In this screencast we dive into an all new section of the site: The Forums! This is a huge area of the site. Perhaps not so much in traffic (I've always wished it could grow, traffic wise), but certainly in user activity and UI complexity.
The forums use Vanilla Forums to power them. They are fairly good, but I do wish someday to move them to bbPress to unify the entire site together. It's certainly possible. The forums actually started life as phpBB!
Theming Vanilla Forums bears some similar to WordPress. Each theme lives in a unique folder, so you don't have to modify core files. In most ways it's different though. Each file in the theme folder overrides a core file (just through it's presence). It can get a little tricky in figuring out where to put what file.
We duplicate the old CSS-Tricks theme so we have a new place to work. This way we can version control it and feel free to push changes and all that without effecting the live site.
Ideally we'll use as many shared resources as possible. Certainly "global" stuff (global.css) like typography and modules and grids and all that.
Also we go over the help I had on this particular area of the site. I had David Leggett (of UX Booth and more) do up some wireframes of what this redesign might be like and help make it as simple as possible. We'll work directly from his wireframes as we move on in re-designing this area.