I finally figured out how to make a WordPress theme to my liking. The tech details will be at the tail end of this article.
A risk anyone takes when being public to any degree on the internet is that you have to deal with both the good and the bad when it comes to a worldwide audience. I honestly don't think most people realize that when you post blogs, videos, photos or whatever it is, that content is public to the world.
Recently my boss asked me if it was okay to post a bio of myself on the primary business web site. I agreed to it because in order to relate to the audience you serve, you must be willing to share of yourself. This gives the audience a sense of trust and also lets them know that yes, you are a real person.
He also asked if I wanted my blog linked. I said that was okay too. Will this bring any web traffic here? I have no idea. Maybe so; maybe not.
Over the years I've gone back and forth trying to decide how public I should be. There was a time when I was a complete open book, but I learned that isn't always the best thing to do. These days I have a mix of things I will openly write about and list while other subjects remain private. I believe that's the best way to handle things. There are some who have a webcam running 24/7 showing everyone in the world everything they do. But I'm not one of those people.
. . .
Okay, here's the nerdy WordPress stuff.
First and foremost: WP themes are confusing. They are done in a way that's not friendly at all. It is ten times easier to modify MovableType templates, however the WP engine is faster and there are craploads of plugins available for it. This is part of the reason I switched to WP.
After scouring the internet for a 100% basic no-CSS-at-all theme, I found one and was finally able to get a grip on how the template system works. The Kubrick theme is nice and all that but is near-impossible to work with. This is why you don't see too many variations on that theme.
If you've found yourself banging your head on your keyboard out of frustration trying to modify the Kubrick theme, don't worry, you're not alone.
About my template:
I do have CSS in my current theme but it heavily rely on tried-and-true HTML tables. Trying to make CSS-based tables work proper across multiple browsers will waste so much of your time it's ridiculous. When you use tables, it just works. You don't have to do any of that float: left; crap. Set your tables, assign CSS ID's or classes to the table cells and ta-da - it works.
The fonts are admittedly huge. I do this because I have a 20-inch widescreen monitor and I need to see what the frig is going on. In WordPress just about everything in the administration panel is in huge fonts. Making the main site also have huge fonts works. It makes it much easier on the eyes all around.
The graphic-based article titles is a really old plugin that hasn't had any additional support for some time, but it works with the current version of WP at the time of this writing. I believe it will also work with any future releases because it doesn't touch on any core functions of WP to the best of my knowledge.
I am glad I got somewhat of a handle on how WP themes work. I'm nowhere near being an expert on the subject, but at least now it looks the way I want it to look rather than the standard Kubrick theme.
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