In many website jobs that I see posted these days clients are wanting to use the WordPress blog engine as their website. Being able to customize WordPress to greater detail is becoming a more important skill. And I have to admit, I’m hoping it will make updates to the portfolio and posting news much easier.
This isn’t my first blog customization, I’ve easily done a dozen of these now, and I’m bringing along all the little things I’ve learned along the way. For the template base to customize, I chose Toolbox by Automattic. This theme was stripped down and ready to be built upon.
I’m utilizing child themes, which protects the modifications and changes that I make to my customized theme in the event that my base theme gets changed in an update by the WordPress system. Child Themes are one of the things I wish I’d known and understood from my first customized theme, so if you’re serious about customizing WordPress themes I seriously recommend getting familiar with them.
I’m breaking down converting my website to a WordPress platform into phrases for easier management. I’m making my previous static pages available during remodeling, and I’m opening up the process on my website along the way. In phase one I will establish the complete customization of the theme, without going into extensive polishing of the theme. As soon as the theme is serviceable in function and distinct from the original in customization, I’m going to populate all the content from my existing static web site in phase two. Phase three begins one all the existing content is propagated with a re-addressing of shine and polish to the the customized theme. Afterwards, phase four will wrap up adding the new content that has not yet been created on the older static site, catching my portfolio up to date.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes to move through the phases. Having started this project exactly 5 hours ago (time of this writing 5:35PM CST 9/8/2011) I estimate to be nearly finished with phase one, and already eager to bring over content.