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Themes that adjust for screen size

  1. What about, say, an optional sidebar for widescreen monitors, which a person could fill with widgets that hold a secondary importance to the site. Things like RSS feeds. And only show that to people who have the room to accommodate it.

    I really wish that more of my screen space could be used. I'm at 1600x900, and WordPress doesn't take up more than half of the available space.

    I've noticed that WP blogs look great on tallscreen monitors. I just hope that those of us on widescreen will get the chance to make use of that feature.

    The blog I need help with is actionary.wordpress.com.

  2. There is a Themes Gallery and in it you will find that some Themes do provide for more than one sidebar. You can use the "features" to locate them.

    As for me I have the average screen resolution size of 1024 x 768 and when I arrive on any site that presnets me with scroll bars I click out never to return again.

  3. Oh, yeah, I use some of the themes that have options for different layouts. However, whichever layout you pick is going to be seen by everyone. I mean for the theme to have some way of sniffing for screen resolution, and then adding the column only if the resolution is wide enough. It would have to be a fairly un-essential part of the site, since only half the visitors would be able to access it. So I suggested an RSS feed, which could be given up if the site had to degrade, so to speak.

  4. Possibly there could be an option for a column containing the Freshly Pressed feed. Most sites would be appropriate for this feed. It would only appear on widescreen monitors. Then, the blogger need only check a box that said something like, "Display Freshly Pressed Theme On Widescreen Monitors" ... or something like that.

  5. People on widescreen (if you are talking about big, wide monitors) are actually quite rare.

    1024x768 -- 40.28%
    1280x1024 -- 16.97%
    1280x800 -- 16.89%
    1440x900 -- 7.71%
    1680x1050 -- 4.28%
    800x600 -- 4.01%

    That means over 78% of people are on resolutions of 1280px wide or less.

  6. By those numbers, 29% of users are on widescreen monitors. I think that's a lot of people to consider. Giving bloggers an option of accommodating those screen sizes, by providing something extra, is quite reasonable. I mean, if it's within the means of the good people over at WP.com, why not try it? Might increase hits for everyone.

  7. FWIW Staff do monitor these Idea threads but if you wish to make your ideas known to then directly to them you can do so. Here's the link > http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

  8. Thank you. I didn't know if they wanted to be bothered by them. It's sort of fun to sit back and imagine changes to the UI. That part is easy. The coding is the problem. :-) Hope you're well.

  9. Meh.

  10. MEH x 2

  11. Do ideas from this forum ever get implemented, do you know?

  12. [opinion]

    I should say, that maybe someday something like this will come to pass, but what are they going to do for someone like me with a 2560px wide monitor? Add 5 sidebars? Sidebars are for the most part navigational aids. I go to blogs for the content. Many times I might not even look at the sidebars or if I do, I just glance at them briefly. With 3 or 4 or 5 columns of widgets they would end up competing with the content.

    What would be a more intriguing thing to me would be the ability to choose to display the content in 1 or 2 or 3 columns.

    [/opinion]

  13. Yes, that would work. They have a theme that displays posts in two columns. The columns are narrow, however. It would be fantastic to be able to add a second full-size column for those of us with wide-enough monitors. Just anything to use up all that valuable real-estate, without cutting people out who use fullsize or tallscreen monitors.

  14. Yes, staff typically will add any ideas they think are good ones to their feature request database and then they go through those on a regular basis. There are a lot of things that have been discussed here in the forums that have been implemented. The thing is with something like this, it would require that they completely rewrite over 100 themes, or simply start implementing something like this on new themes, and since for the most part wordpress does not create their own themes from scratch, but implement themes by individual designers, the designers themselves would have to start implementing things like this. Staff stick pretty rigidly to the designer's original intent when it comes to implementing themes here.

  15. I see what you mean. However, if any changes are going to occur with themes at all, this would have to be dealt with at some point. For instance, the ability to choose layouts is included with all the new themes. The old ones aren't being changed. A feature like this could be worked into future themes.

    I admit I don't understand the code that would go into implementing this. I don't even know if it's possible. One of the reasons I use WP is to depend on better coders than myself.

    Hope you're well.

  16. I don't know, and have not seen any statistics, but the whole reason I bought a monster monitor was to be able to have perhaps two windows from different programs open side-by-side at the same time. I just checked my current browser window, and it is set at 1200px wide (clear area) and that is actually a little wider than I normally have it set. For me anything wider than that seems overwhelming.

    There are a bunch of things that from a design standpoint are difficult. What do you do with the header image? Do you leave it at say 1000px wide sitting on top of the super-wide design like a clown hat, or do you stretch and distort the image horizontally so it is as wide as the theme, or do you use a 2560px wide image and then just hide most of it on a narrow monitor? This is true for other image type page elements as well such as a background for the content area.

    CSS3 and HTML5 have greatly expanded the possibilities and are going to make it easier for designers to create flexible themes, they are still in their infancy.

  17. That's interesting. I've noticed before that, in the Coraline theme, and others, like Pilcrow, if you choose two side columns, the header image adjusts in size. So the technology is already there to accommodate an even-wider screen.

    I had forgotten that many users put two windows side-by-side. I would imagine the percentage of users on widescreen monitors who view everything fullscreen would be much smaller. :-)

    I enjoy discussing the possibility of such things, however. I'm definitely not "meh" in regards to hashing out concepts related to WP. I think it's very interesting.

  18. Yeah, on the image thing, it can be done, it is just that with photographic images (say a landscape) it can be tricky, and too much change in width can make the image lose sharpness. The only way to do it and keep the image sharp and not distorted is to actually have multiple CSS files (or sections within the CSS) and multiple header images for each basic width and then pull those images depending on how things are set.

    As a web designer, whenever I see suggestions such as this, my mind automatically goes to "OK how could I do this and what is going to blow up and then to is there anyway to keep it from blowing up?"

    One of the things theme designers are up against, is that they have to offer WP themes under GPL (open source) and the more complex a theme is, the more of thier time it takes to design them, and since they are not allowed to sell them for money (they can charge for support) then it just depends on if they have other ways of making a living.

  19. That's cool. I like knowing more about this. You mean the theme designers aren't part of the WP.com staff? Not being rhetorical (or snarky). Just didn't know. I sort of picture people itching to add something useful, without indulging in too much feature creep, and not sure which direction to take. Maybe it's easier to see these things when you don't have to ever consider actually coding it. I was just thinking that there might be creative ways to maximize all screen space that a person is using. Hope it's been a good discussion. :-)

  20. WordPress has actually got a "theme team" now, and they are the ones responsible for twenty ten, pilcrow and coraline, but in general wordpress uses themes that other designers have created. The theme team takes care of all the maintenance, upgrades, updates and bug fixes to existing themes here and then they also review, modify and add new themes on a regular basis.

  21. That's cool. I wasn't sure how it worked. I suppose the theme would have to use JavaScript to determine available screen size, and then some PHP to set up, say, a second column. Maybe doable? I don't know if themes use that. Otherwise, it would have to be added to the WP.com code in general. Perhaps as a checkbox in the Apperance > Extras page, that would read, "Display second column of content on widescreen monitors". Then any theme could work with that feature, if they wanted to. Hope you're well. :-)

  22. I am well, and I hope you are also.

    Yeah, it would require javascript, and the system would have to poll the browser on a regular basis in case the user narrowed or widened their browser window.

    All wordpress themes are written in PHP by the way.

    Even with a check box under appearance > extras, there would need to be styling done in each theme to support it. In some themes it might be pretty easy, but in a number of them I've customized in the past, it would basically require a complete redesign.

    Still, capabilities such as this are around the corner.

  23. @TSP
    G'night :)

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