It's only temporary.

You guessed right. On my blog I am currently using a theme designed by someone else. I'm sure you're wondering why I'm using a theme, when I am, in fact, a web designer. There are two important things to keep in mind regarding this:

  1. I at least chose a nice theme.
  2. It's only temporary.

I am currently working on developing themes for the Ghost blogging platform. It's my latest love. I've only been using it for a day or 2 now, and I'm hooked.

Why Ghost?

I discovered it while doing some reading on Node.js. I was considering building myself a new blogging platform using Node. I've done something like that before. I wanted to get comfortable using ColdFusion and Object-Relational Mapping (ORM). So I built myself a simple blog using it. Some people build "Hello World", I make a blog.

The more I think about this though, the more I hate myself for doing it. I tend to get as far as a "proof of concept" then stop. Often, I stop blogging altogether for several months or years after the blog is built. It's also pretty impractical. I mean, my end goal is pretty much always the same: "Make it do what Wordpress does, but better, because Wordpress sucks".

After that last ColdFusion blog, I was left wondering why I thought Wordpress sucked. It didn't. There are litterally hundreds of thousands of themes and plugins to do all sorts of stuff! So, why not just use it? It works, right? Yes. It works. It even works really well in some cases. So, I decided to give Wordpress another shot. I moved everything over to a new blog. YAY! Ok, so I load up, it installs nice, I blog a bit for maybe a month. Then I remembered that I'm a Web Guy. I build things for the web. I decided I needed to start building Wordpress themes. What better way to express my creativity, and show off skill than to make money developing Wordpress themes? How hard can it be?

Well...IT'S REALLY HARD. Not really I suppose, but my point is that it's much harder than it needs to be. The Wordpress API is terrible. Probably because Wordpress is written in PHP, and I hate PHP. I'm honestly not sure why I hate PHP, I've just found that there are far better languages out there, and PHP is only used because it's free, and it's not ASP.

Over the past year, I've been experimenting with Node.js, and the idea of serverside JavaScript. I love it. So, when I decided to to dive in deeper, the natural platform was Node, and I didn't want to build my own again. I came across Ghost and quickly discovered how simple it is to design and build for. It has just enough in it for what I want. I quickly fell in love. I don't know why I'm so in love. It's just a blogging platform.

Now what?

Now I want to work on becoming a better front-end developer. I really believe that we as designers need to do better for our users. We need a user's experience on the web to be positive in every regard. If it's something we have control over, we need to do everything in our power to pass that control and that power to the end user.

I'm going to start with trying to get some of my little projects polished off and onto GitHub, then start working on my own theme for my blog, then start making themes for others. In between I'll maybe post about my kids, politics, beer, whatever. Mostly geek stuff, and I'll hopefully document projects along the way.