Note To Self

Don’t play with your WordPress theme at 2 a.m. because you can’t sleep. You are bound to mess it up, or worse yet, accidentally delete it altogether. I guess it’s about time I started from scratch anyway. For now I am going to have to find something to use until the weekend…

Creating a WordPress theme

First off, I’m going to apologize, this is not a tutorial or anything like that. Just observations. I’ve had this theme a while now. It was completed mostly from scratch from a blank starter template because I am too lazy to code it from the beginning (and honestly I am guessing I am not the only one, it’s beyond laziness it’s about productivity). I don’t really know everything I need to do to make one that will be responsive etc, so I started with _s (underscores) and then it was suggested to me on the WordPress forums to switch to components a little while back as it was more up-to-date. At the time I was just getting started with _s and getting used to taking a design which I had conceptualized either in my head and/or in Photoshop and turning it into a theme in WordPress, so I wanted to continue with _s before delving into another starter theme.

For those of you not familiar with a starter theme and I am sure a lot if not most of you are but I will give a brief explanation of what it is and why some developers use them. I’m no developer by far but I plan to be one eventually. Basically a starter theme is a WordPress theme that is blank with minimal or no design, they usually come with the most commonly used templates in WordPress. You can add templates, edit the existing ones, change and add CSS and much more. So why should WordPress Developers consider using a starter theme? Well, it gives them a head start on projects, gives them a good solid base to start on whether they have created their own starter theme that they re-use, or whether they are using one of the other good ones that are out there already.

I hope one day to create my own starter theme that I will use for projects with everything I think a good solid design needs and with options that can be added or omitted for certain types of designs. I think once you have a good foundation of PHP and WordPress templates along with HTML and CSS it should not be too hard to do. It has taken me a while to get this theme where I want it. I have been working on it ever since I put it up back at the beginning of the year (or was it last year some time? I don’t even know). I have been able to create a good theme for my blog that I can use as a basis and I want to eventually start re-creating it in components or another starter theme. I’ll look into them more when the time comes.

In the meantime, I have made some changes over the last few days to this theme. Obviously I have changed some of the colors a little (not much) and added a background that shows at the top and bottom to make it less plain looking. I’ve been working on fixing errors, bugs or whatever you want to call them. If you happen to notice any more please let me know. I want to try and recreate and fix them as they are found. I was able to fix a few things as well that were driving me nuts. My 404 and search pages were missing the sidebar and just looked weird so I fixed that as well.

I am not so sure about the responsiveness right now. I have been looking for some good tools to help me test things out so again if anyone knows of any please let me know what your go-to tools are for testing your websites. I know for instance that depending on your screen size the menu may not look quite right. I have tried to fix it but not 100% sure I have. I am not sure how to make a good responsive menu and looking it up has not really given me anything that seems to work right so I a still working on that and a few other things especially when viewing the site from a mobile phone or tablet.

So far I really feel a sense of accomplishment with what I have taught myself over the years and it just goes to further cement in my mind that this is the right option for me. I love this and could not imagine a life without blogging and creating themes and designing websites. Right now I am most comfortable with WordPress but I want to start learning and exploring some other content management systems and website and blogging platforms that are popular at the moment (or at that time). I am really happy where things are headed and feel like I finally have found something I am good at and now I am finally realizing that with a bit of guided structure I can become much better and really make a good career out of it.

Yes, that’s right!

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Photo Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pexels

I’m going to set aside the health issues for a moment. After a lot of consideration, I am absolutely determined to go back to school. I am 100% sure this is the right thing to do. I have talked to Eddie about it and to my parents and even my brother and they all agree that that’s what I need to do. I know exactly what I want to take. I keep coming back to the same thing. I want to work in web development. I want to learn how to develop websites. Like really learn. I want to make it into a career. I mentioned before in a previous post that I wanted to work with children and while that is still something that I would have loved to do, it’s not really practical for me.

I need to do something that I can either do remotely from home or that I can eventually transition to do remotely from home. Something I can also do as a freelancer. I absolutely love to blog and love this blog so much and love the little bit of coding that I know. I am completely self-taught with the exception of a web design course over 16 years ago which really just taught me a bit about Photoshop, Dreamweaver and HTML and CSS. It never delved into anything else and is so out of date now that I don’t even list it on resumes, etc.

So, anyway I have decided to take a program at Athabasca University, a well know online and distance University in Canada. I am going to take a Bachelor of Science in Computing and Information Systems minoring in Web Development. It’s a four-year Undergraduate Degree Program. I am absolutely determined that I am going to do it. They have courses starting every month and I have an appointment on Thursday at Nova Scotia Works which is a career development place in the mall in Digby and get their help with applying to the school and applying for funding and also some advice on making a career out of it, and what to do in the meantime to help support us while taking it.

With that in mind, I have been joining as many freelance transcription and captioning sites similar to Rev.com which I am already a transcriber and captioner at so that I can get as many jobs as I can through them and try and work as hard as I can to try and make up what I am missing now that I no longer work for the bank I was working for. I am good at transcription and captioning and like it but really don’t want to make a long-term career out of it as my mom did. I am also looking for other freelance type opportunities that I can do. I like to write but really don’t have any niches or any experience or schooling on topics that I can write about so freelance writing seems out of the question even though I like to write.

I am starting a job part-time from home on Tuesday that I was supposed to start this past week but due to an error on their end I ended up not getting invited to the training last week, so I am starting in a training class next week. It won’t be enough money though. So I am still looking and just trying to make money anywhere I can. I have an interview over the phone tomorrow for a different job that is similar but a little more along the lines of the call center jobs I did in Halifax, only it would be from home as well.

One really good thing is that I found out today that my bankruptcy is no longer showing on my credit report, there is no record of it. In one way that will not help me with a government student loan as they were actually one of the things included in my bankruptcy years ago and they never got all the paperwork and so still show that I basically still owe it, but that’s okay too because I have the paperwork in my email to send to them. I just need to find out who to send it to and then once it is processed and my file updated I should be able to apply again. Hopefully, that does not take as long as other government-related stuff or I will likely have lived to 100 and be long dead before they update it.

I am hoping to look into other options for funding as well, and that appointment on Thursday should help as that is one of the things they do there. I am wondering about maybe getting a student line of credit through my bank. My credit rating is not the greatest but it is not the worst either, somewhere in the middle and with the bankruptcy no longer an issue I might have that as an option. I am sure there are other things I can look into too. One way or another I am going back to school. If I have to do it one course at a time and save the money to pay for the first course and then save the money to pay for the next course during each course I am currently taking, which is actually a possibility as well since they actually allow you to do it that way and allow you to take unlimited time in finishing your degree basically.

Somehow I am determined to figure this out and Eddie and my parents are behind me a hundred percent. My parents aren’t in a position to help me financially, but they will do everything in their power to help me achieve my goals and find the money. Eddie as well. So I am going to do it somehow, I am going to succeed.