Information about in-ess.net v1
The content and the design
Why did I go with this design ? Why did I choose WordPress ? Which scripts do I use ?
Even if you don’t want to, after entering a website you always have a look at the design (except if you are ignoring CSS). The design of a website is the element that fills up the space around the content. I am clearly pointing out that the design is secondary. What is important is your content and how you display it. My content is partially filled up with images and secondarily with blog entries. Thus the main focus of the front page relies on 2 big images and 3 extracts of the blog.
Do you see any fancy graphics on my site ? Well I don’t and there is a simple reason for that: As I said the content is my main subject. This means anything I post has to match up with the background and provide a good experience. If there would be only a single color in the background it may end up in some bad contrast depending on specific colors used in my images. The result would be an unwanted (bad looking) effect that the visitor has to experience. Of course this can be solved if you choose your colors smartly. Specific colors have a much wider use. Just to tell you some: light tones which are nearly going towards the white color, brown or beige. But personally I don’t want to distract the user with this kind of stuff. My background pattern is clearly separating the content and the background.
Why did I choose WordPress
Well first of all it is open source and really well documented. I have had used WordPress about two years ago and it did not change much on the front end. I code my site and insert the php snippets to make it fully functional. That is all I have to do and if I need something special I simply look it up in the plugin database. Thankfully there are a lot of plugins which do a really great job providing more functionality. I for myself am not a php coder thus I would not be able to code any of these plugins on myself. Of course some of those don’t need the knowledge of PHP at all but it’s still faster to have something like the Maintenance Mode plugin instead of writing it yourself. This saves you time which you can spend much better on more important stuff. So I thought I would be listing up what I am currently using for this site as the developers surely deserve some credit.
- Anti Internet Explorer 6 Plugin – I don’t support this old browser any more and I actually don’t care if there are any bugs. We live in 2010 and people should be able to update their browser. It may sound harsh but face the truth.
- Maintenance Mode – This keeps you guys out as I am setting up the new blog and gives me full access to all the features. This helps a lot on spotting the last few bugs.
- Widgets Reloaded – Thanks to this plugin I can easily manage several functions in the sidebar such as excluding categories without having to change any files. Fast and efficient.
- Magic Fields – The Magic Fields plugin is one of the key elements of my site. All the sublines I am having are basically custom fields which I simply fetch in the template files. With Magic Fields I can make those fields appear in the post editor of WordPress. It also checks if the fields were filled or not which gives you an additional heads up. I would not want to miss this plugin anymore.
- WP Page Numbers – I guess this plugin is really well known. Instead of only having the “previous” and “next” links this plugin features page numbers. This helps a lot while navigating through pages and is much faster.
Moreover there are some other jquery based scripts which I use.
- Sliding Boxes and Captions with jQuery – This effect is used for all the thumbnails linking to my photography and webdesigns. The effect is slightly changed from what you can see in the tutorial above.
- Slimbox 2 – The good old lightbox script is a great addition to any website dealing with images. Slimbox2 sticked out the most for me.
As I already said once I started off with XHTML and CSS and slowly added the desired jquery features I needed. After everything was functional (static) I started to include the WordPress snippets to fetch up headlines, the content… etc.. The overall design is build up as a usual WordPress design would be – header, index, sidebar, footer. Additionally I fetch up my navigation in an additional file as well as the icons at the bottom of the page. This makes it much easier to edit them if needed. I also have several CSS files just to keep everything clean. Besides there are three template files. One for the blog and the other two for the showcase sections (photography and web). Big thanks goes out to my mate Shahz for helping me with the site.