A bit ago I wrote a blog about my first experience building a website, using DotNetNuke. It didn’t go so well. However, after speaking with some of the engineers here at Everon, I decided to give it another shot. This time, instead of dealing with DNN, I decided to try WordPress.
My initial thoughts on WordPress were that it was simply a blog writing site and nothing more. I was not interested in creating a site like that (I write enough blogs here), and I needed a place that could host my increasingly famous brand, Kyle’s Kitties, along with some other material that I always wanted to show friends and family.
However, after being shown a few professional websites that were built in WordPress, I was sold on giving website building another try.
Just like DotNetNuke, WordPress is offered as a free application to hosted website accounts within GoDaddy, so installing the site was a breeze (see my previous blog on how to install an application in GoDaddy). After that your site gets a WordPress Admin portal, in which you can login and view the Dashboard.
My first order of business was to pick a theme. Like skins in DotNetNuke, themes in WordPress are basically the overall look of the website. I wanted a dark theme that allowed me to edit pretty much every single function within the site, down to the individual colors and the font.
After trial and error on a few themes I found one that stuck, called Parabola. Once I’d settled on this theme, installing it was easy (just like DNN): you are given a .zip file, and everything you need is included in that .zip file. You can then navigate to your dashboard, go to appearance –>themes –>add new, and install the theme. You can then activate the theme and begin to customize it.
The reason I was sold on Parabola is not only because its interface is beautiful, but it gives you a function within WordPress’s “Appearance” tab called “Parabola Settings.” This is basically a GUI, so you can edit anything you want about the site.
I spent 3-4 hours just editing the colors of the site, and then another few hours just picking out fonts. After I built the meat of the site, I was ready to add Kyle’s Kitties.
WordPress also utilizes widgets and plug-ins. Widgets are built-in Containers (for you DNN lovers out there) that allow you to customize certain aspects of the site. At the moment I have not used any Widgets, however, I have explored the world of plug-ins.
Plug-ins for WordPress allow you to modify the site in a variety of different ways. Currently my three go-to plug ins are:
- Disable Comments (since this is an informational website, I don’t need comments, and I wanted that huge, annoying box removed from everywhere)
- Insert Headers and Footers (so I can utilize Google Analytics for my site)
- Easy Media Gallery Pro (this allows me to add beautiful slideshows for photos/audio/video, which is a huge portion of my site)
With a little bit of Photoshop (I had to edit some photos to fit properly, and modify certain aspects of the site), and a beautiful, easy-to-use interface from WordPress, I was able to build my site.
If you are interested in checking it out, you can see it here: www.jeffwoodsmedia.net. This is, of course, a work in progress, and really nothing except for Kyle’s Kitties is completed. However, from where I was a bit ago, down in the trenches with DotNetNuke, to now soaring above the clouds with WordPress, I say it’s been quite a turn-around. I highly recommend WordPress to anyone who has VERY little website building skills.