A new year and new WordPress resolutions for 2016

Photo of laptop showing code on PHPStorm

Happy New Year!

This past year was quite the success for me and developing in WordPress. I got my first theme, Nuovo, into the WordPress Theme Directory. That was followed a couple of months later by Giornalismo, and Fotographia has been submitted for review. I began developing WordPress Plugins, with a total of four in the directory now (although one is a functionality plugin for Giornalismo).

I’ve also learned the importance of using a framework and blank starter theme for development. I’ve also started working with SCSS and its effectiveness for styling themes. And I’ve learned a ton about web design. (If you don’t believe me, check out some of my earlier work. Yikes.)

But that was 2015 and it’s time to turn the page to 2016 and everything that it has to offer. I’m actually excited about the possibilities the next 366 days, even if the impending graduation in May is a little bit unnerving. There are so many things to improve upon and expand my understanding of web development.

So, in keeping with the time-honored tradition, here are my New Year’s resolutions for WordPress development in 2016 (and I intend to keep them):

  • Be better at updating my themes and plugins. I’ve set myself to be better at this by updating everything the past few days and checking to make sure that they’re all compatible with WordPress 4.4. My goal is make the big updates line up with the major WordPress releases. That gives me sort of a set schedule and I can easily make sure everything checks out with the latest version of WordPress.
  • Update and explore Foundation 6. Because of my busy college life, I completely missed the release of Foundation 6. I included Foundation 6 in the Fotographia update, but just the minimum. My goal is to fully integrate Foundation 6, with the help JointsWP, in a new starter theme and use that for theme development going forward. I’m also really hoping to learn and try out some of the features in Foundation.
  • Develop a video WordPress theme. When I originally began to develop WordPress theme, I had four theme ideas. I’ve turned three of them into real themes. Now I’m onto the last one — a video theme. I’ve got a bit of a head start on it with the designs all finished for it (which are shown at the end of the post). Now the goal is to finish the theme by the end of January … hopefully. I’m hoping this turns out to be a go-to theme for those wanting to display their vlogs somewhere outside of YouTube and Vimeo.
  • Develop journalistic WordPress plugins. The more I think about it, the more I feel like my place in the WordPress development world is to create themes and plugins for journalist. After all, I am one. And I know what journalists need and want, but might not know how to code. So the more I can help them, the better everything will be. I’ve already got a newspaper-type theme as well as three plugins that display items you would see on a newspaper site. I’m really hoping to continue that trend.
  • Learn the WordPress REST API. JavaScript is apparently the way of the future for web development and I definitely need to catch up. I’ve been meaning to start learning REST APIs and how to implement them, but have yet to find the time. But I’m going to make myself do it now that I finally have time. I won’t develop anything with the WP REST API until it’s fully implemented into the core (just to make it easier for me and users), but I want to be fully versed in it by the time it is fully implemented.
  • Create a premium sports league theme. This is more or less a senior project for me. I’ve learned a lot in four years of web development and now I feel it’s time to use everything I’ve learned to create a large theme with a lot of moving parts and sell it. This is going to take a lot of time, a lot of planning and a lot of patience. But I think it will end up being a centerpiece for my resume.

That’s a lot for New Year’s resolution, but they’re all really good goals and ones I’m confident I can accomplish. If I can get it all done, it’s going to be a very fun year.

Happy New Year and happy developing!

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