Ragged Clown

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


Proudly Powered by Wordress

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.

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3 responses to Proudly Powered by Wordress

Jeffrey Fredrick November 23, 2011

Nice! I just had some theme action trying to find one I liked for our “others” blog. Ended up with one that didn’t have a gallery widget nor a bunch of other stuff I expected… not even the author names on posts.

You’ve done a nice job on this. Enough to send me back to my theme searching…


Jeffrey Fredrick November 23, 2011

And then I come across this today, Five Ingredients for a great wordpress theme.

But what it doesn’t tell me is how to find a theme that has those attributes! I have a good idea of what I want for Me & the Others: multi-author support, list of entries by author, list of all comments, a picture gallery, and editable Meta widget… and maybe a couple other things that don’t come to mind at the moment. But not sure how to find a theme that fits those without a lot searching through the haystack.


    Kevin November 23, 2011

    I’d imagine most themes have all that stuff and more. Even free themes. WordPress has an out-of-the-box theme called twenty-eleven that is powerful and looks good. You can customize aspects of it too like background & accents etc.

    On: editable meta widget. It’s pretty easy to create widgets. Copy, paste and change a few lines of code. You can make your own meta widget in about 20 mins without knowing any PHP.

    Also: widgets are orthogonal to themes.

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