Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Day In Development

I have spent most of today fussing over my new website.  It is a new experience for me, and it takes some getting use to. 

For much of the day I tinkered with WordPress, getting the website’s blog fully functional as it were.  This consisted largely of finding plugins, installing them, activating them, and setting their properties.  At this point I am cautiously optimistic that the blog is in good shape. 

I have installed plugins that should allow users to subscribe to the blog and sign up to receive e-mails of blog posts or RSS feeds.  Users can also have the blog post to their Google home page. 

I also installed plugins that should help prevent spam and perform regular backups automatically.  One plugin will provide ping-back tracing, which should increase traffic to my site.  Another plugin will make sure that all the major search engines are notified of new blog posts.

One problem I face is that the blog has a different style than the rest of the website.  And its menu’s don’t link back to the same pages as the main website.  I am going to worry about correcting that later, however, as the bigger problem of the website itself demands my attention.

To put it simply, the main website looks like crap.  Between the wrong pictures, dull colors, and crummy fonts the site is repugnant.  I have identified the primary style sheet used and have replaced the onerous fonts with ones easier to read.  I need to tweak with the size of the fonts and the colors, but already it looks a smidge better.

I also discovered a way to take output a Microsoft Word document as either a PDF or an XPS.  This means I now have a safe way of putting my documents on my website the preserves the font and formatting.

These are baby steps towards having a more sophisticated online presence.  Small advances to promoting my writing and seeking an audience for the tale I wish to tell.  I look forward to when I have the major technical issues solved and can focus again on writing.

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