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I Setup My Local WordPress To Update Themes

After graduating, I told myself I would get cracking on updating my “design” skills. I graduated with an Industrial Engineering degree and what I took away from this 5 years was that I sort of enjoy Web design. Mainly creating UIs and designing UX workflows. I find it fascinating trying to understand how users behave on Web pages, how they think, why they do what they do, and how we can work with users instead of against them. So I told myself I’d take some time off and work on a portfolio so that I could, maybe, apply to design firms that specialized in Web design, or maybe even work freelance. I just needed something to show them that I was capable.

Well I got sick for 3 weeks, I’ve got a nagging back pain that I’m too afraid to get checked, and I’m sitting at the Toronto Eatons Centre writing a blog post for a website I’ve yet to setup. Why is my website not setup, you ask? At first I wanted to build it from ground up, everything manually coded and managed, but I couldn’t get a good design down. I had this going:


At the bottom, you could go between projects I’ve done, I wanted to show my sketchbook scans, and some photography shots I’ve taken. In each page, there would be 6 “data blocks” in the header which would show stats about the page. For instance, number of projects, total time spent, or current status of the project. You would be able to click on it and it would expand to show the data in detail. Each project/post in would have it’s own 6 blocks, which would be overviewed right in the post (I was playing around with how to display it, I didn’t really like having the 3×2 in both at the time). I liked the colour blue and went with an orange contrast, but I’ve been told it’s a little colourful…

Anyways, since then, which was back in January, I’ve decided just now actually, that I would use WordPress as my CMS instead, and simply develop my own theme for it. I’d like to get to know WordPress better, since most sites on the Web, whether it shows or not, runs on WordPress. So yesterday, I setup a local WordPress development environment for myself on my Mac using MAMP PRO (MAMP would’ve worked fine as well) and I’ve been following tutorials on tuts+. I’m also mingling with Octopress, which uses Jekyll in the backend, the difference being Jekyll is based on static pages, whereas WordPress posts are dynamically generated from a database. That then led me to discover GitHub Pages, which also run static pages based on Jekyll. Static pages basically mean that each post/page is has it’s own HTML file that is loaded when you select that particular link. Dynamic pages are generated, when you select a post, it’ll use whatever the post template you have, then grab the content from the database and insert it into your template, generating the page on-the-fly.

So, that’s the plan for the next 2 weeks hopefully: WordPress and Jekyll.

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