Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Customizing WordPress: A Right and Wrong Path

I just got done customizing WordPress to match the look and feel of one of my customer's websites. This turned out to be trickier than I thought it would be, and along the way I learned at least one way that doesn't work and one way that did.

Of course, I'm new to this whole customization of WordPress thing, so this may be terrible advice.

The Wrong Path

My first attempt involved logging into the WordPress admin section, finding the presentation area, and then the main stylesheet. I then started hacking away. I figured I could control the background, fonts, etc. easily enough by just tweaking the main stylesheet.

But alas, this turned out to be a dead end. The CSS of the default WordPress theme was just too specific for me to use as a general starting point. I felt like I was doing a whole lot of work just to undo what the theme had setup, and was getting nowhere trying to make it look the way I wanted it to.

The Right Path

After the lesson learned above, I decided to take another approach. What if I found a really basic theme for WordPress and customized that? I wanted something super basic. I browsed my way through wpthemesfree.com till I found Upstart Blogger Minim 0.1 by the good folks at upstartblogger.com.

I downloaded the theme and checked out the code. I was relieved to find that the code was just as basic as you'd expect. It wasfamiliar HTML/CSS wrapped around a few key PHP calls to pull in blogging content.

It was perfect. Using it as a general guide, I rebuilt the HTML/CSS just the way I wanted the page to look.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:55 PM

    The latter method is exactly what I did when customizing the blog on my website.