BUILDING A WEBSITE | PART 10 – THE WORDPRESS THEME

POSTED ON DECEMBER 31, 2011 BY MATTSICH |

So you have WordPress installed but what now? … Themes

WordPress is often misjudged or overlooked. Not many people see its potential to be something more that a blog. Now with the introduction of custom post types in wordpress 3, we can do some pretty amazing things while still keeping it all easy to manage.

Today we will simply take a quick look at the files that will make up your theme.

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BUILDING A WEBSITE | PART 9 – INSTALLING WORDPRESS

POSTED ON DECEMBER 20, 2011 BY MATTSICH |

So it’s been for ever since I last posted something… been busy developing a website and getting my finals done.
Today’s post is on installing wordpress. It’s a really easy thing to do but for those who still need help, I recorded a little something to help you out. If my horrible screen casting ability doesn’t appear to help, just follow the steps on wordpress.org.

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BUILDING A WEBSITE | PART 8 – INTRO TO DATABASES

POSTED ON NOVEMBER 25, 2011 BY MATTSICH |


PHP and mySQL are a powerful combination. In the hands of a person well versed in both, it can help organize huge amounts of data. PHP gives us an array of functions that help us open connections to a database. When registering for a website hosting service, you are given FTP access to a server, and access to a database (and nowadays they also include a domain). The FTP server is where you place your files. The database is where you store data for the files in your ftp.

First of all, I need to cover arrays. I forgot to talk about them in the php tutorial (Duh!) but I remembered now because they are essential to understanding databases.

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BUILDING A WEBSITE | PART 7 – BASIC PHP

POSTED ON NOVEMBER 4, 2011 BY MATTSICH |

Today we’re going to try to get the basic gist of PHP. This ain’t yo mama’s markup language. PHP is an actual programing language. We won’t cover everything because there’s just too much to learn all at once and we just don’t need it for wordpress themes. Let’s get started.

First of all we need to be able to view a php page. You can’t just open up a php page like an html page in a browser. You need to view it through a server. What we will do (instead of paying for a hosting service) we will use a local hosting application. Both mac and pc can use an app called “XAMPP” (DOWNLOAD HERE) so we will just use that. After you download it, install it and follow the instructions. You will end up with a htdocs folder where you will be able to place all your files that you want to view in your browser.

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SLOW DAY

POSTED ON NOVEMBER 2, 2011 BY MATTSICH |


(picture courtesy of xkcd.com)

So today I wasn’t able to get around to writing a meaningful post but I’m still writing one because I promised myself to write a post every day. I ended up working on my take-home physics test all day… and I mean a good 10 hours… and there were only 7 problems on it! Crazy, right?

Anyway… tomorrow I’ll be posting the php tutorial for part seven of the ‘Building a website’ series so look forward to that.

Cheers,
Matt

THE DAY

POSTED ON NOVEMBER 1, 2011 BY MATTSICH |

I don’t have a tutorial for you today because I have a massive physics test tomorrow but I do have something that I decided to build today.
I was thinking… what if I could make a website look different depending on the time of day? That would be cool, right? So I went ahead and did it. This website really takes “responsive website” to the next level.

It’s a bit rough but I’ll improve it as time goes by. Garcinia Cambogia

PREVIEW

http://www.mattsich.net/examples/theTimer/

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BUILDING A WEBSITE | PART 6 – BUILDING THE PAGE

POSTED ON OCTOBER 31, 2011 BY MATTSICH |

Today we will finally be building a functional page! Download these files and let’s get started:

DOWNLOAD:

thedesign.zip

PREVIEW:

http://www.mattsich.net/examples/thedesign/

Take a look at the preview of the page above. Try resizing the width of the page down… looks like the media queries I talked about a few posts back, right?

Unzip the file and you should have a folder named “thedesign” with an index.html document inside, a css folder, a js folder, and an images folder. When I make websites, I like to organize it ;)

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BUILDING A WEBSITE | PART 5 – THE DESIGN

POSTED ON OCTOBER 30, 2011 BY MATTSICH |

Today we will get to know the design that will be used for the rest of the tutorials in this series. I put it together really quick(took me literally 5 minutes to put it together). I’ll have links at the bottom of this post for the download of the psd file. You will find that it’s all organized into head, content, footer. If you remember from my last few posts I talked about this concept of separating a website into these three basic parts.

Once you have the design ready, you have to cut it. When building a website you have a few options for placing the images into the page. You can have pictures repeat and you can make many of the graphics without exporting anything out from photoshop (or whatever program you use to design your websites) so you really need to think about what you need and how you will use it. Remember: the less images you have on you website, the fast it will load.

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THE ART OF WEB DESIGN

POSTED ON OCTOBER 29, 2011 BY MATTSICH |

I woke up this morning to it snowing outside for the first time this winter so I decided a nice little festive banner would be appropriate ;) Anyway… It’s the weekend and I need a break so I wanted to talk about designing a website. Many people underappreciate the value of a good design. There’s a limit to how far you can go with the development of a website but there is no limit to design. This post that I classify as a tutorial won’t have a step-by-step walkthrough to a successful design. Doing that would not benefit you in the least. A good design takes time, creativity and inspiration. You mustn’t confuse inspiration with copying. Inspiration allows you to develop your own design thanks to your personal creativity by looking at other people’s work. It doesn’t look anything like the design you were inspired by because your of your creativity. Copying is taking what others did and using it as your own. In fact I often saw people copy so well that it was hard to tell if they didn’t just have a copy of the original back when I used to moderate the forums as videocopilot.net. Designers have been arguing about the point where inspiration and copying meet for a long, long time so I won’t try to continue that here.

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RESPONSIVE WEBSITES

POSTED ON OCTOBER 28, 2011 BY MATTSICH |

In today’s growing mobile browser user base, web designers find a need for making websites that interact with those specific devices.

In my css basics tutorial I introduced three attributes when talking about the link tag: rel, href, and media. Media is, as I said in the post, used to describe what media the stylesheet should be used for. For example you could also make a style sheet with media=”print” and it would be used when the user would print your website…. Yet we are not limited to one-word media types. Welcome to the world of media queries. (bring the width of your window down past 480px on my website here and you’ll sit it change)

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