Ragged Clown

It's just a shadow you're seeing that he's chasing…


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I was bored with my wordpress theme and Stu’s fresh look made me decide it was time for a refresh. This is my third theme and I wanted to go right back to basics this time rather than copy an existing theme.

I started from the most basic theme template I could find – Starkers – and converted it to use all new html5 tags.  Starkers has no CSS, so I was starting from scratch.

Here, for posterity, are my three themes side by side.

Best part of the whole exercise? I have confirmed once and for all that PHP is absolutely the nastiest programming language I have ever come across. I don’t get why it is so popular at all. Debugging wordpress is like doing a surreal jigsaw puzzle where you are looking for a brightly coloured machine tool to match the giraffe. If there is an organizing principle, I couldn’t find it. It seems completely random whether it grabs markup from a template or spits it out from a function or a widget or a plugin. It’s amazing that WordPress is so good.

I’m not quite done yet. I have a few weird tags left to style. I want to do something with responsive design and I want to do something special for ipad and iphone. When I am done with all that, I might make it work on IE ( < 9.0 ). Google Analytics says I get hardly any visitors with IE (72% of visitor time on my blog comes from macs and ipads!) but my mum has IE so I either need to make it work or fly to England to install Firefox for her. That's probably the cheapest option to be honest. PS. If those side-by-side images are still aligned vertically when you read this, it's because I haven't figured out how to style the image gallery yet. I didn't even know wordpress had a gallery plugin until just now. PPS. If anyone needs a site built in wordpress - find someone else.