, static pages, categories etc., Once your sitemap is built it also displays the process time and the memory usage.
- User interface to customize all parameters like priorities etc.,
- Available in many languages.
- Generates automatically a sitemap for all types of WordPress pages.
- Calculates a priority for each post, based on the number of comments.
- Notifies Ask.com, Google, MSN Live Search and YAHOO about changes via ping.
- Includes a WordPress filter for other plugins which can add their pages to the sitemap.
- Generates a static XML file as well as a zipped version
Now, this is a nifty piece of CSS which helps you build a sitemap straight from HTML unordered list navigation.
This can be customized (see the slickmap.css file) to adapt to your needs and it allows up to three levels of page navigation. Web designers, especially, would love it.
“The idea of SlickMap CSS is to streamline the web design process by automating the illustration of sitemaps while at the same time allowing for the predevelopment of functional HTML navigation.” says Matt.
It was tested with Safari, Firefox, Opera, and other standards-compliant browsers (well, because IE seems not to be so standards compliant this piece of CSS might look crappy there).
Features and Benefits
* Eliminates the need for additional software
* Easily revised with clients on-the-fly
* Clickable anchors with visible URLs
* Design process results in working HTML code
How do you use it?
Pretty simple by following the steps below (found also in the README.txt file):
1) Create an HTML file with an unordered list of links. SlickMap was
designed to style actual linked navigation, not simply lists, so make
sure to include anchor tags. See index.html for the correct formatting.
2) Apply slickmap.css as you would any other stylesheet, using it for both
“screen” and “print” media as seen here:
<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” media=”screen,print” href=”slickmap.css” />
3) Within your HTML file, the link to your home page should be at the top
of the unordered list and have the id of #home. This is required to pull
the home page link out above the rest of the site tree.
4) The SlickMap default is 4 columns. In order to change the number of
columns, you simply need to change the class of the PrimaryNav unordered
list (col4, col5, etc.) SlickMap CSS will accomodate 1 to 10 columns,
some much better than others.
NOTE: Due to Internet Explorer’s difficulty in rounding numbers, you may
find the farthest right column drops down instead of appearing in line.
If need be, you can resolve this issue by adjusting the CSS to use a
slightly smaller percentage than what you really need, i.e. (pun intended)
24.9% instead of 25%.
5) Depending on how you use these files, you may need to correct the image
paths within the CSS file.
WordPress, one of the popular open source content management systems is also widely popular for its community support. It has a vast directory of free themes and plugins.
Previously we have covered ‘8 Photo/Image Gallery Plugins for WordPress‘. Turning focus to social bookmarking, it’s always beneficial to spread the word about interesting articles or blogs you come across on the web. Social bookmarking buttons provide users an easy mode to share and bookmark interesting articles or webpages. Social bookmarking not only helps visitors save interesting links but it also enhances the traffic of the blog. Here are five handy WordPress plugins for social bookmarking which help you with this regard.
This plugin enables your blog visitors to easily add your blog posts to multiple social bookmarking sites like delecious, reddit etc., or to send a link to your post via email, AIM, Facebook, Twitter and more.
Web performance expert Nicole Sullivan discusses a set of best practices in the creation of supremely fast, visually impactful web sites at Yahoo headquarters from Sunnyvale, California (video – 42 minutes).
Drupal, an open source server based content management system (CMS) and which we have mentioned here (built in PHP/MySQL technology), can support a wide range of web designing including blogs, community, promotional websites and many more.
Drupal provides easy tools with the help of which various sites can be easily developed. Its minimum requirement and easy installation makes it even more user friendly. Various modules available with Drupal.org further enhance the scope and usability.
Here we are presenting a few modules which can come extremely handy while building a college community website based on Drupal.
Enable users to create and manage their own ‘groups’. Each group can have subscribers, and maintains a group home page where subscribers communicate amongst themselves.
This module will be helpful in creating groups for members like teachers, students etc. You can even group students according to their class. The advantage of this module is that, we can have group posts that are only visible for those group members.
See the Organic Groups module in action here.
This module will display any views date field in calendar formats, including CCK date fields, node created or updated dates, etc. Switch between year, month, and day views. Back and next navigation is also provided for all views.
You might find it useful for posting college events and other stuff to be shown on the calendar.