My Site ^

Recipes, technology, personal stuff and a crap load of archives.

New Year, New Theme

I just spent the last month and change doing what I used to do with some frequency, and that is creating a new WordPress theme. The rust layer over those skills was not as thick as I expected, which worked out very well. “New theme” I say? Yes! You are soaking in it!

It is very basic. Very simple. You might also say that it is boring. That is the way I wanted it.

I’ve been using off-the-shelf themes for a while. While they are all pretty nice, they are also very bloated and overly complex for my use. I need to display words and audio players and images. I don’t need a bunch of gizmos or post types or a zillion widgets. I need something reliable and fast. That is something I wasn’t finding with the pre-built themes.

Who among us has visited one of my sites only to discover it won’t load due to the dreaded 500 error? That was because of those themes and how they interacted with one of the most popular and actively used plug-ins; Jetpack. I got tired of removing/replacing that plugin. They also had issues with caching plugins. It’s been making me crazy.

Technically, I didn’t build this entirely from scratch. I used a very nice theme generator to do the buik of the heavy lifting. From there, I nipped and tucked and tweaked and will continue to do so until it’s where I want it to be.

I’ll be using this theme for all of my sites. Besides here, it is already running at Ride Bikes Radio. I’ll be rolling it out to the rest of the sites, including a few new ones, over the next week or 2.

Hopefully this will return the reliability to my sites, which will make me not dread opening them, which will make me write more. All wins in my book.

Responsive: Mobile First

iphone

iphone
We have all read that all over the place. When you are creating a website and want to make sure that it works well on mobile platforms, then you should design for that platform first. I thought it was nothing and said to myself, “self, we can do responsive **last**”. And so I did.

And failed.

Sure, the site worked on mobile and tablets, but it wasn’t _quite_ right. Back to the drawing board I went, rebuilding the grid and starting almost from scratch.

Mobile first.

And you know what, it worked much better! If you are looking at this on a mobile device, trust me when I tell you that it is better than my first attempt. There are still some tweaks to follow to dial it in just a little bit more, especially on the gallery pages. I’ll be writing it up for you to read all about shortly. But for now, kick the tires and let me know if you have any issues.

A few details? Ok.

  • Custom Post type for a gallery
  • Custom header, background and menus (just like the stock WP themes)
  • Fully responsive
  • A few shortcodes for widget styling and other things

More to follow in the next week!

A few more for the Portfolio

A few more for the portfolio page I’m happy to announce. 1 is the 2nd site using the theme you are seeing right now, and that’s over at White Roof Radio. I’m still doing tweaks to the overall layout and operation of this theme, but I think I’m about 95% of the way to it being bullet-proof.

Another addition is Poggioaz.com. It’s an Italian restaurant in Scottsdale, AZ and I used another premium theme for them. This time from themeforest.net. For a change, this one came with documentation. Sure, it was mostly wrong, but at least it gave me a place to start so I could get the site properly configured for the client. It’s also running on a GoDaddy server (not for my lack of trying to get them to move), so I had to do a few more tricks to improve the overall performance of the site. It’s not perfect, but I’m getting close.

Next up will be an update to dbmini.us before I go back and fine tune this layout.

Who’s next?

The Sunday Post #104: Time for a Change

This one has been more than a long time coming. With Donburnside.com running a theme that I created back in 2008, it was getting a little long in tooth. So, I present to you, the fine readers of DonBurnside.com, db.com v3.0 (rev 0).

A New Layout

This is one that I have been wanting to do for quite some time, but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. After I moved to Arizona, I got the opportunity to redesign the website for work and decided that this would be quite a bit like that. You know me, like to work with known good.

Which is exactly what I did!

Take a few minutes to look around. Somethings are still a little wonky, but I’ll be getting those taken care of in short order. The short list includes cleaning up the CSS, making comments look better and returning the sidebar on the blog to it’s former, kick-ass, glory. I have also updated my Portfolio if you would like to get more information about the sites that I have done.

Time for some changes

As I’m wont to do, every few years I like to change things up a bit. That means a brand new donburnside.com can’t be far behind!

Prompted mostly by new fascination with grid-based layouts, the new donburnside.com (that is already under development) will be using this. You might have seen a couple of other sites I’ve recently done using this, and I really like it.


I haven’t had the time to write of late. Which works out because I haven’t really had anything to write about. I haven’t done a video recently either but that’s more technical than anything else.

When I say I haven’t been writing, that’s not entirely true. I’ve been posting to the blog for work, I have a few posts over at dbmini that are pretty fresh plus some podcasts that are also of the newish variety. Just nothing for you guys here.

Working on changing that too. I. Have a plan.


So, the new site. I’m going to skip the rainbows and unicorn tears this time around and go more corporate I think. dark, muted colors, some flashy javascript and only the finest of my photos. I like to think I’m a pro, time to turn this site into exactly that. **Stay tuned!**