I thought it was befitting that my first blog post was about the joys and pains of setting up WordPress and creating a custom WordPress theme. I have to say that installing WordPress is probably the easiest task anyone with basic computer skills could every complete. The instructions provided are super simple, I’d say the more difficult part, for a novice, is where and how to setup the database that powers WordPress. I currently use two hosts for my sites. It’s a long drawn out story, but basically each host has perks that I like and I sometimes like to cross domain features. Example, my host for this mbmediapartners.com has some really superb features, but they charge $5 / month for MySQL. Now I get that every company has overhead and such but my thoughts are that MySQL should be a freebie with the rest of your hosting package. Luckily, my other host does include 2000 MB of MySQL and 1000 MB of SQL Server hosting in the plan I have with them. My decision was easy, I put the database where it was free.
After getting WordPress functional, I wanted to create a theme that matched the main site without looking overly disjointed. There are several issues at hand. First is that the site was built with Microsoft’s ASP.Net MVC 5 and WordPress is all PHP based. PHP isn’t my first programming language so I tend to spend time using a programmer’s best friend, Google. See MVC is really great because it allows the developer to create one or more template layouts and just swap out content code very quickly with other views. This means that header and footer for the site were locked down and if I want to change them, I do it once and it changes on all the pages. Unfortunately when I switch over to the PHP world, I have to duplicate both the head and footer again. This means in the future if I change something on the main site in the header or footer, I’m duplicating the work and the possibility of duplicating errors. That’s the life of a developer, I’ll move on.
I’ve actually never created a theme from scratch. I’ve always modified that stupid default theme that is installed with WordPress. But I found this great zip package with the minimal core files need to make a theme, so we’re off like a cat on catnip. Speaking of crazy cats, my cat Tatum goes loco sometimes for no reason, zooming this way and that. So back to theme making.
Time for another cup of coffee.