The History of how I made this WordPress Website: Part 1

Posted by on December 01st, 2020 in News

I am currently still developing the basic features for this website, and thought I should take some time and actually write a blog entry. I have never written or maintained a blog before, so this is new to me.

I first needed a website when I was trying to create assets for the unity assetstore in mid 2019. If you want to be an asset publisher you have to have a domain apparently. I figured, since I know how to code in C#, I would be able to make a simple website, no big deal.
Unfortunately web development was not part of my curriculum, so I never learned how to use html or css. my university was more focused on video production and 3D animation, than on coding.
I quickly skimmed over how html and css works and figured that it will be easy to throw something together. I also got a wordPress course on udemy to help me better understand how wordPress and php works. since php is also an object-oriented programming language like c#, it was fairly easy to understand. I managed to frankenstein together a landing page of some sorts that looked acceptable on desktop and said: its good enough for what I needed.

this is what the website looked like at the time:

Now that I am trying to be a musician, I want to have my own space on the internet. I needed to actually build a website that looks acceptable, has content, and at some point, should be responsive.

I rewatched the Udemy course (the first 12 chapters at least) and really studied what was shown to better understand it. And finally I started to really get how WordPress works. I started making the website again, this time the backend worked great and I quickly established the file structure with different pages, post types, custom queries and so on, the standard wordPress stuff.
I started looking for custom WordPress themes that looked close to what I imagined, starting off with free themes, of course. I spent all day looking at different themes, downloading them and trying them out just to realise that I could not even change the background color of the website. I even found the CSS classes and variables controlling it, changed that but somehow the website was left unaffected.

I was disappointed. I hoped that I could at least find something close to what I wanted, and maybe skip over learning proper css and responsive design but the free themes kind of sucked, also the documentation was minimal at best. This also did not encourage me to spend money on prebuilt themes, since I expected them to be similar.

there was only one option left.

I started playing around with some CSS classes, and quickly managed to create a first version of the home page. The design was not responsive jet. I thought about what I really wanted or needed currently for the page, and I just wanted it to look acceptable on desktop for the time being. So that means that currently I can just focus on creating the desktop design that I want, and leave the responsiveness for a later time. the website should still look the same on desktop even after I made it responsive, so it is not a waste of time, and I actually learn and get some practical experience using css. The next page I created was the Music page, that displays all albums and all music blog posts. I even managed to create template functions that provide the page with the album and blogpost templates. I am very happy with my current progress on the website, but there is still a lot to do. I will write a second post when I feel ready.

Continued in Part 2: The History of how I made this WordPress Website: Part 2