A bit of freshening up

So I’ve done a bit of freshening up around here, well really, it’s a completely new design. Most of the look and feel changed at least a bit on this site, but the real news for me is the code under the hood. I’ve been using Wordpress for almost a year now and when I created my original theme last year I have to admit that I cheated quite a bit. I mean, I know how to write code, why figure out how to customize everything in the admin? Well, I decided it was past time to really understand how Wordpress works and to dig into theme creation. Therefore the site you are looking at now is actually using a lot of good stuff to make sure the right data is pulling on the right page. I have built a custom post type for the portfolio section and then used it again on the home page. I’ve actually made some custom fields for bits and pieces of each page and each page has a template BUT the content is pulling the proper way from either the page content or a custom field. It’s been great fun to figure out and I’ve learned a bit of PHP in the process (ugh, how do people program with this language?) and also learned a lot about Wordpress along the way.

As to the design, I have to thank a good friend, Luis Ponce de Leon, for taking a look at where I was and helping me to see ways to improve, even going so far as to do a quick mock up for me. I am not a designer and so I always need an extra push to get things a bit further along. I also used LESS for writing and then compiling the CSS, I don’t think I’ve fully grasped all I can do with it, but I’m getting there. Twitter’s Bootstrap has such great layout options. I used that for the basic structure and it made life so easy. I love a good framework if it is right for the project. OOCSS is making an appearance for margins and padding too because I’ve come to love it so much.

I know I still have work to do, I need to refactor the CSS to really get it down to size and I also have one visual thing that is bothering me, but who knows if anyone else will ever notice it. I’ve switched my sans-serif font choice and I’ll wait to see if I still like it in a week. It’s responsive, but I know that there are areas to improve on that front as well. I’ve tested it in the latest version of Safari, Chrome, Opera and Firefox and IE9, all in all I haven’t found anything major that’s wrong in any of them, so I think I’m good on the browser front. I also want to add in some basic structure support and text only support for the older versions of IE, but frankly based on my users stats, that can wait a bit. Is a personal site ever really done? Probably not, but I’m fairly pleased with this one right now. I’m sure next week I’ll be tweaking it though.