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Widgetized Hotness

Once again, Chris Murphy is the man...it just cannot be said enough!

Although I went to great pains to make sure my site looks essentially the same, there have been some back-end adjustments: widgetized hotness. Yes, finally I can stop building individual sidebars and just use widgets the way God intended.

Once again, Chris Murphy is the man…it just cannot be said enough! When I finally got off my ass nearly nine-months ago and actually started doing something with my website, I was truly fortunate to come across Chris’s amazing Lemon Twist theme. Not only does it have a look that I still really enjoy all these months later, it was so well-coded and feature rich that in the process of modifying it to fit my own needs, I learned tons about WordPress in the process.

I figured out how to successfully widgetize the first version of Lemon Twist that I used on this site, but when Chris updated it to be even better, my workaround broke (well, it worked but it was weird, I had to set the widgets in another theme first and then enable it). I really didn’t care enough to figure out WHY it wasn’t working, mostly because I was content to just create my own PHP sidebar elements to do stuff like Calendar, Twitter statuses, etc.

Well, Chris being the awesome designer/developer dude that he is DID care enough — so he widgetized the theme. It turns out that the functions file needed to be in a different directory (the main theme directory not the sub directory). Even better, he created some widgets that kept the customized sidebar elements he built before intact. You know, so that things like Categories and Bookmarks don’t look like total ass. He also made a stylized Twitter widget specifically for the theme that I want to publicly thank him for. Chris, THANK YOU! You can follow him on Twitter @farfromfearless

Chris was nice enough to send me his widgetized files before putting it live on his site (it is still amazing how many e-mails I get from people who love Chris’s theme and like what I did with it) and while I updated the CSS late last week, an emergency MacBook reinstall put updating the widgets on pause. I had a chance to do that tonight, editing the sidebar stuff that I changed to include my own brand of panache. I think that the latest version of WordPress allows variable sidebars to exist on different pages, but I’ll look into that later in the week.

Anyway, I just wanted to shout-out a huge thank you to Chris and also do my duty in promoting his awesome work. In this age of premium and paid WordPress themes (and I will say that I think Chris Pearson’s Thesis is flat-out AWESOME — Adii’s WooThemes are great too), Chris’s work more than stands-up — the fact that he has made his themes free out of his own personal goodwill is just another reason I’m so thankful I ran across his theme.

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5 people have left comments

Chris Murphy - Gravatar

Chris Murphy said:

This post just made my day :

Glad to see everything is working — I’ve got a few WP Widgets in the works right now and one is the calendar, which I can send along when it’s complete. I’m using WordPress Widget Logic to manage my widgets from page to page. It’s pretty nifty 😉

Posted on: September 10, 2008 at 9:31 amQuote this Comment
Christina - Gravatar

Christina said:

Chris, as always you are awesome! I’d love to see what you do with the calendar. The documentation is pretty non-existent and I only got the styling I’m using now by adding some parameters to the sidebar.css file that I blatantly stole from the default theme. Even looking in the widgets.php file to try to find some div or class ID seemed pretty fruitless.

Thanks for the Widget Logic link – that looks perfect!

Posted on: September 10, 2008 at 9:45 amQuote this Comment
Mostly Lisa - Gravatar

Mostly Lisa said:

Haha. I just de-wigitized my sidebar cuz it was glitchy as hell. Plus, I like hard coding everything in my sidebar. It just works better. I guess we have something to fight about finally :-/

Posted on: September 12, 2008 at 7:59 pmQuote this Comment
Christina - Gravatar

Christina said:

Hee! Fight Lisa, fight!

No, the beauty is that I create my own widgets, so to speak, so they work the same as if they were hard coded to begin with (before, I had a separate PHP file for each element, now they are just in a widget wrapper).

Posted on: September 12, 2008 at 8:18 pmQuote this Comment
Suzette - Gravatar

Suzette said:

Great stuff!

I don’t know Chris Murphy but I am starting to like this man too. I will keeps this in mind how to set up my widgets the easiest way. Thanks again for giving such great tips.

Posted on: October 21, 2008 at 9:48 amQuote this Comment