One reason I’m learning to love WordPress is its simplicity and user-friendliness. The pared-down backend is deceptive: rather than offering too few options (my much-mistaken first impression), it just gives you the basics at the outset BUT (crucially) with the means to extend functionality simply and quickly, to your heart’s content (within the confines of developers’ imaginations, which are impressively extensive). It’s made customising this blog easier than I expected.
Although I have a reasonable handle on CSS, having to deal with themes in a new environment can be a steep learning curve and I’ve been a bit apprehensive about it. I’d previously used the Joomla! platform which is also very impressive and with great support, but utterly different in how it manages templating. In comparison, it’s been a little easier to come to WordPress as a newbie and implement custom CSS theme tweaks. I initially tinkered directly with the CSS through the edit function on the dashboard, but knew this was going to be temporary as all changes would be wiped when it came to updating the theme. But creating a child theme was as simple as remembering which elements I’d modified and extracting those to a separate file which sits in its own directory and extends the parent theme. All very proper and object oriented.
I have to say it did take me a few minutes figure out that I needed to activate the child theme, but after that I was cooking on gas. Lovely stuff.