Feb 8, 2016

Posted by in Featured | 2 Comments

A New Design

20160208_101657In keeping with my ongoing desire to “do more” with Levelcapped.com, I’m considering options for a new design.

Right now, the site — like most WordPress sites — is focused mainly on blog posts. A blog post is traditionally all about words, but can of course contain media like images and videos.

My maybe possible direction would be to get more into non-written content production. I’ve got the “In The Car” series, which I’ve put on hiatus until I can be sure that I won’t get pulled over for recording it, but would like to get back to that at least once a week. Over the weekend, I was experimenting with a green screen at home (getting it positioned, lit, recorded, and replaced in post production) and if I can’t continue with “In The Car” I might see about replacing it with a short “At The Home” production. This kind of development would mean a lot more involvement than what I’m doing with ITC because I’d like to spruce it up a bit with better production values, so part of this plan hinges on my ability to produce something that don’t “look dumb”.

Even though WordPress is very flexible, I’m having difficulty getting it accommodate the features I want to showcase. The extremely rough sketch above is kind of what I’m angling for: A banner, a video carousel section, an offset blog (categorized for gaming, D&D, and game dev), a sidebar with Twitch highlight from the last video session OR a live feed, and then the usual sidebar stuff under that. It’s kind of what I’m looking for: something to showcase more content than just writing, but keeping the writing present and accessible.

This brings me to a crossroads, though. I am a .NET developer by trade, so I could spend a few months building my own blogging platform — again, but for the modern age. This would allow me to create every bit of the site to my own specifications to ensure that I get exactly what I want, how I want it. But it would also mean I’d have to custom craft a lot of parts that WordPress already has support for, like users and posts and the billions of plugins for the site. I could also attempt to re-shape a WordPress template, or — gawd help me — create one from scratch. But I’m not a PHP/Wordpress developer/designer, and let’s face it: it’s easier to work on a straight-up website than to use WordPress’ “editor” to do work. The irritation might just cause me more grief than it’s worth*.

At any rate, I need a design, so while I usually know better than to start with a design, I’m going to start with the design. This way, I can decide if I want to take the framework and port it over to WordPress, or slap the blog logic onto the backside and run with a fully custom platform.

 

* What I’d probably do if I opted to mod WordPress would be to set it up locally and work with the templates directly, bypassing the need to use the web “editor”. I put “editor” in quotes because a textbox is barely a tool worth calling an “editor”.

Leave a Reply

  1. Well the big challenge will be to get everything working sideways like in that image… 🙂

    WordPress templates are just text files; they’re not stored in the database. So you can use git or something for version control and your development tool of choice to work on them.

    I use this system, basically: http://joemaller.com/990/a-web-focused-git-workflow/

  2. weritsblog says:

    All you need is notepad and a server!

What do you think?