Building ianddavenport.voyez.ca

Life is about selling yourself in all aspects. You want to show people what you have to offer to help them with their problems. If you can bring value to anything, whether it’s a company, relationship, or someone else’s life, your demand will go up. So networking and showing what you can do is key, and for years I’ve always wanted to build my own website to show off the kind of person I am and what I can bring to the table.

After playing around with different server/hosting setups and working through some curveballs that came up (see my other projects), my WordPress server was up and running. I had been going through some YouTube videos for a course on it and it seemed pretty straightforward. It would take a lot more work, but I would be able to keep my dignity instead of using Wix.com to noob my way out.

After playing around with it, I was blown away at how user-friendly yet still versatile and extensive this thing way. I was also surprised at how popular it was. Most of the major websites I used I could access the site login page by just adding wp-login.php onto the end of the URL 🙂

But I wasn’t going to do EVERYTHING from scratch. I looked through the themes and was really stuck between the one I am using and the popular 2017 (excuse me, “twenty seventeen”). Here is how it WOULD have looked:

I was going for simplicity. Minimalism. I figured people aren’t going to my site to research and study. They want to get the important info straight to the point. A simple visual background plus an attractive menu was what I was going for, and I felt the current theme had just a bit more personality for me after the customization.

Most of the other sections were pretty straightforward and I was able to figure out on my own or with a quick Google search. Surprisingly, one of the hardest things was setting up the collapsible lists on the My Projects! page. It was so tempting to just use a bullet list with hyperlinks but I knew what I wanted. It had to be collapsible and indented. Without the proper formatting and indentation, it wouldn’t stand out well enough to look right. So after learning a bunch of CSS and finding the right add-in, I was able to make it work:

I learned that even the best plug-ins can have bad support and documentation. I had to figure out after lots of testing that “type” field for WP-ShowHide did not have static entries and was essentially a placeholder to differentiate different instances. I am glad I put in the work though.

One thing I would have changed was the white background on each page. There was no option to set a default for each page. I edited some of the theme HTML/CSS to manually do it, but it resulted in editing also the background for secondary things like menu options and buttons. It looks fine for now.

There were other little elements that I might tweak later on if I have the time, like certain paragraph formatting, spacing, and colouring, but for now I am very happy with how it ended up.

All in all, I can understand why WordPress is so popular and people develop it for a living.