Tag Archives: website

It’s Susan’s Thing

For my final project I decided to concentrate on one of my main interests, which is fashion. By naming the website “It’s Susan’s Thing,” I want to share with the viewers my personal opinion of the newest trends and novelties within this field. I am aiming for a minimalist-looking website, with the format of an online newsroom/blog. The posts would have a maximum of 200 words, in order to attract attention of the specific target audience (i.e. the Millennials). In the creation of the posts I will try to incorporate what I have learned so far in the class. This would include (but not limited to) gallery slideshows, videos and links to multiple external sources. So far this is what I decided to go with, although, I feel like it is still work in progress (however, I am very excited to work on it!).

Final Project Woes

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.

I Can’t Believe I Built A Website

Woohoo! The final project is done! I am really proud of how mine turned out and I have been showing everyone what I’ve done. Professor Sturgis, who was especially enthusiastic about this course, was excited to see everything I had learned. Currently, my portfolio has been updated to meet the requirements for another class’ final.

Overall, I really enjoyed this class and learned a lot. I feel like I have expanded my thinking about computer systems and technology in general. I took to this course to learn more about the basics of “coding” and I feel I have accomplished that goal! It has been a lot of fun testing out code. It’s an incredible feeling when something I wrote actually works.

During the syllabus week at the very beginning of this class, I was scared. I actually considered dropping this course because it seemed like too much work. Now we are at week 13 and I can’t believe I have completed all the assignments — including the website!

Honestly, modifying the website wasn’t too hard once I had all the proper foundations set up. I think the hardest parts were setting up the child theme, setting up the local host, setting up NameCheap, and then setting up FileZilla. After everything was squared away all I had to do was plug and chug! After all, the final project wasn’t so daunting.

p.s. I got that margin to work on my homepage 🙂

A Sigh of Relief

It loomed on the horizon since the beginning of the semester. In the misty fog of deep sea waters, a mysterious indistinct other sat and waited for our ships to arrive. There was no turning back, no leaving the waters, no retreat. Our ships moved incessantly in the waves toward this impending other.

The curious entity sat and waited for us. It watched us as we learned, as we battled smaller enemies, and perfected our crafts. Every Codeacadmey lesson, every three-hour class session, and every analysis post — it just observed. It was if this entity knew it would be the last thing standing in our way before freedom.

And even as we learned, as we won smaller battles, and as we worked toward perfection — it felt as if this inscrutable being would still have us beat. As we inevitably inched closer and closer we could see the monster for what it truly was. Endless lines of code, front-end & back-end capabilities, widgets, modifications, MAMP, and original content — we were toast. All hope felt lost.

Days passed with no word from the mainland. We were all alone. The biggest battle we faced was quickly approaching. Food and water supplies were running low. And then it came. A message from the mainland. A sigh of relief. Aid was being sent, we were going to beat this thing! We could do it! In just the nick of time, we would be equipped with everything we needed.

The message you ask? It read:

“The website final project will consist more of modifying existing themes and code, rather than creating a new theme entirely from scratch.”

Final Pitch

What: For my final project I am building a website for my mother’s event planning business. It’s funny because when we talked about the final project on the first day of class, this idea immediately popped into my head. I remember thinking I might change my mind as we move further into the semester, but my answer has stayed the same. She recently bought the domain, so now all she needs is a website.

Planned Modifications: The website will include a (1) photo gallery of photos from events that she’s done, (2) a contact page, (3) links to her event planning social media pages, (4) blog posts, (5) a mood board for the current season, (6) a section that features her services, (7) an e-mail button that links to her event e-mail, (8) a header image, (9) her logo, and  (10) an about page.

Why: I want to build this website for my mother because I fully support her dreams. She is currently stuck in a job that she is not passionate about. Having to listen to her vent about how unhappy she is has been hard. I’ve been pushing her to step out on faith and just start. She had a logo made, got business cards, and was actually in D.C. this past weekend for an event planning certification workshop. This website will be like my way of encouraging her to move full speed ahead.

Audience: This website will be for my mother’s potential customers located in the tri-state (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania) area. People interested in event planning and/or decorating will also be targeted.

Final Reflection

As our time together comes to an end and I begin to reflect upon this semester, I must say that although this course has been difficult, I would highly recommend it to any fellow student.

This class is not easy. It takes up more time than any other course I have taken at Georgetown thus far. It is confusing, frustrating, overwhelming at times, and intense.

But, at the same time I will leave this class with more knowledge than any other course I have taken over the past year. The skills I have learned are practical, rare within my professional community, and set me apart as an asset to the team.

I think my personal struggle is that I look at things as a big picture – in my professional work, I can determine what small steps need to be taken to achieve a larger goal and that has served me very well thus far. With coding, however, I am so focused on the end result I struggle to understand the small pieces that add up to the larger project. I think this is partially due to the fact that I don’t fully understand the smaller steps – I don’t fully understand how a website or app works to a point where I can say “I want my final product to be X, and must do A, B, and C to achieve that.”

Although this course has not taught me how to learn X, A, B, and C (I think that will take years) it has helped me realize that I am too focused on the big picture and need to take more time learning the smaller steps.

Reviewing everyone’s final projects during class last week helped me see that there were lots of small, yet important steps that could be taken to improve our sites. When I took on my final project, I was so focused on the final “update” or “addition” that I did not even consider smaller changes, yet I think the people who took on smaller projects had the most impressive final products.

Overall I know this class was an invaluable addition to my coursework. I still have a lot to learn and plan to practice via Codecademy and other sites so I can better understand the baby steps that will one day lead to the overarching objectives I hope to achieve in both my personal and professional work.

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.

First Week of Coding My Personal Site

This week was the first time I started work on my personal site and I have to say, it was fun! It took many hours, and I have yet to see any serious progress, but the act of collecting my materials, selecting my website template, layout the basic building blocks of the site, beginning to research my code additions, and taking a first step at coding a slideshow, were all exciting endeavors.

When I first began my work this week, I was unsure where to start, so I began with our readings, which I think was an excellent first step. Specifically, the story about the stone soup helped me to realize that I was my job to see the big and solve problems one step at a time, as opposed to getting caught up in the ‘magic’ (and overwhelming nature) of WordPress. I also thought it was helpful to hear the authors insights on “design thinking” because I think this is something I was struggling with internally. When we spoke last week, you mentioned that we should not focus so much on ‘design’ at this stage of the game and more on process. After reading Shh! Don’t Tell Them There’s No Magic In Design Thinking I realized that you meant don’t focus on the pretty buttons and colors that will make our site visually pretty, but do focus on the design layout and practical reasoning for design that will make the site function. This helped me organize my thoughts and led me to my first step in the creation process.

I selected my WordPress template and narrowed down the two tabs I will use on my site, ‘Recipes’ and ‘Request a Recipe!’. Then, I choose the recipes and pictures I would use for my site and got those organized into posts so I could see the basic functionality – the home page will host all of the recipes as ‘posts’ each with an individualize slideshow and recipe instructions and the Request a Recipe! page will house the personalized form for visitors to fill out. I think began trying to code the slideshow feature and, I believe I made some progress as I got the slideshow management function added to WordPress, but have not yet figured out how to make the Widget fully functional.

Regardless – I enjoyed working on the code and enjoyed seeing little wins each time I got my code to sync correctly with the WordPress software, so I’m excited to continue my work!

WMG Podcasters: Updated Pitch Post

About: Since I already have a portfolio website, I’m going to build a website for the public affairs firm I work at. At the Washington Media Group, I am a digital producer: my primary job is to produce podcasts for all of our clients. To promote our podcasting division, I will be building a website called wmgpodcasters.com.

Audience: The audience for my website will be potential clients that are interested in using our podcast services.

Goals: My boss wants me to be creative so my hope is to use all kinds of HTML, CSS, Javascript, a plugin, soundcloud and video codes and a contact form to highlight the vision of our firm so we can engage in the social-audio space. While building this website will probably be difficult, I imagine it will be rewarding since it will benefit my firm. It honestly is something I could not have done had I not taken this web development course.

How I Will Achieve these Goals/Planned modifications: 

  • I’m going to mainly use front-end because in public relations, we like to wow people with our appearances, especially since we are building a podcasting division. I am using a dark blue font with different sizes. I’ll use HTML, CSS and Javascript. I don’t see there being as much of a need for back-end or full stack but we will see as I keep experimenting with it.
  • I’m excited to use some of our plugins. I added in our Instagram feed as a plugin so we can incorporate the active work we do on social media. I will also use our custom logo (we have a logo specifically for our podcasting division). For podcasting, I have a section devoted entirely to audio. After reading the theme handbook, I know I will need to embed the audio files and play them back using a simple shortcode. I will probably use mp3 and control the audio player by using “wp-audio-shortcode”. I will also post our promotional video on the homepage. The WordPress video feature will allow me to embed the files and play them back with a simple shortcode. I will use Poster #, Height # and Width # to determine the media. I will probably also use mp4.

Theme: Melos

URL: wmgpodcasters.com

Overall, I am incredibly excited about where this journey will take me. I know there will be lots of challenges, but it will be rewarding.