Wow! A New Website!

June 26, 2022
Project Web Development WordPress

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been considering rebuilding my website. I’ve been working with WordPress really heavily at my day job and have been getting in to a lot of SEO & perf stuff lately. All that helped me realize that I could build a WordPress theme & site that was performant, accessible, and the right CMS – despite my previous distaste for it. I also used a new frontend library and am doing some real neat SEO things.


I love topik, the flat-file PHP CMS I built last year (or was it two years ago?). But it’s missing a bunch of things I really like. Featured images being one of the biggest ones, comments being another. I decided that rather than keep working on a CMS that wasn’t gonna get any traction with it’s whole 1 install, that my work would better be put in to a WordPress theme that solved my needs. I also wasn’t prepared to re-tool Bulma for dark-mode (the only failing of that framework, IMO).

I also wanted a more feature-rich editing environment. One might argue that writing pure HTML is the most feature rich environment, but I wasn’t enjoying it. I’m still not super happy with VSCode (maybe more on that soon – but for now, I’ll say it’s got the wrong “balance” for me) and the writing experience is kind of awful.


Well, I started by selecting a framework to work in. I was really considering both Foundation and Semantic. Foundation turned out to be a little too robust for what I was looking for and Semantic, well, wasn’t?

The thing I didn’t like about Foundation was that simple things required long class names. I wouldn’t be able to keep all that in my head and I don’t like having to refer to docs for every element that I need to add to the page – especially once I’m in the editing phase.

Similarly, Semantic didn’t work with class names, and that, well, isn’t semantic.

All that is opposed to Pico, which is mostly class-less. The only class name I really need to remember to use the framework is grid, which does exactly what you think it does. Everything else is based on HTML tags, which I’ve already got down. If you haven’t yet, you should really check out Pico because it’s got some neat features: built-in dark-mode, super-semantic markup, and it’s extremely light-weight. I really like the usage of variables and how easy it is to extend and use them. I’m extremely happy with the dark-mode too. And if you’re like me and use SASS, they’ve got a set up for you, too.

The WordPress install is standard, but I did build a contact form plug-in for it and did some playing around with core stuff for performance. I dequeued some JavaScript & CSS, added custom nav walkers, and I’m also using WP-Optimize for minification and better cache control.

I have one custom post type for client case-studies and plan to utilize that more than I have in the past with the previous platform. I will also be writing a bit more as it will be easier to write and come back to. Drafting posts will also be a bit easier.

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