Years ago, I started to use WordPress because everyone else says to use it. There was no other reason for me to jump on the band wagon. I didn’t know what I was getting into. You probably can’t tell my age (ahem), but I have been creating websites since the days of Geocities, that’s the stone age in web years. In those days, WordPress was way over my head and I didn’t fully realize what the fuzz was about. Now, though, coming back to the popular CMS, I’m having so much more fun.
There’s so many (free) tools at my disposal, I am finally finding the fun in WordPress fundamentals. I’m late in the game but, wow, am I enjoying it a lot more now that I understand more (although, there’s always room for learning) of what goes on behind the scenes since restarting my new portfolio site, the one you’re currently on.
Here are a few things that I use for my WordPress builds:
- Local by flywheel
- Custom Post Types UI
- Advanced Custom Fields
The process/workflow that makes it fun for me goes like this:
- Create a bootstrap template
This is an optional step that makes the build quicker from the start. This makes it so that I can cross off responsiveness off my to do list. I can rest easy knowing that my designs are ready to display at any resolution.
- Local by Flywheel
Fire up a local host via Local app. This replaces MAMP for me and makes setting up a WP environment a blast. Local is such a sleek and lightweight freeware app, I cannot believe it’s free. Local makes it so that you can either create a fresh install of WordPress locally or import an existing one. After that, you can start developing locally without affecting the live site version.
- Download an empty Underscores WP template
Underscores is like WordPress devs’ little secret weapon. It includes all the files you need to get started with a custom template, minus the parts you really don’t need. It comes complete with all the PHP files necessary to run on WordPress so you don’t have to recreate those manually.
- Convert Bootstrap pages into Underscores custom template
- Custom Post Types and Advanced Custom Fields
Do your thing to finish up with functionality using these two amazing plug-ins. If you’ve used these before, then you know how powerful they are. Depending on how complex your design is, set up the content areas that you want to turn dynamic and accessible via the admin section in WordPress.