Tag Archives: My Old Web Pages

Website New Layout: Step Two

The advice I am sharing here is geared toward personal and startup blogs. Anyone with a professional or ecommerce blog: Hire a professional developer or purchase a theme geared for professional use.

I had to get a new theme.

I started this website using the old “default” theme that was based on the Kubrick WordPress theme. It was about as basic as I could get it while I was working on my PHP and CSS development skills.

This is my screenshot for step 2:

This still needs QUITE a bit of work, but the menus, and some of the errors I left until “later” have been cleaned up a bit. The layout is improving from step 1.

Why it’s good to go with a theme that is close to what you want:

The trouble with basic though, is that I am constantly having to sort of “re-invent the wheel” just to add special features to my site. This definitely helped me learn a LOT, but because I ran out of time to do all of the coding, as you can see my site got neglected! :(

I went to the WordPress.org Free Themes Page and decided to go with a sort of veteran theme called: Mystique.

I really like Mystique because it has the menus with drop-downs and some really decent social media integration. (Some integration that you would have to massively dissect current widgets to reproduce. Believe me, I’ve had clients who have seen options like ones on other Mystique blogs that were only available because they were hardwired into this theme. – I had to reinvent the wheel again for those)

Why it’s bad for professional websites to go with a theme that is free and used on other websites:

As of this morning, Mystique has been downloaded more than 7,000 times! (That is from wordpress.org alone, it isn’t counting all of those that have been downloaded at Digital Nature’s Website – the author of Mystique!)

That means there are thousands of copycat websites out there that look exactly like this ->

Don’t let yours be one of them!

Now comes the fun part.

Customization

Remember this if this is the first time you’ve heard it:

Changing your WP site layout is NOT just as easy as changing your theme!

WordPress is tricky, something that sounds so easy can turn out to be untangling a web of code to find the code that you need to be moved with you when you move to a new theme! If you aren’t sure about what you are doing…

BACK UP EVERY SINGLE FILE IN YOUR ORIGINAL THEME FOLDER!!!

Do NOT attempt to change your website template unless you know how to make sure you will still have the custom code to watch your traffic, update your rss feed if you use a service like feedburner, or even just keep track of your branding items like: favicons and logos. Next week I plan to edit my layout colors and add my logo back in. :)

Fixes, Adds, and Re-Adds:

☑ My favicon

☑ Google Analytics code

☑ Nav menus: I love navigation menus… They aren’t the easiest thing to write from scratch, so that’s one of the main reasons I was pleased with Mystique for my personal blog.

☑ New (more generalized) categories: I added some better “parent categories” including: “Business, Entertainment, and Technology” I left “Life in General” as a main category for my nav menu.

There is still MUCH to do, but I am finished for tonight. See you next week!

Website Makeover: Step One

1. Get “Before” Pictures and Write a List

My website has been so neglected this year.

Between work and school, I haven’t had much time for blogging.

Now that I am finished with school, I am turning over a new leaf!

I think it’s time this website did as well. . .

The List:

  • Choose a new layout to work with.
  • Build in better navigation (like a menu bar and I am going to use breadcrumb navigation).
  • Completely redo the homepage content.
  • Import my unposted content. There are lots of articles I have written that I haven’t had a good place to post because I have been planning to redo my personal site for awhile.
  • Fix the SEO!<- There are so many fixes to this I will share with you!
  • Share tips with you to help you build better blog sites.

I created this screenshot of my full web pages, with the basic version (free) of a very easy to use Firefox Plugin called:  Pearl Crescent Page Saver.

It sure beats taking windows screen shots. Dealing with the pressing “crtl, Fn, and prt sc” and cropping and pasting gets tedious and messy!!

Last Saturday in September

There is a song I really like that says “Wake me up when September ends”. Welp, September is just about over. And I have to say it was a really tough month. But it can only get better from here. It’s been hell going back to work. I have not been able to keep up with anything. Phil carries more than his amount of work. I don’t know why I am so tired. I think this may be some kind of mix between postpartum depression/ work stress/ and separation anxiety?

I never experienced any of these things after Haylee was born. However, I worked for my mom and I took Haylee to work with me. (Yes, and I did awesome.) The only sad part in that story is that I didn’t have a maternity leave at all. I had Haylee on a Thursday and went right back to work on Monday. Yeah, supermom is an understatement. I don’t know what’s different this time. Maybe it’s all the changes. New position at work, new house, new baby. . .

Oh yeah, not to mention my parents business burned to the ground a month ago. Anyways, online classes start last Wednesday. Wish me luck. Life has been Crazy. It can only get better though right?

– moved from my original blog darkbluesun blogspot com

My First URL

This was seriously my first page of my first full domain address: darkbluesundownstairs dot com. I was 17. I had the address: http:// www. reliable-net. net/~sprite up till then. I started building websites at 15. Look at the old “Email me” sign! LOL, Omigosh, I can’t believe I found this content. You know, this is what a blog is for… keep track of your life, digitally and pictorially.

That page’s title tags were as follows:

www. DarkBlueSunDownstairs .com

imagine the possibilities



 



Copyright 2000
DarkBlueSun Downstairs . com

This sort of explains why I kept the odd name: history.