May 7, 2009
I don’t know if you noticed, but this site uses WordPress. If you look at the bottom of the site you’ll see credits for who produced this theme. I’ve tweaked it a bit, reordered stuff, changed colors and images and added a Adsense Google bar, but it is essentially the template as it was written. I have two other personal sites that use WordPress. One template has not been changed at all, the other has had extensive modification as the theme is an old one, originally written for WP1.5. It had to be rewritten for WP 2.7. You can tell I’m not totally new to WordPress themes modification.
Now I am working on another personal site using the WordPress engine and I’ve got to tell you, wanting something different exacts a price. I have been fighting the WordPress theme thing for four days. Because I want a website with pages to which can be added comments, I haven’t had a lot of joy. I’ve looked at innumerable tutorials on wordpress. I have now determined the wordpress tutorials and online manual at wordpress.org suck. I don’t mean breezy disorder-your-hair-a-bit suck, I’m talking tornado, lift-the-house-completely-off-the-foundation-and-move-it-to-the-next-county suck. Their tutorial pages have horrendous navigation and seem to be geared toward people who already know everything there is to know about WordPress or who learn best through non-linear instruction.
Lest you think all in WordPress Land is lost, take heart. I’ve since learned there are big changes in store for version 2.8. Yahoo! Unfortunately, the world keeps turning and I can’t sit here stagnant waiting for 2.8 to arrive.
So here are my thought after four days of intense frustration.
If you want a site that is abnormal, build the page templates you need in HTML. Give the files a php extension, then start adding the WordPress entities. If you need different menus on the different pages, build the menus and include them in the pages.
Then go hunting for the plugins you need to flesh out your templates.
With this latest attempt I may have to write a php utility that will read the content file and pull the images out and place their thumbnails in a sidebar with lightbox links to the enlarged image in the article.
What I have to do is stop thinking in themes. I’m not going to be writing themes for public consumption, so why am I wracking my brain? I want a simple site that does a fairly simple thing. I should think like the php programmer I am and stop worrying about WordPress themes.