Adding a Dynamic Sidebar and Dynamic Menus to a WordPress Theme

Posted by: TomS on July 14, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

In a previous post, I covered creating a simple WordPress theme, which forms the basis for the theme I use on this site.  That theme creation guide covered only the very basics of setting up a WordPress theme.  I’ve since upgraded to WordPress 3.0 which introduces a number of new features including Dynamic Menus.  In this post, I’ll cover taking advantage of the dynamic menus api, as well as “widgetizing” my theme, which allows me to configure which widgets will show up on sidebars in my site.

My updated theme is available below for reference.


WordPress 3.0 Took the Plunge

Posted by: TomS on July 8, 2010 @ 7:57 am

My backup system(s) for my WordPress blog have been running for well over a week now, and the upgrade notice in WordPress finally got the better of me.  I went ahead and took the plunge, running the automated upgrade to WordPress 3.0.

The upgrade was easier than can be expected.  One click to start the upgrade, and a few more to confirm that I REALLY wanted to upgrade, and then the process was underway.  Grand total, I think it took me maybe a minute and a half.

Everything seems stable (I did try it out first on my home test machine) so far.  I’m not taking advantage of any of the new features yet, other than the improved interface.  Pretty soon, I’ll update my WordPress theme to take advantage of the new dynamic menu API as well as catching up with older feature sets by widgetizing my theme.  Further down the road, I may look into some custom post types, especially for putting together race reports and recaps.  Expects some new posts sometime soon detailing how I rolled those feature sets into my theme.

The other big feature in WordPress 3.0 is the MU multi-user setup, where multiple blogs can be run from one installation.  I don’t have a huge need for that these days, but it’s a great accomplishment that WordPress now has that in the core.

Other than that, its just business as usual here.  Anyone reading the blog really shouldn’t see any changes, but WordPress 3.0 does look like a solid, polished release, and it looks like it’ll be a solid platform for the WordPress team to continue improving their app.  I’ll leave you with’s video detailing the new features in WordPress 3.0.

100 Miles and Freedom 5K 7/4/2010

Posted by: TomS on July 5, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

So I’ve got two updates this week.  This week I peaked on my mileage build-up leading to the Back on My Feet 20in24 in mid-July. For the first time ever, I ran 100 miles in one week (more on that later).  Immediately following the 100-mile week of slow-paced, repeated longer runs, I jumped right into a 5K.  Makes perfect sense right?  The 5k was Race #7 in the West Chester Downtown Grand Prix, put on by the Chester Country Running Store, the Fatiha Khattabi Freedom 5k.  My legs held up pretty well, and despite the recent heatwave hitting the East Coast this summer, I put up a pretty decent time.

The Race

The Fatiha Khattabi Freedom 5k was started in 2009.  The race honors the mother of one of the local high school’s cross-country runners who succumbed to cancer.  It was started by several senior members of the team as a high school senior project, and the proceeds go to the Cancer Center of Chester County.  This year, Fatiha’s son spoke at the start of the race, which really made the cause very real.  This race was Race #7 in the Downtown Grandprix, and it was exactly what I had come to expect after running the previous 6: on the small-side, low-key, but very well run. (more…)