Tag Archives: Customizations


This week’s lesson into API and JSON took some digging to understand, but it was helpful to have analogies. Picturing an Application Programming Interface as a waiter in a restaurant that takes requests and tells a chef (or system) what the customer wants is interesting. I haven’t considered really how we use applications and devices to access databases and make requests, at least on the level of depth that I know now.

I am still working to understand both, but it’s definitely a lot less murky than before this week.

As for my final project, I’m still hashing out which three customizations I want to use, and I’m thinking ill just end up using all seven that I noted as possibilities in my updated post. I actually am also taking some of the photos for the galleries this week, and am excited to have the skeletons of everything placed on my website.

I still have to go back to I believe it was lesson / week seven (?) to relearn the shopping cart customization. My site is hopefully going to utilize both the PHP search option, short comment box and shopping cart as the primary user-interactive functionality.

I’ll also say that this class (and particularly this project) has gotten me more into the habit of checking the code behind websites I think are aesthetically pleasing, clean, user friendly and not too “busy.” I can bring a short list of possible customizations I’ve seen on other sites to class that I would want to explore whether they’d be doable for this project.

Updated final pitch post

What: For my final project I will do a personal site; specifically, a blog-type of site that will have content focused on wine. It will be an informative, yet general and approachable blog that will serve as a place to learn nuances to specific varietals and their profiles.

Who: The main audience for this site will be geared towards younger adults, but not exclusively. This will be made for people who are interested in wine, but don’t know too much and want to learn more.

Why: I want to do this kind of site because I think the voice and style is something that best fits my interests and will be something I could see myself using. This audience is near my wheelhouse and I chose wine because I’ve studied wine before and plan on taking it up once again to hopefully get my Sommelier 1 this summer.

Proposed customizations:

1. Customization 1 (to-do): create child theme and update design with CSS
a. What: create child theme and update design with CSS
b. Why: to design site to align with content
c. How: download/use existing theme, make child, add CSS customizations
2. Customization 2 (to-do): create wine list instead of reading list
a. What: create wine list instead of reading list
b. Why: customize site to align with purpose-wine, not books
c. How: write code to create custom
3. Customization 3 (to-do) plugin for categories/varietals of wine
a. What: plugin for categories/varietals of wine
b. Why: to align with site content-wine
c. How: write code to create custom

  • create child theme and update design with CSS
  • create “wine list” in place of “reading list”
  • gallery plugin
  • plugin for custom header
  • use CSS to change design
  • create plugin to adjust theme functionality

A Thoughtful Approach to Better Design

This weekend I began working and deciding upon the content I want to include in the final project, i.e. “It’s Susan’s Thing.” When building a website, I will have to keep in mind that the content (such as images, text and embedded materials) tells a story I want to present and the concepts I would like to share with my audience.

While tackling a project that I was never faced with before, in some way it becomes an educational experience. Therefore, in order to successfully complete this assignment, I will need to do research and educate myself so that I know what the best tools are and what languages might I have to revisit in order to create an effective website.

By learning the basics of web development in this course, I was easily tempted by the ease of finding ready-made pieces of code available online. However, by doing this, I would not be learning, but rather just manipulating code that essentially could be called cheating myself. This would also reduce the amount of effort I otherwise would put into gaining new knowledge. I don’t want to do that. I want to build a website based on my own inspirations and preferences. Every part of the design would be included there because I thought about it, and hopefully will meet my own level of expectations. Also, I won’t allow myself to be afraid to think outside the box and experiment with different techniques – achieving specific customizations sometimes requires courage 🙂

To conclude, I believe that building one’s own website from the very first line of code, forces to seek knowledge to achieve a given vision. You push yourself to research the required functions, which keeps you going forward, especially when searching for new ways and techniques to write and improve the code.