I figured out the theme had a built-in search widget that I needed to use rather than the standard wordpress widget. Using that widget fixed my gripe with the search widget being ugly. I also did some more CSS tweaking (mostly just colors).
I also found fixed a bug where empty search results weren’t calling the footer so the whole page looked somewhat off-kilter. Ugly.
Today was also exciting in that I dove into the uncharted waters of PHP! I played around with the post header/footer and was able to finally get what I was after. I moved the post author to the footer and I got the full date in the footer as well.
All in all it was a very productive day!
Utilizing my EXTREMELY limited (non-existent) knowledge of PHP I managed to create a Page.php template separate from the Articles.php template. This resolved one of my issues with this theme – specifically, since there was not previously a Pages.php template my About and Contacts pages were simply using the posts template – not attractive.
I also dugg into the CSS a little bit and changed a few colors around to suit my liking. While I was doing that I discovered some sidebar stuff that could (possibly) be tweaked to make it (and my search widget) less ugly. I know a TINY bit more CSS than I do PHP so I stumbled my way through rather than commenting-out random lines and crossing my fingers.
Here are some details about the site that might interest anyone who is curious… Since I am not financially capable (broke) I cannot currently afford paying someone else to host the site. It’s another monthly bill and I would rather buy a house. That being said I am hosting the site on my Mac mini using my business DSL line. Until I get a domain set up I’m using the free and awesome dynamic DNS service. It is particularly nice because for OS X there is a dashboard widget that updates dynDNS of your IP address.
I know you’re probably thinking “oh crap, if three or more people are on this site it’s going to crash” – well, you’re probably right. Actually, I have more faith in Apache, MySQL, and PHP on my Mac mini than I do my ISP’s ability to handle the bandwidth.
I consider this quite a feat because of two points 1) I know almost nothing about most web technologies – the fact is I’m a n00b. But I’m proud to admit it and determined to change it. I think that’s important. The reason this is a feat is because it was incredibly easy to set up using OS X.
The UNIX underpinnings in 10.5 make my Mac mini a fairly robust server for a fraction of the cost of an Xserve. Enabling Apache required me to simply check a box – that’s it. Granted there were a few other steps involved in enabling PHP and installing MySQL; but let’s be realistic, one is going to have to dirty one’s hands at some point.
Please pardon me if I’m sounding too much like a “fanboy”. In all honesty, I would install whichever OS made it the easiest – I’m not afraid of using a Linux distro. or installing Windows on a Mac. The fact is that OS X made it the easiest to accomplish the goals I wanted to accomplish.
OK, this is my first post that has any real value to it whatsoever… So far I have the following issues that need to be resolved:
- Nobody is reading this
- Posts do not have the day of month in the date
- Permalinks are ugly (as in, without alibi)
- About, Contact, etc. pages are using the blog page template and are showing category, date and comment information. Just fixed this one – w00t!
- The overall appearance of some of the elements on page do not look very distinguished. This is noticeable on some (read: crummy) LCD displays.
- The search widget is ugly (see #3)
I’m sure more will become apparent as I get deeper into this – but for just starting out it’s not that bad.
- I’d like to edit my sidebar widgets so they appear to be separate boxes form each other. I want them to have rounded corners, and ideally, be collapsible.
- I want some widgets on the bottom of the page. Recent posts, maybe my Flickr photostream, etc.
- I need to register a domain as well. I’ve heard good things about 1and1 but right now it’s not in the cards (i.e. bank account = empty)
If anyone happens upon this post please feel free to hit up the comments to offer any suggestions or notify me of bugs you find. I’m taking a kind of continuous improvement approach with this so hopefully with a little luck, a few magic beans, and some late-night geekery I will have a decent site up soon.
Suddenly I feel less original…