I’m finally starting to get some ideas of how I want this thing to look. I started messing around some in Photoshop and BBEdit tonight to play with an idea I had for the look of the site, which is rather different from the way I normally put a site together at work.
At work, I’m almost always handed a finished Photoshop document, and asked to make the site look as close to the Photoshop document as I can. With a static site, I can generally come pretty close, and do my best to execute the design as closely as I can. With a dynamic site, I do what I can, but the software often places constraints on what you can do– if the HTML structure output by the software, which is pre-written– doesn’t match the design, there’s not much you can do. It’s also been my experience that some designers include features that the software doesn’t support.
For this site, I’m starting to get a sense of what I want to look like, and I’m mocking it up statically on my local machine. Instead of creating the whole design in Photoshop, I’m just creating bits and bobs, then trying out the CSS directly in BBEdit, locally. There’s nothing here on the site to see yet.
The other consideration is making the thing work with WordPress. I have a lot of experience at work, skinning dynamic systems, but that has been on systems that I did a lot of work on myself, and in ColdFusion. I’m going to have to learn how to do things The WordPress Way, and I’m going to have to pick up a little PHP too. And part of the process is going to be to find out what kinds of goodies I have to play around with in this environment. But that’s part of the attraction too.