Since I use WordPress now for most of the websites that I build it is time to look at the methods using it. Am I working in the most efficient way possible? Inspired by a blog entry by author Dan Shafer, I am rethinking my methods.
Here is the traditional way of creating a WordPress site that probably most WordPress developers are familiar with…
- Find a WordPress theme (either paid or unpaid) that matches as closely as possible your design.
- Using the WordPress admin, tweak the CSS and PHP files.
- Check the site often to see how the tweaks look and keep tweaking and checking until you get the exact look you want.
If you have done a lot of WordPress, you are probably familiar with problems with each of the steps listed above. These include:
- The theme you choose looks close to what you want, but not easily adaptable. Making tweaks is difficult. The theme is built in a confusing way with overlapping styles and conflicting code. You might run into even more problems if you want to change the original design.
- The WordPress code editor is difficult to use. It does not automatically format and error check the way most code editors do. And the window is so small; you ending up scrolling back and forth between the Save button and the code window
- If the site is live, visitors to the site may be seeing a work in progress than the final result you are aiming for. Plus a lot of time is wasted going back and forth between the code and the browser you are using to preview the site.
There has to be a better way. Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Start with one of the basic, cleanly coded themes out there, such as Genesis which is a bare-bones themes specifically created to be easily adaptable.
- Do your coding in a code editor such as Coda
- Preview the site on a your personal web server, before uploading to the site server. For the Mac this means installing MAMP.
Not all of these are new to me but I can be more consistent in how they are applied. To take a sort of Best Methods approach to using WordPress.