Tag Archives: wordpress themes

WordPress long haul

For the last couple weeks of the semester, I am just going through the final pieces of getting my WordPress up and running. After getting my new laptop, I had so many issues — primarily, it was dealing with the back-end installations. It was really difficult to move forward feeling that even if I had customizations done, I would not be able to visibly see as I made adjustments to code. I had on my local site the themes I wanted, posts, a customization of a wine list instead f a reading list. I tried exporting my local host as a file into my downloads folder, then going to my WordPress site via my domain name from the admin page, accessing Tools, then importing the file that I just exported.

However, I was not able to see anything except for the posts that I made. This was frustrating to say the least, so in order to be able to have something for others in the class to look at, I did go onto my live site from the domain and made some adjustments and slight customizations so that the theme and concept of my WordPress site was something that others were able to look at. Next, I have to reply all to the email with everyone in the class to relay that information to everyone. One of the things I was having issues with beside getting my local to my live site was some simple CSS that I just have to spend more time on to figure out what will work the best. I have this idea for the widget area in WordPress to stylize and customize it. Specifically, I could not get something as simple as the text in the widget area to change to a different color even though the rest of my CSS was working.

Press the Word

I spent this week trying to play around with WordPress. I realized that there are a lot of options available for us to use. There are a lot of existing code, theme, and plugin options that could be added to your WordPress site. There is also the option to code your own and create whatever design and functionality you want. Together, you can create the final full site you desire.

I went back to our readings about WordPress and reread the explanations of the various aspects and features. Through WordPress, you can build a website that meets your unique needs and help you build an online brand.

As I was exploring various customizations to add to my business website, I did a lot of research on how to become a top freelance consultant. I wanted to know how I could optimize my website as best as possible. I need a strategy and a vision directing my services. The first step in the strategy is picking a niche. The niche will reflect real expertise. My niche is doing digital communications in international development and governmental affairs. The second step is to set up a platform to attract clients to your business. The platform is, usually, a website. The website should include an explanation of the services, credentials and some testimonial to back that up.

The self-hosted WordPress site is great because you can have a cool domain name and you can customize it as much as you want with the thousands of plugins and themes available. You will also be in complete control of your site.

A personal website is a very important tool in building a business if positioned well. It shows customers and clients that you mean business. The website should be navigated easily. At the minimum, you should have an “about” page, a “blog” page, “services” page, “contact” page and the links to them displayed in the top navigation menu. Another important aspect of a personal/business website is linking the page to your social media pages. This helps build a real, relatable, trustworthy image of the person your clients are doing business for.

With that strategy in mind, I worked on developing my code customization for the website. I will add social media plugins to connect to my own platforms and make sure they reflect my brand. I want to add a contact me button on the front page that takes to a separate contact form page. I want to create a child a theme in the first page with “about,” “services,” “contact me,” and “testimonials,” with a hovering functionality, and once clicked, it will take us to the designated page.

website – Musician’s Haven

What: I want to create an internationally respected musician’s hub that provides reliable information and reviews on instruments and other gear for beginners to professional performers.

Who: My audience would be musicians or aspiring musicians looking to purchase gear. It’s terribly easy to waste money on items that you either don’t need and waste time putting off things you do need. I’m hoping to have a few dedicated “contributors” which would serve as a middle ground between Reddit and Wikipedia where site visitors could get reliable information.

Why: I’ve spent a lot of money over the past 9 years since I started playing music. If I knew what to buy and what not to buy, I’d be alot better off. Similar to used cars, I think having a “go here, do this, don’t do that,” resource for newbies would result in fewer people purchasing lemons.

Code customization:

  • I will include a search bar with PHP
  • I will include a gallery at the top of the home page, and a different gallery on each page
  • I will create a “shopping cart” for bookmarking items with JavaScript
  • I’ll use CSS to style the pages
  • I will have an embedded 16:9 format video playing at the bottom of each page demoing some instruments (depending on what page it is)
  • ill create a search bar using PHP
  • I’ll embed a Twitter feed

—- More specs below—

Above the fold front page automatic slider (4-5 images) of different types of gear (acoustic guitar, bass, microphone set-up, etc.)

Below the fold two column review section (featuring an image of one instrument and a user’s highly rated review of the instrument)

Top right “shopping cart” that would essentially be the “bookmarked instruments” personalized and accessible from your login)

  • Home
  • Acoustics(guitars, bass)
  • Electrics(guitars, bass)
  • Other instruments(ukulele, cello, viola, violin, etc. etc.)
  • Vintage gear(includes every aforementioned category but only features higher quality and very expensive gear. Some will be repeat posts in this page)
  • Price guide

The review section would include the MSRP and the average selling price online (Ebay, for instance) to give the user an idea of how much they should reasonably pay for said instrument

Each page would have an above the fold slider with 8-9 images of instruments that in a traditional cms would be easily refreshed with newer content throughout the month.

As for more details on features, I’d have changing text overlaying the images on the sliders, along with neat button navigation that starts from the beginning. I don’t believe we went over this in class, but I want to know how to create an easily accessible pop-up comment/Leave a message feature. (screenshot attached). It would give users the ability to leave a comment about something they want more information on, whether it’s an instrument we’ve featured or one that we haven’t.

Updated Final-pitch

ACROSS AFRICA “Telling The African Story From The African Perspective”

What: For my final project as mentioned earlier, I am going to develop a unique but interactive news website that will focus mainly on stories about Africa’s culture, politics, arts, business and other pertinent stories from my beautiful continent.

Why: This will provide an alternative to the usually different stories we hear from Africa’s wildlife and how a rare lion or elephant was found. While those are important and significant stories from Africa, often the culture and lifestyles of its people is either ignored or rushed through.

Who: I am excited to see how far this will go in reaching out mainly to  Africans in the diaspora and anyone interested in African stories.  I am looking forward to build a website like this or better.

Code Customization

1 Code Customization 1 (TO-DO)

  • What – Main News tab
  • Why – will add versatility to the content on the website and leave the viewing control in the hands of the viewer.
  • How – Use Pseudocode/HTML, CSS
  • Timeline -Research code, feedback review, modification and finalize.

2 Code Customization 2 (TO DO)

  • What – News Ticker
  • Why – To be able to display multiple headlines at the same time allowing audience get a sneak peak into other news items while reading other stories.
  • How – HTML/CSS
  • Timeline -Research code, feedback review, modification and finalize.

3 Code Customization 1 (TO-DO)

  • What – Subscription form
  • Why – To help gain insight into people who visit the website and get user feedback for potential improvements.
  • How – Use a Pseudcode
  • Timeline -Research code, feedback review, modification and finalize.

4 Backup- Breaking News/Happening now

5 Backup -Trending News on Social Media

6 Backup-Video News


Where the Rubber Meets the Road

We’re halfway through the semester, and it’s time to start thinking critically about our final projects. This week’s readings (plus the extra time to think thanks to a well-timed spring break) reminded me that the time for thinking abstractly about these new concepts is coming to an end—it will soon be time to put the lessons we’ve learned into action.

I know that I want my final project to be a micro-site for student life and community-building here at SCS. In our final project pitches, we were encouraged to spend more time on the “what,” rather than the “how.” But reading about WordPress child themes has started turning the “how” gears—just a little bit.

Here are my takeaways:

  • The WordPress theme we create can’t just be about changing the site’s appearance; “Good themes improve engagement with your website’s content in addition to being beautiful.” But themes also shouldn’t bear the weight of adding functionality, because when a user changes their theme, they lose access to that functionality. So, then, are good themes just based on good design thinking? What does that look like, and how can you test it?
  • The functionality should instead be borne by plugins, which ensures that a site’s functionality can remain consistent, even if its theme changes. But with so many useful and well designed plugins already in existence, how can we hope to build a new one that would be better/or different from one that’s already been published?
  • I’m most excited about the idea of incorporating metadata and meta boxes into my child theme, because I think it will help alleviate the consistency issues that can arise when a site has multiple users. For example, if the student life page is opened up for student contributions, creating a certain number of required, customized fields will ensure that the content looks and feels exactly the way it should. Since meta boxes can be changed depending on the user, it may also provide increased functionality for “admin” users of the site.
  • Debugging: “Configuring debugging is an essential part of WordPress theme development,” the reading says. This will be critical for us to deploy in order to maintain functionality of our sites. I also anticipate this becoming a source of frustration…

I’m excited and anxious to see how this final project shakes out, and how much I’ll have to compromise between my wish list and what I can realistically create. Remember, self: simple is better.