Yes my site has a new look, and no I didn’t build it from scratch even though I can. I purchased the Standard Theme from 8bit. Why did I purchase a theme despite the fact that I make a living building custom WordPress themes?

That Mechanic

We’ve all heard the story about a mechanic with a broken car. Just like the mechanic, I code all day and it’s often hard to find the motivation to build my own stuff (outside of products) in the off hours. So my site has sat needing features (like proper post format support) for almost a year.

Getting Standard meant that 99% of the work was done. Post Formats are done. Sure I’ve made a few tweaks to how things look (can you tell the quote format is different?) but I don’t have to build it from scratch.

Since I don’t have to build it from scratch, I can spend my time worrying about how things look with the little time I have left after client work.

Expanding my learning

I’ve already got a bunch of respect for the minds behind 8bit and getting to dig in to their code means I get a deeper insight in to how they build things.

Inevitably it’s going to be a bit different to how I build things. Stretching what I think the ‘right’ way to build things is, is awesome.

Standard(izing) MY MU

I give you permission to smile at my double witty title, I’ll wait.

This site runs on a WordPress MU install. I’ve got 8 other sites here when I start counting up the few things I run for family. Moving to Standard will allow me to use a single parent theme and child theme a bunch of my sites.

It’s going to take a few weeks at least, but Standard will be making it’s way across my network. It’s already powering WP Theme Tutorial

Some Responsive

I am still not sure that responsive solves all the issues of mobile devices, but I want to really dig in to a proper responsive theme since it’s been a while.

Yes mobile devices are still downloading a bunch of larger images that they shouldn’t have to. No you can’t really serve entirely different content to a mobile user and a desktop user (read the article above for more on that). But if I don’t dig in deep from time to time, how can I maintain a valid opinion on it?

Great Basic Design

Out of the box, I enjoy what Standard is doing with it’s design. No I don’t absolutely love every item I see, but it’s a solid foundation for me to build on. I don’t have time to really dig in to a design process for my site (clients just keep me busy) and Standar is perfect for what I need right now.

It’s a great blog/publishing platform that really puts the content first.


Don’t expect me to stick with Standard forever, it’s just a stop on the path of this site.

7 responses to “Why Standard Theme?”

  1. John Saddington Avatar

    thanks for giving it a shot! appreciate that, for sure. it’s one stop among many perhaps!

  2. Tom McFarlin Avatar

    Don’t expect me to stick with Standard forever.

    O RLY, Curtis?!

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      Hahaha that is awesome.

  3. Eliot Landrum Avatar

    It’s a solid theme. I’ve looked at it for a few sites. Looking forward to seeing what you are going to do with it.

    On another note.. do you have any posts on your MU setup? I have been pondering this for myself. I hate maintaining plugins and such on all the sites I manage. Wondering how this works with Apache virtual servers.

    1. Curtis McHale Avatar
      Curtis McHale

      I wrote about how to domain map on Media Temple’s GS here. I run Automatic Updater and use WP Remote’s beta daily backup service to pull daily backups.

      What specifically did you want to know?

      1. Eliot Landrum Avatar

        That looks like a great start. I need to look into this while I’m moving my sites to a new VPS. Could save me a lot of headache in the future.

      2. Eliot Landrum Avatar

        BTW, WP Remote looks great. I currently use WordPress-2-Dropbox to do daily backups. I’d love all the version monitoring on WP Remote.