Author: Category4 / Smashing Magazine
Today we are glad to release Agregado Lifestream Theme — a free professional WordPress-theme created by Darren Hoyt and Matt Dawson of Category4. The theme features a built-in lifestream module and contact form with custom control panel options. It is commissioned by Smashing Magazine and designed especially for Smashing Magazine and its readers.
Motivation behind the design
Here are some insights about the design process and development from the designer himself.
“Agregado was inspired by the recent popularity of services like Twitter, FriendFeed and Tumblr, and by a recent trend Zeldman calls ‘the vanishing personal website’. The theme attempts to rebuild that idea of a personal website, incorporating a lifestream carousel alongside standard blog posts, keeping your fragmented data all in one place.
The lifestream code was inspired by Kieran Delaney’s WP plugin “SimpleLife”, but rewritten to fix bugs and caching issues. The code is built right into the functions.php file, with control panel options which include contact form configuration. There are other ‘personal site’ touches – a user profile box with gravatar and bio, plus the built-in contact form. First-time visitors get an easy sense of who you are, what services you use, and how to get in touch.
The design itself intentionally deviates from the standard WordPress layout. Hierarchy is key – lesser content modules (Subcategories, Pages, Monthly Archives, Search) are tucked away so the user stays primarily focused on recent blog posts and recent lifestream items. Newer items are lighter with a larger font size, and get incrementally smaller and darker as they get older.
The theme also contains a custom Archives page. In the past, blindly clicking a monthly archive link (ex: “November 2006″) has never been useful to me, so I decided to display all posts in a grid format, chronologically, and categorized by month and year. If you find bugs, please leave a comment. We will continue upgrading the theme as necessary.”
Thank you, Darren and Matt. We appreciate your work and your good intentions.
1. Lifestream module with carousel
2. Custom archives page
3. Animated js dropdown menus
4. Built-in contact form module with AJAX sent/fail message
5. Built-in drop caps for lead paragraphs
6. Numerical pagination on archive and search pages
7. Author-highlighting for comments
8. User profile module
9. Widgetized bottom bar on homepage
10. Widgetized sidebar on single post pages
11. Print stylesheet
12. ‘More in this Category’ sidebar module
13. Control panel options for lifestream and contact form
* WordPress 2.6+
* Firefox 3.0+, Safari 3.0+, IE7+
* Host server with PHP5+ installed