Time to change

by Captain Walker

Categories: Humanities

WordPress that runs this site – has recently updated to version 6.4.2. This version changes lots of things for bloggers. In case some do not know, blogs happen on ‘websites’. In previous years had been running a certain ‘theme’ that avoided the confusion caused by all the WordPress development that happened in version 5. [Themes are like paint and furniture to a house.] The old theme became a dead-end for development.

But now the development of WordPress has settled into version 6 – something more understandable and useable is here. Modern themes are flying out of the woodwork as a result over the last 18 months.

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But WordPress caused more confusion with a theme called Twenty Twenty-Four, that comes with a standard installation. It is a very difficult base-theme to work with – as many of its blocks and templates are locked.

GeneratePress

Thankfully GeneratePress was ahead of WordPress’s curve. They were creating a new theme of the same name with lots of flexible features, ready for WordPress 6 and above. So, GeneratePress is now running the layout (aka theme) of the site. GeneratePress works with a plugin named GenerateBlocks. When they work together, the need to dabble in HTML and the complicated CSS is eliminated – all of that is worked out in the background and I never see any of it. GenerateBlocks is a tool that allows the theme and its parts to be tweaked all different ways.

The magic – which I had wished for years ago – was to create a hierarchy of tweakable objects to contain other objects. So, now with GeneratePress and GenerateBlocks we have: Sections, Groups, Containers, Blocks and other ‘things’. One can mix these however one likes! ?

These words are being written in a paragraph block held in a container. If I don’t like where the paragraph is placed, I can grab the paragraph block (with a mouse) and move it to another container or elsewhere on the page. There is no need for selecting, then cutting and pasting – or selecting a whole paragraph of text and then dragging it.

No ‘IT knowledge’ is required; just a brain that can learn from YouTube videos, written documentation, and a right hand that can operate a mouse. Of course, it is an advantage to have two hands for typing on a keyboard. I’ll be told that one needs a good computer and internet etc. Look, I’m not here to give shopping lists and tutorials! Chrysst!

Then there are now ‘patterns’ and ‘styles’ which are reusable objects, and those can contain ‘containers’, clickable buttons, headers, backgrounds, images, video etc etc – basically whatever ‘you’ want. The image at the top – of the clocks with wings – is in a container that holds another container for all this text.

Moving ahead

The great thing for me is that I’m learning new stuff. It has been a steep and wonderful learning curve over the last 72 hours. Very enjoyable indeed. What I learn here will be applied across four other sites I’m involved in.

Of course, I don’t know if or how many people visit this site – as I ditched hit-counters many years ago. I said so many times, I’m not interested in hit counts, which is about popularity.

Over the next few weeks there will be numerous tweaks to the new theme on this site. I will achieve a better presentation and readability.


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