40 Days In – A Look Back

Well, it’s been about 40 days – almost 6 weeks – since I began this quest to rediscover web development.

During that time, I’ve learned a fair amount about WordPress theme and plugin development and I’m about to venture into CSS and front-end dev.

Not bad, but 40 days feels like a lot and I had expected, for this amount of time, I’d be farther along this quest, so I have mixed feelings about my progress so far.

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A Great Tutorial On Theme Development

I completed the Ian Stewart part of The ThemeShaper WordPress Theme Tutorial: 2nd Edition tutorial the other day. It was really helpful, but what I learned most clearly was – I still have a lot to learn.

I’ve seen so many API calls and little WordPress nuances over the past couple days, I realize it’s going to take me a long while to gain fluency in theme development.

I mean, I can now stumble my way awkwardly through building a template, but I don’t yet know theme development. I don’t feel it.

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Underscoring My Theme Development

I’ll be honest. I haven’t been on the computer much over the last 4-5 days.

I’m in the process of selling my old house – a house I’ve owned for almost a full year after buying my new house – so I’ve been more than a little distracted.

Nevertheless, I have accomplished a little with my WordPress theme development efforts.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far.

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Time To Experiment With Theme Development

I’ve been struggling this past week with what to do next. I was thinking I’d create an admin interface for one of the plugins I created, but I’m having trouble focusing on that right now.

My problem is that I need a project. I need something real to focus my plugin development efforts on and, unfortunately, I have yet to come up with a good or even “just okay” idea.

Do you have an idea for me? A project idea I could work on? If so, let me know.

In the meantime, I think I’m going to transition over to theme development for awhile.

Time to start digging into the latest standards for HTML, CSS, and responsive development.

Yes, it may be about time to create a face for this site.

Who Can Tell Me Where I Am?

The other day I was writing plugin code and I thought it would be useful to know the URL of the page a visitor is on.

Back in the day, I would get the user’s current URL with something like:

$url = 'http://' . $_SERVER['HTTP_HOST']  . $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI'];

Instead of going with how I used to do it, I thought it would be better to try the WordPress way. There’s a function for that, right?

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Extending my Custom Post Type with a Meta Box or Two

After creating my Developers Handbook custom post type, I decided it would be fun to extend its functionality, and usefulness, by building a couple meta boxes. I thought this would be a great way to learn more about WordPress development.

In the end, I did learn a lot more about WordPress, but I ultimately gave up on the project and threw all my new code away.

Here’s the story.

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Custom Post Types

I often hear these words at work: “We can build a custom post type for this” or “I built a custom post type for that” and I’ve always known, generally, what a custom post type was, but I didn’t really know what was involved in creating one.

Given I’m on this quest to become a WordPress developer, and it seems likely these three words will come up again in future conversations, I thought it would be worthwhile to spend some more time with custom post types.

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