Building a boring website

Recently I read the presentation, “Choose Boring Technology” (http://boringtechnology.club/). It is a fun read, and I suggest it. But the part relevant for this exercise is about “hate”. To make sense I need to include the slide:

If you behave that way you miss out on the part of the curve that we call “mastery.” That’s a state to the right on this curve, where there are still problems. Everything still sucks but it feels manageable.

The grim paradox of this law of software is that you should probably be using the tool that you hate the most. You hate it because you know the most about it.

I hate WordPress. So I’m going to build my “work” site with it, hosted at the domain where I send people whom I want to pay me monies. On that site, I will convince people to hire me for WordPress-related services.

Ha. Haha.

Let’s get started.

I already have WordPress installed, and starting messing with stuff I always do, but haven’t written it down (yet!). The domain is at https://maiki.xyz/ (of my email address fame), and at the moment looks like:

Not a lot going on there. “Nothing found”, in fact. :slight_smile:

Tasks:

  • Put content on the index page of the site
  • Drop the sidebar, no current use
  • Remove copyright statement, that’s offensive
  • Add some useful info in the footer, such as contact info

Let’s start with an easy one! Dropping the sidebar is fairly easy, as I’m using GeneratePress, which has sidebar options (I believe many themes have this functionality these days). However, I like to clear the sidebar first, to ensure it doesn’t pop-up defaults at some point in the future.

I believe these widgets were added to the Right Sidebar by default:

Then I Delete them until Right Sidebar is empty:

Screenshot_2021-06-10 Widgets ‹ maiki, xyz — WordPress(1)

That removes the content of the sidebar, though leaving a space where it is reserved:

I use the Customizer to change the Layouts in GeneratePress, and set all contexts to “Content (no sidebars)”, which does the job:

Why no sidebars?

I will use them if I need them, but currently I have no need. This site is to allow visitors to learn about working with me, and then engage. I don’t plan to utilize a sidebar to clarify my intent, so it would just be extra. I also don’t intend to write copy in such a way as to make the footer “unreachhable”.

My goal is to create individual, linked documents that explain my value proposition without getting bored, and using a minimal navigation element at the bottom of each page.

I know how to arbitrarily add widgets to any position on a page, so I’m not personally worried about turning off this functionality.


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I’ll be using the GeneratePress Premium plugin to customize my site, and it allows the copyright statement to be turned off (that includes the “built with” message). I’ll configure it there. However, there is a way to remove the entire footer bar from the theme with a function, explained in the GeneratePress docs (Changing the Copyright Message - Documentation):

add_action( 'after_setup_theme', 'tu_remove_footer_area' );
function tu_remove_footer_area() {
    remove_action( 'generate_footer','generate_construct_footer' );
}

Noting it here, because I may not have any need for that footer bar, instead relying on the widgets area just above it. I may use the function to turn it off after all.

I ended up removing the footer bar after all. The copyright message requires something, and I don’t want to put anything there.

I applied the function with the Code Snippets plugin, which exports as JSON for using on other sites, or as a PHP function file. Here are both:

And now the site is starting to come together…

If I intend to use the website for anything, I need to let folks know how to contact me.

I’m thinking…

Hello. I’m maiki (support@maiki.xyz), a technology services provider.

Because I literally need to start somewhere! Gah!

Now I have something to edit, which is much easier than creating (itself somewhat of a context shift with associated costs).