Website Unification

It’s been a while since I’ve had a unified look-and-feel to my website. The last time I went through unifying all of my pages, the web was a different place – CSS was the go to technology to make the look and feel of your website work and javascript was used really only if you had something more complicated. At the time, web design was more focused on delivering content than it was in delivering design, so you could get away with something simple that also happened to look decent.

Now, I won’t claim that my old site design was good for its time, but it was a simple implementation that achieved my goal of being able to deliver multiple different types of content: a blog (PivotX), a wiki (Dokuwiki), my web apps, and my static pages. As a comparison, my old design had less than a hundred lines of CSS and a handful of layout elements. My new wordpress theme has over a thousand lines of CSS, and the relevant layout hierarchies are over four layers deep.

So, while I’ve decided to unify to my WordPress theme, It’s going to be a bit of a challenge. The first challenge was getting WordPress to render the header and footer outside of WordPress. I managed to figure this out, but only within the subdomain that wordpress is running under. This will make it difficult to do something on the command line, but I may be able to generate a reasonable template. My ideal case here would be to execute a php script (from, say, perl) and get a header blob as text, do my stuff, then execute a different script for the footer. Instead, I plan on creating a static template from a wordpress page and import that into my web apps.

This will make it easy to update my dice roller and my front page, but my wiki may be more difficult. Just as I’ve been digging into the guts of wordpress to figure out how to make a child theme, I’m going to have to dig into the guts of dokuwiki to create the new theme. I don’t remember this being such a daunting task (while my memory isn’t great, I seem to remember it being actually pretty reasonable), so it’s possible this will be easy as well (with the big unknown being how Dokuwiki has evolved over the last few years).

Once I’ve got the rest of the site unified under the same theme, I plan on linking everything together and expanding a bit. I plan on adding a sections for my 3D models and printed game components, as well as code that I have developed. A lot of these things are already on my site in various places, but I haven’t yet advertised it and made it cohesive.  So, if you see my website changing over the following months (yes, I expect that it will take months), that’s just me trying to unify my design and clean things up a bit.

Category(s): Programming, Projects
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