Jun 11 2007

HIStalk – WordPress Custom Theme

Custom Blog Design

(Click image to enlarge)

Medical Information Technology Blog His Talk powered by WordPressmedical blog, wordpress custom theme, wordpress design, wordpress designer, 3 column, fluid, custom illustration, samantha wisecustom wordpress design, custom blog illustration, blog design, e.webscapes, samantha wise, lisa sabin-wilson, medical blog

HIStalk came to me for a custom design for his new WordPress blog. Though, it’s not really a new blog, because up until we launched this design for him, he was blogging over at Blog City and was ready to make the change over to WordPress – and, of course, I was very happy to help him do just that! After having the talented Samantha Wise create a custom illustration for his blog, I created his new 3-column template, according to the specs he provided. . .

After installing the latest version of WordPress 2.2 on his domain, I set up his new blog design that has some great features he wanted to integrate:

  • A spotlight for his RSS Feed ‘above the fold’ to encourage more subscriptions. I created a nifty graphic and spot just to fit the bill!
  • 3 column layout with the content in the middle, sidebars on either side. He wanted this layout to have a fluid width – so it does expand and contract based on the size of your browser window.
  • PLENTY of room for his sponsors and advertisers
  • The ability for readers to print each article, if desired. I accomplished this using the WP Print plugin by Lester Chan
  • The ability for readers to share his articles on several social bookmark/networking sites – this was accomplished through the use of Alex King’s Share-This plugin
  • Widgets!! With the new release of WordPress 2.2 – Widgets are built right in . . so there is no excuse to create themes that are not widget compatible anymore. WordPress users will be demanding ‘widget ready’ themes more and more, so of course I build in widget functionality for his new theme
  • His Archives Page serves as a very nice site map, as well

Overall, HIStalk was a boat load of fun to do, and if you’re at all interested in news and information regarding the Medical IT world – this is the place to be. From his own About Page:

Let’s say you work in a hospital that’s a big customer of Siemens or McKesson or Cerner. You decide, on your own time, to write a scathing letter to the editor of a healthcare IT magazine, justifiably ripping your underperforming vendor, but not necessarily representing your hospital in doing so. It won’t be long before your CIO or other hospital executive will come knocking on your door, responding from vendor’s heat to shut you up, threatening all kinds of unpleasantness, like lawsuits or intentional service slowdowns. Maybe you wrote that letter on your own time, not representing your employer, but I bet you’d still be sorry. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from having retainer-based lawyers threatening and intimidating you for factual but unflattering public proclamations. I don’t need that kind of headache on my day job coming from something I’ve said on HIStalk. That’s why I don’t use my real name, which not coincidentally is why I can also be highly opinionated and critical when warranted. If you see me on the street and ask me directly if I’m Mr. HIStalk, I’ll give you a vague answer to avoid lying, but I won’t confirm your suspicion. No one who works for my current employer knows that I write HIStalk.

Sounds juicy, too!

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