Hello New Website World!1. August, 2010
Phew, there it is eventually – my new website! Well, it is really my good old wordpress blog extended (R.I.P. www.projectzone.wordpress.com). Please remove your old bookmarks and subscribe to the new RSS feed. Hope you’ll enjoy it.
It was quite a bit of fun to do some form of coding again, after a long long break. Not that I expected it… Bought a nice theme from www.woothemes.com, and thought I’d just need to plug in my content and that’s it.
Of course, the whole exercise turned out to be a bit more complicated. There were two main issues: Firstly, coming up with good, concise content in brief Web 2.0 style. After I’d put that into the theme I found that I didn’t like the layout any more, it just looked different with my own stuff in it. The colors didn’t look good, didn’t match my photo, the layout was a bit too complex (i.e., didn’t have enough content for all the nice little boxes and stuff), etc. So there I had my second issue – having to customize the WordPress theme.
So I rolled up my sleeves and dived into the depths of PHP and CSS, largely unknown at that time. I used Cyberduck and Smultron to edit the files, plus GIMP for photos and graphics, which worked well in combination.
Colors in browsers – big lessons learned: If you have a mock-up in Photoshop that looks great, it doesn’t mean it will look good implemented in a browser. Hmmpf. Using the ‘web browser color palette’ or so is probably a wise thing to do ;) Green turned out to be particularly tricky. Tiny nuances make the whole thing look 80′s or grandma style or whatever. On top of it there are different browsers and platforms. If it looks really cool on your Mac, better have a look at it on a Windows PC, too. Apple color management seems to work much better (with my colors, anyway). So if you don’t like my colors, it must be your browser’s fault, not mine!
What was a great help was Color Scheme Designer. If you don’t know it yet, check it out. Helps you finding a nice color combination, and even gives you very handy exports such as GIMP color palettes that I used extensively.
Once I figured out the color thing, there were other miracles waiting to be resolved, such as: Which PHP file is loaded when by WordPress (e.g. archive.php vs. single.php). Now that I know it, it is really simple of course.
I also learned a good deal about CSS. Pretty neat actually. I should have probably merged the two main CSS files from the theme (a generic one plus the one for the color layout) into one file at the beginning, would have made things easier. Firebug rocks, particularly when you have to dig into someone else’s code. A few pixels padding can make a big difference!
All that was left was to move the blog from a sub directory to the root folder, replacing my interim website. I followed the wordpress instructions, and it worked. Only thing I had to fix were a few images’ URLs, as they had absolute path names. Hurray, made it!
Finally, a big “Thank you!” to my husband Andreas, and a few others like Miriam, my sister Andrea, Janette and Gunnar who bravely endured my highly iterative web adventures!