CSSRemix is a recently launched css / xhtml gallery site similar to Unmatched Style, Cssbeauty, etc. We got the chance to find out just how cssremix works and how it was put together on WordPress.
DL: How are you doing John? Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us on CSSRemix and your own site.
DL: What brought up the idea for CSSRemix? There are many other similar sites, most well known being Unmatched style and CSSVault, but CSSRemix has its own unique flair.
I got the idea from being rather unimpressed with a lot of the site showcases. Most weren’t updated very often, some weren’t specific to CSS-based design, and others showcased mediocre design. CSS Remix was intended to showcase ONLY the very best in CSS Design AND be updated frequently. I wanted to place strict emphasis on the sites (i.e. no news, recommended reading, etc) and I really tried to maximize that effect by placing A LOT of sites right on the homepage.
When I created CSS Remix, I created it with designers in mind, by providing the content and features I thought they would actually use. I want to put an emphasis on this fact, that CSS Remix was created for all the web designers out there. I like to hear their feedback and constantly incorporate new stuff on the site for them.
I should point out, that based on recent feedback, CSS Remix is currently undergoing a few new changes which will be implemented over the next couple of days. Some new features will include a more polished look and an AJAX rating system for each site. Stay tuned for the updates!
“Sites that get my attention are ones that are exceptional in terms of XHTML/CSS, Graphic Design, and Information Architecture”
DL: In CSS Remixes’ short time, you’ve featured many great uses of css on sites. What do you look for when deciding what sites to accept and what ones to omit?
In web design, the devil is in the details. Sites that get my attention are ones that are exceptional in terms of XHTML/CSS, Graphic Design, and Information Architecture. No site is perfect, but the ones that stand out above the rest in these terms get my thumbs up.
DL: Remix is another great example of WordPress used in unconventional ways. Did you find it easier to use WordPress as the backend, and how long did it take you to make all the customizations?
I used WordPress because it does a great job handling a lot of little tasks I didn’t feel like implementing and generally automating everything, as any CMS would I suppose. I chose WordPress because of the extensive support and community surrounding it (not to mention its free:)). I’ve been very impressed with how WordPress allows such an advanced level of customization. I was able to create a customized template for CSS Remix in about 3 days, but its been on-going process since it first launched in mid-April. There are so many plug-ins and additional features to tap into that really make it a great tool.
DL: As for the gallery on Remix, did you use a wordpress plugin, custom or pre-made gallery script, or simply use WordPress posting to get the image thumbs displayed like that.
The gallery of CSS Remix is merely a modification of the WordPress posting system – each site displayed is a post.
DL: On a personal standpoint, how long have you been designing? And were / are you involved in any other projects?
Strangely enough, I graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a double major in Business Administration (Marketing and Managing Information Systems), and am completely self taught in the fields of web and graphic design, which I’ve been practicing for about 5 years. Up until now, I’ve mainly been involved with small, personal web and graphics projects, and I’ll soon have a complete portfolio of my work on my homepage, jpp3.com.
Currently, I’m the senior web designer at UW-Milwaukee Graduate School, where we are planning and implementing a major redesign of their website.
DL: What sites have inspired you and your designing habits?
The CSS Zen Garden is what really opened my eyes to the potential of great web design. It was after viewing some of the great submissions on here that I began to design all my sites in Photoshop and then convert them to XHTML/CSS. I also really like A List Apart and, just recently, Vitamin (thinkvitamin.com). Both of these sites are a great resource to any designer.
DL: Thanks for chatting with me!