As we (the VisiOlo development team) lift our heads out of the weeds from the very structural work we have been doing so far this year, it’s time to make much more sense out of the ‘presentation layer.’ I’ve been a lot more concerned about ‘how it works’ than ‘how it looks’ and I’m sure that has been readily apparent to even the most casual observer.
But now.. NOW we get to start working on stuff that is a lot more fun. If VisiOlo is going to be a best-in-class tool, it needs a best-in-class user interface. This means everything (the Blog, the VisiOlo tracking and reporting tool, the Forum, special member content, and the sales pages) needs to come together in a unified and logical structure. Most importantly, it needs to be simple, clean, and easy.
As a first step in this effort, the VisiOlo blog has received a new theme and WordPress has received a new role. I’ve decided to use WordPress as my content and member management system — so instead of just running the blog, WordPress will run everything except the VisiOlo application itself.
For the new VisiOlo theme, I used Thesis – a Premium WordPress Theme from DIYthemes. Thesis keeps CSS and HTML code entirely separate and provides a lot of editable CSS settings through the WordPress dashboard interface. You can also customize CSS by using a special (and separate) custom CSS file and you can customize functions through a special (and separate) custom PHP functions file.
This ‘modular’ approach means Thesis is more search engine friendly (because the HTML code is nice and clean), easy to style (you can use the custom CSS file to create an entirely new ’skin’ for Thesis). and flexible (with custom functions changing layout is fairly easy).
Although I did some minimal styling, what you see now is darn close to Thesis out of the box. At some point, I’ll have someone more artistic than I create a sharper style for VisiOlo.com, but for now, I’m looking for clean, simple, clear, professional, and easy — slick and cool can wait a bit
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