If anything can go wrong, it will.

Design

Self-Hosted WordPress Woes

There are a lot of things that I love about running a self-hosted WordPress blog. I love that I have complete control over everything; the plugins installed & available to me, and being able to create or download any theme I like without paying anything extra.

WP is, and has been for some time, the best blogging software around, in my opinion. Sure, there are other great options, too, but having tried several of them over the years, it is always WP that I come back to.

There are some things that I’m not a huge fan of, though.

As a self-hosted WP blog, I don’t have the “reblog” option.  Anyone wishing to share any of my content can still do so, but it’s not as quick & simple as having that reblog  option.  You’ve got to copy/paste and manually create a link to my original post, if you want to do the same thing that the reblog function does.

If I want to allow visitors to comment using their WP credentials, or their Facebook or Twitter credentials, I have to enable JetPack comments. Now, JetPack has some awesome features for self-hosted WP blogs, but I feel that JetPack comments are causing more problems than they’re worth.

So I’ve disabled that part of the JetPack suite of plugins.

Sadly, this means you can’t just login with your WP account (or any of the other options JetPack comments provides), and it may mean that you will have to go through comment moderation again due to the switch back to WP‘s native comments system.  I’m sorry for that, but I’m afraid I really do prefer the native comments due to the quirks and issues with JetPack comments.  One of the quirks I’m hoping this fixes is the issue with long comments screwing everything up. So I’m crossing my fingers.

WP Themes: Beachy & Cupcake

It’s possible I’m an addict.

There are two more themes available on the themes page, for anyone running a self-hosted version of WordPress. Still too lazy to put the screenshots of the themes in question into a post, but as always, they can be tested.

So, if you’re curious: Beachy | Cupcake

On a side note, I really wish that a talented WP plugin author would design a new (or update an existing) theme switcher for visitor’s use. Theme Test Drive lets you view the themes that aren’t active, but I really miss being able to allow readers the option to pick what theme they use on a more permanent basis.

WP Themes: LLAP

Once again, it’s getting very close to being past my bed time.

“LLAP” has actually been available on the themes page for a couple of days now, I just hadn’t got around to announcing it.

If you’d like to see it in action…

Test drive: LLAP

WP Themes: Starry and Peachy

In attempting to be some kind of productive today, I’ve put up two WP themes that I’ve created.

I’d put up the screenshots of them for you in this post, except that I’m a) lazy and b) tired beyond belief. You have no idea how far past my bed time it is right now.

So, instead of sticking you with static previews, instead, I’ll give you the means to test drive them.

Test drive: Peachy | Starry

Small Victories

I’m by no means a professional web designer, although, I did begin university for that.

I use a “mostly” WYSIWYG program for creating WordPress themes, though, and I have a lot of fun with it, most of the time.

Today has been one of those days where I’m definitely not having fun.

All that I wanted to do was make a small graphic to be used as a post divider. The graphic itself was easy, but managing to insert it in such a manner that it automatically follows each post in my theme, but only on the primary posts page, has been a nightmare.

I know how to work with CSS. So, doing it that way shouldn’t have really been an issue, except for the way that the program I use lays everything out. The CSS class that defines the layout of posts also appears in various other locations, such as the divs that category archive titles are in and after the navigation on single posts.  If I attempted to put the graphic in that way, I wound up with this little swirly image all over the place!

As a result, I have now butchered this theme about 46 times, and mangled the template pages for the software I use beyond all recognition. (Thank goodness I have been clever enough to back it all up!)

So, why don’t I just do the coding myself? Well, because that’s not the part of designing WP themes that I actually like. It’s the visual elements of web design that I enjoy, and really, the part I feel I’m better at. Ugh. CSS and HTML kind of make me want to tear my hair out, whereas, creating the graphics in Photoshop is enjoyable and even relaxing.

I really do love playing around at theme design, but, as someone who is really just playing, could you please, for the love of all that is holy, provide me with more options and less restriction?

On a happy note, though, I did manage to achieve my goal… after hours and hours of searching for answers in the support documentation, and pouring through more PHP files than I can count.