10 Years of WordPress

wp10logoWow, has it really been 10 years?

Yes, it has – officially 10 years ago, on May 27th, 2003, WordPress was released.

As part of the WordPress 10th Anniversary Blogging Project, I figured I would  I’d share some of my memories of using WordPress over the years.

Back in 2003, when WordPress was first released:

  • I was still using Windows 2000 on my home computer (I did use XP at work – cutting edge at the time!)
  • We were only on the 2nd Matrix movie, “The Matrix Reloaded”
  • I was still using the “Mozilla Suite,” the descendent of “Netscape Communicator.” (It wasn’t until next year that it was split into Firefox & Thunderbird)
  • We had just lost the Space Shuttle Columbia a few months prior
  • The iPod was only on its 3rd iteration, and the iPhone was still a distant dream
  • Slim flip-phone cell phones were all the rage
  • The Concorde made its last commercial flight

I didn’t start using WordPress myself until a little bit after its release – until around December 1st, 2005, in fact.

When I started using WordPress in 2005:

  • We were just starting to lament that schools were switching to using Java (the horror!) to teach programming
  • I still had a CRT TV in my living room (and on my computer – though I had just gotten an LCD display at work, and I’d soon get one at home as well)
  • Digital Rights Management came into the spotlight with the discovery of Sony’s rootkit that silently installed when you inserted a music (!!) CD in your computer.
  • This was the year I took down my old hand-coded personal site (which was old, dated, and not really very good) in favor of this blog.
  • And, of course, 2005 is the year I unexpectedly found myself living with my two wonderful rabbits

In all that time, I’ve switched WordPress themes more times than I can count – and upgraded and installed numerous useful (and sometimes silly) plugins.

Still, it’s amazing to see how far WordPress has come. It’s been a great 10 years, and I’m looking forward to 10 more!

Happy 10th birthday, WordPress!

Still Blogging

There’s a reason I don’t use services like Tumblr (or LiveJournal, or Blogger, or any of a dozen other similar “free” services) and instead still post things here on my own blog – and that is: I own this blog, but I don’t own Tumblr*.

Now, this may not – scratch that, this will not apply to everyone, but for me, my words are my “product,” so to speak. They are the thing I spend time creating, and they are important to me – important enough that I would not want them to be lost.

Whenever I’m trying to decide whether to use some new web-based service (at least, the “free” ones), I ask myself, “if this service disappeared tomorrow, would it be a huge loss for me?” If the answer is “yes,” then I either won’t use the service, or I will only post low-importance things there (or I’ll duplicate the content elsewhere).

Naturally, there are some “free” services that I trust sufficiently to get over the “what if it disappeared” hurdle – things like Gmail, to name one example. (Though that doesn’t stop me from keeping a local, cached backup copy, just in case!)

Anyway, these are just some of my thoughts – and of course everyone else’s criteria will differ from mine. But it’s worth thinking about before you commit to creating a lot of content with whatever the next “cool” new web service is!

* This goes for any paid service, really. If I pay for it, I generally expect not to be left in the cold. With a free service, you can’t really expect anything.

A Green New Theme

I’ve finally stopped flipping through WordPress themes and settled on one I like – and it’s really, really nice!

Just today I finally stumbled across a theme that really speaks to me and that I instantly liked and felt like it “fit” this blog. So, obviously, this new theme that you’re probably looking at right now is… the new theme!

(The theme, in case you were wondering, is called Green Park 2.)

I’m quite happy with it – it has everything I want in a theme:

  • It’s clean and clear
  • It has great typography
  • The focus is on the content, not flashy extras
  • It has 2 sidebars (I have lots of links to put over there, so having 2 columns is very handy)

It also doesn’t hurt that green is my favorite color, either. 🙂

Coincidentally, it also has a link for my Twitter status – which you can see in the upper-right corner. I think this is pretty neat, and since I use twitter from time to time now, I figured it’d be nice to have here.

All in all, I’m very happy with this new theme, and I think I’ll be keeping it for quite a while!

A Blog Identity Crisis

I still can’t seem to get quite the right “look” for this website. The first theme I tried was iNove, and I liked it quite a bit – especially for it’s use of icons and the way it formatted comments. But on the other hand, the text was a bit cramped together, and in general it was a bit to “busy” – too many links all over the place for things, and it just distracted from the content.

Next (and currently) I tried the blue variation of the i20 theme. Although I’m not much of a fan of the glossy, glassy appearance, the text formatting in this theme is quite nice – just enough spacing to make it easy to read large passages of text – and there’s not too many links/icons all over the place to distract you.

As always, I’m trying to achieve an ideal balance of:

  • Simple, clean, modern style
  • Easy to read text
  • Clear structure
  • Not too distracting/flashy

Which, I should point out, is not as easy as it sounds.

I really wish I had more artistic style – maybe I would be able to make one of my own – but sadly I just don’t have that kind of talent. I’m horrible at matching colors, and althoug I can use graphics tools like Paint.NET and Photoshop, I can only manipulate existing pictures – creating new ones of my own are basically beyond me (or, when I do try to do them, they come out looking very amaturish).

So, once again, here we are – trying a new theme. I’ll give it a few days – maybe a week – and see how I feel about it. But if you see it change again, don’t be surprised. Eventually I’ll find something that “fits!” (I hope!)

Let’s Try This Theme

OK, I’ve updated to a new theme. I’m going to give it a try for a while, to see if I like it. (I do like the liberal use of FamFamFam’s Silk icons, though!)

We’ll see how I feel about it in a few days… but in the meantime, enjoy it!