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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 AWESOMEAdii’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