Web Designers are under the most pressure to create a website that properly reflects their talents but designing for yourself can be particularly hard, and in the case of a portfolio showcase site the last thing you want to do is detract from your portfolio. I went for sleek, clean and simple which is my favorite approach anyway. I started off like I always do with a series of Photoshop mockups of the home page, blog page, single post page and inside page, then split the graphics and uploaded my base theme. I have tried working with theme frameworks before but just never managed to feel at home with them, although I realize frameworks like Thesis and Genesis are exceptionally good, and working with child themes is the approach a lot of WordPress developers prefer. In the end I painstakingly built my own base theme which is currently serving me well.
I had worked with meta boxes in my last project and had somewhat fallen in love with them. The project had required a complicated page layout that the client was never going to be able to handle updating by themselves if it had been hard coded, so custom meta boxes provided a perfect solution. Now they can upload files, add amazon affiliate links, type bullet points and everything appears magically in the correct place on the page. What’s not to love! For my purposes though I wanted to be able to have a custom post type for my portfolio and just have the meta boxes appear on those posts. This tutorial by Richard Shepherd proved to be very valuable, but I wanted to include the Meta Box Plugin by Rilwis which I loved using in the previous project I mentioned so I left out step 3 of Richard’s tutorial and used the Meta Box Plugin instead.
On the left is the Portfolio Custom Post Type, and on the right is how the Portfolio entry looks on the front end.
You can see the result by clicking on any of the images on this page.