A Journey of Theme Craftsmanship

My name is Lance, and I love themes.

What was my standard opening line for many years when starting a WordCamp talk is still true today. “My name is Lance, and I still love themes.”

I’d like to tell you the story of my journey of theme craftsmanship—the ups, the downs, the unexpected results—and how I’ve now become an apprentice again in a new field.

It’s been a journey of adventure and learning where my skills have expanded beyond anything I’d expected—not just the technical path from web designer and developer to “front-end expert” and WordPress themer—but also writing, speaking, and leading. And more.

It’s September 2015 and I’m now back in an apprenticeship role. Working hard on finding my craft: tools, skills, patterns, workflow, and process. Discovering myself, my passion, my community, and opportunities to learn.

Continue reading “A Journey of Theme Craftsmanship”

WordCamp Buenos Aires 2015

I gave a talk at WordCamp Buenos Aires in May 2015 on finding and choosing the perfect theme.

Slides (in Spanish) are available here: Encontrar el diseño perfecto para tu sitio WordPress. For similar information in English, check out these Jumpstart resources on ThemeShaper.

It was a great event! Well organized and well attended; I was also impressed with the quality level of the presentations: from project management to extending the Customizer to web development psychology. Met a few people I’d emailed or seen online a bit in the WordPress.org community, and I’m very happy to see the WordPress community in South America growing and strong, and it was great to connect with the Argentinean open source community a bit more.

To see more about the event, here’s the #wcba15 hashtag on Twitter and the official WordCampBsAs stream.

(Photo credit: Zulema Ayala.)

Video: State of Themes Panel

Lance Willett, Tiago Noronha, Ben Gillbanks, Tammie Lister: State of Themes Panel from WordCamp London 2015 — now on WordPress TV.

Building Themes With the WP REST API

Building themes with the WP REST API — must-watch recap (with video) of Jack Lenox’s presentation at WordCamp London.

WordPress theme tutorial: Mastering the post_class function

Excellent tutorial by by Fränk Klein, must-read for all you WordPress themers: Mastering the post_class function.

Zeldman’s Theme

Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report-Web Design News & Insights Since 1995 | Web design news and insights since 1995 - cropped

Jeffrey Zeldman. The godfather of web standards, the guy who first got me hooked on CSS and HTML, and who introduced me to WordPress. Zeldman.

10 years later? Zeldman.com uses a theme I helped make for WordPress.

Mind. F’ing. Blown.

I love my job. Thank you, Jeffrey, for getting me started and for continuing to inspire.

(Full screengrab for posterity.)

Evan Solomon: Premium Themes are a Lie

Evan Solomon: Premium Themes are a Lie

Interesting post and follow-up discussion on an old but still very important topic. Premium themes, just because you pay for them, doesn’t guarantee any code or design quality.

You Should Follow ThemeShaper

I’m blogging about WordPress themes and theme development over at the ThemeShaper blog.

My first two posts are up:

I’ll be posting more at ThemeShaper.com over time so make sure you grab the RSS feed to receive notifications about new posts.

See also my fellow Theme Wrangler Ian Stewart’s introductory post, What Is The Automattic Theme Team?

Automattic Theme Team

I’m proud to be part of an awesome team bringing improvements and craftmanship to WordPress themes. Today we publicly announced our team goals over at ThemeShaper.com.

So, just what is this Automattic Theme Team anyway? In a nutshell, we’re a bunch of people who really care about WordPress Themes and want to see them get better and better on WordPress.com and for every WordPress.org user. And this is our blog.

Be sure and subscribe to our blog at ThemeShaper.com.

(via What Is The Automattic Theme Team?)