scorched earth policy

A year ago I didn’t want the company I work for to get any more web design jobs. I hated the design compromises and labour intensiveness. I had a WordPress.com hosted blog for my illustrations “Tinned Meat”, where the only tinkering I could do was change the highlight colour.

Then I’m not quite sure what happened. We got a huge web gig working with a nightmare developer. Then some smaller ones that weren’t quite as bad. I swapped to a self-hosted WP blog, and heavily tinkered with the same theme. And somewhere along the way it wasn’t enough.

I even installed a code editor that doesn’t do any hand holding – go Edge Code!

php and any sort of serious scripting are my line in the sand, but I found myself digging deeper into the code, being frustrated by the massively redundant CSS in the theme, wanting to fix little things like the fake italic. So I’m rebuilding it to look pretty much the same, just better!

I was going to find a skeleton / sandbox theme, delete the entire CSS file and start from scratch. But then I found the awesome underscores theme, built to be a theme building block, super lean code with a fantastic CSS reset out of the box.

I’ll post updates here along the way. Anyone still reading?!

what changed?

Number one, the code is now lean and mean. It wasn’t a slow loader before, but it’s lost about 25% of the code, and a lot of what’s left is browser resets. The biggest bonus is that I understood most of what I was doing, with a little trial and error along the way. I even edited some of the core php for good measure! Big thanks to the awesome Advanced Code Editor plugin, which added syntax highlighting and best of all, line numbers!

Best of the rest:

  • there are now only two breakpoints (for mobile and honking huge monitor) the rest is all fluid percentages
  • the body font has been replaced with the beautiful Merriweather Sans, so all of the forced/fake italic and bold are gone
  • clicking on an image now brings up a nice java lightbox instead of a dead end browser jpeg, thanks to another great plugin Responsive Lightbox

Unfortunately I couldn’t figure out the nested divs of the comment system, so my three most committed readers still have to look at the one last shitty part of the site! Sorry, I lost patience and wanted to get back to actually doing drawings to put up again, instead of polishing my code wang…

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