Well, PHP month has come and gone. My main objective was to learn how to use PHP within WordPress, which I got a good start on. The first part of the month I spent some time digging into theme files and page templates in some of the work I was doing. I didn’t really learn to code PHP that way, but I was at least getting familiar with how PHP works and I was able to make some basic changes. I’ll continue my learning this month as well, as I dive into a book or two, and maybe an online tutorial. Hopefully, I’ll actually start learning to code, and not just edit other’s code.
On to October, which is a refrain month. This months refrain could easily fall into either an embrace or refrain category, depending on how I approach it. From the beginning of this blog, one of my ideas was to embrace getting up early. However, getting up early is really just refraining from sleeping in! And that is just what I’ll be working on this month.
For many of my monthly projects, I have a tendency to set goals that are difficult to attain. I end up only partially fulfilling those goals. When I worked on solitude, I was effectively practicing solitude very little, and then went to trying it every day. I didn’t quite make it. I did the same thing with attempting to blog every day. This month, I am going to go about it more gradually. I normally get up around 7:15-7:30. This week, I am going to get up at 7. Then next week, I’ll try to get up at 6:30. By the end of the month, we’ll see if I can’t be getting up at 6 or maybe even 5:30. But really… I am NOT a morning person, so we will just take it one day at a time!
I had some fun today with a site re-design. I had to dig into PHP more than I ever have before. I was not only happy with the results, but I learned a ton in the process. embrace / refrain has always had a clean and minimal look, but it was still feeling a little cluttered to me. Moving the menu to the right, toning down the font sizes, and making a new logo all combined to create a much cleaner look. I like what adding just a little color does to the overall effect.
I also added a new archives page. I have never liked typical WordPress archives, which is why I didn’t have any (at least in the menu, anyway). What I really wanted was just a listing of posts by date. That way, someone who wants to find a particular post can do so quickly. This morning, I spent some time looking around other blogs to see how they do archives. I found a few that I liked, and then set out to make my own. I still have a few tweaks that I would like to make, but overall I like it and it is very functional.
Wow, summer has flown by. I have basically forgot about blogging and the embrace / refrain project over the last month. I did jump in with hustlemonth for the last couple of weeks of July, and as a result, I did some great work on a a couple of projects that had been stagnant. August started with a quick trip to South Carolina to visit family, and I never really got anything going. So be it. I took a month off. I’m looking forward to September to get back into the swing of things and finish up the year.
At this point, I don’t know if I’m on an embrace or refrain project, but it really doesn’t matter. For the last 4 months, I’ll just choose each month based on whatever idea seems most helpful. For September, I plan on learning basic PHP. I have been learning WordPress development over the last 9 months, and my lack of ability with PHP has been the most limiting factor in moving forward. I obviously don’t expect to be an expert in just a month, but I do hope to get to a basic level that will be helpful in WordPress development. Over the last days of August, I’ll be checking out resources so I can hit the ground running in September.