We are getting closer to the due date of our final project, but I am still having some difficulty with somethings. Fortunately, I have been able to add a little color to my child theme. I tried to add color to the theme both though adding the color code to the code files but also on WordPress. I am not sure which of the two made it work, but I am not too concerned I am just excited that my site has a little color and no longer reflects the sterile walls of a nursing home. I have also decided to incorporate a poll as a plug in. I am pretty excited about this addition to the site, because polls are one of my favorite things about Instagram’s latest story update. So of course, it would be the perfect addition to my finsta site. I have looked up several different strings of code for online polls, some of them do not exactly align with the things we learned in this class, but I plan to use a piece of each of them to create sort of a Frankenstein of polls. I am also thinking about incorporating a ‘poll’ tab to my side bar modification if I can get the code together. If I am able to combine the poll code and make it work, I would like to have a page of a bunch of different polls people can take. Some of them would be your typical four option poll and others would be two option polls, sort of like a ‘would you rather’ poll. My theme also calls for a header without a menu bar, so I am going to try to see if I can incorporate some of the new fonts I downloaded to used there. If anyone has any suggestions about either of those things, please let me know. Help would be greatly appreciated.
So, one of our tasks this week was to add our final project site from local hosting, just unique to our computer, but to outside hosting, so that everyone could access it. This has been an uphill battle for me, I think partially because I never fully grasped the concept of hosting and multiple servers. So, it was not something I knew how to do, and I also did not know enough to ask the right questions, because I struggled a bit with the terminology. Thankfully both Jess and Prof. Greg were able to recognize my struggling and help to walk me through how to set up my hosting so that I could share my wonderful site with the world. Outside of having difficulty with hosting, I also had difficulty with a few other things with my site. My beloved child theme did not turn out exactly like I hoped. I thought I chose a parent theme that had a template which allotted for lots of space for color and photos, but I actually picked one that is kind of bland and reminds me of a retirement home, which most definitely isn’t the vision I have for my final site. Currently I am trying to do some tweaks in the code, but not too many because I do not want to break the theme. But I do want to make it more reflective of my personality. I am also trying to remember what was the name of the ‘Book List’ Prof. Greg told us about in class, I would like to create one as a modification to my site. I have googled almost every ‘name + book list’ combination and have not had much luck. Speaking of modifications, if anyone has a modification suggestion they think would work for my site or a child theme I should adopt, I am open to any and all suggestions.
My final project pitch, a finsta blog, has been approved and I am super excited to really dive in. This assignment is really going to put all the knowledge I have learned this semester to the test, so that also makes me a little nervous (and my eye twitch) because I not too sure if have mastered everything we’ve learned just yet. But, nevertheless she persisted. For this assignment, we have to make at least three modifications to the site. Since, I am a visual person I am going to try to modify and or add things that change the look of my site. The first way I plan on doing that is through a child theme, that way I can manipulate the entire ‘theme’ for lack of better word of my site. My personal e-portfolio, that I use outside of this class is powered by WordPress.com, and it took me a whole to learn how to navigate that and get it to do what I want (and I am still learning some things) so it will be interesting to see how well I am able to command WordPress.org. Currently, I view WordPress.com like bowling with bumpers and .org without. I have been reading a bit about child themes, and every site along with Prof. Greg has made it seem like it is a very doable task, even for beginners so I guess I will be truing it out. Along with including a child theme to my site, I also plan to include several different plug-ins. Right now, I am not sure what kind, but based on my research that seems to be something else I can add successfully given my skillset. Unlike my peers, I am not using my site as an eportfilio, but a blog. So, all the posts on my site will be blog posts and memes with funny captions and possibly a few rants, just because who doesn’t love a good rant. All in all, I think I have a solid game plan to begin working on my final project site.
At this point during my process I was starting to feel a little nervous. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to finish this project the exact way I had envisioned it in my head. Reading through other people’s analysis post, I was not sure that this was going to be even worthy of turning in. So I went back to the drawing board and tuned into Codecademy. The small refreshers help to inspire me to get back into a believing in what I could do. So I started with, what would I want someone to see about me from this website.
The first thing I went to add was my resume. What other way does everyone get a full scope of the work I’ve done and also a sort of view of what I wanted to do with my career path. So I went to see how to embed a resume in my website. The only problem with that though, a resume is always changing and so how annoying would it be to consistently have to replace the code in my website every time that my resume changed. So I express this problem to my class mate, Jess, and she mentioned how she embedded her google docs link for her resume in her website. Instantly I was inspired, so with a little bit of her aide, she was able to teach me how to put my google doc resume into the website. Voila! A problem was solved and there was some progress.
The next thing I found for people to see the person I was, was to see who I was on social media. There is no more important tool in the world than social media. With this thought process I then decided to add my LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. I’m not active on Facebook or Twitter, but I would be an obvious liar if I claimed not to have one.
I was still looking for one last modification, and what came with that was a newsletter. I enjoy writing so why not have someone get my thoughts on a bi-weekly basis?
We’ll see how it turns out…
So I really started working on my project last week when I set up a *real* child theme in class. It made life so much easier — all I had to do was inspect element and replace whatever I wanted in my child’s style sheet.
Right now I have even completed two customizations! (Fans hooplahing & cheering in the background.) I was able to add a contact form to the bottom of my site and social media icons at the top of my site. However, nothing really works. I added the PHP for my contact form, but when I hit submit it shows me a 404 error. My social media icons work, but they’re not styled right. I think that is due to a lag with my style.css because I added a new font the other day, but it never showed up so I left. I came back a few days later and it was updated, so maybe my social media icons will come around in a few hours.
Outside of my personal customizations, my FileZilla refuses to connect to the server. I didn’t do anything differently from class either. And the WordPress navigation bar when you “visit site” disappeared as well. Oh, and the menu I added through WordPress doesn’t work. But at least it’s there I guess.
So, this all goes to say. I am getting there. Kinda.
We’re at the halfway point (or near it, at least). Just when I thought things were going great and I was excited to put what I learned into action, it all blew up in my face. I thought I had a pretty good grasp on jQuery but this week, it slipped through my clutches.
Here are a couple things I learned:
- If something doesn’t sound familiar, ask for help immediately. Don’t assume it is just another way to say something you already know.
If you couldn’t tell, this week was challenging. This video helped me a little, but I still couldn’t quite get it and I still don’t know exactly what it is that I don’t know.
Here are a couple specific questions I had:
- What am I doing wrong when trying to increment that makes all of the slides come back up?
Anyhoo, jQuery will not take me out without a fight. I’m coming to class with my pencil ready, and my mind clear.
Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect for my midterm:
Diana O. Eromosele is a software developer at Newsela. She is also the founder/developer of categorizedtweets.com, a tool that sorts politicians’ tweets out by issue so constituents can easily take a quick look at what they care about. When she’s not busy coding, Diana also teaches web development languages. She has a journalism background. Look out for my profile to find out how/why she made the switch!
With HTML and CSS, I felt comfortable. I thought I’d be able to conquer anything. Everything was a breeze. Coding wasn’t that bad, after all.
Until it was.
I felt like I was in math class all over again. I was reliving my worst nightmare. The last two lessons almost defeated me. But just like math class, I realized that I just had to practice to prevail.
Another thing that baffled me in the Codecademy lessons, specifically, was that the system would sometimes return a syntax error, but I’d still get a check in the box. I found myself restarting the lessons over and over, trying to note the differences between what I typed and what Codecademy wanted.
This week, we got hands-on with HTML and CSS. I was eager to start linking my HTML with CSS and make a fancy website with different colors in the navigation bar and all these intricate designs. In class, everything went smoothly. I was using all the HTML I learned on Codecademy and having a blast.
During the readings, things got a little fuzzy, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle. I found the reading on responsive web design interesting. It made me realize, once again, how much of the internet we take for granted. Before the reading, I assumed that whatever you coded for a desktop website would just magically convert and appear in a mobile format. Little did I know, people type in a bajillion commands to make these things happen. It just reinforces the fact that computers are just machines that do whatever they’re told to do. They’re not evil machines that will take over the world. They’re the tools of evil people who use them to take over the world.
Anyway, all the Codecademy exercises went smoothly and I felt I had a firm grasp on the material. I did one each day, and on the final day, I created my prototype homepage. I figured it would be a piece of cake. I input all the HTML and CSS and linked them together. I made my font white, or at least I thought I did. When I loaded my prototype, none of the CSS that I had applied to my fonts was showing up. I opened a tab of Codecademy from each lesson, and I stared at the final code on each lesson for at least 20 minutes. I realized my error was in the HTML, in where I had placed the class identifiers. I got it together, uploaded the repository, and I submitted my homework. I was so proud for taking my time and submitting my homework early.
At least I thought I uploaded the repository. Since I didn’t put a summary description, my work did not upload to GitHub. I figured that out the hard way, after I had already submitted. The moral of the story is, I was wrong a couple times, but I fixed it and I learned something new. I think this class will be interesting and beneficial for me. It really forces me to think.