Tales of a Rider: Watch out for them groundhogs

Groundhogs can take you down

July 3rd, 2015 was my first motorcycle accident. I was traveling alone in the back roads just south of a main town hunting geocaching locations. I had my helmet and jacket and the ride was beautiful.

A short ways ahead, I saw a groundhog peak out from the side of the road from my right and watched as he darted across to the left side. I started to slow down to see what he would do. The groundhog kept pacing back and forth on the left, so I figured he would stay over there until I passed. Just as I was about to pass the critter, he darted back over to the right hand side. Everything seemed to happen quickly and I was unsure of what to do as I only had about 2000 miles under my belt and this was a first time experience coming against nature. Well, thinking about what i learned in the beginner motorcycle training course I thought the best thing to do would be to throttle up and try to run over the critter square on. Turns out that was not the best idea, because as the front wheel came in contact with the huge round hump of the groundhog it caused the wheel to tip to the left and the gyroscopic effect turned the whole bike on its side. I slide down the road a little ways, kicked the bike away from me and watched as the road slid past the left side of my helmet.

Thankfully, no real damage to myself except for a heat abrasion on my left arm caused by the jacket heating up as I slid down the road and the inner arm sleeve cut into my elbow causing a gash that needed to be stitched up. There was some bruising on my hip and i must have caught my right hand knuckle briefly on some road and got a minor gash that was glued up at the hospital. I also somehow stubbed my left toe in the boot, so the nurse had to puncture the toenail to release the blood pressure.

The lessons learned:

Don’t ride alone, ride with a buddy. I was not sure where I was and could not easily grab my phone from my jacket because I was trying to hold the wounds from bleeding everywhere. Thankfully, a car was not far behind me who happened to be an off duty fireman from the nearby town and called in for the squad.

Always wear a helmet, jacket, gloves and any other gear. You never know when nature can dart out from the road and change your plans for the day. At least the safety gear will quicken the healing time.

Never trust nature’s creatures to act in a way that will be safe to you. If you come up on groundhogs and large rodents, it might be safer to not cross their path until you know they have gone into the field, and be sure to honk at them to hopefully scare them off.

Always ride with the goal of maneuvering the bike in the path you want to go to avoid the obstacle. Never stare at the obstacle as you will evidently hit it, but rather stare into the open safe zone where you want to go to avoid.

Masonic Widows Son medallion for my motorcycle

Picked up a really cool medallion to add to my motorcycle from The Masonic Exchange. They sell many different items of Masonic interest and I liked the “In Memory of Hiram Abiff” auto emblem and thought it would look pretty cool on my air cleaner.

I talked to another rider who already had this very same emblem (I did not know he had one until after I bought mine) and he said he attached his with some thick 3M double-sided tape across the whole back and removing any excess to keep it hidden. I was wondering if that would be the route I should take as well because I was curious if it would hold up over time in the rain and during washes.

I picked up a rubber washer for the waste shoe of a sink, and I also picked up an assortment of large o-rings meant for sink plumbing. I figure that one of the large o-rings might fit the best and I can Krazy glue it to the air-cleaner. The air cleaner is concave, so the medallion does not touch at the edges. The o-ring looks like it will be thick enough to make a good seal. I will follow up at a later time with picture to let you know how it goes.

Small dog and antibiotics

Updated 5/4/2016: See below

My son went into the Navy, so I know have his small dog. I love the little thing, even though I really prefer larger dogs. Well, she was still in need of a spay so I took her to the vet. Afterwards, they put her on antibiotics and some pain meds. Talk about being difficult, this little booger is so squirmy and fast with her head it was very difficult at first to figure out how to get the pills down her throat. With larger dogs, it was fairly easy because once the pill was put near the back of their mouths they pretty much had to swallow at that point (not sure if that is the correct way either, but I am not a vet). Other times with my larger dogs I would hide the pill in a hot dog or some peanut butter. But not this little beauty, she has a knack of using her tongue to spit anything back out. We started pulverizing the pills with a mortar and pestle and then mixing it into small amounts of canned food. It is a very messy process and tends to get all over her fur. But after some patience and practice I found just the right small amount of the mixture that i can sneak in and on the roof of her mouth. For the most part this has been working. But the biggest part of this is making sure she gets a treat afterwards. After a few days she has started to eat again (even though in small amounts), but not really on her own will. She drank plenty of water and had enough energy to go outside for small walks, but we were getting concerned she did not want to eat. After doing a little research online, it appears that the antibiotics must be killing off the good bacteria in her stomach which keeps her appetite down. The results online talked about feeding her cooked egg and yogurt. Well, the cooked egg is starting to do the trick, this is the treat she gets for putting up with us humans forcing the small amounts of food/meds down her throat. We cook up the egg first and break it up into a bowl. She can smell the egg in the air and gets excited. We then do the sit down and force the small dollop of food/med down her throat and then she gets the wonderful treat. While she still puts up a small fight for the meds, it is starting to get easier…. the best thing to keep in mind is to have patience and understanding. They are your loved pets, but don’t feel bad that you might be causing a little stress in their life. They will forgive you and hopefully the meds will help them get better. You might feel bad forcing food down their throat, but get over that and realize you have to do what you can to keep them safe and healthy and little bit of discomfort is ok (within reason of course, you never want to hurt them physically. which means not smacking around or breaking necks… got it?)

Update 5/4/2016: So the dog has decided that she no longer wants the egg. I had forgotten about this but decided to try baby food. Mainly the idea is to get her used to eating again so that she will start to eat more. I also think that she has coordinated the stress of force feeding with certain foods or situations so I am trying to get her excited again. I ran up to the store at midnight and picked up a small jar of turkey in turkey broth baby food. She really loved the smell and licked up the spoonful quickly and then started to press towards the jar to lick directly out of it. The first round she only took about 1/5 of the jar. An hour or so later she tried another 1/5. This morning, she ate the remaining 3/5 of the jar with no questions. I guess I will have to pick up some more jars after work and see how soon I can introduce her pate and kibble again. Also, she is now on a lighter antibiotic as we found out she had an eColi infection likely in her kidney. Not sure how she obtained it, but likely one time she must have had the runs and some of the poo stayed caked on and likely entered through her urinary tract. So 30 days of this new antibiotic and hopefully appetite comes back quicker now.

Let’s see where this goes

So, I have been very busy lately with my second job and also taking a class on full stack web development on coursera.org. The problem, is I have far too many ideas in my head and no real direction to speak of. I do not have one topic that I am good at, but many topics that I know enough to get myself into trouble.

Of what is most exciting for me at this moment is taking long rides on the motorcycle and looking up youtube videos of thing I would like to do with the bike. Which is again, just one more thing to add to the mix.

Also, since my son joined the Navy I have taken on his dog as my own. Just the last few days, I had taken her to the vet to get spayed and talk to the vet about some white spotting she leaves. At first we thought it might be pyometra, but after the spay we were assured that it was not. What that means is we now have to wait for the urine culture to come back so we can see if there is an antibiotic that will take care of the infection. Sounds like could be her kidneys. So, yet one more thing on my agenda.

Also, I manage various other websites and have to keep them updated. The most recent one that I want to work harder on is the block watch site as I have some ideas on how to gather more useful data like police reports and consolidation of reports people make to our Facebook page. This is why I figured I would look into the class for full stack development, as I think this will entail setting up another database and creating a separate application. The data is not structured, so I should really look into how to manipulate or utilize the big data concepts.

What this boils down to, is that I will not be able to fully concentrate to finish up my tutorial I started but will always keep it in my mind. What you will start to see is some more random postings and hopefully more pertaining to my bike and some of the things I have learned along the way about being a fairly new rider.

So… Let’s see where this goes

WordPress Theme development process – Beginner, Part 5 (Similar Sites)

Research Similar Sites

researchIn order to better understand how you compare, research similar sites to see what might be missing that you could capitalize on for your readers. Not every site should have the same information, and each should offer up some useful bit of information that might not be found somewhere else. Your readers are trying to solve their problem, and do you offer up something different to help them further their progress in completing tasks. What do similar sites focus on and how do they display the information. Is it concise and easy to read, are the users bombarded with ads or call to actions, or is the information really not there or hard to find.

General Steps

Here are the steps to follow along in the series.

  1. Overview – describe  the purpose
  2. Local development – Set up development server with DesktopServer Limited (free version)
  3. Identify user – and problem I am attempting to solve for them
  4. Topic list – Categorize list of needs of users and topics of discussion
  5. Research similar sites – and analyze how they answer the user’s needs
  6. Create storyboards – or sitemaps for different posts and pages.
  7. Sketch on paper various page layouts, first in mobile view and then on up to desktop
  8. Determine extra functionalities needed and possible plugins that could be utilized
  9. Create page/post templates
  10. Test, Test, and Test some more
  11. Upload to a live site

 Research

Google is my best friend, or at least it is currently my favorite search engine. There are many out there and might even be better. However, most of the SEO that I have been working with has centered around Google so this is what I know. I really plan to look further into Yahoo and Bind and any other search engines and how they rank, but for now I can only concentrate on one source. Listening to the Smart Passive Income podcasts have taught me to try and not spread myself thin, but rather to concentrate on that one idea and finish it through until complete. So on to Google I go to do some research for similar websites.

Remejy.Com Planning

Find at least three other websites that have similar interest points to your topic and then discuss what you like and don’t like. Do they answer the questions or is it a fluff site just to display ads.

site1: (as of 2/17/16, researching)

site2: (as of 2/17/16, researching)

site3: (as of 2/17/16, researching)

Recap

Research is a very important step into any venture. You need to have a good understanding of what is already out there. Then you can decide if you can provide the same information in a better form, or if you can provide new or better information to better server your readers’ pain points. There are many search engines available to find sites on a similar topic, pick one that is your favorite and identify a minimum of three other similar sites. Critique these sites and better understand if they are in the same direction for your goal or if you think you can provide some other version to answer the questions.

Next Steps > Create Storyboards ( estimated publish date 3/30/16 )

WordPress Theme development process – Beginner, Part 4 (Topic List)

Topic List

Topic ListWhen we first start our blogs, for the most part we still do not know what we really want to talk about. Planning ideas on topics should really happen prior to starting the blog or well in the beginning stages. It is far too easy to get into a state of confusion and disarray, unless we step back and do at least a minimal amount of planning.

General Steps

Here are the steps to follow along in the series.

  1. Overview – describe  the purpose
  2. Local development – Set up development server with DesktopServer Limited (free version)
  3. Identify user – and problem I am attempting to solve for them
  4. Topic list – Categorize list of needs of users and topics of discussion
  5. Research similar sites – and analyze how they answer the user’s needs
  6. Create storyboards – or sitemaps for different posts and pages.
  7. Sketch on paper various page layouts, first in mobile view and then on up to desktop
  8. Determine extra functionalities needed and possible plugins that could be utilized
  9. Create page/post templates
  10. Test, Test, and Test some more
  11. Upload to a live site

Flush Out Topic Ideas

This can be a fun part of the planning stage. I listen to a blog about “Smart Passive Income” by Pat Flynn and many times either he or his guests will convey the need to plan and research out your topics. One guest suggested creating a little idea box, when every time you have an idea pop up in your head immediately write down a brief statement on the topic and place it into a box. Either way, the goal is to write out as many ideas of topics you find interesting and then see if you come up with a common theme. This process should take you longer than one week, only because you should really spend some time on this procedure. Save these ideas somewhere as you will find that later on you might start to have “Writers Block” and returning to the idea box occasionally should help give you some ideas.

Remejy.Com Planning

I have so many varied experiences in life, that I typically say that I freely learn all but specialize in none. That being said, I really needed to constrain my topic list to one general theme. Lately, much of my side work revolves around the backend of various websites all based upon the WordPress platform. I have created a couple custom themes to upgrade a few sites to mobile friendly and I have created a couple specialized plugins for those sites based upon the client’s needs. I have lately started attending the monthly WordPress Meetups and the last two WordCamps.I really enjoy the platform and think I can offer help to beginners just getting acquainted to WordPress. The topics I had varied from neighborhood issues because of the blockwatch I helped start, driving tips, random thoughts on life and many topic ideas revolved around WordPress and websites. While I am not skilled at creating beautiful websites, I can research and learn the needed skills to translate other graphically inclined people. So, I thought it would be the better choice to narrow my topics to beginner WordPress help. I know there are already many other sites on this topic, so I still need to flush out a niche where I can better fill that is in need but this will come out in time after I get more posts and see what my users gravitate towards solving their pain points.

Recap

Coming up with topic ideas should be the fun part of the process. Keep it simple and create as many as possible over at least one week or longer. Review the ideas and narrow down to what you find to be a common theme. Pick something to start with, but keep the ideas handy in case you find the topic just does not work for you or you need something to help overcome the initial “Writer’s Block”

Next Steps > Research similar sites ( estimated publish date 2/2/16 )

WordPress Theme development process – Beginner, Part 3 (Identify User)

Identify your user

identify UserThis is not an easy step. The user of your website is not likely going to be the “Ideal” user you are thinking about, and most of all YOU are not the example of the user that will likely use or find your site. While it is easy to design based upon what you would like your site to provide, you will find out that the users of the site will help direct your design and information you provide. Before you start to plan your site, I found a great video from a WordCamp held in NYC in 2015 that further describes the concept of user.

General Steps

Here are the steps to follow along in the series.

  1. Overview – describe  the purpose
  2. Local development – Set up development server with DesktopServer Limited (free version)
  3. Identify user – and problem I am attempting to solve for them
  4. Topic list – Categorize list of needs of users and topics of discussion
  5. Research similar sites – and analyze how they answer the user’s needs
  6. Create storyboards – or sitemaps for different posts and pages.
  7. Sketch on paper various page layouts, first in mobile view and then on up to desktop
  8. Determine extra functionalities needed and possible plugins that could be utilized
  9. Create page/post templates
  10. Test, Test, and Test some more
  11. Upload to a live site

Points to consider

You will want to consider who your planned target audience is, and their current motivation while on your site. Make sure you fully understand the context in which they are visiting the site. Try to understand the “problem” you are helping them with.

Target Audience

Until you actually get visitors and watch their usage patterns with analytics, you have to make an assumption on who your intended target audience is. What are the age ranges, socio/economic backgrounds, general education vs. post graduate/masters program, purchasing goods or looking for information and any other descriptor you can imagine. Write them all down and try to create a general profile for at least three different users.

Motivation

Why did the user find your site? Have they been their before and found it useful? Are they trying to quickly find a short answer or looking for an in depth article on a specific topic? Are they in need of purchasing your product quickly or are they just doing research? Are they driving in their car and looking for your hours or contact information? You need to step back and imagine their situation and the Context in which they are looking for assistance.

The Problem

For most sites, you are trying to answer some question or provide a solution to their current problem. Define the problems you plan to solve. What are the questions they could be asking, and how can you best answer their need?

Remejy.Com planning

So, who are the users of my own site? Since this site is very new, I do not have any good analytics yet to really get an idea of what my users are looking for. I would imagine that my users are looking for in-depth articles to help them better understand various aspects of WordPress. They know there are many other sites out there that discuss the same issues, but may not like how little information is out there without all the extra fluff from ads or articles without substance. Based upon my experiences with WordPress Meetups and the WordCamp, I know the users will be of varying ages and backgrounds. There are some highly experienced users out there, but my current concentration is to assist the newer users of WordPress, as I plan to answer the common questions that come up in a Meetup.

User01: younger male, with little college or only high school education. Works full time at low rate of pay and looking for a way to increase his opportunity to make money online. He is new to WordPress and has very little knowledge of PHP, but a small bit of familiarity with HTML and simple CSS

User02: young to middle age female. Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Working full time, but not in the career education is for. Employer has a few websites that either need to be converted to WordPress or are already setup on WordPress with a custom pre-built theme. Understands HTML and CSS and a small bit of javascript and PHP.

User03: middle age female not necessarily working a full time job or works at home as a stay at home Mom (a full time job mind you). No familiarity with websites, or HTML. Heard about WordPress to create a blog and would like to learn more. Has a great eye for visual design and considers self to be an artist. She has enough technical knowledge to use a web browser and create Office documents.

I will keep each of these users in mind as I continue the process. None of these may fit who you are, but the goal of this exercise is to create at least three potential users. You can create as many as you see fit, but I think three at a minimum should get you a good start.

Recap

In the beginning, it is difficult to imagine your intended user. Only time will give you a better understanding, but know that they typically will not be like you. Take the time to write out who the users are, understand the context in which you are trying to solve their problem and decide how best you might be able to provide an answer.

Next Step > Topic list

WordPress Theme development process – Beginner, Part 2 (Local Development)

Local development server

local development web serverI have tried various ways of creating a local development environment for me to test my website ideas, most of which seemed highly technical and took me days of research. I don’t have the time to learn all the aspects of setting up a server, and I am always looking for new ideas. You can use the free software called VirtualBox from Oracle and create a virtual machine running any version of Linux and there are even preconfigured virtual appliances that you can download for use. I found using the virtual machines mostly easy to understand and use and was my main process for some time. I also tried using my hosting account to setup a test website and password protect the directory to keep people out while testing. While that process is also fairly easy because I did not need to setup the server end, I still could only work while on the Internet (which is hard to do when I was not in an area with Internet access).

My latest find was software developed by a company called ServerPress. The software quickly sets up the web services needed to spool up a WordPress default site on your computer. You can easily edit the files locally without the need for FTP, just as easy as creating any document. Any changes you make are instant so you can refresh your browser and see your changes. There are two versions of the software, Limited and Premium. I currently use the Limited version, which only lets me run three separate WordPress sites locally at any time. The Premium version will allow you to have multiple sites and provides an easy way to migrate your work to a live server, the Limited version is not as straight forward but I will show you how I do this later in this series.

General Steps

Here are the steps to follow along in the series.

  1. Overview – describe  the purpose
  2. Local development – Set up development server with DesktopServer Limited (free version)
  3. Identify user – and problem I am attempting to solve for them
  4. Topic list – Categorize list of needs of users and topics of discussion
  5. Research similar sites – and analyze how they answer the user’s needs
  6. Create storyboards – or sitemaps for different posts and pages.
  7. Sketch on paper various page layouts, first in mobile view and then on up to desktop
  8. Determine extra functionalities needed and possible plugins that could be utilized
  9. Create page/post templates
  10. Test, Test, and Test some more
  11. Upload to a live site

Download and install the server

When you visit the ServerPress website to download, you are given the opportunity to purchase the premium version or select the limited version. I have chosen to use the limited version for beginner purposes. ServerPress uses a plugin to manage digital downloads (their site was built on WordPress platform as well), so you have to click the “Free – Add to Cart” button to start the process. In order to download their software, you will need to give an email address, your first name and agree to their terms of service. When you click the “Purchase” link, you will be directed to the download page to choose the version you need. The links will also be emailed to you. I suggest downloading the latest version for either Mac or Windows. The prior version is also offered for download if needed. If you are using Linux, I suggest checking out LAMP or a variant of for your Linux distribution. Double-click the downloaded file and follow instructions. If you have any issues during the install, please review the ServerPress Support page. I am unable to provide support for you in this process, however ServerPress has some great tutorials and walkthroughs to assist.

Running the server

DesktopServer must be run as an administrator, as it will need to make some changes to your system in order for you to create the virtual host settings so you can type your development website address in your browser and automatically point correctly to the files you created on your computer. On a Mac a popup will ask for your username and password for your computer, enter the credentials you use to log in to your computer. For a Windows computer, see the ServerPress support page for assistance (sorry, I don’t have a Windows computer to test the process). With the Limited version, only your own computer hosting the files can view the website, but if you upgrade to the premium version you can change the settings so other computers on your network can view the website. Because of the nature of opening up some of these settings on your computer, you will also see a brief warning about security of your computer and having a firewall setup if you are on a public or unprotected network. This page also asks if you want to start the Apache and MySQL services, select “Yes” and click “Next” to continue. Click “Next” when the service setup is done.

Creating a site

From the main options page, select “Create a new development site” and click “Next”. Either accept the default www.example.dev address or type in any other name you wish. You cannot change the .dev extension so that you do not create any confusion with .com .org .edu etc real websites. The [site-name].dev will be setup on your local computer as the website address for your new WordPress install. Choose the blueprint you wish to use, which should already be selected as a WordPress version that came with the DesktopServer install. If you wish to have other or newer WordPress versions to select from you can download them from WordPress.org and save in the blueprints folder in the zip format. After selecting your blueprint, you can change where the files are stored for your website, but leaving as the default of your Documents folder is suggested, then click “Create”. When the system is done creating the site, click “Next” and then click the link to finish the installation of the site by entering in the website name, details and a username for the WordPress login and your email address. You will be directed to login to your new WordPress site and away you go!!! You now have your very own WordPress install on your computer to play with.

Using the tools

The Limited version does not have many tools to play with, but there is enough to get the job done. There are steps in order to save your WordPress site and move it to a live server. You will need to know how to use an FTP program and login to your Online Host and how to use phpMyAdmin in order to save and upload to the live host as well. If you pay for the premium version of DesktopServer, there is an automated way to export your new site when ready. I will provide a walkthrough a little later to show you how to do this manually using the cPanel of the hosting service I set up for my live domain. Your hosting provider may already have tutorials to copying a website over to a new host. WordPress also has plugins that can assist in migrating your site to a new live host, like Duplicator or BackupBuddy. In the limited version, I do not find the copy or move website feature any use, but i do use the remove website when I want to work on another new site. I have found that it works best for me to have one site setup for me to play around with and possibly develop new themes and plugins and I will create various dummy posts and pages to see how the different themes change. I then use a second of the three available sites for the current project I am on for my client, and then I use the third website as a throw away site that i don’t mind deleting right away for any ad-hoc extreme testing that I want to do. At some point I will need to upgrade to the premium version so I can work on multiple client sites easier, but the limited will suffice for now.

Recap

While there are many available solutions to setup a development server, I prefer to work locally just in case I do not have internet service. Setting up a local development server can be troublesome for many beginners and DesktopServer helps make this far easier a task to accomplish. Using the limited version does have a lack of features and also does not include an easy feature to move your local site into a live hosting account, however there are ways to accomplish the tasks. Setup Desktop Server, create a new website from a WordPress blueprint included and you are off and running with your very own WordPress install. Good luck and enjoy

Next Step > Identify User and Problem you are helping them to solve

WordPress Theme development process – Beginner, Part 1 (Overview)

Theme Development Overview

thinking about theme developmentPracticing theme development over the last two years for a couple websites has been exciting and difficult at various times. These themes were designed for a specific purpose and not well tuned to be used out in the wild. In the process of creating the themes I researched for days (months) for useful sites that encompassed the full development process, but was unable to find one good source that was also current. I am a fairly new WordPress user, and in sharing my process it will help me to remember what I have done and where I can make improvements. The following pages will be a work in progress and I always welcome constructive feedback on how to make this process better or easier to understand. While my process is certainly not the ONLY way, it works for my purposes.

The Project

In order to understand my process, I will take on creating a new theme for this site. I will try to stop and take notes along the way to share, just be warned that I might accidentally forget to mention something so don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. The goal for this project will be to create a useful generic theme that I can quickly apply to other sites as a temporary base upon which to make adjustments per the design needs for that site. While there are many different frameworks available to use, for this project I will start with _s(Underscore.me) and Twitter Bootstrap. I do not intend to create something complicated, so as to provide a good resource for those of us that are new to WordPress and themes (hence the beginner in the title)

General Steps

Here are the steps to follow along in the series.

  1. Overview – describe  the purpose
  2. Local development – Set up development server with DesktopServer Limited (free version)
  3. Identify user – and problem I am attempting to solve for them
  4. Topic list – Categorize list of needs of users and topics of discussion
  5. Research similar sites – and analyze how they answer the user’s needs
  6. Create storyboards – or sitemaps for different posts and pages.
  7. Sketch on paper various page layouts, first in mobile view and then on up to desktop
  8. Determine extra functionalities needed and possible plugins that could be utilized
  9. Create page/post templates
  10. Test, Test, and Test some more
  11. Upload to a live site

Recap

This is a work in progress and a way for me to remember my own processes for future projects. This is not the only way to accomplish the goal, but will hopefully satisfy the need for a comprehensive beginner’s tool. The goal will be to create a simple theme for this site and utilize cost effective solutions. The hope is to eventually upgrade the process to make use of other premium services to expand my capabilities and make the development process even easier.

Next Step > Setup local development server

 

Creating a simple theme with Underscores and Bootstrap

Remejy Simple Blue

The theme I am creating is going to be a simple blue theme that will utilize Underscores.me and Bootstrap. I created a few themes with underscores and foundation by zurb prior and they worked out very well. What I am looking to do is find a simple process for newer WordPress theme developers in Columbus to make their start. Over the last year or so, I have come to realize there is much information out there but it seems incoherent to me.

I just started the process to understand how to use Bootstrap, so it will take me a little while to get started and start posting the results. I am using DesktopServer for testing locally and plan to describe the process as I go along. Hopefully I might be able to explain the process just enough for someone newer to be able to follow along. Keep coming back later to follow along 😉

Underscores

Download _s (underscores.me) and unzip the folder in your themes folder under wp-content. The theme will now be in your selection of installed themes, so activate it. The theme is only a starter theme and will have almost no formatting applied. Take a look at the file structure of the theme and you will notice that all the pertinent sections are split up into separate template files. In a very basic theme you need at least two files, the style.css and an index.php file. Looking at the index.php file you will notice the calls to the header and footer template files and also the template-part for content. This is important to follow along to see when and where template parts are added to the various templates as you try to decide where to make edits while adjusting your theme.

jQuery

jQuery is used with some of the Bootstrap components. These components are clearly marked as needing jQuery in the Bootstrap documentation. WordPress comes with a jQuery library.

Bootstrap

Download Bootstrap and save in your theme folder. In your functions.php file, enqueue the required css and js files in the function that loads scripts. Your section should look similar, replacing the text ‘remejy-blue’ with the name of your plugin

/**
 * Enqueue scripts and styles.
 */
function remejy_blue_scripts() {
	wp_enqueue_style( 'remejy-blue-bootstrap-style', get_template_directory_uri() . '/bootstrap/css/bootstrap.min.css' );
	wp_enqueue_style( 'remejy-blue-bootstrap-theme-style', get_template_directory_uri() . '/bootstrap/css/bootstrap-theme.min.css' );
	wp_enqueue_style( 'remejy-blue-style', get_stylesheet_uri() );

	wp_enqueue_script( 'remejy-blue-navigation', get_template_directory_uri() . '/js/navigation.js', array(), '20120206', true );

	wp_enqueue_script( 'remejy-blue-skip-link-focus-fix', get_template_directory_uri() . '/js/skip-link-focus-fix.js', array(), '20130115', true );

	wp_enqueue_script( 'remejy-blue-bootstrap-js', get_template_directory_uri() . '/bootstrap/js/bootstrap.min.js', false , '' , true );

	if ( is_singular() && comments_open() && get_option( 'thread_comments' ) ) {
		wp_enqueue_script( 'comment-reply' );
	}
}
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'remejy_blue_scripts' );

It is important the order you place your css files. Style.css should house all your specific styles and thus loaded after the bootstrap css

What’s next

Now that I have the underscores template and Bootstrap connected to the theme, I need to take a step back and think properly about the steps for creating a usable site. In order to accomplish this goal, I will follow the steps in my article WordPress Theme Development for Beginners. Follow along as I follow the steps to use Bootstrap to create my new theme for this site.