Baseline by the numbers
Last year I added Wakatime to my workflow to start tracking the time I spent in my code editor, Sublime Text. If you haven’t heard of Wakatime, which you likely haven’t because you probably aren’t a huge data nerd like myself, basically it tracks what you’re doing in your code editor. It tracks the amount of time spend in each file, the amount of time you spend on each project, when you’re working, when you aren’t, etc. This can be helpful for a lot of different reasons.
I thought it might be interesting to share the info Wakatime collected for our latest theme, Baseline.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the biggest slice of time was spent on styling in the style.scss file. This makes sense, considering Baseline was built on top of the bones of a previous theme. The standard template files like single.php, 404.php, search.php, and various template parts for displaying content don’t need much work since the architecture of those templates is already written.
I’m also guilty of doing more designing in the browser than I should. I used to design the homepage and a few inside pages in Photoshop before moving to code, but somewhere along the way I just started jumping right into the stylesheet, probably to save time. Ultimately, I probably spend more time pushing around pixels and fine-tuning elements by designing live. I’ve recently made a conscious effort to go back to having a solid design down before moving to code. I did this when redesigning the Array site and it had a noticeable improvement on productivity.
Although Wakatime gives you a good idea of the actual development time, it does not include the time it takes to test a theme, create the help docs, create the theme demo, or create the marketing page and artwork for Array and marketplaces where Baseline goes up for sale.
If you’re curious about how your projects are shaking out, you might give Wakatime a try. I hope this provides some interesting insights into an average theme build here at Array!