About two months ago I decided what I wanted to do as my long term theme for not only this blog but the other areas of my site. Finally I have the blog theme working. It has taken a lot of my spare time for about eight weeks to get this to work! The biggest problem I faced was that I wanted a completely fluid three column layout, this turned out to be far harder than I could have guessed. I quickly found that the biggest barrier to achieving this I had to overcome was producing such a layout that was cross browser compatible. I think I tried six or seven different solutions until I produced one that even worked at all. You can see that early draft (Fluid Minimal) on my testblog where it remains unfinished. The second major problem I faced was adding round cornered fluid boxes into the fluid layout. This turned out to be as complicated as the layout itself!
I have to say that the single best resource I found for this kind of CSS writing was A List Apart, an excellent site with a great deal of useful information and tips, as well as very clear examples. Several of my later efforts, including the Fluid Minimal version, used ideas from there. However none of them would allow me to do exactly what I wanted – fluid wordpress layout containing fluid boxes. In the end though their example of a rounded corner fluid box was the one I felt worked best.
Finally I threw out all my earlier efforts and started from scratch, ending up with something far simpler in the end than I expected. I plan to write a full, illustrated description of my solution at some point, sooner if anyone asks for it!
For the time being however I am going to just enjoy my sense of achievement. I am very happy with the way this has turned out – the first time a webpage design has not compromised the design to allow for my (lack of) skill. Still need to make the portal page work though!