Art Is Hard

Well I think I’m just about ready to start writing a blog nobody knows about again. My readership has undoubtedly fallen off somewhat, given that I haven’t done this in about 4 years or so. For those keeping track, this marks version 40 *something* if versions are marked by redesign, and iteration 4 as marked by year-+-long hiatuses. I think it was around 2000 or so when I did my first weblog. I would have never guessed back then that I’d eventually do web design professionally… but here we are. I won’t lie, the fact that I build sites for a living was a huge factor in my not wanting to design and maintain a personal site. The pressure to deliver results to my clients is constant; and to be honest, it’s hard to justify putting up my own site when I have deliverables due. Add to that the fact that I tend to get a little impractical and overly elaborate/ornate when I have zero guidance and it really wipes out my motivation to design for myself. …but lately I’ve been feeling a little stagnant in my writing and design. Having a site that’s a little crazy sans rules of any kind affords me the opportunity to branch out a bit. I also think ranting about random things that catch my interest can only force me to become a better writer. Looking back over the archives in older versions of my site, it’s clear I’ve come a long way. I was so PROUD of the Mk.1 when I launched it. Today I look at it and realize I would never hire 2000 Gogela: that talentless charlatan. I mean tables? Really? What is this, GeoCities circa ’97? Well… the internet was pretty ugly back then. Yes, it took 2 minutes to load a page of my site, but it looked a hell of a lot better than most.

For those with a geeky inclination, this site was done in HTML5. My last blog had a lot of Flash, and by that I mean about 5MB for the home page. That’s a little much for page load time. I have a long way to go with this one. Right now, on tablets and desktops it’s going in the direction I want. I haven’t even started on the mobile styles yet, so the experience there is presently pretty crappy. I’ll get to it. Probably. There are a lot of problems, at least in my mind, with this site right now. I’m not particularly happy about the sidebar. I have some ideas to iterate on it, but I really don’t have the time. Sure, I could be using THIS time to address these things, but more than anything this site is therapy tool. I’m obviously using WordPress here, but this is my first attempt at what I’m calling a “Parasite Theme”. Let’s talk about that for a sec. There are a ton of free themes for WordPress. What I basically do for my clients is take one of these openly developed free themes and build what’s called a “Child Theme”. I really like “Responsive” as a base. I take the functions of that theme and build another theme that uses Responsive as a default, and add new features and SEO considerations to leverage my clients over their competition through extension. The developers of Responsive do the heavy lifting of maintaining a modern site design, and my extra 10% keeps them on top. This offloads a ton of development onto others, and gives my clients a lot more business for a lot less development money. I mean… I’m cheap as fuck. My clients don’t even know. They are probably paying 10% of what their competition is for web marketing. It makes me look like a fucking all-star, and they can’t even explain how they are doing it. Pretty slick way to maintain a web presence, wouldn’t you say? So what is a Parasite Theme? It’s a Child Theme that isn’t dependent on a specific Parent Theme. Basically, the theme can use ANY parent theme. So, if Web Monkeys decided to stop developing Responsive, I couldn’t care less. I’d just find another theme. ports right over seamlessly. This is how I intend to develop new sites starting in 2016. In this way, my clients never have to worry about the future with regards to site capability.

…but that’s work. The reason this site is back up isn’t primarily about work. It’s about me. I’ll be getting pretty personal here on occasion, and my parlance obviously isn’t PG. If my balls bruise your chin, I don’t want to hear about it. While I don’t intend to post the archives of older versions of my site, I do have them. It’s kind of neat to look back and get a little sample of what I was thinking back in the day. It’s really easy to forget. In a way this is almost a diary. …and so here I go again.

Posted in Rant
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