WordPress Personal Website – July 2021

After creating a previous version of my personal website using the GatsbyJS framework, I decided the time had come to give myself another WordPress development experience. I wanted my new site to have static pages, an area for ongoing project updates, and to be able to use and update the site to showcase my skills with ease. It’s the sort of thing any business owner or client would expect their site to do, in addition to having it deliver on its stated purpose.

This site’s purpose is simple – showcase talents and skills, and allow users to get to know me on a more technical level, as well as on a personal level. This is a site that showcases knowledge of WordPress development, Visual Design ability, Prototyping of conceptual website designs, the ability to deliver a site that can work responsively on all screen sizes, and an awareness of website accessibility for those with visual impairments.

I’ll be honest – I’ve been back and forth between learning WordPress development and React development for quite some time – heck, I’ve done plenty of projects using both – but with WordPress, your customers can do more, and since I’ve spent good time learning and practicing WordPress, this was the best option for the next version of my personal site.

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grocerystoreinsider.com WordPress Theme and Blog Site

As I was hunting for ideas for a project, I checked to see if the domain grocerystoreinsider.com was available. To my surprise, not only was it available, it was affordable! I snapped it up and began mocking up the site in Adobe XD and choosing design elements while beginning to create blog content for the site itself.

As a web design and development project, grocerystoreinsider.com was created as both an example of my web development and WordPress custom theme-building skills, and also a platform to share my experiences and knowledge of the grocery industry that I’ve been part of for a long time. The site uses a handful of plugins – Yoast SEO, Google Site Kit, and a custom-made plugin to display thumbnail images of recent posts/articles that I have written for the site.

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Personal Website WordPress Theme – 2020

When I initially built this website, I designed it using Adobe XD in such a way where my projects would have a short description along with a link to the project. However, in practice, this proved to be a bad idea – with only limited descriptions I was selling myself short on the work I’ve done. Creating more detailed posts would help profile my projects more in-depth, and expanding the projects page from a PHP file into a full WordPress installation made perfect sense.

The process itself was quite simple – WordPress installs take only a few minutes at most. Taking a blank underscores theme and implementing my site within it.. that was more of a challenge. I commented every template part and every page with the page name at its starting and ending points to see what code needed to go where, and before long, the site took shape as a theme. This, however, doesn’t unlock the full capability of what WordPress could do for me.

Enter the plugins – specifically Advanced Custom Fields. Once this was installed I added new header images and required links to GitHub repos and for the actual project page itself. I also installed the Font Awesome WordPress plugin and configured it to customize the post icon to the left side of the body text on larger screens, as well as provide a default icon option if desired.

WordPress also allowed me to categorize the posts in a very easy fashion. A later update of my personal website’s main page will allow any visitor to see my projects based on categories such as JavaScript, WordPress, React etc. – just by clicking those links to those categories on the main index page which WordPress has already set up for me.

The WordPress install at https://gregrasmussen.com/projects is no longer being updated, as I have migrated everything to the current site. Please continue to visit my current site at https://gregrasmussen.com/portfolio for up-to-date information on projects I’ve been putting out!

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