My First WordPress Theme: Bingo

If you've visited my blog in the last few days, I'm sure you will have noticed things look a little different around here. That's because I thought I would finally take a stab at writing my own WordPress theme.

I've used WordPress since 2009, which means I am now at the 5-year mark, and I figured it was as good a time as any to go with a custom-built theme. So here it is!

I wanted a theme that really focused on my content, and loved what I was seeing over in the new CMS, Ghost, so the design is heavily borrowed from some of their themes.

_s and SASS/Bourbon

I also used it as an excuse to try out some front-end resources I've meant to play with, and so I drew heavily from the starter theme _s, which if you do any custom WordPress themes you really need to check out. It's a great resource that will give you a 1,000 hour head start, and does a great job of providing all the code you need to get started and that's it. And since it started with the theme team at Automattic, you know it's good.

I also really delved into CSS preprocessors finally, and used Thoughtbot's set of SASS mixins and frameworks: Bourbon, Neat, and Bitters. I've done a few LESS customizations, but with SASS gaining steam in the WordPress community I thought I would give it a try. I know a lot of people use Compass when they start with SASS, but I will say it was Thoughtbot's naming conventions that drew me to their libraries. I'm a huge bourbon fan (in fact I'm drinking some as I write this post), so I felt I had to give their tools a try first :)

And I'm glad I did! They took a little getting used to, especially since Neat relies much more on your knowledge of CSS layouts than say a framework like Bootstrap, but I'm really starting to love it. And my style sheet is only 15kb, which is only a fraction of something like Bootstrap.

The Future

All this being said, the theme is nowhere near done. I have a huge list of things to do still, especially styling post formats and doing plenty of testing on different devices since I'm doing a custom responsive design. Oh, and I'm not a huge fan of the image on the home page (speaking of which, I need to tie that into the Customizer dashboard...). But it will get there. As always, my site is a work in progress.

If you like what you see, I have the code up on Github. It's nowhere near being plug-and-play at the moment, but feel free to fork it or do whatever you want with it. I've benefitted plenty from many in the WordPress community open sourcing their work, so I figured I would give back a little. Hopefully in the next few months it will be a much more robust theme that others will be able to use fairly easily without having to remove code I have just for my site.

As always, I'd love to hear your reaction, so let me know what you think!