We are about a week in to the new template and already planning the framework for the next template. Instead of writing the next template from scratch we have decided that the best idea would probably be by using a generator to produce a very stable frame for the site and make modifications and addons as needed. There are two template CSS generators that we are testing out right now:
The new layout will only have one left sidebar starting with the user panel on top, followed by a custom link area, then the navigation area and finally the google ads. I think that I will also design it so that the google ads could optionally be placed in a box above the articles in the main content area, since this was requested by a user in a previous comment. I have always been a fan of verticle ads, but I see why someone might want to lay them out horizontally and I would like to keep everyone happy
AshDigg is also working on figuring out how to make changing templates easier by adding the ability to have multiple layouts in subdirectories and selecting which template you wish to use from the admin panel. This idea is really only in a conceptual stage right now, I don’t believe that he has started working on it just yet. The next template will hopefully also include a revamped administrator menu to make it easier on the eye. One of the areas that I think Pligg really stands out from the original Meneame code is the ability to act as an administrator through a simple interface, and I think we should really focus on making it easier and nicer for admins to access and maintain their data.
Lastly and perhaps most important for some of your aspiring web designers is this fun bit of news. Pligg will be hosting a template design contest for Pligg’s default template. We will feature the template in a future release of Pligg and the top three designers will be given cash prizes. First place will be given $50, second $25 and third $10 via Paypal. I know it’s not much, but we’re still a pretty small project and that pretty much maxes out our Pliggy Bank. The money given away for the prizes is coming from our donations that we have been given over the past few months, and I would like to take a moment to thank those who have donated to Pligg. We have collected about $250 in donations, $100 of which was my own money used to purchase a vbulletin license and domain name. I have recently added a link to the donation page to my signature in the forum to hope that we receive some more money to help pay for competitions like this one. I hope to hold more competitions in the future for things like Pligg mods, templates and integrations.
Back to the template competition… Here are some rules that all authors/artists should follow for the competition:
- All work submitted must be original (by you alone), or the code/imagery must have written permission by the original author to be used for the Pligg project, acknowledging its use in a competition and for free public distribution. The written permission must also have the original authors and your own contact information including a telephone number and current address. This must be scanned and emailed to me. If you choose to have a partner in this project you must do the same and both of you should sign and scan your information.
- All work submitted must be copyrighted by the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 license. This will allow anyone to use, modify and distribute your work even commercially.
- Three winners will be selected. The first place winner will receive $50 via Paypal and his/her template design may be used in a future release of Pligg. The second place winner will receive a $25 dollar prize via Paypal and his/her template may be used in a future relase of Pligg. The third place winner will receive a $10 dollar prize via Paypal and his/her template may be used in a future relase of Pligg.
- All winnings will be distributed via Paypal. This means that you must have a Paypal account to accept the winnings.
- All designs submitted are giving away their rights of ownership and will stand a chance at being used, or parts of their design being used, in a future release of Pligg.
- The template should NOT link to your own site anywhere in the template, including the footer. It may however link to pligg.com in the footer and/or the admin panel.
- We aren’t looking for something that looks just like an existing site. Be original, be creative, make us proud. Please don’t be a copy-cat.
- You may use CSS generators to assist you in developing a template, but DO NOT copy any CSS from existing sites.
- You may include any portions of Pligg’s current 6.0 template CSS or image files. This does not include the meneame1.css file.
- If you need help, ASK! You can contact us either through the forum boards or the IRC channel. Please remember to please try Google first if it’s related to CSS.