This custom WordPress website was built for Ken Risley, owner of the Engineer Designer. Ken uses the very popular Thesis theme for his content management, which is really a nice CMS system. I personally prefer to design and code my own CMS features, but if you are OK with something a little more out of the box, it is a good starting point.

The fun thing about creating and designing a thesis theme is the restrictions. Anyone familiar with designing wordpress websites knows that when you upgrade, core files are overridden. Due to this, you have several different ways to design a WordPress website theme.

Most themes would be static, meaning they are coded once, and then the content is controlled through the database and widgets. This regular type of setup is a standard WordPress theme. When you upgrade the WordPress installation, the theme files displaying the data remain the same. the advantage is that you can upgrade to your hearts content. The downside is that the code will eventually degrade, and the people using your theme will need to switch. You won’t be able to upgrade your theme without overwriting the individuals changes.

So how do you code a theme that can be upgraded? The answer is to use overrides. Thesis very intelligently provided a section that does not get overwritten during upgrades, where we can place custom functions and CSS. Since they override existing CSS or hook to current functions, all the Thesis authors need to do is stick to their current naming conventions when designing and coding the upgrades, and they will install seamlessly.

This becomes fun for me as the Website Designer, since I am achieving things I do everyday anyway, but in a different way than I would normally do them. As a CSS purist and fanatic, I prefer to use CSS over Javascript or PHP when possible, it is a cleaner, lighter weight language and can often accomplish the same objective with less load on the server.

Anyway, the new site looks great, I hope you guys take the time to check it out. Many thanks to Ken Risley and his Wife Kim, great people to work for, I look forward to helping them maintain a dominant web presence well into the future.

2017-12-11T17:20:34+00:00