Randomness is random

New theme, who dis? (Update)

I’ve been absent from, well, everywhere lately. I haven’t posted anything here for a good while, and I took a hiatus from social media for a few months. Mostly because things just got too much, I really was feeling out of sorts, and just generally not feeling appreciated or that what I posted was of any inherent value. But also because I was working on this bad boy. So I think it’s time for an update on how things have been and what’s going on with me.

Every so often, I like to redesign my site and make myself something custom. I’ve been working on client projects and neglected my own lately, so I started from scratch and built myself a new personal theme and branding. Out of trying to reinvent myself, I came up with the name “The WP Bard”.

Why “The WP Bard”?

I blame a certain goblin friend of mine on Instagram. As well as the titles of Simp Lord and Empathetic Warrior that I brag about on my profiles, I share in my social bios that I have Big Bard Energy. This came from my friend Katie, who has been amazing and a huge supporter and champion of me. She and I have similar nerdy interests, including Dungeons and Dragons, and she said that I portrayed Bardic energy on social media. I loved it, even if I couldn’t see it myself at first, but over time I really started to be proud of that. When I decided that I wanted a new website, I thought of creating a new name, I wanted it to reflect my Bardic inspiration, and thus, this baby was born.

"The WP Bard", my blog name on a starry background.
An inspiring graphic for my new identity online.

What else has changed?

Not only have I redesigned my personal site, but Cocode Designs got a facelift too. Thanks to things I learned with Project Zero, it also has a new way of working.

So, it turns out that my old way of working with themes and plugins was not the right way. I had put custom post types in my themes because I would only ever use that theme for one site. But it turns out that plugins are the better way of dealing with it, so with the new site update I moved all of my post types there to my dedicated plugin.

A screenshot for Cocode Designs, my professional identity and portfolio.
Cocode Designs. Business identity in the front, and the back.

The theme is simple and professional, with a little flair on the home page. I love it, especially the CSS gradients, but also another thing I had never done before.

For the first time on a personal project, I created mockups. I do that for my client projects all the time, but I have never done it for a personal project. That helped so much and I was able to break down what I wanted in my theme and branding. I’m definitely adding these to my professional portfolio in the coming days.

I’ve also uploaded my mockups to my new Playbook account. You can find both my Cocode Designs mockups and my “The WP Bard” mockups there, and you can sign up with them for free. New users get 100GB of storage for free, but if you qualify for their artist or designer account, that can go up to 4TB. For free. Which will be fantastic for client projects, trust me. I’ve already backed up my work and have new projects lined up.

And what about Project Zero?

That’s still going. I released version 0.3 a while ago, which comes with a companion plugin. I’m still working on new things, I’ll maybe add a few gists on GitHub to help add features to the plugin later (especially since I’m getting into my Elementor widgets), but the new version is up and live.

Documentation is also in development. It took a backseat while I was working on the site, but I know what pages are needed and I’ve got most of them structured. I just need to write the damn things. No big deal.

A meme of Taeyeon from Girls' Generation. The caption says "I have no idea what I'm doing."
Me writing documentation for Project Zero. Probably.

There is always scope for more development, and I’d love your suggestions and feedback. Head on over to the Project Zero GitHub page and raise an issue with new suggestions, or email me at [email protected] with any projects where you’ve used it. I’d love to hear from you.

And the blogging?

That’s going to have to be put on the back burner for now. Or at least the regular writing will be. If I have something to share, I will, but the “once a month” thing didn’t work out. I will update you all on new developments in my work and new projects, either here or on my social media accounts.

And while I’m not limiting the accounts I have, I am limiting who I follow and interact with. That was probably the biggest issue with burnout, at least online. Some accounts scratch that itch of improving my attitudes and learning/unlearning beliefs and behaviours, but let’s be honest, those accounts also attract far too many trolls and douchecanoes. So, I’m trying not to engage with them so much and I’m trying to walk away if certain posts push my tolerance levels.

So, basically, I’m becoming a little like FCG from Critical Role’s third campaign.

If you want to find me, you can always email me or send me a message on WhatsApp. You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Threads, as well as on Bluesky. I’m mostly on Instagram, but you can find me on those networks too. Feel free to drop me a message, and I’ll try to reply. I’m also on LinkedIn, where I will be posting some more professional content.

And, if you like what I post here or just want to support me, you can always buy me a coffee. Some blog posts – like this one – will have a “Support Me” banner, but you can always tip me if you like what I’ve posted. Sometimes, that little nudge can help me feel appreciated and that what I’m posting here is worth it.

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