Reading about themes and how they interact with WordPress seemed relatively straight-forward. When I think of a theme, I think of it as something similar to the different themes available on PowerPoint of Word documents — they do all the design or color schemes for you. Now with the templates, those appear to be a bit more intricate on WordPress than choosing a different theme. Index, home single and so on .php seem like elements that strictly control posts in WordPress. To be honest, I have never had any experience on WordPress before. Even though I have heard of it, I know that it is one of the most widely used hosting sites, so this will be interesting and hopefully not too frustrating for me to learn alongside employing PHP. When reading about child and parent themes, the concept of discerning the difference between the two is reassuring since that it something I can understand without re-reading.
As for reading about plugins, I like how sincerely they start off by stating that there is a “cardinal rule” for WordPress — not to touch the core. This is good to know for someone with no existing experience because I will remember that statement. So it seems that plugins are what allow WordPress to add any additional functionality to my site, which is cool. To my understanding formats, they change the layout or display of certain elements such as images, gallery, videos and such. Also good to note that when concerning post types, that it is not recommended that I do custom post types along with a theme, but should instead use a plugin. The custom data in the form of meta-data seems to be a fun/interesting way to incorporate more tidbits of information on my WordPress site. It reminds me of the same available stuff you would see on Facebook.
I am extremely excited about my final project. As I explained in my final project pitch, I will be working part-time, so my business idea of creating a business site is going to help me build a name for myself and freelance my work. I have always wanted to create my own business website and this will be a step into my dream of building my business. I was thinking of combining a personal blog with information and details about the business services that offer. I want the site to reflect my brand and personal touch and reputation.
I am still conflicted on who to target specifically and what would be the best approach for my audience. I want to do more research on my audience and learn more about my best opportunities are. I have always been interested in the food and hospitality industry. I am going to work with a coffee shop for my capstone class and help them create a business strategy for their digital platforms. That would be a great chance for me to see my interest in that industry and whether or not I want to continue in that industry and line of work. My background is mainly doing political PR. I worked for the embassy of Jordan and will be moving to work for an international organization in a few weeks. Private companies are profit-driven, while working in international development is not. It is driven by making a difference and leaving a positive impact in the world, as well building a good brand and reputation. Their mission is usually intangible.
For the readings this week, I was really interested to learn more about the different concepts used to describe different aspects of a site. Learning more about themes and formats allowed me to understand the backend work that comes into play to create the final version of a site, which is beneficial when building a site. While the content and the style are very important to the way a site is displayed, the theme creates an overall look to the final version of the site. A post type is also another aspect to the different types of content in WordPress. The post type shows how different posts have different content and layouts. For my new job I will be working with meta-data a lot. I was happy to get that exposure in our readings.
This week we learned about WordPress themes and their importance. Themes are made up of a number of files. The two main files are: a PHP file (as a template) and a CSS file (for styling). While I could find myself easily falling into a rabbit hole of themes, I know that the perfect theme isn’t necessarily just for aesthetic purposes. The ‘perfect’ theme is the one that is the most user-friendly. Throughout the week I’ve e=been looking at examples of theme code. I’ll most likely be customizing a theme for my mom’s website but it has been helpful to see how themes are structured in coding. When we discussed themes and plug-ins during class, I didn’t quite understand the difference. The Theme Handbook helped me understand the distinction. Themes control visuals while plug-ins are for functionality.
In general, I’m pretty nervous about creating this website for my mom. I knew this project was coming up, but now that we’re actually setting it up, I’m a bit overwhelmed. I’ve been reading up on the different aspects of a site in chunks. There are so many different things to think about! Navigation menus, themes, plug-ins, taxonomony. It’s a lot to consider. I thought that reading and researching would help build my confidence. So far, it’s just made me more unsure about whether I am capable of creating a website I am proud of. I’m going to give it my best effort and see where it goes. I am also going to come up with a schedule of when I’ll work on the site to lessen my anxiety. I know for a fact this is not the kind of project that can be done overnight, so I’m going to plan accordingly.
For my final project, I’d like to create a personal site about one of my hobbies — running. I started running two years ago, and my goal is to run a full marathon (26.2 miles) in 2018.
I am pursuing this topic for my final project because I feel as though I need something to hold me accountable to actually go running consistently. I am envisioning this site as a place where I can track all of my training runs, my favorite routes, photos, and details about my past and upcoming races.
Some of the customizations and features that I’d like to build into my site include a page where I can discuss my training, a custom post type to track the different details of my runs, and a widget or plugin that connects to my Strava profile and shows my recent running routes.
- The goal of my final project site will be to serve as a means to hold me accountable to run consistently as I begin my marathon training journey. The earliest I would run a marathon would be March 2018, and I don’t need to actually start training to run 26.2 miles until about four months before the race, but I’d like to build up my baseline fitness, strength, and speed in the meantime.
- A second goal is to gain a readership made up of both new and experienced runners and anyone who enjoys or is interested in the sport of running, and to foster conversation among this community.
- My third and final goal is to use this site to demonstrate my basic understanding of web development principles and the WordPress platform.
My site’s audience will include my friends and family who want to keep up with my progress, as well as like-minded running enthusiasts who are seeking information and motivation. I’d love to tailor my site around living and running in Washington, D.C., which might make my target audience more specific to runners who live in the D.C. metro area or other urban areas.
How I’ll Achieve My Goals:
- I plan to have different pages on my site, including a page called Run, which will feature recaps of my runs using the custom post type I will create — as well as an About Me page and a Contact page where readers can submit questions, comments, and ideas.
- I will also link my Strava profile — where I currently track all of my runs — to my site, so that my readers can see my recent and past running routes.
- I will customize my chosen WordPress theme with new colors and font types.
I plan to make several modifications and customizations to my site that are client-side and server-side, so I will pursue the full-stack track. My planned modifications are listed below.
- I plan to create a child theme so that I can make changes to the colors and fonts on my site.
- I will create a custom post type called “Run” with a custom metabox called “Run Details.”
- I will render four custom fields within the metabox, including neighborhood, distance, date, and time. The latter two fields will indicate the date and time that my run actually occurred on, and will be separate from the date and time stamps that are already included on each published post. This will allow me to closely track the details about each of my runs.
- I will create categories called “Training Run” and “Race” to distinguish these types of posts from more general blog posts.
- I will install a text widget on the main sidebar of my site using shortcode from my Strava profile to show my most recent running routes.
- I will add a plugin for a contact form, as well as social media contact buttons.
My site will be called The Running (G)lover, which is a play on both my last name and the topic of my site. People are constantly mispronouncing my last name — it rhymes with lover, not clover — and so in addition to my site being a digital accountability partner, I’m hoping it will help people to learn the correct pronunciation of my name (and of the Glover Park neighborhood where I also live — it’s pronounced like the word “glove” with an “r” on the end!).