New website

on May 26, 2012 in Personal with no comments by

Well, about a month ago I decided that the website needed an overhaul. The previous website felt a bit dated, and there was no room for me to add my recent projects or the ones I still have on my “to do” list.

I decided to stick with WordPress, which I’ve been using for the last 3 years. Despite its spaghetti code, a sign of its long history, it is robust yet flexible. And thanks to my own little plugin framework, it is a breeze to add new things to WordPress. For instance, I initially developed the Cookillian plugin for this website in a just few days, before deciding it could benefit others and releasing it into the public.

I also wanted to create my own theme, rather than have someone else do it for me. It had to be fluid in design, and Twitter Bootstrap laid the foundation for that. I’ve added my own touches to it, based on the design cues of various other websites, to create my own unique theme.

One of the main benefits of having designed my own theme, is that I am in full control over the resources and how they’re loaded. For instance, the theme has a plethora of built-in shortcodes, which would normally have been provided by a number of plugins. This reduces the “weight” of each page, as no unnecessary code is added. Along with some other optimizations, such as asynchronous loading of certain images and Javascript, the website has gotten a lot leaner.

It is not finished and thus you will likely find some quirks here and there as you use the website. Particularly, the old posts will have some remnants of plugins no longer used, or missing images. I didn’t want to wait too long with the release of the new website, and despite automated tests and what have you, the best test is putting it out into the public. So if you find something that isn’t working right, feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

Projects

As mentioned, one of the reasons was so I can add my projects, and give each one an overview page. This not only to better publicize the project, but also to provide a point where users can come back to if they need help, support or have suggestions.

I have a few planned projects as well, which will be added to the Projects page as they come along. The most recent addition is the plugin framework I’ve mentioned earlier, simply abbreviated as “pf4wp”. It’s been around for a while now, and my two other WordPress plugins, Background Manager and Cookillian are the “proof of concept” for this framework.

It isn’t an ideal framework for small, simple plugins – those that just tweak a setting or two. For that, it’s much too heavy. But something like Background Manager, it really helped me focus on the functionality of the plugin itself. WordPress 3.4 is coming up, and it includes a Theme Customizer.

Thanks to the framework, all I had to do was add a new class and the basic support for it has been there in the development version since late April. I’m just waiting for the WordPress core developers to push out the final version, just in case they change their mind with certain functions.

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