A Quick Look at WordPress and a New Project

Ah, WordPress. It’s the most popular blogging platform in existence. Back when I did a little freelance web development, it seemed like everyone and their grandmother had a WordPress site that needed some modifications. If I’m still handy with WordPress, that alone could probably pay my bills. I’m not excited by the idea of fixing people’s broken themes and plugins, but I do like the idea of creating my own custom WordPress themes from scratch (or almost from scratch) to create beautiful and functional websites that clients can easily update themselves.

Today I started looking through the WordPress Codex, a website I used to spend a lot of time on. I reviewed all the basics, from “the loop” to the template hierarchy. It feels good to realize just how much stuff I still remember! In fact, I remember so much of it that if I were to try to document everything I reviewed in any amount of detail here, this blog post might turn into a full-length book!

Maybe I am ready to create a custom theme, after all! Hmm, but the problem is that my first client (my step-brother) won’t be ready to start planning the content for his new website for at least a couple more weeks. I won’t know which parts of WordPress I need to review until I know what features he needs.

Maybe I could create a practice theme of my own. It’s difficult to learn this sort of stuff without having a project to apply it to. In fact, I bet that’s one of the reasons I didn’t stick to HTML or CSS during my 30 Days of Web Dev challenge. I stuck with the JavaScript because I was actually making something. With the HTML or CSS, I was only practicing, not creating something with a purpose. I really need that missing piece, otherwise I’ll never be able to motivate myself to learn this stuff!

Some ideas for website projects:

  • A web dev/design portfolio website
  • A new WordPress theme for my old website
  • A website for my meetup group
  • A nice design for one of the small web apps I started building, like my pomodoro timer
  • A website that teaches people how to build websites by illustrating how the website itself was built
  • A website for a local nonprofit

I certainly have no shortage of ideas! I guess I should pick something that I think I can finish in a couple weeks; that way, having a completed project under my belt might give me the confidence boost I need to build a website for a client.

As for today, I’m feeling pretty down. Not only do I feel like I’ve been drifting away from my goals lately, but I still have some difficult stuff going on in my personal life, and to top it all off, I got into my first real car accident today! It was very minor, but still stressful. So I’m thinking of spending the night with my parents to learn about how insurance works and to get some moral support.

I’m hoping I’ll be able to make a decision on what project to pursue after I sleep on it. I’ll feel more calm and collected in the morning, after I take care of this business with the car insurance.