Examples of my work
Possibly the most difficult task in commissioning a website is developing a clear idea about the purpose of the website.
Have a good look around at sites that have a focus similar to that intended for your site. Consider the function, layout and aesthetic qualities of those sites. You don’t want to create a look alike but listing the elements you like best from several sites can be very helpful. Apart from sites that relate to the subject of your intended website note any website that makes an emotional connection to you.
Your business plan might be : “to communicate with the club membership”, “advertise my services”, “engage potential buyers”, “encourage people to purchase my creations” , “increase the bookings at my restaurant”, what ever it is your business plan comes first and your marketing and or delivery , including a website follows.
Your website needs to be consistent with your “brand”. The consistent , and repetitive use of : logos, icons, colour schemes, print styles and fonts is very important to create a “brand”. If your new (revised) site is focused on your club or association it may be that for you a “brand” is about the social connectedness of your interest group. Your groups brand may extend to include an impression of its philosophy or practical activities. If you are marketing a service (or providing it via your site) your brand has the additional role of being powerful marketing / promtional tool.
Make no mistake working through the list above is hard work and requires focus. Bring these thoughts to me and we will create a site that works for you. While I have listed the above tasks as being your’s I am able to assist with clarifying your thoughts. Not only am I able to assist, I have found it essential that the client and I spend time discussing all the background to the site to ensure that the initial draft I create meets the needs of the client. Sharing my knowledge about how an inexpensive site can be built also guides the client in making sensible cost effective choices.
WordPress was originally intended to make it easy for someone to build a blog. The current WordPress system allows presentation of a blog, a static site, an online shop, or a combination of these functions. WordPress can be used to produce a website that is exceedingly simple or one that has a great deal of complexity. Once the site is running it is very easy for someone with minimal computer skills to update content on the website. Hence the name CMS. With a small amount of training a novice operator should be able to alter the majority of appearance of the site as well. To take a project from creation to desired execution the more additional skills your web technician has in image manipulation, background programming language and general web architecture the better. I can apply such skills to your advantage.
Theme: The main element of a WordPress site that produce the overall site layout and appearance is the Theme. The Theme places and to some extent defines the other major elements that appear on each webpage; the Header , the Footer ,the sidebars, and the Menus. The theme usually allows a variety of page layouts types eg; fullwidth page , half width page with left sided “sidebar’, 2/3 main page with 1/3 sidebar. The side bar content is constant for a given page type. For example every page that is defines as a page with right sidebar will always have the same right sidebar content displayed. The main text of the page is individual each page. Most themes allow a choice of predetermined layouts. While the possible layouts are not endless there is ample opportunity for originality. As can be seen below some themes allow horizontal as well as vertical sidebars.
The website Wraith of Odin has a unique front page that has been designed to remove all sidebar elements. When you click on the “enter here” you arrive at the welcome page. This is a right half sidebar format page. The text in the body of the page is unique to the page and the right half side bar contains a: page link, search tool and three image “sliders”. If I create another page of the right half sidebar type the same side bar will appear. This structure of text body and various side bar options allows both variable page appearance and also consistent page appearance as needed.
Footer: Is the text are at the bottom of each page. Often a theme will insert a copyright note and information about the theme in the footer. Many themes allow widgets (see below) to be placed in the footer area.
Note regarding alteration of theme, header, footer:
While a complete novice can change much of the appearance of these elements a knowledge of the PHP and HTML background is required to fine tune them.
Sidebar: The sidebar is an area of text or tools that remains constant for a given page type. The side bar is also referred to as a widget area. The widgets are display tools. The range of displays that can be placed in sidebars, and for that matter page body areas, is huge. Social media links , image displays, live RSS feeds, additional menus, summery of recent blog comments, links to instagram and flickr, custom built forms are just some of the elements that are available. This page has a side bar with some widgets.
Widget: A tool that is commonly inserted into a part of the page that is defined as a widget area. It is possible to also use widget tools in the main body of the text. There are a huge array of widgets available: countdown clocks, customised buttons, calendars, video-displays, social media tools, links to cloud based image storage, form creators, shops, images galleries, slide shows, the list while not endless is vast. It is not always possible to translate your idea into a WordPress solution but very nearly so.