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Customization

  1. The more I learn about this coding stuff, the more dissatisfied I become with the default ways that things work with the various themes. With that in mind I'm giving serious consideration to giving myself more customizing power with either the CSS upgrade or moving to a self-hosted blog. I'm hoping that someone can point me to some good discussions comparing the potentials and pitfalls of the two, as well as any alternative(s) I don't know about. I'd list some of the things I'd like to change, but posting such a long list of questions seems inappropriate.

    Thanks in advance.

    The blog I need help with is iwanticewater.wordpress.com.

  2. Two considerations come to my mind:

    1) Even with the CSS Upgrade, there is only so much you can do...unless you attempt to CSS-design a theme from scratch using the Sandbox theme.

    2) With a self-hosted blog you are in 100% control, but there's more work, and it is not free.

    However, before giving up on wp.com, maybe you should try the new INove theme. It has a lot of built in customization and had I known a month ago they were going to add it, I would have stayed and not moved to wp.org.

  3. A self hosted blog is free, as long as you get a free host - or host yourself.

    If your pretty good with the coding stuff, then I highly suggest Wp.org. Wp.com is only for the people who don't know much and want to start a blog.

    With Wp.org, you can use any theme (even make your own) and edit everything. You can take out the link back to WordPress, get a cool theme, have awesome plugins, and no one will even know your powered by WordPress.

    With Wp.com, you can have a blog, and chose from a few themes.

    That's all, have fun. :)

  4. Thanks husdal. I have yet to find a theme that didn't have some serious limitations to what I want, and every time I've switched themes it ended up causing problems I didn't anticipate. For example, I had been using the header codes in a lot of posts to produce font effects and ended up screwing them all up when I changed themes.

    The iNove theme seems very nice, but I finally found a custom header image that I love and it's going to take a lot to make me give that up. You can't by chance add one with the CSS upgrade can you?

  5. Thanks agentchase. Yeah I kinda thought the same thing, but I need to learn more than just coding to go that far, not to mention upgrading my hardware. I do think that that is where I'll ultimately end up, though. Are there any things I need to avoid doing that will make that transition more difficult down the road?

  6. Like Husdal said, going self-hosted you'd be 100% in control. You can add whatever theme you like, you can add whatever plugin you like... you can use javascript, flash, iframes, etc.

    If you go self-hosted, you'd have to take into consideration that you'd need to back up your DB regularly just in case something happens, or if you move to a different hosting provider.

    You'd have to upgrade your software yourself. Now, one cool thing about the new versions of wrodpress is that there's a button to automatically upgrade the software and plugins... so it's easier and more convenient than before.

    You'd have to research what hosting company would be best for you. Webhostingtalk.com is a forum where people review and tell their experiences of the hosting providers they've used... it could be a good starting point for you.

    From _personal_ experience, I would recommend you: Dreamhost and Hostgator.

    Also, I read on Webhostingtalk.com, that mddhosting.com is an excellent provider and it has lots of good reviews.

    My $0.02... HTH

  7. @izaakmak

    You can't by chance add one with the CSS upgrade can you?

    You can add the custom header element to iNove with the CSS upgrade

  8. Man you guys are great! Thanks devblog and t3ck. Sounds like I can stay with wp.com for now while experimenting with the CSS upgrade, and then haul it all over to a self-hosted later when my skills are more refined. But I'd still like some feedback on "improvements" that will make that eventual move more difficult.

  9. I meant "improvements to avoid"

  10. Well, the only way to find out is to list your 'improvements' here and have us work our brains out...

  11. You're welcome Izaakmark,

    I recommend checking out this beginners CSS video
    http://css-tricks.com/video-screencasts/58-html-css-the-very-basics/

    I started learning CSS recently and I came across the very helpful video for the basics link above

  12. Thanks again.

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