New WordPress Theme: WP-DaVinci

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WP-DaVinci is out latest offering to the premium WordPress themes world, and although it may not appear so on the surface, it’s far beyond anything we’ve put out in the past. WP-Davinci is our first attempt at creating a WordPress theme framework.

A theme framework is similar to a standard WordPress theme, except a framework is designed to be a flexible foundation to speed up theme development. It also makes it easier to update your theme whenever the need arises, such as when a core WordPress update impacts theme functionality. With a framework, updates can be done without messing up any custom modifications you may have made to the theme.

As I said, this is our first attempt at a theme framework, and we’re clear we have some work to do before WP-DaVinci can be considered a full-fledged theme framework. In the meantime, we want to get it into the hands of folks like you, and get some feedback on it as we continue to develop it over the coming months.

As it stands right now, what you have is a simple and elegant premium WordPress theme designed with efficiency and flexibility in mind. We’ve built in a few more options beyond what’s been offered in our previous themes, and here are some of the high points:

Multiple Page Layouts

If you take a look at the demo site, you’ll see there are 7 different page layouts, including 2-column, 3-column and full-width layouts. An added twist is that you can select your page layout site-wide via the theme settings page, or you can select it on a per-post or per-page basis from a drop-down box on the Add Post/Add Page console.

Featured Content Options

We’ve given you 3 different featured content options; a Featured Article slider, a Featured Videos slider and a Photo Galleries slider. You can add any or all the featured content to you home page (as shown on demo site), and you can also add it to an individual page or post via the Add Post/Add Page screen.

Banner Ad Integration and Management

There are several built-in banner ad sections that can be managed via the theme settings page. You can also manage the various ads on the Add Post/Add Page screen. That way, if you want a specific advertisement (different than the one set on your theme settings page) to appear on a specific post or page, you can simply add your banner ad code on the Add Post/Add Page screen when you create the post/page.

Pimped-Out Theme Settings Page

Yes, the standard Solostream theme settings page was due for a face-lift, and we gave it one. The new theme settings page is created with a jQuery tabbed navigation script to help shorten the height of the page, and it looks a whole lot prettier too (click the thumbnail to the right to get a shot of it).

Four Built-in Styles and Style Modifications via Theme Settings Page

You can see the four different built-in style on the demo site. In addition to that, on the theme settings page, you’re able to modify the look of the theme yourself. In particular, you can change the following items:

  • Body background (color or image)
  • Body font and link color
  • Custom logo
  • Navigation bars background color and link color
  • Post title font and link color

That’s a brief rundown. Now head on over to the demo site and take a look for yourself. We hope you like it.

Translate a WordPress Theme in 3 Easy Steps

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translate wordpress

Lately, more and more people are asking us how to translate a WordPress theme into a language other than English. And with an estimated 2 billion people now online, it’s no wonder. Fortunately, it’s a fairly straightforward process, and I’ve boiled it down into 3 simple steps.

This tutorial assumes the WordPress theme to be translated has been localized using the the GNU gettext framework. In other words, the theme is ready to be translated. If your theme has not been localized, you’ll need to go through each theme file and convert all English language text into a gettext function. See here for a short description on how to do that.

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New WordPress Theme: WP-Inspired

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WP-Inspired is the latest premium WordPress theme to roll off the production lines here at Solostream. If you take a gander at the screenshot (and demo site) you’ll notice WP-Inspired offers a few more splashes of color than some of our other recent themes like WP-Prosper and WP-Glide. In fact, we’ve given you ten different color options with this theme, and they’re all easily accessible via the theme settings page.

Like most of our recent themes, WP-Inspired is loaded with options. Multiple home page layouts, two featured content gliders, social networking account integration, recent photos galleries and a YouTube videos widget are just a few of the little nuggets you’ll have to play with. Be sure to take a peek at demo video on the WP-Inspired sales page to get the full run-down. Go ahead. Get Inspired.

How to Create WordPress Custom Navigation Menus

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All Solostream premium WordPress themes now use the Custom Menu Management function that shipped with WordPress 3.0. If you don’t have the latest version of your theme, you can download the necessary files from the Members Area (you’ll have to log in to access the files for download).

I also did a short screencast (below) to show you how the menu management system works. It’s fairly intuitive, but I’ve already had a few questions on it, so here ya go.

Why you should upgrade to WordPress 3.0 – In a word, security. The added functionality in WP 3.0 is great, but some people are happy with their current version of WP and prefer not to upgrade. It’s fine if you don’t upgrade, but it leaves you at greater risk of having your site get hacked. And I can tell you from experience, it’s no fun when your WordPress site gets hacked. So, for that reason, you should always run the most recent version of WordPress on your sites.

Now, here’s the tutorial I promised …

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How to Fix Your WordPress Site If It Gets Hacked (Part Three)

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PART III: Plugins to Make Your Life Easier

Below is a list of plugins that I have used to harden WordPress (and make my life easier). In no particular order, they are:

WP Security Scan – Scans your WordPress installation for security vulnerabilities and suggests corrective actions.

1. passwords
2. file permissions
3. database security
4. version hiding
5. WordPress admin protection/security
6. removes WP Generator META tag from core code

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How to Fix Your WordPress Site If It Gets Hacked (Part Two)

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PART II: Database Modification and WP Admin

If you’re reading this, I can empathize. It’s really a downer when you’ve realized that your database has been compromised, but hopefully we can get things working right again.

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How to Fix Your WordPress Site If It Gets Hacked (Part One)

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PART I: Introduction and Housecleaning

It’s no fun when your WordPress site gets hacked. I had a first-hand experience the other day when I was told by my brother that it happened to his site. After being able to successfully get it up and running again, I’d like to now share some helpful information and a step-by-step guide with all of you.

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New WordPress Theme: WP-Prosper

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WP-Prosper is the latest and greatest offering to join our growing stable of WordPress themes. Like all of our recent themes, WP-Prosper is a flexible theme that’s loaded with options and multiple home page layouts, as well as a clean, professional design to make your WordPress site really pop.

Here are just a few of the options. First, we’ve given you not one but two different featured content gliders; a narrow one and a wide one. We also added a nice little YouTube videos widget that you can simply drag and drop into your sidebar or footer. The the other addition is a simple Sales Page template that you can use to create a sales page or squeeze page. You can see all these options displayed on the demo site.

And of course, with the recent release of WordPress 3.0, we have integrated support for the slick, new WordPress menu system. I just posted a demo video on YouTube, so pop on over to the WP-Prosper sales page and check it out if you want to get a closer look.

Customer Spotlight Interview: Automoblog by Chris Burdick

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Site Name: Automoblog
Site Owner: Chris Burdick
WordPress Theme Used: A Custom Mix of Solostream Themes With WP-Genius Base

1. How do you describe the site?

Automoblog.net is a blog for car enthusiasts and consumers. We like to focus on what isn’t typically talked about in your “corporate” type car websites, pointing out benefits and problems with particular cars that add to or detract from the driving experience, instead of only talking about efficiency and numbers. The feel of Automoblog.net isn’t as much about journalism, but more like you’re sitting around the garage chatting with friends over a beer.

2. How old is the site?

We’re coming up on four years this month.

3. What made you decide to launch this particular site?

Originally it was a hobby. I’ve always been a car nut, and I couldn’t find a place online that talked about what I care to hear about, so I started my own site to vent my opinions on great cars as well as the crappy ones. Your big-name car magazines and websites tend to focus on mainstream, well-known cars, and while we definitely cover those, some of the more off-the-wall and one-off cars can be the most interesting. I wanted a place where people could read about those cars too, and become part of our community.

4. What’s you business model (i.e. how do you generate revenue) for the site?

It’s always changing, of course, but most of my income comes from direct ad sales. I don’t do any searching for partners, they all seem to come to me. Maybe I should raise my price. CPC has been a good steady income as well; I use Adsense and Yieldbuild throughout the site, and I’m currently testing Netseer, which is doing fairly well. I’ve tried some affiliate networks, and the only one I’ve found success with so far is Commission Junction.

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New WordPress Theme WP-Glide

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We just launched WP-Glide, the latest premium WordPress theme from Solostream HQ. In WP-Glide, we wanted to provide a clean, professional platform for the business website publisher as well as bloggers and online magazine publishers. So, we incorporated several different home page options, including a couple of options with some widgets positioned just under the top navigation bar. And like most of our previous themes, WP-Glide offers a built-in theme settings page that makes it snap to use.