Another year, another set of WordPress resolutions

Photo of laptop showing code on PHPStorm

The countdowns have been counted down. The ball has been dropped. The champagne has been popped. Auld Lang Syne has been sung.

Among the many traditions that happen on New Year’s, the most popular is making some New Year’s resolutions. Most of us never keep them, but they are fun to make.

Last year I started a tradition of writing down some WordPress resolutions I wanted to make for 2016. I figured these would be easier to keep since they’re more focused on one thing rather than just being broad.

So as we kick off 2017, I’m back with a whole new set of resolutions to build off a successful 2016 in WordPress. But before I get into this year’s WordPress resolutions, let’s look back and see how it did with last year’s.

  • Be better at updating my themes and plugins. This year I had a much better system of updating my themes and plugins around the three main WordPress releases. It made it much easier to know when to update and keep all of them inline. Unfortunately, WordPress 4.8 won’t follow a hard schedule like the other ones, so the system will need a bit of updating.
  • Update and explore Foundation 6. This one was the easiest of the bunch. Foundation 6 wasn’t too much different than Foundation 5, so creating a new starter theme with Foundation took all of a couple of days,
  • Develop a video WordPress theme. This one was also pretty easy. I created VideoPlace, a WordPress theme for vlogs, back in January 2016 and it finally went live in the theme directory in October. And so far people have liked it, so that’s a plus.
  • Develop journalistic WordPress plugins. This one is a little bit tricky because I released two journalistic-related plugins this past year — Story Lines and JM Live Blog. But outside of that, I didn’t really do that much in this department. But technically I did something, so it counts.
  • Learn the WordPress REST API. This one I completed in the last month of 2016. I learned how to interact with the WP REST API and how to work it into AngularJS to create a basic starter theme. I then used that to complete a daily blog theme, Quotidiano, which will be sent off for review some time soon.
  • Create a premium sports league theme. Finally, this one took a lot longer than I expected, but I did release Sports Bench, a premium sports WordPress theme/plugin package. This one went through everything, from figuring out what should be in it, to designs, to development, to testing and finally to its release in November. Along the way I became a much more complete and confident developer, which means much more than any revenue I make off the package.

So now without any more delays, here are this year’s resolutions.

  • Learn JavaScript deeply. I already feel confident with JavaScript, especially after working with Sports Bench and the new daily blog theme, but it never hurts to get back to basics and learn from the bottom all over again. I want to go back to basics of JavaScript, learning variables, expressions, functions and the like, working my way up to the complicated stuff so that I have a deeper level of understanding on how the programming language works and how to leverage it for what I want to do. That way once I get to Angular or React or any other JavaScript framework, I can feel more confident about what I’m doing.
  • Create a premium portfolio theme with the REST API and Angular/React. While completing the daily blog theme with the REST API is great, I really want to push myself with a much more complicated theme, and to make it premium too. Adding to this challenge will be the fact that there are already a lot of WordPress portfolio themes out there, so I’ve got to make mine stick out, which will push me on the design side. One thing working in my favor is the fact that the REST API is new to WordPress core and there aren’t too many themes available that use the API/JavaScript frameworks.
  • Create an app for plugin and theme developers. This one doesn’t really deal with WordPress development, but it will help WordPress developers. I want to create an app that allows theme and plugin developers keep track of their items in the respective directories with the latest stats, ratings and questions on the forum. Hopefully it becomes a must have for developers.
  • Create a JavaScript backend WP Admin. The last one here is the one most likely not to happen during the next 12 months. I would like to create a JavaScript backend for the WordPress admin area (mainly for my portfolio site) that is similar to what’s on but with more control for me. I’m not entirely sure if that’s possible because cursory searches have pulled up nothing, but I would still love to give it a shot. We’ll see how it goes.

So there you have it. There are my WordPress resolutions for 2017. Which ones come true and which ones fall flat remain to be seen, but I predict another good year for web development ahead. It will be fun.

Happy New Year to you all!

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