BtR's Blog

New tutorial: Customize your background

A very common request is: how do I change the background of my design? Can I use a custom image? Or even different images for different sections of my website? Sandvox doesn’t provide a direct option to this, nevertheless this is a goal you can accomplish with few lines of code and an FTP program.

Read how in this new tutorial: “Customize your background”.

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Change in currency

Just a quick post to inform you that from now on the currency used for all purchases on this website will be Euro (instead of US dollar).

Most of my customers are from USA, I hope this will not disappoint them too much. As an Italian national and resident though, I need to move to my own currency for a number of reasons. This will be good news for German customers who are third in line! (the second ones are from UK, no change for them!).

I tried to keep the price as close as possible as the previous tags (from US$ 4.90/7.90/9.90 to € 3.99/5.99/7.99), rounding them up a bit, but please consider that they are still very affordable.

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Best companions for Sandvox: my choice for 2014

A lot of bloggers and e-zines are sharing their favorite apps of year 2013. I use to read these selections compulsively and usually my credit card suffers a huge drain after few minutes. The you-cannot-live-without-this-app statement often turns out to be somehow exaggerated, but sometimes I actually discover apps that really change my workflow and simplify my life in front of a Mac.

I decided to focus in this post only on applications that may (or may not, according to your taste, your skills and your habits) work as good companions for the average or expert Sandvox user. You can benefit of my reckless purchases, I guess.

Writing

ByWordIf you have a blog or any website that isn’t just a static page with your basic information, sooner or later your main activity will be writing. We spend a lot of time caring about presentation: is this design good for my website? Do I need to modify it? Pictures? Colors? A funny animated gif with music that surely cheers the visitor up? (please, don’t do this. I mean, really: just don’t).

This makes us forget that a good presentation is only the best way to deliver content – but content is what really our website is about. While writing, what isn’t content is a distraction. If your content doesn’t sound good in a plain text editor, this means it isn’t good and you have to work further on it. – Read more »

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Krypton Pro and Lithium updated

I just released an update to Krypton Pro and Lithium. With Sandvox 2.8.6 some inconsistencies came out and these updates fix them.

Krypton Pro (v. 2.0.1):

  1. Fixed a bug affecting arrows/carets on non-retina screens
  2. Fixed a bug affecting long submenu items, that now wrap correctly

Lithium (v. 1.0.4):

  1. Fixed a bug affecting WinXP users who weren’t able to see submenu indicators
  2. Fixed a bug affecting long submenu items, that now wrap correctly

A few designs still have a problem with long sub-menu items, I’m checking the ones involved and other updates may be due soon.

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Grafite 3.0

Grafite 3Grafite 3.0 is a major update to Grafite, following (with an unforgivable delay…) the similar update to its twin Design, Carbone.

As for Carbone, this update doesn’t add any visible feature, all the work is under the hood. So, if you’re ok with Grafite 2.x and you don’t feel comfortable with updating your design, this is not mandatory. If you’re interested though, this is what you’re going to enjoy.

New features:

  • Retina ready!
  • Ready-made code injections!
    • Move the sidebar to the right
    • Move the header to the right
    • Move the site menu to the left
    • Center the page title
    • Change the main font to Georgia /serif
    • Switch to the “Mini” layout

Relevant to previous users are these changes:

  • Support for the “blockquote” object has been added.
  • The maximum size of images has increased from 700px to 730px (pages with no sidebar) and from 500px to 570px (pages with sidebar). This means the images are now full-width.
  • The design is entirely built on CSS: no images anymore. This means faster loading times and more customization options.
  • Sub-menu carets and navigation arrows have a new look.
  • Dropped support for Sandvox 1.x. Sorry!

If you plan to upgrade, please back up your previous file in case version 3 doesn’t fulfill your expectations. I don’t think it will happen, but in my opinion this is a good practice for any major upgrade.

This package still includes 7 patterns you can use as background for your header (choosing them as banners). They are not retina-ready: if you’d like a retina ready banner you need to create one and make it 1.800×300px.

Grafite 3.0 requires Sandvox 2.7 or later (2.8 for retina-ready websites).

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Tutorial: Ready-made Code

I just published a tutorial about the “Ready-made Code”  some Rabbit’s Designs provide. Instead of specifying the instructions on each page, now you can check this only page – which will also provide more information and will surely stay up-to-date.

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Carbone 4.0

carbone-variationsVersion 4.0 is a major upgrade to Carbone, so that it is now up-to-date with all the other “second generation” designs (currently Lithium, Hydrogen, Krypton Pro and Simple Rabbit).

Even if it looks almost exactly like its predecessor, Carbone 4 is a complete re-write.

Before we start with its new features, some words for previous users: this version doesn’t provide bug fixes, so if you’re ok with Carbone 3.x and you don’t feel comfortable with updating your design, this is not mandatory. If you plan to update, instead, please read what follows.

New features:

  • Retina ready!
  • Ready-made code injections!
    • Move the sidebar to the right
    • Change the main font to Georgia /serif
    • Remove the “fluo” effect from the header
    • Align the header to the right

Relevant to previous users are these changes:

  • Support for the “blockquote” object has been added.
  • The maximum size of images has increased from 700px to 760px (pages with no sidebar) and from 500px to 550px (pages with sidebar). This means the images are now full-width.
  • The design is entirely built on CSS: no images anymore. This means faster loading times and more customization options.
  • Sub-menu carets and navigation arrows have a new look.
  • The height of submenu items has been slightly reduced.
  • Dropped support for Sandvox 1.x. Sorry!

If you plan to upgrade, please back up your previous file in case version 4 doesn’t fulfill your expectations. I don’t think it will happen, but in my opinion this is a good practice for any major upgrade.

This package still includes 18 gradients you can use as background for your header (choosing them as banners). They are not retina-ready: if you’d like a retina ready banner you need to create one and make it 1.800×300px.

Carbone 4.0 requires Sandvox 2.7 or later (2.8 for retina-ready websites).

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Lithium: change header colors

Lithium comes in three flavors (dark blue, green and red), but this doesn’t mean you can’t have your header in pink or yellow with a bright red text (or maybe something more subtle…). The code for customizing your header is quite simple. Here is an example.

This, to change the background to a solid black (you can also use a custom banner, of course; the CSS injection has a much better performance if you just need a solid color, though):

#page-top {background-image:none; background-color:#000;}

Add this to change the text color to orange:

#title h1, #title h1 a, #title p {color:#FF9900;}

Well, the thin line between the title and the tagline can be modified as well:

#title p .in {border-color:#FF9900;}

Change the color codes accordingly to your taste, of course. This code must be pasted into the “Style Sheet” panel of Site Code Injection.

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Simple Rabbit 3.0 released

Simple RabbitSimple Rabbit 3.0 has been released just now. It is a huge update.

First of all, it’s retina-ready (if you’re using Sandvox 2.8, of course). Few things were missing, that now are available (blockquotes, for example).

I refined everything I could without modifying the original look (carets, navigation arrows, box shadows and so on).

Moreover, most of what you see is made with CSS code: no images anymore (faster loading time, better experience).

Last but not least I added a bunch of ready-made code injection options as I did originally with Krypton. I think this is a great way to give customers a bit more customization with no need for a particular knowledge in coding.

I’m pretty happy with the result, hope you will enjoy it as well. I will be updating the other designs as soon as possible, so let’s keep in touch.

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Update for some designs

I released just now an update for all the bugged designs (you can read here about the small bug affecting some designs with Sandvox 2.8).

I was hoping to add retina support already with this round of updates, but I didn’t manage to. This requires more time and work than expected and – in my plans – it involves a slight update to a number of features that are not limited to just adding double-sized images.

So, let’s start with the bug fix! Further updates will be released one by one over the next months.

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