Let me join the Jim Groom Kum-Ba-Ya I Love WordPress Chorus. In this least year, I’ve rolled out 3 NMC web sites that are published via WordPress, with each one going deeper into the bowels of the templates and just more jazzed how I can bend them to my will, casting CSS, PHP, plugins, MySQL to do my bidding. This is unlike drupal, where after a year I am still trying to figure out just how the heck it works and manages information. Its still a grey murky, opaque blue gumdrop box. I am trying to summon the drupal love, and it aint happening.
But WordPress, you make me sing. In this blog post that portends to be a monster one of length, I am going to dissect a new site I worked in gory technical detail.
On each of these sites, I have started with a standard template and slowly ripped the guts apart. So far, in the stable, is the NMC Campus Observer which began as the Blix template. Then there is NMC Virtual Worlds a child of the Orange 2.0 Theme, and one where I learned to create multiple page templates, use custom fields to spawn content specific sidebars, and rolling my own database queries to get posts I really wanted. Our podcast site, NMC Conversations is probably the least modded, a few tweaks of the redoable theme.
So as I get closer to the details, I remind you the stuff I am talking about is what you can do with your own code on a hosted server; while the WordPress.com service is fabulous (I used it myself this year), its simplicity comes at a price of severe lack of template tinkering. You really cannot do much there.
The site I am going to talk about is the NMC Pachyderm Services web site, which replaces a static HTML tabled encrusted, hand code the navigation links” Pachyderm.org web site, which was not all that bad, but once you go to database driven template sites, it just hurts to hand code an HTML site.
So I am going to talk alot about the mangling I did in the templates along with some plugins I deploy (and tweak too). I should say I go about waist deep into the CSS and full body dive into the PHP code of the templates. And for some of these sites, I make a bend away from the standard format of blog as reverse chronological series of “posts”. I make web sites, not blogs.
Some of this stuff may get nitty gritty in detail, but I am intrigued to see if I can document all the little pieces that came together for this site. To be honest, these really develop organically, and sometimes change/evolve with more content dumped in.