Site Revamp Details

Here is a screen shot of the old site.  It served me well for the two years or so that I had it running on blogger.com.  The great thing about blogging is that I can save bits of important information in one place that I can later come back and utilize. The secondary benefit is that other people can also gain something from my writings as well.

Now that I’ve taken the plunge to into the world of incorporation, I have had a strong desire to improve my web presence.  My first project being this website revamp.

Here is a list of the steps necessary to get from blogger to a custom wordpress blog:
– Install wordpress on my computer’s local server (WAMP).  This is quite easy if you have messed around with developing websites before.  The major steps to that are 1. create a database (wamp has phpMyAdmin preinstalled, so doing SQL stuff is easy) 2. create a new SQL user that has permissions on the new database.  Once the database is setup, extract the wordpress install files to the WWW directory of your server (or wwwroot for IIS).
– Once the wordpress files are in there, I decided to do a special step.  Open my Windows HOSTS file and add two lines:

127.0.0.1       thewayofcoding.com
127.0.0.1       www.thewayofcoding.com

What this does is make my computer think that localhost (127.0.0.1) is actually the IP address of thewayofcoding.com.  This allows me to leave my current blog alone while I work on the new one, setup all aspects of the new site as it will exactly be (any full path links can be tested locally), and just generally makes things a lot simpler.  One thing I noticed is that I had to open a console window and type ipconfig/flushdns to get the changes to register.  The other option would be to restart the computer, but the command is much faster/easier.

Ok, so now at that point I pointed Firefox to “thewayofcoding.com” and went through the directions available to install wordpress, it said to create a configuration file before it could continue.  So you need to create/edit one code file wp-config.php by adding the database information and change a few other lines.

After that, it is a simple install.

Then I spend a few weeks modifying the wordpress code as I needed.  The primary amount of work was in creating my own visual look for the site.  Seeing as I wanted to really improve the layout of the site, I did quite a bit of research on CSS layout methods.  Matthew James Taylor had some of the best layouts I could find with clean code, so I based this layout off of two of them.  As you can notice, the two side panels of this site are fixed to the window size.  The middle panels will scale with the computer’s screen resolution.  So at resolutions around 1600+ width, the site looks pretty nice by using that added space.

From there I searched out a number of interesting plugins and set them up.  I didn’t find anything too exciting, but a few like the poll system are useful. Lastly I setup and installed some forum software in a sub directory of the site.

All that being said, it took quite a bit of time to setup.  Of course to actually write something from scratch of this quality level would take me a long time.  I’m pretty happy with the result so far.  I still have quite a few more things I want to do with it, so look for updates in the near future!

Here is a picture of the current site for history’s sake:

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