When I first tried to host my own WordPress site a few years ago, I didn’t know anything about coding, MAMP, Github, or child themes. Everything was automatic, and I picked out a free theme and did little to edit it. I didn’t love the theme, and I had my own ideas about how it should look and what I wanted it to do. It was, however, simple. There were only a few instructions, nothing extra to download, and it was still free.
Getting out of that automatic mindset has been difficult. When using WordPress, there are shortcuts every step of the way. When setting up my hosting, they offered a one-button install, which I did. It gave my WordPress site its title and immediately let me using the site, but didn’t necessarily make it easier to edit. In trying to edit my website, I found myself back to square one. In class, we set up a sample webdev final project site, but in making High on Endorphins I had a lot of questions, and not enough answers for the series of questions. What was my database name? My SQL username? Should I enter “localhost” or my BlueHost information, if I was going to be running it through MAMP anyway? Are all of these answers different on my actual WordPress than on my localhost version? A lot of these simple problems were easily answered when we did it together, but now working on my own, Google is providing most of the answers to my questions.
Although Codecademy was a challenge, learning to code is only half of the battle. Simply getting the new code into a working website, using multiple applications and dozens of steps, and figuring out how to make it all run once its written is taking a while to get used to. Once I finally become comfortable with all of these steps, then I’ll really be free to really experiment with the code. For now I’m going to just keep Googling, learning, and practicing.
That’s a good metaphor! Also because WordPress.com is run by a company called Automattic (yes, two T’s), whereas we’re using self-hosted WordPress.org.