Posted by Scott Croom
Domains, Installs, and Flow Charts oh my
Following up on my reflections of class number two, in class 3 I’m starting my freak out. Yes, three classes in and I’m kinda freaking out. Today, we covered everything from purchasing your domain, how to establish a sandbox site and you don’t want to “cowboy code” your site if at all possible, to doing installs of WordPress and picking out themes.
I hate blank sheets of paper. Really. I basically do marketing which involves setting forth various forms of BS which is ironic that I have zero design skill. Well, you probably already know that if you look at my personal blog.
Kori did a great job explaining what you want to look for in a theme. We discovered the first thing in figuring out which theme will work for us, doesn’t involve themes at all. It’s a checklist. Kori gave us a checklist she uses with clients that she’s developed over the years. It answers all the questions she asks a client to help figure out just what it is they need. A good bit of it was stuff I would have never thought of.
Next step she taught us was doing a flowchart of the site. She taught us the basics of using Lucid Chart, the tool she uses for flowcharting a website. Personally, I prefer OmniGraffle but that’s because I used it on a previous job. I could totally see doing the flowchart in Word or even Excel. I think someone did them in Photoshop. Kori mentioned that you should use the tools you are most comfortable with. That’s cool.
The Freak Out
Ok, so then we started discussing themes. WordPress’s strong suit is themes. They are templates that make a designers life oh so much easier. We looked at a few different theme vendors but settled on ThemeForest.
My project for the class is building a website for a really close friend and his music talent agency. Ok, neat, I know kinda what it can look like by checking out the competition. But, what about which theme, there are a bajillion (actually with WordPress it’s closer to 3.78 bajillion) themes.
I think almost everyone gets that overwhelmed feeling. But, Kori walked us through on how to find a good theme. She explained to us about looking for ratings, number of installs, support, and what else the designer has done. I learned that it’s about the skill of the designer and not the theme since she showed us some sick designs based on the 2014 theme.
We also discussed functionality. We looked at making sure what shortcodes etc that the themes offfered and if they didn’t have the functionality we need, how/where to go find it. Luckily, the class wrapped a little early which allowed me to actually start hammering away on my project site.
BTW, I ended up using the Royal theme. Kind cool.
I’m Calm…Well Calmer
So, we I’m looking at how much “stuff” I’ve already got for my site. I’m blown away by how much I’ve already done but then I get the strong indication looking at the class schedule that I’ve got a long road to go. It should be fun.