Plagiarism Today Turns 6, New Theme Debuts

PT Beta LayoutOn June 13, 2005 I sat down for the first time in front of a WordPress installation and penned my very first article for Plagiarism Today. The article was a work of praise, giving compliment to the now-defunct site GreatestJournal.com for their swift and appropriate handling of plagiarism matters.

Little did I know that, six years later, I would not only still be writing for the site but that it would become my full-time job and the thing I would be best known for.

It’s been a long, tumultuous six years and a lot has changed, both for me personally and for the site, but it’s been an experience I wouldn’t trade anything for.

However, instead of merely rehashing what I said in my previous post about how PT became what it has, I want to look to the future today and debut something I’ve been working on for the past week or so, a new theme that, hopefully, will help steer the direction of the site for the next six years.

Introducing PT 4.0

As of this writing, the current PT theme is a modified version of the Mimbo theme, which was designed by the talented and generally great guy Darren Hoyt. It’s a wonderful theme that’s served me well over the years.

However, the code I’m using on the site is nearly four years old. Since I started working with the theme before child themes were available, I had to customize it by hand and upgrade it every time WordPress introduced new features. However, considering the fact I’m no PHP coder, over the years PT’s code has begun to show its age and the time has clearly come to start anew.

But in doing that I didn’t want to create something too drastically new. I’ve been very fond of Mimbo in general and wanted to build something that would be very familiar to all current Plagiarism Today visitors while also giving the site a “new coat of paint” as Patrick O’Keefe said when viewing the site.

So, without any further ado, you can check out the new template by visiting the test site here:

Plagiarism Today 4.0 Demo Site

I encourage everyone to hop in and test it, but bear in mind that there are a few known bugs to remember before you start digging around:

  1. Missing Images: Since I didn’t port over my entire image library, which would have taken forever, many of the older posts have broken images, especially with the post thumbnails in the archives. That should fix itself when ported to the live site. Likewise, existing post thumbnails are just placeholders and not actually related to the post in most cases.
  2. Re-Categorization: Categories will be playing a bigger role in the new version and I will be redoing the site’s categories when I get ready to launch the new theme.
  3. No Plugins: There are no plugins with the test site so some features like the Tweet buttons, LiveFyre comments, etc. aren’t there but will be on the final version. Contact form is also broken for this reason.
  4. CSS Touchups: There will likely be some styling changes made to the “Continue Reading” buttons and other elements of the site, mostly minor. Feel free to point out what you feel needs attention though in case I didn’t see it.
  5. Old Database: Bear in mind that this site was built using a copy of the database that is about a week old. As such, newer posts aren’t there and won’t be until the final move.

On that note, if you are interested in how this theme evolved, here’s a look back over the past six years of Plagiarism Today’s designs and how we got to where we are today.

On that note, please let me know your thoughts on the new theme. You can send them to me via email and/or Twitter if you like.

Giving Thanks

On that note, as PT turns six, I do want to give thanks to at least some of those who have helped bring it this far and helped to make it what it is.

First and foremost is Crystal, my better half, for not only encouraging me to start the site when I thought it was a crazy idea but pushing me into going full time and making it possible for me to get started with this as a career. Without her, very literally, none of this would ever have happened. (Not to mention the huge debt I owe her for putting up with my copyright-related ramblings day in and out.)

Second is Patrick O’Keefe who has not only been a great friend and adviser, but has also been the patient and energetic co-host of the Copyright 2.0 Show. Seriously, it’s a great podcast and you should really join us live one Wednesday at 5 PM ET.

Another big thanks has to go out to Lorelle VanFossen for not only taking up the cause so early on, but also for being my fairy blogmother and helping me learn blogging and network within the community.

The same goes to all of the others I’ve met and have offered me support and guidance over the years. There are too many to name but I definitely want to thank Sara from Saving for Someday, Maria Langer, Brenda Speer, Steve Imparl, Dr. Debora Weber-Wulff and Chris Matthieu (the founder of the Copyright 2.0 Show). (That’s just to name a few.)

I also want to thank all of my clients who put faith in me and have worked with me over the years. Together, we have done some pretty cool things and you’ve helped make Plagiarism Today not just a great resource, but a great free one that I can work on whenever I want. Also, thanks to the conference organizers who invited me to speak all over the world, giving me a chance to reach new audiences and see places I never would have otherwise.

Also, a big thanks to Automattic and everyone who has helped develop WordPress and make it what it is. I doubt this site would be possible without WordPress, its themes and its plugins.

Finally, to everyone who has commented, emailed, Fracebooked, Tweeted or just plain read this site, thank you. It’s meant more than you realize. Your participation is what makes this worthwhile. I know that I left many names out and I’m sorry, but I shudder to think how long this post would be if I had to thank everyone individually.

So thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for six great years And here is to a new PT and six more years ahead!

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