Joel Always one syllable, sometimes "@jayroh"

WordPress 2.5 – I’m impressed

14 Apr 2008


wordpress iconI’m in the process of building and theming the brand new for Sara. Not only is she excited, but I’m elated to be working with the newest of the new in WordPress “technology”. It’s a strange leap from all the WP installs I’ve dealt with previously, but you can tell they’ve dropped a metric ton of work into making it the most secure (as it possibly can be) and usable blogging platform out there.

The first thing we did to get this ball rolling was to find a designer that truly “got” Sara’s vision for her brand. Luckily we were able to retain the services of a wonderful designer named Erika. I really liked the work she did for the RailsEnvy guys and figured I would give it a shot to see if she would be available for some design work. Turns out she had some space in her (I’m sure) busy calendar and whipped up some designs for us. Design – complete. Much thanks to Miss Greco!

On my end, the development work so far, other than slicing images, has consisted of a few tasks.

  1. Since this would be a custom theme, I looked for the most generic, baseline theme I could find to bend to my will. After a lot of looking I decided on one of these themes provided by Charity at Design Adaptations. It’s well developed, very well commented and absolutely gets out of the way of anyone who is using it as a jump-off for their custom wordpress theme. I’m still struggling with whether this is “custom” if it inherits code from someone else’s work. Regardless – she deserves kudos.
  2. One of the things I was looking forward to playing with in these recent versions of WordPress are the “Widgets” the WP team has put so much work into. Picking and choosing all of the content blocks you want to see around your site, re-ordering them as you wish – it’s just nice. See a widget you like, download, activate, put it where you want it. The only slightly difficult part was to enable the sidebar for widget support, and then figure out just how to enable multiple “sidebars”.
  3. Once the theme actually supported all of these widgets – it was time to find them.
    • Flexo Archives – reducing the clutter that the generic Archives widget spits out.
    • Limited Catlists – displaying the latest posts in Category X – for our purposes, the posts categorized under “Featured”. I couldn’t find a “Featured Posts” widget so this will just have to do.
    • Text widget – this one comes stock with WP by default and takes care of those scenarios where a little duct tape is needed. No decent FeedBurner widget? That’s fine – copy and paste the code Feedburner gives you into the text widget. Need a small “About” widget? Text widget to the rescue.

It goes without saying – I’m far from finished, but in the initial sprint to build out this site these are the pieces I managed to take note of. All in all though, WordPress 2.5 has been nothing short of a revelation in terms of where it came from, and where it’s going to. Huge props go to Happy Cog for the work they put into the new WP dashboard. It just feels so right.

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