Way back in August 2007 I decided to start my own blog. I have a deep history of using content managed websites from my days of running the nvmax.com website and wanted a place to scribble down my own thoughts about what I was doing. I also wanted to carry on doing reviews for which I had been doing for a long time.
The old blog was held together with shoe strings and bubble gum, it was a carved up older theme for which I liked the look of. I’ve never known much PHP so was rather apprehensive about starting to amend and change a theme when I had only started using wordpress. Using wordpress was the first time I had really known what was involved in this thing people called blogging. Browsing the web enabled me to find so many more bloggers, one of which was Matt Brett. I enjoyed reading Matt’s gaming reviews and still do today. Looking and reading Matt’s various posts about wordpress made me more intrigued at how it all worked.
WordPress has come a long way in such a short time, a year has passed since I first started using it and there have been so many noticeable improvements. The interface for the dashboard has changed entirely and even though the differences between 2.6 and 2.7 were so huge, the usability got better with it. There are more plugins than ever before and with the likes of jquery making an ever impressive gut punch into our web world you can do so much more with the front end. It’s now a time for enjoying what wordpress can do, and all though it doesn’t tick every box it certainly covers a lot of them.
I started reading Adii Rockstars blog shortly after Matt Brett’s last year, I can’t exactly remember why I ended up at Adii’s but it may have been after seeing a post about his premium news themes. His premium news theme at the time reminded me so much of nvmax.com that it brought memories flooding back. WordPress as a news theme is tremendous, it is one of its largest uses today.
Fairly recently Adii joined up with Magnus Jepson and Mark Forrester to start WooThemes. They have developed a range of different premium themes which you buy a licence form, of which all a fantastic quality and build. They’ve pulled out all the stops to provide their users with themes which they know they want, some of which have now been used for websites like gomediazine.com.
I’ve learnt a lot about wordpress from Magnus, he seems to hint at what you need to do rather than tell you all the gory details therefore you learn so much more and quicker.
I am a hypocrit. Why you might be asking. I don’t believe designers should be using a premium theme which they haven’t designed. Yet, I’ve went and done this myself by using the Over Easy Theme. I listed my reasons for using Over Easy in the “why I’m overeasy” post, it was mainly because I was so busy with work and other projects that I couldn’t devote the time I wanted or needed to a new blog design. I am yet to find the perfect life/work balance which I can enjoy the best of both worlds. My old blog theme as I said earlier was held together with shoe strings and bubble gum and the easiest way to fix this was use a premium theme as I trusted the build quality.
I do believe that designers and even some developers should prove their worth as such by working on their own blog (if they have one already).
My overall view is that it would be slightly weird if I was to sit and use a theme designed by Veerle Pieters, Matt Brett or Elliot Jay Stocks rather than doing my own blog with my own unique tastes. I simply do not have the time.
It would be interesting to see what other designers and developers views are?