Marc’s Shortcuts NYC
Set up a self-hosted WordPress site with the Twenty Twelve theme…before Twenty Twelve was officially released. Create a child theme to move the menu below the header image and align it to the left instead of centering it. Remove drop shadows around images in posts. Add an image slideshow for use within posts. Add widgets and links to sub pages.
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I had actually downloaded a beta version of Twenty Twelve not long before Marc found me through MediaBistro and explained that he’d been using that theme on WordPress.com but hadn’t been able to find it when he switched to self-hosted WordPress. He had tried a premium theme but was confused by the configuration, and anyway didn’t like the look of it as much as he did Twenty Twelve. So I extracted Twenty Twelve from the WordPress beta, zipped it up again (no FTP access), uploaded it, and proceeded to build a child theme, as moving the nav bar below the header image required tweaking the PHP as well as the CSS. Creating the actual header image (and converting it from two separate images, which it was when the nav was still above the panorama but below the logo; we went through a few iterations) was harder than that.
The only tricky part of the child theme was that between versions of Twenty Twelve (.7, .9, and 1.0) the name of the theme folder changed, which broke the child theme (indeed, it broke everything and necessitated some dramatic intervention). Once I updated the stylesheet to reflect the correct folder name, all was again well.
The site uses only a handful of plugins: Jetpack, mostly to re-create the feel of using WordPress.com; WordPress SEO by Yoast, which I use on almost every site; Child Pages Shortcode, which is handy for displaying thumbnails of child pages in lists or grids; and Camera Slideshow, for creating in-post image slideshows.