Adventures in WordPress theming

I’ve been a bit quiet on this blog and Twitter for a week or so now because I’ve been concentrating on a few personal projects:

A WordPress theme for hyperlocal bloggers

This one is just a Photoshop mock (the provisional name ‘The Local’ is going to have to be changed as I since found another theme with that name), but I’m quite pleased with the look and feel of it all. I wouldn’t usually do a mockup like this, but as I’m going to be learning WordPress theme creation from scratch, I didn’t want to have to be worrying about the design at the same time.

About halfway through creating this I realised it looked very BBC-ish. I’ll probably just try to give it a different default colour scheme to combat this.

The design has a lot of space for different widgets and I plan to give the nameplate area a lot of configuration options so no two of these blogs should look alike. 

One feature I quite like, but you can’t really see in this mock, is the image copyright ID icon. In the bottom right corner of the main cathedral pic, there’s a CC licence symbol. I imagine that when you hover over this, a full credit will pop up over the picture, with link to the source, etc. It seems like a neat solution to me, and not one I’ve seen elsewhere.

I’ve stalled work on this for the time being as I wanted to get my second project up and running first…

This time I started working directly on the WordPress template, building a Thematic child theme. Converting that to a three column layout that looked how I wanted was pretty straightforward, but I’ve been struggling with the PHP largely looks_like($garbage) ‘to me’;

The support has been excellent, but I’m at the point of just asking someone there to just finish it off for me, which isn’t really in the spirit of these things. It’s tempting to start again, perhaps using the Starkers theme as a basis this time, but I’m so close to done that it seems like a lot of wasted effort.

Anyway, whatever happens I should be launching this video blog in a week or so.

I also launched recently. It’s supposed to be a portfolio, but it’s a bit empty at the moment. I’ll blog there occasionally, but a lot less frequently than here. For this one I bought a pro theme. I’m not done tweaking it yet, but it should do the job nicely. My experience of trying (and failing) to get some basic support for it though has put me off spending any more money on this kind of thing in future.

2 thoughts on “Adventures in WordPress theming

  1. Loving ‘The Local’ theme – exactly what ive been looking for!Im currently on a account but am considering moving to a one.Is it all pretty obvious what you gotta do?Best of luck with completing all your projects!Lee

  2. @djleekee Thanks. Migrating to a account could be utterly painless if you find a host that offers WordPress features. Even without, it’s still fairly painless. If/when I finish the local theme, I plan to release it for free, so keep an eye out. ;)

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