Afterburner - New template for

June 23rd Site Info \ Site News New theme for the site! Well not exactly new, RocketTheme's Afterburner Joomla! template is about 2 years old. So why would I choose an outdated template that doesn't even look like anything special? I needed a template that had a small footprint and loaded quickly, had adjustable sidebar widths, and didn't have any distracting JavaScript animations or special effects.

The Afterburner Template is very lightweight. It removes the MooTools JavaScript library by default and has an extremely small footprint. This means smaller files that your visitors need to download and shorter load times. Afterburner is free too, which is always a bonus.

The template also has several pre-configured color themes you can choose from, and the sidebars have adjustable widths. The sidebars are important because I'm developing a new Image Ads component/module/plugin and I'll need to be able to set a specific width to make room for the ads. The Image Ads system will allow users to create an advertisement, upload an image, then pay me via PayPal subscription with monthly auto-billing -- and I'll be sharing it for free on so keep checking back!

I'm also working on a new social sharing plugin to help you place professional-looking social sharing badges on your articles, similar to, or There are plenty of plugins that will spatter your site with social bookmarking buttons, but this new plugin will let you place a few of the interactive numbered badges on your articles in a tasteful and less spammy way. Stay tuned!

It was also important to me that there weren't any eye-catching effects or JavaScript animations. While those gimmicky effects are fun and pretty, they don't actually contribute to the value of the site. They actually distract users from the important parts of the site -the article content, downloads and the sign up form.

All in all, the new template is streamlined. It's not the prettiest template out there, but it's built more for function than form. It does what I need without the frills and gimmicks, and doesn't distract users from the useful articles, downloads and registration forms (and pay-per-click ads).

More to come soon, keep checking back for the release of the Image Ads system for the simple way to let people auto-pay you a monthly subscription to advertise on your site, and the new social sharing plugin to increase your site traffic without making your website look unprofessional or desperate for attention!

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