Keeping WordPress on my mind

I keep posting on this about how code is becoming a part of my life and yet I have yet to actually post any of it; It is really depressing to see and read. So, here goes: With the project I have been working on (my site) I have been working with how WordPress handles its files and queries. It has been good seeing and interacting with it all. A good, and quick, example of how it works is here.

With that in mind I have thought about how I want certain things to look on the front page of the site. So, this would entail that WordPress will look for one of many pages. The first one it will look for is

home.php

and then it will look for

index.php

if it doesn’t find the first file. That is, of course, if I am using WordPress as a blogging tool otherwise it will look for the

front-page.php

if I have it set as a CMS (Content Management System ).

The files I have created so far are the basic ones that WordPress needs to be read/seen in the Appearance panel. They are comprised of

style.css

and

index.php

which are the two minimum required files. The front/home page so far will of course have a featured/sticky support but will be able to use the excerpt if the post has it filled out otherwise it will just post the entire content. That little snippet looks like:

<div class="entry-content"></div>
<pre>
    <!--?php if( has_excerpt() ) : the_excerpt(); else : the_content(); theme_linked_pages(); <span class="hiddenSpellError" pre=""-->endif;?>
</div><!-- .entry-content -->

The next stage will be creating the look of how an individual post will look like. That file is called:

single.php

. It will look fairly close to the homepage layout but of course there are going to be subtle differences. I’m debating if I really want a sidebar on the entire site but I know it will be useful for simple navigation.

Now, WordPress uses functions as template tags. Case in point:

the_content()

. It displays the content of the post when used inside of a WordPress loop. I have created a simple

functions.php

file that will house all my custom functions for the theme. In that file I inserted:

function theme_setup () {
        // Add post format support
        add_theme_support( 'post-formats', array('aside', 'image', 'link', 'quote', 'status') );
        // Add theme support for custom background
        add_theme_support( 'custom-background', array('default-color' => 'fff' ) );
        // Add theme support for Post Thumbnails
        add_theme_support ( 'post-thumbnails' );
        // Register the menu
        register_nav_menu ( 'primary', 'Main Menu');
    };

What that little snippet does is create support for post formats, custom background support, thumbnail support and creates a menu holder for my theme. I’ll explain those things down the road – hopefully.

Now, up until recently I have only really posted photos of what my site will look like. This has been a great experience on how my site will look like when I actually start posting more and more code since I am using a plugin to create the syntax highlighting. Taking a turn into the code side of web development will be a great thing for me. Now to explore more about theme development and WordPress.

A new direction

Sad to say and write that I haven’t really been working on my Bachelor’s Degree in well over a year. Why? Part because I haven’t looked at other schools that I would like to attend online and the other part is because I have thought hard about what it is that I really love doing. Is it graphics or coding?

I’m not saying I don’t want to get a degree in web design but the more and more I read about programming the more and more I start to think it will be a better fit for me. Programming, too, has its own beauty and art form.

When I think back and reflect on the years I spent in front of a monitor I slowly realize that a good portion of the time I was merely looking at code. Graphics were a mere second to it all. I love both but I think that programming may just be my final decision. It almost reminds me of the era when it was one person that did everything when it came to printing.

Reading the history of graphic design in one of the courses I took was extremely enlightening to me. It not only helped me see type/typography as an art form but as an extension.

Reading more and more about functions, arrays, variables, and cases makes me realize that I really do want to be programming more often and lean more towards web development and not design as much. So I’m thinking of a major in the science and minor in the art of virtual communication? I call it virtual communication because it’s not quite visual communication and not digital visualization.

Anyway, with so much running through my mind I have headed in a new direction and I think that I will actually like where this takes me.

Making some progress

Slowly but surely I am making some progress about how my site is looking. Don’t get me wrong I like the look at the moment but I want something that is very simple since it is just my thoughts and nobody elses that I am writing about. The next phase will be expanding the theme to support a good part of WordPress functionality and capabilities.

Yes, I have worked on this for far too long and I think it is now time to really finish what I started nearly six months ago. Has it really been that long? I know I am nearing a year with Web hosting hub and I have been pretty happy with them. Granted I haven’t experimented as much as I would like to but I have learned quite a bit from the things that I have done.

Site's header portion

The site is slowly coming together and I like the progress that I have made thus far. There are a few things that I still need to modify but it will all come together pretty soon. There are just a few more things to modify and it will all be done.

The one thing that I will have a bit of an issue with will be creating a good JavaScript gallery. Thankfully it is all making sense to me now. Now to try to get some sleep so that my brain can make sense of all the things running through my mind at the moment.

My blog site

This blog site has been a great thing for me. I have learned so much about myself by actually writing about my thoughts. It has opened my mind to how I really feel about life and the world around me.

I have been experimenting more and more with web design and development. I can’t wait until I finally finish my site’s final design. There are so many resources that I have used in order to create the final look of the site. When I get a moment or possibly the next day that I have off I will try my best to create a simple tutorial on how to create a simple local server to test websites. Granted there are plenty of tutorials out there as well but this one will be more suited to me since it dealt with my experience.

The one thing that I am debating is what fonts I want to use because there are so many elements that I want to include but I don’t want to throw off the feel of the site entirely. As many people have come to know I have fallen head over heels about type. I am in the midst of creating a post about how type has influenced my daily life. Yes, it does sound a little odd but it will make sense when it is finally published.

Recently, I have been looking at lines of code in order to create my site. Some of the things that I have learned are that I need to read more and more. Not just code but books and articles in general. I have so many unfinished books on the shelf that they have practically gained weight from all the dust they have collected.

The other thing that struck me as interesting while redesigning my site was looking at exactly what I post and how I can stylize how I like it. There are several things that I post but I know I don’t use the full potential of WordPress when I could be. I have learned about the subtle differences between digital publishing and physical but that will be for my type posting.

In the meantime I will keep reading about programming, art, design, type and how to merge them together into one good-looking blog that I call my own.