May 16, 2013
I feel in this assignment I have learnt so much so quickly. I’m still amazed at how much I have progressed. Whilst my design skills have not progressed as such a fast pace, I still think I am slightly improving. However I was listening to our lecturer suggest to another person that over the summer they should find a website they love and try to recreate it. I think I will try to do that, as I feel I overcomplicate things or my style is sometimes a bit too flamboyant. I need to direct my flamboyance to create something truely original as I want to steer clear of corporate style as it doesn’t make me happy.
The Expression Engine has been such a challenge that sometimes I’ve felt let throwing my computer out of the window, and other times I’ve been so happy that something has happened. It has felt like a whirl wind relationship with Expression Engine, but I’ve learnt that it is definitely beneficial to me and the client, I just need more practice.
On my website I am generally pleased and glad I didn’t try too much and just got to grips with the basics, there are a few bits that I want to improve, but I think this is the way most people feel. You can always improve or certain bits. I feel I would be even more satisfied if I had brought that CE Image Plug-in to really make the feel of the website more like old school circus theme with the blurred black and white images.
May 15, 2013
My Final Website can be found at http://www.chesneydesign.co.uk/postcards/index.php
May 14, 2013
Now the website was complete, I wanted to incorporate a RSS feed. I have never done one before, so I thought I would have a look at http://ellislab.com/expressionengine/user-guide/modules/rss/ and attempt to get my head around the templates ellislab had provided. unfortunately I could only ever get it to say empty feed. I must have tried for over 3 hours changing things, attempting to get it to work. I even asked others in my class and they could get theirs to work either. So this is one thing that really disappoints me is that I was never able to get it to work. I have left the code in the back-end of the website, incase I can change it at a later date and finally get it to work.
May 14, 2013
My main feature of the website was to let users upload their own postcards, or of the postcards they found or anything else.
So I used the plug-in FreeForm which was a nice easy form and simple that could allow file uploads and the ability to email that form to a dedicated email address. FreeForm can be downloaded from http://www.solspace.com/software/detail/freeform/
I amended the fields of the form through the plug-in control panel, then added my code into my upload page. The one thing I found difficult was that FreeForm automatically uses CAPTCHA, and this caused some difficulties, so I just removed that code. However it does make it less secure and more open to spam.
May 13, 2013
I created the website first locally as this is what we did in lessons, and now I felt I was at a point were it was working sufficiently to go live. So I used the following directions: http://ellislab.com/expressionengine/user-guide/operations/moving.html
I wanted to follow this information exactly so it asked me to verify server compatibility, and my 123-reg.co.uk server worked out fine
So I carried on with the instructions and found that where files were in my server and permissions were extremely important. Then also my server 123-reg.co.uk didn’t provide the exact details of my server path which caused a lot of difficulties, so I ended up running a pathinfo.php which I found from http://www.kbpublisher.com/kb/How-can-I-find-my-Full-server-path_289.html
Now I have learnt maybe in the future once the website is fully designed to just go straight on the server instead of locally. I’m not an extremely technical person, and don’t fully understand servers and hosts, and I think I need to get my head around the basic stuff, so this will be a task I set myself.
May 13, 2013
In the design stage I had decided there would be at least three different image sizes.
- Featured – for the carousel
- Secondary – for the posts on the first page below the carousel
- Posts – the image on each individual post.
This meant that I would have to specify to the blogger/user in my channel fields what size image to upload. and then use Expression Engines file image resizer to resize all the images to specific widths or heights and whether to crop or constrain them.
The only thing that annoyed me was that I was unable to put a blurred black and white effect on the featured images as I think this would have added to my circus theme. I investigated that there was various plug-ins that would do this but all of them cost money. I researched quite a few and found CE Image, which looked amazing and can be found at http://www.causingeffect.com/software/expressionengine/ce-image if this was for an actual customer I would definitely have brought this Plug-in. Also CE Image would allow the image be cropped from specific offsets such as top bottom, unlike the built-in expression engine which does it immediately from the center.
May 12, 2013
May 5, 2013
I created the pages in Dreamweaver to begin with and made sure I was happy with the final design. So below is the final design
May 4, 2013
As we had learnt how to make a responsive website in the last module I wanted to incorporate some elements of that into this site. However, while I want the website to look good, I want it to function as a dynamic website so I must not spend too much time on the design. Last Module I used gumby framework, and found it easy to use, but limited on features. So I knew Bootstrap had a lot of features and other members of our class raved about it, so I thought I would give it a go this time. It wasn’t as complicated as I originally thought and I’m pleased I decided to go along with this framework. It also has the function of automatically making certain parts responsive, so I allowed the framework to do all the work on the side of it being responsive.
The only part of the responsive site that frustrates me is the full width carousel, the image is not responsive. And regardless of what I did I was unable to make the image responsive and for the title and sub text to be responsive with it.
May 2, 2013
Now majority of my postcards were created for Self-Initiated, I can finish the design for my website. During my research of the circus theme I fell in love with an artistic font Fontleroybrown and luckily this was available as @fontface from http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/FontleroyBrown
With the colours I had tried a black background but it didn’t suit the coldness of the images so I went with a really dark navy and white, and then I remember feedback from my tutor that a highlight colour always brings attention to certain things and makes the website look more exciting. So after looking through my research again I noticed pink goes quite well with the circus theme. So my colours are as below