Monotone is a pretty cool photoblog theme for WordPress that’s been around for a few months now. Unfortunately it was only available on WordPress.com, and through the Automattic Subversion repository as reported by Jeff on Weblog Tools Collection.
Noel Jackson, the author of the theme, recently revealed that Monotone is now available as a .zip download on the Monotone demo page above. Now it’s easier for self hosted WordPress blogs to try it!
What’s so great about Monotone? It displays a large image in each post like Pixelpost and other photoblog themes, but it does it in a neat way. WordPress allows the blog author to upload and attach images to their posts. It’s then up to the author to insert the image into the post and tidy up the html. Monotone takes this one step further. There’s no need to insert the image into the post at all. The theme takes the first attachment and displays it at the top of the post, with the post content below.
I’d love to use it, but unfortunately I have several years worth of posts that would need to be modified because I used Flickr to host my images until recently. Then I used my own site, but inserted the right html into each post, so they’d all have to be modified unless I hacked the theme to ignore old posts.
RSS feeds display the image too, although I discovered that the feed for the demo site includes some huge images. Probably just an oversight when Noel was uploading images.
Judging by Noel’s comment here, it probably isn’t completely straight forward to install. You probably need the GD library and a hefty server with enough RAM to load and manipulate your images. Anyone tried it? Use my theme tester plugin if you want to test it on your blog without upsetting your visitors!
I ran a photoblog on ocaoimh.org before I started inphotos.org, and I posted some photos to my blog at Holy Shmoly! too. Unfortunately the first site is no longer around, and the img tags were somehow stripped from many of my posts on ocaoimh.ie while I was running a development version of WordPress a few years ago. Now that WordPress has a native gallery function I think it’s time some of these old images saw the light of day again.
Most images were shot in 2004 and 2005. Some of the scenes photographed back then either look very different now, or have ceased to exist in the case of the petrol pump in Blackpool! Most of them would have been shot with my trusty Sony 717 I expect. Great camera.
(Oh great, the gallery is broken! Must fix later…)
Richard Hearne offered some great tips for making Irish photoblog mcawilliams.com more visible on the search engines and they’re very good general search engine optimization tips that can be applied to any website.
He has grouped his tips into the following categories:
Richard’s post is well worth reading, even if you don’t have a photoblog. I know I learned a thing or two that are already paying off!
I have a few more tips to add to those above. Most of them are geared towards the photo blog community rather than general blogging sites, but read on even if you’re not running a photoblog!
rel=’external nofollow’to that link. The same applies to Zooomr and 23HQ of course.
With a few changes to your photoblog you can drastically increase the traffic to your site and share your work with a wider audience. You never know, one of your photos could become a viral email attachment sent around to thousands of people in offices and homes.
My feed addiction has got to stop! It’s a great way to keep up to date on my favourite blogs but when it gets to over 300 blogs then something has to be done. That means cutting back on my subscriptions. Unfortunately the first to go will be those photoblogs that don’t offer a full feed, or only show thumbnails. If I had time, I’d visit your blog every day but I don’t, and it’s impossible to judge the merits of a photo from a tiny thumbprint of an image.
Without further ado, here’s the list of blogs I have dropped from my feed reader. If you’ve come here because you saw traffic to your blog through a link in this post, please consider a full feed. I’d be back like a shot because I enjoyed your photography enough to subscribe in the first place!
Your feed readers are the most loyal of your readers and they should be treated accordingly. Give them something to get their teeth into instead of a small morsel and you’ll find that traffic to your blog increases, you’ll get more links to your posts and maybe even more comments by an appreciative audience.
Here are the photography related blogs that stay.
And a lot more but I got tired of copy/pasting everything.
Coming up on Monday: search engine tips for your photoblog. Don’t miss it!
Sob! Inphotos.org didn’t make the shortlist! I should have put that vote link and logo in the header like I did last year. I have been shortlisted for “Best Contribution to the Irish Bloggersphere”. I guess it’s for that WordPress thingy, eh? Thanks to everyone who voted for me. It’s really appreciated!
Plenty of great links on Damien’s shortlist post, including a couple of photoblogs I hadn’t visited. Here’s the shortlist, go pay them a visit. There are some excellent images awaiting your viewing pleasure!
Colin Finch is working on a photoblog theme with thumbnails in the sidebar. He’s using the “optional excerpt” feature of WordPress to handle the thumbnails. Unfortunately he’s battling with Internet Explorer because it’s not behaving. Can someone lend him a hand?
Yes I want a photoblog, and a regular blog, with a cherry on top please.