Non-customizable is simpler

I created this blog years ago, not even sure when exactly, 2018 perhaps, when Shyrwyn and I decided it would be better to concentrate both our website efforts in a single place.

After having several traumatic experiences with custom themes, I decided to learn how to build WordPress themes from scratch. It was a lot of work, sure, but it was actually much simpler to get what I wanted, because what makes a custom theme complicated to use is that is has to be customizable by a variety of different users with different goals.

That’s not the case of this website. It doesn’t need to be customizable at all. Everything is hardcoded so the result are precisely what I have in mind, and if I ever want to change anything, I only need to edit the source code.

One great aspect of writing your own WordPress theme from scratch is that you don’t ever need to worry about theme updates breaking functionality. Your theme won’t be automatically updated. If I don’t do updates manually, then there are no updates at all.

One could be surprised to realize how this results in little to no maintenance on the website. It always the automatic updates that break stuff and make them stop working. Last time this happened was because of an automatic update of Inkscape, but that was on the server, nothing to do with WordPress or PHP. The bug affected only the automatic generation of post thumbnails, which I then updated to use Imagick (pure PHP) instead of Inkscape. It works much better now.

Now, I’m planning on moving the automatic post thumbnail functionality to a custom plugin. Not because I need, but becase I’m curious. Also, if I ever create another WordPress website it would be easier to incorporate this feature if it’s bundled in a plugin instead of hardcoded in the functions.php.

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