Wow! Ever since I started using WordPress back in 2012 I’ve been using the same old theme – Asteroid! I mean really, ten years is a long time to be riding the same old bike. And, I’m not saying anything about hanging chads either, but I do have a special folder just for Asteroid on my computer.
I have to say though, I cut my second set of teeth on that theme and the truth is, it’s a damn good work. I looked around at several others along the way, but none ever did seem to fit the bill quite the same way. Asteroid is lightweight and versatile. Once I learned how to work with the inner-workings of a theme, I was able to cut, trim, nip and tuck, and cut and paste until I made that theme look like my own. And you know what, I think that’s what any good theme should do. So, a special thanks and shout out to the guy who designed Asteroid – Ron Angelo.
But Ron, I’m sorry, my love affair with Asteroid has finally come to an end. For some time now, I’ve known that I needed just a little bit more versatility to accommodate the layout of my site. I’ve been using three columns for some time, but I had to add that to Asteroid myself, and my coding tricks aren’t always the optimized best practice. So, I stepped out trying to find something new. And, I did. My new theme is Frontier – by Ron Angelo!
I’m not kidding, I went looking through the WordPress theme repository and I still couldn’t find anything that looked like it would quite do what I wanted. Finally, I went looking for Ron Angelo’s website where I thought he might have some updates for me and – there it was – a new Frontier. After looking it over, I knew, it’s perfect for my updated site.
I highly recommend Frontier for virtually any application. Ron has taken his expert coding skills to a new level by incorporating 1, 2 and 3 column options with a bunch of widget options just about everywhere on the site that can be turned on and off as needed. It’s got a built in slider. You can even arrange columns with two sidebars on the same side. It’s really neat too knowing I can change the layout quickly and easily if I decide to do another major makeover. It’s really hard to imagine ever needing a different theme.
Make no mistake. My key is that I can take my intermediate skills and customize the theme to look and feel the way I want for my application. Asteroids did that and Frontier does it even better. At the end of the day, my site will look the same with Frontier, but the inner workings are better optimized thanks to Mr. Angelo and so the site runs more quickly and more efficiently. The potential for personalizing Frontier is endless, but it’s a great theme right out of the box.
That having been said, major changes to a website always come with some growing pains. Implementing Frontier has allowed me to discard some excessive styling ensuring optimization but, I’m not quite done. So, if you’re surfing around on the site, for awhile you may find some areas that don’t seem to be quite right.
While doing what has basically been a live learn for the last ten years I’ve tinkered around with different plugins and different theme modifications and different styling and that has left me with some artifacts and individually designed pages that will need individual attention to get back in line with the new theme.
The changeover gives me the opportunity to purge and restyle but with nearly 800 pages to churn through and review, it may take me awhile just to find the ones that need additional fine tuning, or untuning as the case most probably is. The good news is that I’m already 90% or more there and you may not even notice where updates still need to be made. Some of that is remapping custom sidebars but the primary content is still in place.
So, again thanks to Ron Angelo, and ya’ll settle in for another ten, twenty, thirty or more years of watching TOCC TV. I’ll be rolling with the punches and changing with the landscape along the way!
©2022 – Jim Casey