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Site Redesign with WordPress

Published on February 15, 2007 in General, WordPress

Recently I undertook the task of redesigning this site with the intention of using WordPress as a content management system (CMS) to not only manage my blog but to also manage the site’s static pages. My goal was to create a site that was clean, liquid, and uncluttered while adding a little bit more of color and spice than existed in this site’s previous incarnation. Additionally, I wanted a design that was not your traditional two-column fixed width blog like theme. I decided to continue using WordPress as it can easily be tweaked to meet my requirements and a large amount of WordPress documentation is available that I could utilize when needed.

Before beginning the design and development of my new theme I set up a local WordPress installation using the latest version of WordPress. This would allow me to easily test the new site design and layout. There are a multitude of different ways to do this but one of the easiest ways to I have found is to download and run XAMPP Lite from either your hard drive or a jump drive (instructions on how to do this can be found here).

Once WordPress was installed in my “sandbox” the last thing that needed to be done was to generate some content to test with later on. There are a couple of ways of doing this. You can either export the files from your existing site and import them into your local copy of WordPress or fill in the WordPress database with some dummy content. Because of the size of my existing site database and because I was running my WordPress “sandbox” on a jump drive I choose the later, using the Lorem Ipsum Generator to help me quickly create dummy content. Now I could easily develop and test my new design without affecting my existing site or having to FTP files to a server to test them whenever I made a change.

The rest of this article will cover the steps I took to design and code the new look. Since the explanation ended up being fairly lengthy and to make the information easier to digest I have split the rest of the article into three parts:

I will post these articles over the next week and update the links here as the articles become available.


  1. WordPress, February 17, 2007:

    You should also take a look at the Web-Developer Server Suite. It comes with WordPress pre-configured. Use what works the best for you.

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Who Am I?

Leslie Franke Profile

Leslie Franke:[les-lee fran-key]; 1. Husband and proud dogowner; 2. Seventh-day Adventist; 3. Web Designer; 4. Atlanta Braves Fan; 5. Northeast Ohio Native; 6. Bottle Caps Lover; 7. Certified 'Freakonomic';