This week I was so enthralled in writing my code I forgot to write an analysis post! I spent most of my day Saturday and Sunday working on my code and, although we are getting closer to a working product, I am definitely not as far along with my assignment as I usually am a week out for the due date. I have spent hours researching, testing code, trying new approaches, and reading about different WordPress features that may serve a helpful purpose, but there are still a few pieces of my site that I can’t get functioning properly!
Specifically, on my “Request a Recipe” form, I was able to get it working perfectly on my local site (woohoo!) but now the form is not appearing on my live site. I have downloaded the necessary plug-in, triple checked the theme I created, ensured the permalink is accurately linked, and yet the form will not appear on the site. I am sure I will dance around the room when I finally figure out how to make this work, but at the moment it is very frustrating and disheartening because after hours of work, I am no closer to a solution. On the slideshow front, I have found a great tutorial on the code that I am currently working through (the four previous tutorials I tried to follow lost me half way through the programming) and although I have not finalized the slideshow, I am hopeful I will be able to achieve my goal! I am proud of what I have accomplished thus far and do feel like I have learned a LOT through trial and error, I just wish the hours I have put into the site were more apparent in the final product.
I think one of the frustrating things for me was realizing that some of the work I did on my home site did not function properly on my live site due to technical changes (e.g. I wrote my child theme based on the theme my local site was using, not the updated theme I picked for my live site) this meant I had to update all the content and repeat a lot of work I had already done, which made sense logically once I realized the issue, but was frustrating in the moment. I think this project has been a steep learning curve, but it has forced me to learn a lot about WordPress layout, functionality, local sites versus live sites, plugins, bugs and site testing, and several other odds and ends that I did not expect to understand in such a short period of time. Hopefully I will have a fabulously functioning website by this time next week, but if not, at least I’ve learned a lot!
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.