I haven’t been satisfied with The Rhetoric’s theme for a long time and have been intending to design/develop my own from scratch. In the past I’ve always selected a well-designed theme and modifying it to meet my needs.
To prepare myself for this adventure I read the WordPress Codex sections about theme development. I also read the applicable chapters of WordPress 2.7 Complete: Create Your Own Complete Blog or Website from Scratch with WordPress by April Hodge Silver and Hasin Hayder.
Yesterday I spent a long time in Photoshop doing design mock-up. The early stages were frustrating and a bit humorous as the design shifted wildly and often in not-so-good directions. I was only vaguely sure of what I wanted; I know I want a fairly simple and clean design that fits my personality.
This afternoon I readied a local sandbox for theme/plugin development: I created a MySQL database with a copy of data from this blog for testing, installed and configured WordPress, and created a folder to hold the files for the new theme. A development sandbox allows me to play around with the new design without confusing and annoying the visitors of the live blog.
When the new theme is done I’m going to create several custom plugins. That should be fun, too.
Then I’ll update my resume.