New PublicityShip Theme

We’ve rolled out our new PublicityShip theme (version 1.1) today.

For those of you interested in WordPress Themes, it is based on Kubrick, but with a considerable set of extensions. As you know, we aren’t into blogging for blogging’s sake, we are all about using blogs to support a small business. And a small business needs to establish its presence online, build traffic, establish conversations with prospects, convert them to customers and provide excellent follow up! Whew! So our blogging focus is all about making sure that small business people who are very busy are able to focus on working with their customers, not the mechanics of blogging.

The PublicityShip Template is a special WordPress template that we use that turns this philosophy into a reality.

So, if you’re interested in the details ..

Description of new extensions to the PublicityShip Theme v1.1

Subscriptions

We’ve made it easier to add email subscriptions capabilities, either for your blog (via FeedBurner – have a look at the email box in our menu bar), or for Aweber autoresponder lists.

Improved captions for images

There are now easy ways for bloggers to add captions to their photographs.

Example of styling headings using the PublicityShip Theme
Example showing headings being styled in the new PublicityShip theme

Heading improvements

You may know you can improve search engine friendliness through better use of headings. Most WordPress sites use H1 for the site title, and H2 for the page headings and sidebar menus, but that is about all. We’ve made it easy to use H2 and H3 for additional headings in your pages and posts, and bring out key benefits in subhead style using H4. We’ve tried to make it very easy to have your site make sense for readers as well as search engines.

Sitemaps everywhere

Plugins are in place to make sure that in addition to submitting Google Sitemaps automatically after each post, there is also an internal sitemap that links to every category, post and static page.

User configuration options

We’ve added a lot more user friendly look and feel configuration options. These don’t need any updates to CSS files or theme files, which is not only hard, but makes it much harder to upgrade in the future without losing your styling. Its now easy to choose the font, colour and size for your main pages, choose colours and sizes for Headings 1 to 4, and other tweaky details (warning: fiddling with colour pickers can be addictive.)

Heading bling

With the new theme you also get more options to tweak your header and top menu, with configuration options for images, borders, fonts and font sizes, colours and positioning.

Menus

There are new choices for your menus – you can still use automatic menus, either Split (with parent pages showing up in the menu bar and sub-pages in the sidebar) or Sidebar (all parent/child pages in the side). You can also switch off auto menus if you want. New suport for Custom Menus means you can place just the links that you choose), as well as integrating special items into you menu bar (like our Feeburner subscription options in the menu bar).

Sidebar

Your sidebar is an important part of your site for customer interaction. You can already switch on/off your blog search, category and monthly archives, and with the new theme you now have ‘freeform’ text at the top and bottom of the sidebar. This is so you can include banner links, forms, or other blogging widgets. For examples, see the Newsletter subscription and Google Search for Online Marketing in our sidebar. If you want to use features like this, you’ll often find you have to copy and paste code into your site – well, you now have somewhere to paste it without any changes to the theme or your CSS. This makes it a lot easier for you to work with online marketing partners.

Online marketing copywriting

For those of you interested in crafting landing pages and sales letters, there are now a range of standard styles that make it easy to structure these pages.

The Google March

We’ve made it very easy to register your site with Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools. So if you want to use those tools to monitor your site, just follow their instructions and paste what they tell you into the fields we’ve provided.

Speedy blog

Performance is always something we monitor – while our sites were fast before, they’re even faster now.

Cross browser beauty

Styling has been improved to reduce instances of cross-browser ugliness. This is such a boring topic, but important for your online presence.

Thats it!

All in all, quite a lot of changes. There is no impact on your current site. We’ll be walking all our blogging clients through how to take advantage of these changes to help them build traffic, establish conversations and bring on new customers!

All the best for the New Year!