If you’ve visited JaypeeOnline the past couple of weeks, then you already know or have seen that it’s sporting a new theme & layout. If you’ve only been reading the RSS feeds or Email subscription then you probably haven’t seen it yet so when you get the chance, please do check it out.
This theme reboot has long been overdue. The last time I changed my WordPress theme was back in November of 2008, so that’s almost 5 years. That’s the longest time that I’ve had or used a single theme. My previous theme was pretty good in terms of design and being user-friendly but it was time to change it because some parts of the framework no longer supported current WordPress functions and other Internet trends such as Google Page Speed.
The theme I’m using right now is a Magazine type theme called Hot Topix by MVPThemes which I purchased from ThemeForest. I chose this theme because it fits my preference in terms of design and functionality. A couple of other reasons why I chose this theme is because it has some built-in features that previously required plugins to implement on my blog and because it provided good theme support via its own Support Page.
Here’s some of the theme’s built-in features:
- Compatible with WordPress 3.6
- SEO Optimized
- HTML5 & CSS3
- Translation-ready (contains .po/.mo files)
- Comes with XML dummy data (posts, tags, categories, menus)
- Easy implementation with Google Adsense ads
- WordPress Featured Image support
- WordPress Custom Background support
- WordPress Custom Menu support
- Custom Theme Options panel
- Custom CSS section in Theme Options – users won’t lose custom changes to CSS when you update to a new version
- Built in Google Analytics support
- Optional homepage blog layout
- Free lifetime updates
- News ticker
- Mobile/tablet versions use “swipe” navigation for carousel widget
- Easy logo customization
- Threaded comments
- Ability to turn Featured Image on posts on/off
- Ability to turn social buttons on posts on/off
- Optional Author Info at the bottom of posts
- Custom copyright/footer text
- Custom favicon
The theme is well coded and I didn’t have to make a lot of changes or tweaks. The only customization I did was changing the background image, adding more post results in the Category page and removing the author meta or link from post details because it exposes the author username. I also edited my About page after not updating it for a long, long time.
Aside from installing a new theme, I also did a lot of cleaning up on my blog which included removing several plugins that were no longer needed as the functions they provide are already built-in with the theme or replaced them with new plugins.
- WPTouch – automatically enables a simple and elegant mobile theme for mobile visitors of your WordPress website. I no longer needed it because the new theme has a responsive layout so it can be viewed on any laptop or mobile device.
- Contextual Related Posts – allows you to display a list of related posts on your website and in your feed. I also no longer needed it because the theme has a built-in Related Posts feature.
- Yoast Breadcrumbs – easily adds breadcrumbs into any template. Another feature built-in to the theme.
- SyntaxHighlighter Evolved – allows you to easily post syntax-highlighted code to your site without losing it’s formatting or making any manual changes. Switched to Crayon Syntax Highlighter.
- Exploit Scanner – search the files and database of your WordPress install for signs that may indicate that it has fallen victim to malicious hackers. Replaced by WordFence.
- WP-Ban – lets you ban users by IP, IP Range, host name, user agent and referrer url from visiting your WordPress’s blog. Replaced by WordFence.
- Login Lockdown – limits the number of login attempts from a given IP range within a certain time period. Removed this app because it hasn’t been updated in more than 2 years and replaced by WordFence.
- WP Security Scan – checks your WordPress website/blog for security vulnerabilities and suggests corrective actions. Replaced by WordFence.
- WP Firewall – investigates web requests with simple WordPress-specific heuristics to identify and stop most obvious attacks. App not updated in more than 2 years and replaced by WordFence.
- ServerBuddy by PluginBuddy.com – provides various tools & tests to analyze server configuration & troubleshoot issues. Plugin not updated in more than 2 years.
- TimThumb Vulnerability Scanner — plugin that keeps TimThumb installations up-to-ate and free from vulnerabilities. Also checks for signs of compromised sites. My new theme doesn’t use the timthumb script so I don’t need this anymore.
- Crayon Syntax Highlighter – manage Language files and define custom language elements with regular expressions. post syntax or code within the post.
- Simple Comment Editing – gives users the ability to edit their comments for a period of time. Installed this to make commenting on this blog more user-friendly.
- Growmap Anti Spambot Plugin – defeat automated spambots by adding a client side generated checkbox asking the comment author to confirm that they are not a spammer. Simple yet effective way to keep spambots from leaving comments.
- WordFence Security – free enterprise class security plugin that includes a firewall, virus scanning, real-time traffic with geolocation and more.
The WordFence Security plugin is now one of my favorite plugins and a must-have for any WordPress powered website or blog. Not only does it replace multiple plugin functionalities but it provides a whole lot of security features that are essential to keeping your website or blog safe. It sends you alerts and notifications for logins, failed logins & blocked IPs, enforces strong passwords, locks out login failures & forgot password attempts, scans comments for malware and phishing URL’s and even provides “Two Factor Authentication” just to mention a few.
If you want to know more about this plugin, stay tuned for my detailed review of WordFence Security including its Premium features in the next few days.
Although I’m done with most of the work, there still some things that I need to fix or tweak so please let me know if there’s any bugs or errors that you come across while visiting the blog.
Hope you all like JaypeeOnline’s new look and feel. I’d appreciate any comments, suggestions or feedback regarding the new theme and layout. Thank you and have a nice day!