Particles is the newest WordPress theme from Devlounge, released in mid August 2007. Particles is meant to be extremely lightweight, easy to build upon, and extremely fast for all browsers.
The Creation of a New Theme
With all of our existing themes, we generally followed the same layout pattern, just with a different looking style around it each time. For Particles, we wanted to take a step in another direction; a rather unusual and different one for some people when they think of “normal” blog layouts. So, we went at it creating a grid based, portal style design with posts and excerpts being displayed in columns of four. This grid style layout is something I’ve used on a lot of client sites and blogs lately, and every time the design hit my portfolio’s “Testing Ground”, people would email me asking “is this going to be released?” I wanted to offer the same type layout to the WordPress community, but without all the unnecessary baggage. That’s where Particles comes in.
Features at a glance
Particles is built with a few features in mind, particularly some of these:
- Fully Flexible – The entire layout is fluid, and will adjust according to your screen resolution.
- Em’s – For the fire time, I’ve finally used em’s for font sizing instead of pixels. That makes for much better accessibility.
- 4 Seconds or Better – The Particles theme has loading time of 4 seconds or less on a minimum connection speed of 56K.
- Images – Where are they? Particles used virtually no images, adding to the lightning fast loading process.
- Foundation – Particles is the perfect theme to build your next project upon. With the highly flexible layout, you can turn it into whatever you please without editing code for hours on end.
- XHTML and CSS Valid – Valid code and WordPress go hand in hand, don’t they?
- Widget Ready – The sidebar is widget ready and ready for action.
Have A Look
What better way to experience Particles then have a look at it or test it in a live environment? This teaser screenshot should do plenty of convincing and get you to download this theme and try it for yourself. Our feature list should be tantalizing enough, shouldn’t it? But, if you still aren’t convinced, head over to the Astereo Testing Ground to try the theme for yourself. (If it isn’t active, find the theme switcher and select “Particles”.)
Enough talking. Hopefully we’ve convinced you to make the jump and download the Particles theme. There are a few things to mention first. First off, when downloading this theme zip, you’ll find two folders inside. One will be called “particles” and the other will be called “plugins”. Inside the plugin folder you will find The Excerpt Reloaded, a plugin this theme relies on to cut down the size of the excerpts on the homepage. Please upload it to your …/plugins/ folder and activate it before uploading and activating Particles. Next, upload the entire particles folder to your …/wp-content/themes/ location, head to the presentation tab, and activate it. Now, start enjoying lightning fast simplicity and beauty!
If you wish to change the excerpt size, please see the Main Index Template of Particles (index.php in the particles folder) and The Excerpt Reloaded page. Or, if you wish to turn excerpts off all together and display the content or WordPress generated excerpt, use the following: < ?php the_content(__('(Read More)')); ? > or < ?php the_excerpt(); ? >.
This theme has been tested in IE6, IE7, and Firefox with no display problems. If you encounter what appears to be a problem, please let us know in the comments, forums, or via the contact page (send it to AJ). This theme is compatible with WordPress 2.0+, and should work on 1.5+ as well.
Download Now – Particles Version 1 (8/19/07)
Support and Feedback
Please let us know what you thought of this theme in the comments below. You can also ask support questions and we’ll try to help as much as possible.