Tag Archives: XHTML

Cleaning Up My WordPress Theme

Today I spent at least five hours working on my WordPress theme. I haven’t really done much programming in XHTML/CSS in the past year, so it took quite some time to get into the code again. The stylesheet for the layout was a complete mess, and while I updated the WordPress software to 2.8.2 last saturday, some of the PHP files in my theme were “leftovers” from the old version. You get the picture.

After what I did today, the stylesheet looks much better, and major parts of the XHTML are way cleaner than before. As a result, the code validates again properly via the W3C Markup Validation Service. Now, let’s have a look at what changed for someone who visits the site.

I did a complete overhaul of the metadata for each entry (time and date of the posting, categories, tags and the link to the comment area), so the distinction between the actual post and the metadata appears clearer. The same was done for the metadata in the comment area, aka the single post page. This went along with some cleaning up of font sizes, colors, hyperlink behaviour and of course lots of wrestling with the infamous paddings and margins.

The second, big change concerns the comment area. I’ve tweaked all the forms (the input fields for name, e-mail and website, as well as the input area for the comment text), and brought the formatting of the actual comments in line with the rest of the site layout. Last but not least, I implemented support for Gravatar icons in the comments. Since WordPress supports this since version 2.5, it was only a matter of adding some PHP to the comments template. Visitors who already signed up with Gravatar and uploaded an image will now see it appear next to their comments.

After today’s programmathon, there’s not all that much more to do. I might tweak some small things here and there, but don’t expect any revolutionary changes in the near future… unless I decide to rebuilt the layout from scratch on a whim. 😉

Omuraisu! version 0.1 is up and running

After one week of working on several drafts, I decided it was time for a release of version 0.1. I wont give this release a full version number (e.g. 1.0) yet because there is still lots of fine tuning needed.

I started off with a simple HTML layout based on CSS. Like many others (I presume) I had only worked with tables for designing layouts, so CSS was a real revelation. I’ll never go back to using tables, really. After the first few days decided I wanted a more dynamic content management system, which pure HTML can’t offer (at least not when I code it). I chose WordPress for that. I lost about a day trying to work out its structure, mainly by reverse engineering the default theme and heavily modifying it to suit my needs. I never worked with PHP before and knew nothing about it so this proved to be quite a challenge – but I’m happy with the results so far.

The graphics have gone through three major overhauls during this one week, the current version is what I finally came up with today. I might change it again though, depending on wether or not I can still bear to watch it tomorrow.

For the next update I’m gonna try to get the structure of the subcategories sorted, along with uploading some content. I’m still not perfectly happy with using HTML for those pages – it’s not very convenient to update and I’m not sure if I want to go through that every time something changes in those categories. Other fixes will involve a consistent hyperlink design, some changes in font size here and there and maybe a restructuring of the sidebar.

Thanks go out to Mr. Fukai for advising me of the possibilities inherent in CSS, to the Lavazza coffee company for helping to keep me awake, and to my sweet girlfriend for reminding me of the fact that humans need to sleep in order to keep up the creative flow. 😉

So long!