» Day 2 – some small fixes and more info

Utilizing my EXTREMELY limited (non-existent) knowledge of PHP I managed to create a Page.php template separate from the Articles.php template. This resolved one of my issues with this theme – specifically, since there was not previously a Pages.php template my About and Contacts pages were simply using the posts template – not attractive.

I also dugg into the CSS a little bit and changed a few colors around to suit my liking. While I was doing that I discovered some sidebar stuff that could (possibly) be tweaked to make it (and my search widget) less ugly. I know a TINY bit more CSS than I do PHP so I stumbled my way through rather than commenting-out random lines and crossing my fingers.

Here are some details about the site that might interest anyone who is curious… Since I am not financially capable (broke) I cannot currently afford paying someone else to host the site. It’s another monthly bill and I would rather buy a house. That being said I am hosting the site on my Mac mini using my business DSL line. Until I get a domain set up I’m using the free and awesome dynamic DNS service. It is particularly nice because for OS X there is a dashboard widget that updates dynDNS of your IP address.

I know you’re probably thinking “oh crap, if three or more people are on this site it’s going to crash” – well, you’re probably right. Actually, I have more faith in Apache, MySQL, and PHP on my Mac mini than I do my ISP’s ability to handle the bandwidth.

I consider this quite a feat because of two points 1) I know almost nothing about most web technologies – the fact is I’m a n00b. But I’m proud to admit it and determined to change it. I think that’s important. The reason this is a feat is because it was incredibly easy to set up using OS X.

The UNIX underpinnings in 10.5 make my Mac mini a fairly robust server for a fraction of the cost of an Xserve. Enabling Apache required me to simply check a box – that’s it. Granted there were a few other steps involved in enabling PHP and installing MySQL; but let’s be realistic, one is going to have to dirty one’s hands at some point.

Please pardon me if I’m sounding too much like a “fanboy”. In all honesty, I would install whichever OS made it the easiest – I’m not afraid of using a Linux distro. or installing Windows on a Mac. The fact is that OS X made it the easiest to accomplish the goals I wanted to accomplish.

» Day 1 – Oy vey!

OK, this is my first post that has any real value to it whatsoever… So far I have the following issues that need to be resolved:

  1. Nobody is reading this
  2. Posts do not have the day of month in the date
  3. Permalinks are ugly (as in, without alibi)
  4. About, Contact, etc. pages are using the blog page template and are showing category, date and comment information. Just fixed this one – w00t!
  5. The overall appearance of some of the elements on page do not look very distinguished. This is noticeable on some (read: crummy) LCD displays.
  6. The search widget is ugly (see #3)

I’m sure more will become apparent as I get deeper into this – but for just starting out it’s not that bad.

Future plans:

  1. I’d like to edit my sidebar widgets so they appear to be separate boxes form each other. I want them to have rounded corners, and ideally, be collapsible.
  2. I want some widgets on the bottom of the page. Recent posts, maybe my Flickr photostream, etc.
  3. I need to register a domain as well. I’ve heard good things about 1and1 but right now it’s not in the cards (i.e. bank account = empty)

If anyone happens upon this post please feel free to hit up the comments to offer any suggestions or notify me of bugs you find. I’m taking a kind of continuous improvement approach with this so hopefully with a little luck, a few magic beans, and some late-night geekery I will have a decent site up soon.