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Why I Didn’t Post For a Long Time, Part 2


One of the things I wanted to do on my break was consolidate my web presence. Meaning, I’ve had a few sites over the years, and I want to pick just one domain and have that be the only thing I have to worry about and redirect everything else.

I picked this domain, obviously.

Then I realized I wanted to combine my static, single-page portfolio site with my blog, because I like them both. And of course I’d grown very attached to my design for that site. It was simple. It was scrollable. And (after I removed some JavaScript) it didn’t scrolljack or do anything weird. The only thing it couldn’t do was give me an adequate way to talk about my projects, apart from the portfolio grid popup, or showcase my writing anywhere.

So my first decision was, do I try to use the blog’s API to pipe it in to the static site somehow? Or do I just throw it all into a WordPress site?

And I know, I know, I can do both, I can have a static site and a blog — but again, the point here is simplicity. I don’t want to maintain more than one site. And I like WordPress’s taxonomy options. So, I thought, since I’m already here, let’s just find a WordPress portfolio theme that does what I need and build an intro page. WordPress it is.

HAHAHAHAHA. It’s never that easy, and OMG WTF is going on with WordPress themes?

You know how they say great programmers find ways not to build things? Yeah, well, that’s biting me in the ass. Because here’s what I don’t want in web presence:

  • a hamburger menu
  • animations of any sort
  • sliders, dear God, please, no sliders
  • dohickeys, widgets, etc.
  • parallax, or scrolljacking or anything too fancy.

But what I do want is

  • a sortable portfolio page
  • some nice agency-like features, like testimonials and “what I do” and whatnot
  • probably a couple of other pages that aren’t for writing
  • but also a place to put my writing.

This shouldn’t be hard. But of course it is. I spent hours scouring WordPress theme sites, looking for something as simple as my static site design. I didn’t find that. I found things a lot like it, but with bells and whistles and animations and all sorts of things I didn’t want. And I was close to choosing an agency type theme, which it looked like I could remove many of the annoyances from, but then, when I installed it in my local dev blog, I realized that how it treated the words part was terrible — just awful, in the way that happens when it’s clear something’s an afterthought. These people do not care about words, I thought, and I was displeased.

So, back to the ol’ drawing board. I even thought about making a custom theme, or at least a child theme. (Keep in mind, I’m trying not to code over here.) But then I did a little more digging, using UX forums, and found this theme. And I like the way the words look on this one. And I figured, eventually, that it was easier to add things if I needed to than to pare down a crazy overfeatured theme.

So. Here we are. New theme. Words look nice. Portfolio to come.