Implementing Content Design…Hoo Boy

Implementing Content Design…Hoo Boy

After outlining what I needed to do yesterday, I fell into a period of avoidance that has lasted about 24 hours. I took notes on what I did instead:

  • Caught up with all my Facebook and Google Plus contacts
  • Replied to a few emails I’d been putting off
  • Sent a few initiating emails to dormant prospective clients
  • Played Star Trek Online, leveling a new character class
  • Playing in the Wave with Colleen™
  • Surfed the net on topics relating to Mila Kunis, Community, science education
  • Made tacos using the new methodology, both with cheese lamination and without (cheese still wins)
  • Tidied up the kitchen
  • Slept

The entire time I was doing this, I was acutely aware of NOT doing the website. It was like I wasn’t in the mood to face it, though intellectually I knew there was an opportunity to get ahead of the game.

Which brings me back to paying attention and daily continuity. I’m at least looking at this again today, so I get a +1 for maintaining continuity. However, it’s the forcible paying attention (being made to look at something) that is the other hurdle. If I don’t look at the design of the content I made yesterday, I’m unlikely to work on it. And I didn’t want to, because I wasn’t 100% certain about how I would implement it. There are a lot of unknowns that are not impossible, but are of an unknown level of pain-in-the-assness. And I think I’m strongly wired to avoid that feeling of dealing with pains in the ass.

So…what is the intermediate step I can take to get around that? Well, knowing that it’s happening is a great first step. A good coping strategy might be to just commit to looking at the thing in the first place. JUST LOOK AT IT. FACE IT AND STUDY IT. NO NEED TO ACT ON IT YET. This is similar to my 15 minute coping mechanism for the daily continuity, a certain minimum threshold to deal with every day.

So I’m looking at the sheet now, and making this list:

  • Making a second menu bar in theme. Make a new menu bar, insert the right snippet of code, and style it. I don’t remember exactly how to do it, but I know I can look it up in code I have already made. So…probably an hour? Let’s start with that.

  • Subblog Topic Links in Sidebar. I don’t know how to do it through code, but I can make this happen with just a static Widget for now. Duh. 15 minutes. Let’s start with that instead.

  • Slideshow in header. Well, I have to find a good slideshow plugin. Then I need to wedge it into the theme somehow, and create the content for it. I could make the code available first, and just not have it do very much. Or I can backburner this until I’m ready to think of content. The priority is probably just linking the subblogs.

  • Welcome to Site Area: This is a theme adjustment. I want it to appear only on the homae page. I don’t remember how the theme files are structured, but the WordPress template hierarchy is fairly straightforward. I can use a combination of is_home(), is_archive(), is_category() and so on to decide what to show.

  • Last Article: This is a theme adjustment, involving the loop on the front page. Mapping all the detection logic for this can be done on staging server.

  • Click to see latest posts: This is just a link to a latests archives page of some kind. Let me see what it looks like now…oops, forgot to activate the page navi plugin. But I’ll worry about this later.


p>So…two things are the lowest hanging fruit that requires some technical juice: the second menu area at the top (and some visual restyling), and the welcome statement area. Let me get those two things done today.

Let me start with the second thing, because I had already done a web search.

Implement the Menu

I’m looking at header.php. The code below will create the menu with the “top-header-menu” id (not class, as args suggest) assigned to it, with the menu associated with location “top_header_menu”:

<?php wp_nav_menu( array(  'container' => false, 'container_class' => 'top-header-menu', 'theme_location' => 'top_header_menu' ) ); ?>

I also need to enable this theme location in functions.php by using register_nav_menu(), which registers a new menu location that appears in the Appearance->Menus admin panel:

if ( function_exists( 'register_nav_menu' ) ) {
    register_nav_menu( 'top_header_menu', 'Top Header Menu' );

That seems to work, and now I have to style it and rework the header a bit.

… a couple of hours pass …

Ok, new header, and some refinements to the CSS are done! Yay!