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I just finished WordPress customization for this Tze1 Blog, and you’re looking at the results here right now! I wanted the Blog to look and feel like the rest of Tze1.com, and I’ve achieved it. It went smoother than I expected. I had anticipated lots of head-scratching while trying to understand WordPress’ complex architecture, but its clean separation of styling from functionality made my customization straightforward and relatively painless.
The biggest challenge here wasn’t the styling customizations, but rather the functional modifications to match usability/behavior to my own requirements. Beyond digging deeper into the template code, I also had to determine which code snippets were functional and which deprecated. Like with so many other software projects, there’s “garbage” code that’s no longer used but never deleted. This seems to be a widespread challenge in the development process, where developers are wary of deleting code for fear that it’s still in use by something else outside of whichever portion they’re updating.
I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to usability, and I strongly disliked the default Twenty Eleven Theme’s Comment/Reply form. Somehow, WordPress broke it’s own dynamic form title functionality — the title didn’t adjust itself to indicate whether you’re Posting a new Comment or Replying to an existing one. I had to add my own code to restore the dynamic title, and while I was at it I also made the message input label dynamic for even better usability.
I know my customization isn’t 100% perfect just yet, but I wanted to roll the Blog out now to start our Conversation! So, CHIME IN and let me know what you think so far!!