For many months, visitors to Perishable Press encountered the highly customized Jupiter! theme. Utilizing sIFR, Prototype, Lightbox, and several other bandwidth-heavy scripts, the Jupiter! theme weighs in at well over 400KB/page when saved as an offline copy.
The Jupiter! theme also employs every plugin used here at Perishable Press, resulting in even slower performance for broadband users, and utterly painful experiences for those on modem/dial-up.
Recently, we decided to give Jupiter! a facelift and dump the heavy baggage. The idea was to create a theme aesthetically similar to Jupiter!, focusing on speed and usability without sacrificing essential functionality.
The result is Lithium, the eleventh WordPress theme from Perishable Press and Monzilla Media. Lithium is lightweight, accessible, user-friendly, XHTML-strict, and provides helpful features such as tags, keywords, gravatars, as well as comment enhancements and autodiscovery feeds. Best of all, Lithium provides the same overall “look and feel” as Jupiter!, but with better, brighter colors and sharper, sexier details.
Nonetheless, there are yet simpler, more refined themes in the works for Perishable Press. By the time you read this, in fact, the Lithium theme may no longer appear as the site’s “default” theme. So, for the record, here are links to Jupiter!, Lithium, and a selection of all Press themes.