Category Archives: 2017 Summer class

The Final Stretch

This week I found myself feeling satisfied and relieved to be taking a break from coding my final project. I went into the last class knowing that I wanted to complete a few tweaks to my WordPress site, wanted to collaborate with my classmates on figuring out the final pieces of code, and coming to terms that I don’t fully understand why my code doesn’t always work. I found myself Googling more than I had anticipated that I would be, and I relied heavily on a number of PHP and CSS code testers to be test my code. At times, I was confused as to if I was making updates to my local or live site…I have a case of “too many tabs open at one time” syndrome. In a way, it was good. It forced me restart my thinking from scratch and gave me a minute to walk away from the code.

Admittedly, I have grown frustrated with the Final Project. I had a feeling I would. I spent SOOOOO many hours trying to get all of the custom post types to work, then getting the meta boxes to work. The frustration quickly turned to anger. I’d be ecstatic if someone could look at my code and find how to improve it so it could echo the information correctly (or at all) the actual post.

Another major shout out to everyone in class the other day. Thanks for helping answer all of my questions!

I’m happy to be able to take a step back from the code. My plan is to quickly jump back into my WordPress site and continuously develop the site, content, and my coding skills. I hope to be able to go back to Code Academy and re-work on the lessons at a slower pace to allow me to soak in the information.

Onward and upward. I hope everyone enjoys the site.



What a Relief

After sacrificing many hours and most of my weekend, I think my site is finally in solid shape. If I feel the need, I might add some more modifications to my page but I am now confident I have done my best and finished all I need to do.

This was such a challenging assignment. I had no idea what to do most of the time since I have never been a computer science person. Looking back, it always feels rewarding to be finished because you know you have worked hard for something.

After completing the project bit-by-bit, I have made modifications that were different from my original pitch, which I need to go back and change. Here are some of the things I did for my website:

  • I coded in several images (our firm’s logo and our podcasting logo) and added the images to my WordPress admin.
  • I did some HTML and CSS.
  • I finished a JavaScript slideshow.
  • I embedded several SoundCloud codes.   

Overall, it was so cool to see the final product. Some things I forgot to do was constantly commit to GitHub as I made modifications, but all my code should now be on GitHub. If I make any more modifications, I’ll probably add some of our social media plugins and a contact form, but I wanted to make sure to focus on what I had so far and making it look as nice as possible.

It was tricky doing everything. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into the project. More likely than not, my boss will have feedback for me as we continue growing our podcast division, but I’m proud of what I have done so far and know I did my absolute best.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s projects and getting others’ feedback.



Finished Final Project

Looking back at my final pitch last night, I am happy to say that I was able to make pretty much all of the customizations I set out to in my final project. In addition to creating a site with sections for my resume, writing, and blog, I created a custom post type with custom fields and meta boxes, used one plugin to add a rotating gallery to my front page, and used another to add an interactive poll to my blog.

My most complicated customization was definitely my custom post type, i.e. the bane of my existence for the past two weeks. It took me a long while to figure out how to make the data in my custom meta boxes echo out in the post. I finally did it by creating separate single.php and archive.php files for my custom post type but had to spend several days Googling and searching the internet before a couple of forums pointed me in the right direction. Once I was able to get the data on the page, I hit another snag when it came to trying to style it. No matter what I did in CSS, my meta boxes wouldn’t change in appearance (and all I wanted was to move them down a few spaces) so I ended up adding spaces in the actual PHP code as a kind of work-around solution. Overall, my custom post type turned out pretty well, although I am still having trouble getting it to appear in the “archive” and “recent posts” section of my blog. I will look more into this to see if I can figure out a solution before Wednesday.

Because I used plugins, both the gallery and poll were fairly easy to implement – the most difficult part for each was figuring out what code I needed to insert in what document to get the features to show up where I wanted them to. Overall, both features look good and work well, except for the poll, which seems finicky for some reason. I tested it multiple times and sometimes it let me vote and sometimes it would just get stuck on showing me the results page, not letting me vote again. I plan to look into this as well.

I’m interested to see everyone else’s sites and customizations and to see what feedback I’ll get about my code. I definitely know it’s not perfect and am looking forward to making any changes that can make my site better.

Nearly There

After weeks of trial and error and tears, the site actually looks like something! Well more than something, it looks pretty good. I never really thought I would get to this point but I am excited to be here.

This has been an experience. For the last few weeks I have been focused on the code and design. Ensuring that the everything works. I had a lot of trouble creating the child theme but found a plugin, Child Theme Configurator, that writes the necessary top code for you and allows you to make edits. It even saves the files in the appropriate folder.

Lots of Googling as always, to keep thing moving forward when I get stuck. I will be testing the site again today to ensure that I really have not broken all of WordPress. It is a terrifying though as I finalize the last few details. I’m not sure the API will be a part of the site, but if all goes as planned between today and tomorrow then it will be there.

On a completely different note, I an very excited to remove XAMPP from my computer. My system is seven years-old, basically on its last legs, and running the server is hasting my laptop’s death march. The freezing is getting pretty old and I need this computer to last a few more months. However, the class will be over soon and I can lighten my system’s burden. The GitHub app is not much help either.

Will I voluntarily do this again very soon? Probably not. But who knows? When I’m not in my last semester and go over everything we have learned this summer, I might find myself wanting to do this. The process was not completely unpleasant, and thankfully there are wonderful things like plugins and widgets that make life much easier.

Final Project Recap

As the deadline for our final projects drew close I have to say I had mixed emotions about my site and the progress I had made. On the one hand, I did not complete one of the customizations I set out to achieve. No matter how many articles I read, plugins I studied, tutorials I followed, or videos I watched, I could not get my slideshow plugin to function properly. This caused frustration, disappointment, and left me feeling quite defeated.

On the flip-side, however, as I sat there wracking my brains for ways to fix the plugin, I realized I had learned more than I ever thought possible in a 10 week window as relates to web development and coding. I knew how to check the connection between my local files and FileZilla to ensure things were transferring properly; I figured out how to create a Site Manager connection that automatically logged me into my page each time I opened FileZilla; I learned to understand the error messages that popped up on both my local and live site – what do these messages actually mean and what do I need to do to solve the problems; I figured out how to create a child theme and get it to work properly; I created a functioning form that emailed data to my personal email; I knew how to download Plugins and get them working; I was comfortable with all aspects of WordPress and site layout, from posts, to pages, and categories, to media, and pretty much anything in between; I figured out when something wasn’t work how to check for bugs in my software and, although I have yet to fix the code, I have identified that my slideshow plugin is somehow impacting the ‘featured image’ section of my posts, making it impossible for me to link photographs to the slideshow; and lastly, although I did not fix the problem, I was able to read tutorials and understand the basics of what they were saying, whereas at the beginning of this class I truly felt as though I was reading a different language.

I think, in retrospect, I may have bitten off a bit more than I could chew with trying to create a customized slideshow plugin that would connect to each of my posts as this involves so many different and complex (at least complex for me) pieces of code. Nevertheless, I can say without a doubt I gave this project my all – I spent hours upon hours over the past month reading, practicing, researching, and occasionally screaming at my computer and I am proud of all that I have accomplished and learned through this course.

Final-ly done!

Our final projects are completed, and I can definitely say that this was a huge learning process not only for my coding ability but also my general understanding of the Internet (calling back to our first week of class!) and the various terminologies I’m not familiar with. This was a very challenging assignment — and personally, one that I wished we had been working on since the beginning of class — but the time crunch certainly helped me put myself in the shoes of real developers who are likely given incredible deadlines to get so much more than was expected of me done.

One of the toughest parts of this assignment was simply learning how to Google everything, and realizing that there was a lot not covered in class that I was teaching myself just to get things on my site to run smoothly. Not to say that our class wasn’t helpful — and it absolutely was! — but I think relying on Google taught us the real way that developers learn and troubleshoot their own problems. It was a challenge, but at least it was very true to the real world.

As outlined in my final pitch post, I made the following modifications. Overall I’m fairly happy with the outcome of my website, and I hope I’ll be able to come back to it post-class to make other tweaks later on as I continue to progress in my professional career. Looking forward to reading everyone’s feedback!

  • A contact form in the footer of each page that will send an email to me alerting me of the submission.
  • Display an embedded document (my resume) on my website.
  • Add images of me and my previous work.
  • I will add link to my social media accounts as a way for website visitors to find me.
  • Add a Google font to make the text more unique and interesting.
  • Hover over menu options at the top of the screen in a particular color.
  • Add a Google map displaying my international work and travel.
  • Additional theme, color, and design element changes, including modifications to the navigation bar.



Finally the Final is Finished

After multiple days and over 20 hours, I have finally completed my final personal portfolio website! I feel extremely happy and am impressed with the outcome that I was able to create. Since the beginning of this class, I was very skeptical and concerned about this project and had no idea how I would ever be able to have a somewhat polished looking site.

Over the past few weeks I have learned a lot about trusting the process and most importantly learning how to Google the right things before asking for help. For example, there was a reply box added to my site that I hadn’t originally put on there and could not for the life of me figure out how to get it off. I tried to delete all of it off of WordPress, and still couldn’t figure out it. Then I turned to Google and was able to find out that I needed to download a plugin that would disable any comment boxes or features. This project has taught me that I need to be more patient and not give up when I can’t figure things out on the first try. In essence, it has taught me a new perspective.

As I had outlined in my final pitch post, I created a personal portfolio that can be looked at by potential employers. I wanted to have a place that held my portfolio, my resume, and just a little bit about myself and my journey into the Public Relations field.

My modifications were as follows:

  • I created a contact form
  • I changed the color scheme
  • I added designs: boxes around various site content
  • I added links to my social media accounts in the footer section through HTML
  • I added PDF viewer plug-in

I am very proud of the website I have created and couldn’t imagine that I would have been able to do this at the beginning of the semester.

My website :

My Github:

^^^ my github wouldn’t let me add another main branch so I had to delete everything from the hello-world repo!

Final Project Update

Working on the project for the past week, I’ve been able to tick off a couple of the customizations on my list: I’ve created a custom post type for my book reviews, created hierarchies to sort the posts by genres and authors, and created a custom meta box for rating each book. Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out how to have the data from the meta box save and display on my posts. I am rating the books from one to ten, and, so far, the number I enter stays in the box after I’ve saved and hit publish but doesn’t show up when I preview the post. I’ve been adapting the code from the book list plug-in, which has been a lifesaver, and I’m not sure where I’m going wrong. I’ve looked at various tutorials but none of them have worked for me. I know Jaclyn was having a similar problem with her meta boxes, so maybe we can troubleshoot that together on Wednesday.

I would like to make more edits to my custom post type, including creating a subtitle custom field where I can post my favorite quote. I’ve downloaded the advanced custom fields plug-in but am having a little trouble navigating how to use it.

I would like to use this to also add a “Currently Reading” custom field to my regular (non-custom) posts. I’ve managed to get a “Currently Reading” section to appear on my posts but am not sure how to get the data in it to display when I publish. I’ve been using this tutorial, which tells me you have to put code into the WordPress Loop. I’ve tried to create a loop in my child theme folder so I can insert the code to make the field display (since I know we’re not supposed to touch the core files) but keep getting errors.

I also tested dropping my files into FileZilla this weekend and got it to work (I think) – it was cool to see my custom post type appear on my live site!

I’m hoping to wrap up work on my custom post type before Wednesday and spend the second part of the week focusing on my second big customization: creating a custom poll to have visitors interact with my site and choose what book I read next.

I am crossing my fingers that I will have enough time to get everything done and that the customizations I finish will be enough.

Google Everything

This week I definitely saw a shift in my learning as we continued to work on and finalize our finished websites. I struggled throughout the weekend but working with a study group was definitely helpful, and as I was able to work through the small tasks I had set for myself, I gained confidence in what I was able to not only understand, but also accomplish.

During the rest of this week up until my final project is due, I hope to put the last final touches on my content and then make sure it is displayed and running to the best of my ability. I’m still not totally sure if the number of customizations needed will suffice for the assignment (and is probably my greatest concern before we turn in our GitHub links on Sunday) but I’m sure hoping! I’ve also noticed that using our Google group email has been really great, since its much easier to respond back and read questions and answers in a timely fashion that can sometimes help inform what we’re already working on.

I also totally agree with Molly’s last comment about Codecademy – they were super helpful in learning the languages, but since we learned HTML and CSS (my two most comfortable languages — maybe because they are the simplest for me?) in the first two weeks of class, I could definitely use a refresher on syntax. I may go back and try to relearn at least those two languages post-finals, if possible.