I’m back baby!

Yeah yeah you’ve heard it before I know but the site is back and is all shiney and new and stuff.  It’s been in maintenance mode for a long time now but I finally decided to actually tidy it and even do some work on a custom theme….more on that later.

Most of the old content and posts are gone so we’re starting from scratch and the focus of the blog is shifting a little bit to a more geeky/tech angle with no doubt some other random bits sprinkled around too.  And in that vain lets go over whats changed here……

First lets start with the theme.  WordPress recently updated to 3.2 (and now is on 3.2.1) and with it camea new default theme called Twenty Eleven that had many features I liked (like the adaptable layout and support for post formats) and a few that I personally felt needed a bit of tweaking (like the amount of whitespace it had and the header image size).  So a few weeks ago I set about creating a child theme based off the generally excellent Twenty Eleven and thus TEE (Twenty Eleven Enhanced) was born.

Those of you that know me will know that I’m certainly no designer and am much more at home monkeying with code and number crunching than trying to make things look pretty so I tried to keep things pretty simple.  As such the goal of TEE was to enhance Twenty Eleven by providing a few additional theme options without losing or breaking any of the original features that Twenty Eleven provides and thus far I think thats been achieved.  For a full list of additional features and options TEE provides see the TEE project page but essentially it provides –

  • Structure tweaks to reduce whitespace
  • Header image size options
  • Styling options for widget background
  • Changes the default Twenty Eleven behaviour regarding the sidebar and pages (in otherwords it adds a sidebar to pages by default if the layout you choose includes a sidebar)

As part of setting TEE up for this site I also decided to move away from using a plugin to manage the photos I have here on the site and instead moved to the default WordPress media management instead.  I made this decision after deciding to dramatically reduce the number of photos I had hosted here and because I thought it would be a good idea to support the default setup within TEE.  If the default setup doesnt appeal to you I would recommend the NextGEN gallery plugin which i previously used to manage my photos. To help support the default setup in TEE I added in a gallery page template and also tweaked the image attachment template for TEE a little.  You can see these in action by browsing the few Photos that survived the culling.  Note that the gallery and photo tweaks are heavily influenced by the photo gallery primer posted by Otto.

Hopefully over the next couple of weeks I can get a few things tidied up code wise (and get something more pretty done with the site header) and then get it submitted into the wordpress theme repository so that other people can use it too if they think the feature set it useful to them.   Until then you’ll all just have to gaze in wonder at it in operation here for a bit.