Finally got round to rewriting some of the back-end stuff for my site!  Here are some blatantly obvious tips for budding WordPress designers that I should have followed years ago as it would have made things a lot easier:

  • Use child themes. Code gets too messy otherwise
  • Strip out as much CSS as you can to begin with. Then when you copypasta stuff from the parent theme, pair that down as much as you can too.
  • Don’t be lazy – inline styles are rubbish, and there’s no excuse for them
  • Good themes are worth spending some money on. I just bought the 2.0 version of the free theme I was using simply to get refactored CSS and a couple of new functions – will save me time in the long run
  • You can achieve quite a lot with good use of templates. Throwing dozens of plugins at a problem is kinda fun, but templates + inherited functions.php will often give you all the functionality you need to solve the immediate problem

So, what have I done?  Well you get to see my ugly mug on the front page – stole the idea from a designer I met at WordCamp last month.  Also my footer widgets are simplified – styled list instead of 4 different widget areas.  I’ve tweaked the lifestream a bit so things get posted more sensibly – a lot of streams have changed recently as tech moves on, companies change hands, etc.  There’s more work to do on it I reckon, and the Lifestream plugin is no longer supported, am constantly finding bugs in it.

Why am I doing all this?  Well it’s been a long time since I did anything on the site, but hopefully that’ll change.  I’ve been up to all sorts recently and really want to get some thoughts about my experiences written down, so watch this space!