After theme research,, operational

During the past few weeks, I have spent quite a few hours researching free and commercial themes and developer frameworks for the WordPress content management system. I ended up coming full circle and using the default Twenty Eleven theme on both of my websites for now, even though it’s not exactly the theme I want. However, one of its primary advantages, at least as far as I’m concerned, is that it’s mobile-ready. I found other themes that I liked, including Premium Pixels’ Repro theme, but in most cases, they don’t seem mobile-ready. I’m willing to trade some features and looks for a mobile-friendly site, particularly since I’m one of those people who frequently visits websites on my smart phone.

The good news is that I’ve reconfigured and, setting up e-mail accounts, among other things, and both of those sites are now online and operational. I’m not completely satisfied with how they look, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right? The Twenty Eleven theme has the basic features I need, but I want to change the layout, art, and colors in order to appropriately highlight our content and also make the sites look unique.

Our next step is to start regularly posting content, while learning how to customize the Twenty Eleven themeā€”or build our own.

Tried OpenPublish, won’t use for now

I installed Open Publish for Oak Ridge News Now, one of the websites I’m building, but it looks like I would have to spend some time learning how to build a theme. However, I haven’t yet found any good documentation on how to do this. In addition, I just don’t think I want to struggle with Drupal right now, and I definitely don’t want to teach it to my co-editors, at least not now. Maybe later.

So, for now it’s full speed ahead with WordPress. Let’s see what it can do. I intend to use the multi-site feature. But I’ve still got to learn how to build custom themes for my websites.

Transitioning from Drupal to WordPress

Several years ago, I spent many hours, possibly hundreds, learning to use and customize the Drupal content management system and several of its most popular contributed modules, such as Views and CCK, in order to develop and operate a local events website. In the process, I learned a lot about HTML, CSS, PHP, templates, servers, FTP, GIMP, and how to solicit and regularly post content as well as how to market a website, including through word-of-mouth and e-mail subscriptions. I enjoyed the experience, but it was a lot of work and I was doing it voluntarily.

Now, a few years later, I’m starting over with a new system, WordPress, which is more well-known as a blogging platform. Since I once briefly had a WordPress blog, I’m not completely new to it, but this time I hope to learn more about its capabilities, particularly as a content management system. I’d like to see how much it can be customized. For example, I wonder: Will WordPress allow me to add a certain block of a certain type of content in a certain position?

Based on what I’ve seen so far, WordPress doesn’t seem as customizable as Drupal, at least not at first, and I’m not sure if it has the same big community of contributed modules. However, WordPress seems a lot easier to use in many ways and is certainly more well-designed in terms of being aesthetically pleasing.

Besides now using WordPress for my personal website, my wife and I are planning to use it to launch a local website, possibly as soon as April. I’ll let you know that turns out.




Site upgraded with photos, services

I spent a few hours customizing my site today, adding an About Me page, header photos, and several new services, including an e-mail subscription form, Share This buttons, and a section for my latest Twitter posts.

My next step is to add a contact form.

Thanks again for visiting and let me know if I can assist you in any way.