A couple weeks ago I took an afternoon to read up on how to create a WordPress theme, and was surprised to learn how much there was to it. Re-doing this site’s theme has been on my TODO list for about 3 years though, and I felt it was important to give the site a fresh coat of paint.
From a user’s perspective, I’ve always loved WordPress. It’s intuitive, has a great interface, and has all of the blogging features I could want. However, under the hood, I’d heard it was a mess. After poking around a bit, I didn’t really find anything that was discouraging, but I did find myself spending way too much time researching how to make minor adjustments. So rather than toil endlessly, I decided to take a different approach and took the popular Twenty Ten theme and made a bunch of modifications to it (most notiably mixing in some elements from the Responsive theme). This was actually pretty painless, and I’ll probably continue to make more modifications. If you’re thinking about creating a theme, it’s worth reading up on how to do it, but using an existing theme as a launching pad will make your life a lot easier. Anyway, I hope the new design is easier on the eyes, please let me know if you have any issues!
Thoughts on PHP
WordPress is powered by PHP, and as of late, I’ve noticed a hand full of articles deriding the language, and another hand full vigorously defending it. I don’t like to consider myself a language specific programmer, but I do a fair amount of PHP development at work, and also find myself reaching for it when I do non-work related projects.
As of late I’ve been wondering if I should dive deeper into PHP, or instead try to look into getting good at Python or Ruby. The inelegance and quirks of PHP are a big turn off, but the fact that it’s used for so much (WordPress, Wikimedia, and lots of other popular software), and is so convenient to write and deploy, makes quitting it hard to do. I’ve sort of been in this weird stalemate about where I want to go. So while it’s not my favorite language, I don’t dislike it enough to throw the baby out with the bath water – for now at least.