Archive for the ‘WebDesign’ Category

Where are my buttons?

So here I am, trying to show my site to someone at work and BEHOLD, I couldn’t find my Plugin Social Buttons! You know, the stuff where you can know there’s updates on the page and link to Tweeter, Facebook, or news-feed. And that song Buttons from Pussycat Dolls popped in my head. Someone loosened up my buttons!

At first, I just thought it was my company blocking stuff, but then when I checked at home. NO BUTTONS. Back to research. I went to my WordPress plugin’s website, and found out that since Word Press version 2.4.5.0, I now have to add a html line to my footer.php page. And I did that. Buttons Returned!!

I’ve been doing my updates for WordPress, and I don’t even remember when I had 2.4.5.0 or how long ago that was. So I went to find the WordPress versions timeline and the date that they came out, and it looked like that was some time ago. I just added my buttons in April 2010. So I don’t know what I did to loosen up my buttons…uh…loose my buttons. But they’re back now!!

More on Amazon DTP
So yesterday, on my day off, I did some more research on Amazon DTP and Kindle. While I was using the Preview on my book, I noticed that it just wasn’t looking quite right. Then I notice a pull-down where you can go to the Table of Contents and Go To Beginning of the book and Go To Cover. Hmmm. So what’s that?

Found out that Kindle, which I don’t have and have been eying since it came out, you can jump to these three different sections in a eBook. And how do you do that? Well…I had to research that too and put some anchors in my html coding.

So basically, you put these in:
<a name=”TOC”/> for Table of Contents right before your Table of Contents
<a name=”start”/> for Go To Beginning where you want people to go when they first open your book
<a name=”cover”/> for Go To Cover where it will display your beautiful picture/cover of your book
<mbp:pagebreak/> for Page Breaks, which I mentioned in an earlier post

I looked to see if I needed to put the cover (<a name=”cover”/>) in my book or not. I couldn’t find anywhere where people were leaning more to the “to do” or “not to do”, so I left the cover out. I can always insert the picture later on if I want. I read somewhere that I could put the cover at the end of the book.

Then the question came up about my page breaks. Should I put my page breaks in the beginning? I mean, I had them before each chapter, which is what I always hear to do, but what about the copyright section, the title section, the Table of Contents and all that stuff in the beginning? I put page breaks in there too.

And it all looked much nicer.

I also had to research how to heck to put code in my webpage without my page seeing it as a code so I can put here what I did. Well you basically have to use some weird looking stuff for the < and the > to show.
So you use these:

&lt; for < and you use &gt; for >.

Then I had to find out how to display what I just wrote on how to display code on a webpage.
You use the <xmp> in the beginning, then
you use </xmp> at the end of your sentences…uh…line code.

Man! What a day of researching!

Until Next time! I’ll go back to singing my Button song…

I’m telling you to loosen up my buttons babe
But you keep frontin’
Sayin’ what you gon’ do to me
But I ain’t seen nuttin’….

So what’s a Feedburner? Twitter, Facebook and such…

Okay, so I’m still learning more about websites and blogging, and I got a comment about “feedburner”. Huh? So what’s that?

Off to my favorite pal…google.

So I found out it the word “feed” was a way to provide “subscription” to a website so that people can keep up on the updates. I saw those types of things on website before, little buttons or links for Twitter, Facebook, RSS and you click on it to subscribe to the site so that you’ll know when there’s updates. I’ve never played around with that. And since I randomly post (trying my darnest to post at least once a month) that would be a very good feature so that people would know when I’ve added something new.

So I went to WordPress to find a Widget. I found “Fixed Social buttons”. Not sure if that’s going to do what I would like it to do, but it looked neat.
I selected RSS, Facebook and Twitter, since I know those sites. I also wanted to find out more on “feedburner” so google had something where I entered my site. I had to sign in with my gmail account, of course. So I created a Feedburner.

After all that, then I realized that I might just need a Facebook, Twitter and MySpace account. I already have a personal account with Facebook, but Unfortunately, DARN IT, facebook/zhollis is already taken! So I create a page off of my personal account. And then went back to Google Feedburner and clicked the “Publicize’ and then “Socialize” thingy on the side and added a Twitter account so that I can have Feedburner updated my Twitter with my blogs and then have Twitter update my Page on Facebook (using the “Smart Twitter for Pages” App in Facebook). Round Robin kind of thing.

Twitter Setup Issue
I was needing to get the confirmation email from Twitter…and that took a very long time! And, of course, I got like four (4) confirmation emails because I kept resending it. And in the mean time, my password for Twitter didn’t work! I tell ya! Trying to make a STRONG password and I messed up on something. Twitter didn’t have me retype my password to make sure I was typing it correctly. So, I tried to have Twitter send me an email, clicking the “forgot” link. I pressed it a couple of times and looked in my email. Hmmm. Of course, I should have waited the same long-time-period that it took to send me the confirmation email. Duh. So then, of course, I got four (4) password reset emails. But when I got the first one, I was able to reset my password and then I had to go back and pick one the confirmation emails to get the account up and running with all the access. Whew!

The things you do and learn.

And so now I’m officially on Twitter and have a Facebook Page to help with Marketing. Unfortunately, now I’ll have to remember to type just 140 characters of interesting first liners in my Word Press so that it will good in Twitter.

And once I submit and Publish this post, I’ll look at both sites and see if it gets updated (Feedburner only begin working on new posts). And so the testing begins…. And I had to make some adjustments. I had Feedburner send “Title and Body” to Twitter. I just need the body sent to meet my 140 character limit correctly. Unfortunately, when I did an update on the same post, it didn’t re-do my Twitter. Oh well. But my Facebook Page got updated! KEWL!!!! IT WORKED!

IT”S ALIVE!!! IT LIVES!! HURRAY!!! HURRAY!!!

Hours of work and got something accomplished. I think I deserve some popcorn….

Stupid Comments Mistakeningly Blocked!! Improved for 2010 :)

So, This ENTIRE time, I just thought people weren’t visiting my blog, and I was just posting away on my monthly way thinking that maybe later on I would start getting some visits. Well someone emailed me after I posted my Lightning Source PDF horror (he took that extra little step to go to my book website and used my Contact Page), and told me that he couldn’t leave a comment. I was like, “What?” So, sure enough, there was this stupid error talking about cookies and java scripts and such. If I got that error after writing a comment, I was just leave too and wouldn’t be bother with it. Who wants to bother with fixing your cookies and java stuff. Well it took me a few hours and I figure out that one of my plug-ins was being blocked by .htaccess, which I had used for additional security.

DUH!!

I was wondering why my Counter plug-in never worked either. Well, needless to say, I think I solved my problem…I think. 🙂 We’ll see if this fixes things and I may see some responses in the year 2010.

Hopefully this doesn’t open up that onslaught of SPAM that I was trying to prevent.

The things your learn as you go.

Until Next time! 🙂

Amazon, Mobipocket…and Nursing?

MY THREE BOOKS ARE UP AND RUNNING!!

Between nursing and diaper changes, I finally got three books ready to sell on Amazon.com and Mobipocket. The 2nd and 3rd books didn’t take very long at all to get on Amazon and Mobipocket; so I guess that once you have one (1) book up and going, everything else takes less than five (5) days. I uploaded my books on a Monday and it was on Amazon by Friday.

HURRAY!!!! Irid and Ruby, Flesh & Heart are on the move!!

So now for the next step–Marketing Online.

I’ve been doing some research and I’ve decided to do New Press Releases at prlog.org and prweb.com. I’m not quite sure how they work, but I figure I would write up a press release and post them anyway. There’s also my college alumni magazine I can post into as well. I’ve already stated my progress on my Facebook as well. I’m sure there’s more out there to do and I’ll research on how to do it. I did take a business course on online businesses, so I’ll go back through my notes on that as well to see the other advertisements I can do.

I’ve added meta tags to my webpage. Meta tags are information inserted in the heading of a web page to tell a browser what your page is all about. It’s more html stuff I learned about in my online business class. Not sure it will help, but decided to see what will happen anyway.

So, once I’ve done with my research on every possible way I can market online, I’ll be posting it here.

And darn! I missed another month (September). I tell ya. Being a parent ain’t no joke. I just don’t have as much time as I use to, to do things. I can see the fun and the not so fun of being a parent, but I’m definitely going to find the time to do what I have always dreamed of doing.

Well…back to nursing. Until next time!!

Goldilocks Issues: Word Press Blog Header Update & Business Cards

BUSINESS CARDS
I went to VistaPrint and made some business cards and some postcards with the image of my book cover on it. It came out very, very well. I like them. I put an image of me on the back of the business card with the words “Thank You.” I saw that on one of my husband’s old business cards, and I thought that was a pretty nice idea.

I got the postcards so I can sign them and send them out to relatives who want me to sign their books, but they live in different states. It just costs a lot to ship books back and forth; so my mom suggested this idea where I can write a nice thingy on a postcard, mail that out, and then whenever I actually see my relative, I’ll sign the book. They can place the postcard in the book in the mean time.

WORD PRESS HEADER

Man! That took forever to just change the header for my blogsite!

STEP 1:
First I tried to make some kind of background image to lay (or is it lie) my book cover on. I took parts of the book’s cover and kept copy/pasting it over and over using the program PAINT (standard in MicroSoft).

I look at several ways of doing this backdrop.

1) I tried recreating the sky, but it just look like plaid.
madebackground

2) Then I tried to just do simply stars that looked random. It was o…k….

madebackgroundstar2

3) Then I just went for plain, but it was just not the right background…
madebackgroundplain2

So none of them would do (I sound like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. LOL!!) None of them looked right with the book cover. So I decided just have plain ole Black.

STEP 2:
So then I went to WordPress on how to update the default theme and its header. Not easy for me at all. I tried replacing the image “kubrickheader.jpg” with my image, but first you had to upload your image. And where might that be? I had no idea. So, I decided to upload it to my Folder: wordpresswp-contentthemesdefault. And I used my Dreamweaver to upload just that file. Well that got it working, but it still had the stupid blue background because my image, I guess, wasn’t big enough. At least I got the “display:none;” to work to get the Title and Subtitle out of the image.

Here’s where I put it in Word Press APPEARANCE > EDITOR > STYLESHEETS CSS.
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
@ h1 {display:none;
@@ font-size: 4em;
@@ text-align: center;
@@ }
@@
@@
@@
@@ Headerimg .description {display:none;
@@ font-size: 1.2em;
@@ text-align: center;
@@ }
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

STEP 3:
But I still couldn’t get that darn blue area out of the way. So I went back to my metamorph_tropicforest theme, took a look at it and decided to change the “header.jpg” name to an image I just created with PAINT.
I renamed the orginal “header.jpg” to STEP 4:
So THEN I had to resize my “header.jpg” to be exactly 791 X 182. I used PAINT using IMAGE >ATTRIBUTES and resized a blank canvas, and then pasted my book cover, which expanded the length, but not the width. I just grabbed a side of my book cover image and on the PAINT bottom corner, it tells you, while you resizing, what size it’s making it. So I made sure it was 182 and then squeezed it to coordinate the image so that it wouldn’t look so stretchy.

FINALLY DONE:
So I uploaded the images and it looks okay. My book cover looks pretty small, but it’s up there. Resizing the images to match existing images that was use in the theme, was much easier than trying to figure out the default theme for me. I had to re-edit the metamorph_tropicforest Stylesheet to take out the title and subtitle that was going over my header like this..
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@
@@ }
@@ #logo a {display:none;
@@ text-decoration: none;
@@ text-transform: lowercase;
@@ font-style: italic;
@@ font-size: 18px;
@@ color: #ffffff;
@@ }
@@ #logo H2
@@ {display:none;
@@ font-size: 12px;
@@ color: #ffffff;
@@ }
@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

So there you have it! I’m done. So, yeah, the book cover is too small, and I couldn’t get it “Just Right” like Goldilocks, but it will do.

Till Next time!!

Change…

The suspense is finally over and now we have to wait and see, and hope, what can be accomplished.

President-elect Barack Obama.

Man! It was quiet at the office today. Houston, Texas. I could feel the intensity of negative and positive swirling in the air. What can people say? What can people not say?

We shall see…for he will be our President…too.

Designing a website for us HTML beginners

I wanted to put out there a list of sites that really, really helped me with my website. I’m a beginner HTML person, and I can get around with a few things here and there, but I needed a lot of help. I designed my first website from scratch using Dreamweaver (for FREE html software, try out Kompozer. I downloaded it and it works great!) to get a basic idea of designing one, but it didn’t quite look professional enough. So I bought a $30 template from TheTemplateStore and updated it for my new site and I’m really loving it.

Here’s my old website: http://www.oldsite.zhollis.com
And here’s my new one: http://www.zhollis.com

I mentioned before, for my new website, that I used Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Fireworks and Swish, which all together can cost over $1,000. I had a friend who I borrowed from, though you can get a trial version of Swish. However, my old website, I just picked up a basic design at oswd. Also at a template store, not at the one I used but anyone that sells templates, they can provide you with websites with programming that you can update yourself without having to buy stuff like Dreamweaver. You simply look at the templates that use CSS based layouts. But if you can find a Free Template to update, I would go that route.

CSS – Yeah. That was a new one for me too. What is it? Well basically, if you have like hyperlinks on all your different pages and you wanted to update the look of all of them without having to update every…single…page, you would put a “class” next to every hyperlink, and in the css coding, you can change the color, or what happens if someone hovers their mouse over a hyperlink, in the CSS code that styles your hyperlinks…and it updates all of your pages at once! Pretty cool thing, but you have to know CSS to use it.
I go here to find out the basics of CSS – Introduction to CSS

So on to my list of useful tools….

++++++++++++++

Free web tools to help you design your website.
I use Dreamweaver, but if you want to save some money, here are some free software to help you design your page.
NVU
Hot Dog
Coffee Cup

Free photo editor – GIMP
This was great for me to use. Especially for those pictures where you want to cut out an image and have it floating on top of another image, like your personal photo. I wanted the background to be transparent, where the background of the picture doesn’t have to be a specific color like white or black, because this might not blend in very well with the background of your website. What I’ve learned is that .jpg .bmp .gif can’t have transparent backgrounds–but .png can. GIMP help me put these images, like this one on my site.

HTML – The easy way to understand it.
I use this site all the time to help me figure out what a string of commands mean.
Introduction to HTML

Neat Scripts to add to your website.
I didn’t use any of them, but with my first website, without a template, I was trying to figure out how to do those neat DropDown Menus that are on some sites these days and I found the code at this EarthWeb site
The actual code for the drop down is here:

How to Make a “Contact Us” Form
I really needed help on creating my own form, and the basic HTML site, though it helped with some things about forms, didn’t quite help with HOW to get the information from the form to my email box. PHP Tutorial: Writing Your First PHP script: Feedback Form Script, help me SO SO much. It helped me understand how to get it working and the little bitty things that you have to know like the position of certain strings in the “mail” section and how you want it to look in your personal email. When I change my website to a template, I had to redo my form, and I completely forgot how I got it working. I came back here, did my refresher course, and BOOM…done.

Dealing with Bots
Bots are those robots, or automatic programs sent out by people who spam your email, website, “contact us” page and comments areas. So you know those images in a box where you have to type the characters of the image before hitting the submit button for a form, and the image changes each time you use it? Those can help out with thos nasty little bots. I found reCAPTCH on some Author websites and I was like, “Hey, where they get that?” With some research I found it and it’s just something to help out with those party pooper Spammers. It was a bit complicated to install and the directions on the actual site doesn’t help much at all for us basic HTML users, but this site helped me out A LOT and helped me get it up and running. Installing eCAPTCHA with PHP

Photo Slideshow
My first slideshow on my old website, I used a
Slideshow on Homepage with JavaScript. I couldn’t blend in the background though, yet it was very useful. For my new website, I learned Swish.

That’s about it. All the information dumping I could put on here that helped me. Whew! Hope it helps you out with your next web adventure.

Installing Movable Type on ICDSoft

Even though I had problems with Movable Type, doesn’t mean that you will.
I modified the instructions a bit below that was provided by ICDSoft, to
make more sense to me; and it might make more sense to you.

You can find screen shots of Movable Type setup here.

http://www.superxm.com/2007/08/movable-type-4-installation-step-by-step-with-screenshots.html

NOTE: I’ve updated this page with newer instruction, since my first instructions were back in 2008. This is most rececent Jan 2011.

+++++++ HERE WE GO ++++++++++++

I hope these more “simpler” instruction might help some with their installation. Follow these steps to install Movable Type:

1. Download the installation from the site of the vendor. Movable Type can be obtained from:

http://movabletype.org/

2. Once you have downloaded the zip file that contains the installation, and uncompress it (unzip it) in

your C; drive, you need to upload the files in it to your disk space/hosting site.

Logon to ICDSoft, go to File Manage and create two folders

under the root directory: 1) mt and 2) mt-static.

For Instant, if your Blog Url is: http://blog.tomjoe.com

Then create the folders under: /home/TOMEJOE/www/blog/

I used CoreFTP to upload my files, but you can use whatever applications with FTP.

A free software suggested was here: http://filezilla-project.org/. But I’m assuming since you already have an account with ICDSoft, you know how to do this part already.

3. Using FTP, upload all of the files in the “MT-5.0-en” folder into the “MT” in ICDSoft folder EXCEPT for

“mt-static”. DO NOT UPLOAD the folder “mt-static” Also remember, you’re only uploading the files, DO NOT

UPLOAD THE FOLDER “MT-5.0-en”, just all of the files in it.

PATH IS: /home/TOMEJOE/www/blog/mt

4. Upload all of the files of under “mt-static” on your C: to ICDSoft folder “mt-static”. Remember, you’re only uploading the files, and not the entire folder. Remember: “mt-static” folder and “mt” folder are both under the root directory.

PATH IS: /home/TOMEJOE/www/blog/mt

PATH IS: /home/TOMEJOE/www/blog/mt-static

5. You need to create a MySQL database for the Movable Type application. From ICDSoft Control Panel, click

“MySQLDatabase”. In the “Create new database” Create the name for the database.

It should look like “tomjoe_blog” or “tomjoe_myblog”

In the “Collation” field, it should be: utf8_general_ci

Click the “Create” button

You will have to create a login/password called a “MySQL User” for this database. There will already be a login created, which is the “master” account. That is a default. You also need to create another MySQL subuser for Movable Type to use to log into your database. You don’t want them to use your master account since that’s the same one you use to access you host/website information.

Under “Create new MySQL user”

EXAMPLE:

Database Name: tomjoe_blog (use pull-down menu to selecte your database name)

MySQLUser: joetom

Password:

Confirm Password

Be sure to grant all privileges to the newly created MySQL subuser, by clicking/check makr all the words in the “Privileges” box. And click the “Add” button. And after you save it, make sure the ID has all of the permissions as listed below in the “MySQl users”.

Select, Create, Create View, Execute SP, Insert, Alter, Show View, Update, Lock, Alter SP, Delete, Drop, Create SP

6. Go back to File Manager and browse to the directory where the extracted files for Movable Type are located. Copy the file “mt-config.cgi-original” to “mt-config.cgi”. NOTE: Make sure to copy so you will have the original just in case you mess up something.

7. Click the file “mt-config.cgi” through the File Manager.

At the line specifying the “CGIPath” you need to enter the URL (web address) to Movable Type under your account. It should look similar to this:

http://example.com/mt/mt-version/ (Another Way: http://tomjoe.com/mt/)

At the line specifying the “StaticWebPath” use the address path for “mt-static”.

It should look like:

http://example.com/mt-version/mt-static (My ways: http://tomjoe.com/mt-static)

NOTE: Below I give an example of how the “mt-config.cgi” file should be configured for your MySQL database settings.

DEFINITIONS

Database: You need to specify the MySQL database you created for your Movable Type application.

DBUser: You need to enter the MySQL username you created at your web hosting Control Panel’s MySQL section for your Movable Type application.

DBPassword: You need to enter the password you assigned to your “MySQL subuser”.

You will also need to add the following line under the rest of the MySQL settings:

DBSocket /tmp/mysql5.sock

After that you need to delete ALL THE the lines in the file, which include the “POSTGRESQL”, “SQLITE” and “BERKELEYDB” database settings.

BELOW IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW “mt-config.cgi” file should look like

++++++++++++++EXMAPLE+++++++++++++++++++++++

## Movable Type configuration file ##

## ##

## This file defines system-wide settings for Movable Type ##

## In total, there are over a hundred options, but only those ##

## critical for everyone are listed below. ##

## ##

## Information on all others can be found at: ##

## http://www.movabletype.org/documentation/appendices/config-directives/ ##

################################################################

##################### REQUIRED SETTINGS ########################

################################################################

# The CGIPath is the URL to your Movable Type directory

CGIPath http://www.example.com/cgi-bin/mt/

# The StaticWebPath is the URL to your mt-static directory

# Note: Check the installation documentation to find out

# whether this is required for your environment. If it is not,

# simply remove it or comment out the line by prepending a “#”.

StaticWebPath http://www.example.com/mt-static

#================ DATABASE SETTINGS ==================

# REMOVE all sections below that refer to databases

# other than the one you will be using.

#======== REQUIRED SETTINGS ==========

CGIPath /mt

StaticWebPath /mt-static/

StaticFilePath /home/tomjoe/www/mt-static

TemplatePath /home/tomjoe/www/mt/tmpl

#======== DATABASE SETTINGS ==========

##### MYSQL #####

ObjectDriver DBI::mysql

Database tomjoe_blog

DBUser tomjoeblog

DBPassword suzietime1

DBHost localhost

DBSocket /tmp/mysql5.sock

#======== MAIL =======================

MailTransfer sendmail

SendMailPath /usr/lib/sendmail

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

8. Update the permissions of all cgi files (14 files) to be executable.

In the “Permission” column, change them from “664” to “775”

Do this for each and every file.

9. Rename the “mt-check.cgi” to “mt-check-unsafe.cgi”

If You don’t do this step, you will receive the following message below on step 14:

“The MT-Check report is disabled when Movable Type has a valid configuration file (mt-config.cgi)”

NOTE: This will allow you a direct access to the URL (mt-check-unsafe.cgi) for 10 minutes.

Once having confirmed the system information in step 14, don’t forget to rename it back to “mt-check.cgi” though it would be disabled automatically after 10 minutes.

10. In your web browser, type the path

http://blog.tomjoe.com/mt/mt-check-unsafe.cgi

The message “Movable Type System Check Successful” will appear at the bottom of the screen if the server has all the necessary libraries/modules for installing Movable Type.

11. Remember to rename “mt-check-unsafe.cgi” back to “mt-check.cgi”

12. In your web browser, login into Movable Type

http://blog.tomjoe.com/mt/

OR

http://blog.tomjoe.com/mt/mt.cgi

13. Create the administrator account. Click “Continue”.

14. Create the first website. Click “Finish”. Movable Type will then initialize the database with all the configuration options and settings specified. In the “Create Your First Blog” enter basic information about your blog, the name, Blog URL which is what people will type in the browser to get to your blog, and the string that will get to your directory of files.

15. Click “Sign into Movable Type”

16. Sign back into Movable Type, if asked

+++++++++++++++++

Important notice: You should monitor the site of the software vendor for any security updates of your installed application.

+++++++++++++++++

THAT’S IT. YOU’RE DONE WITH THE INSTALLATION. SO GO HAVE FUN MAKING YOUR BLOG SITE

+++++++++++++++++

Finding a Blog, Website, and other Online Stuff for Self Publishing

Soooo…
First I went hunting for a host and dug around the internet. There were tons of people with lists of (what people think were) the best Top 10 web hosting companies…and that list changed with every site I went to. So then I decided to search for any site that had issues or problems. I typed “reviews” after each hosting site that I researched.
Then I came across BestHostingRatings and really liked it! I had already reviewed other sites and this one had comments from people that seemed legit. Plus I had already looked at the one I was most interested in, and it had a lot of comments on it.

I chose ICDSoft, and then got my domain at NameCheap since it offered to place their company information in front of my personal information to keep my address and info private in WhoIs. ICDSoft didn’t offer that, but that’s okay. NameCheap calls it the WhoIsGuard. Though I’m sure there are probably other ways for people to get your information, I figure the more deterrents you have, the better. Everything was completed and done on September 12, 2008.

Soooo
I’m learning html and a bit of css while trying to design a website without paying someone else to do it for me. I was going to use a webdesigner for my webiste (Deana Zhollis) but got pointed to some templates. And I found one for like $30.00 and it was fairly easy to play around with at TheTemplateStore. The other thing is that I have a friend who I could borrow software to help me out with all of the design, otherwise the software to configure a website like this template would have cost me over $1,000 to buy them all. But updating the template was lots of hours and hours of fun. No. Really. I enjoyed figuring out GIMP, Dreamweaver (for FREE html software, try out Nvu. I downloaded it and it works great!–but not with this template site. Just with basic html from scratch, or simple templates), Swish and Adobe Fireworks. Lots of fun. But what I didn’t like, and what was NOT fun, was Movable Type!

I wanted to have a blog, even though I barely write online, but I’ve heard time and again, that it would help generate people to your site.
Which is what I want to do for my self-published book.

So on to researching free blog sites, and I came across Movable Type, which some people really loved. What I didn’t know was that those people who love it so much were Web Designers.

I worked hours and days trying to upload that sucker onto my host site, even with the help of my host IT at ICDSoft, who basically told me (after I tried to fix something they had already fixed out of the kindness of their hearts) that I was on my own and to start over. I don’t blame them. The stupid thing was horrible! A nightmare!
And then…HURRAY!…it was working. So then, to play around with it. The fun part, right? Wrong! You basically need to be a Web Designer (which, like I said before, I didn’t know) just to maneuver around in that thing! I can’t do a simply thing like move my columns around, cause I need to know more css than I do!

So I decided to scratch the Movable Type project and find another software where I can have a blog. I looked into WordPress, but before trying to install a “very easy” program as so many have already suggested, I still didn’t see if it would be as easy as it was designing my website with the template I bought from TheTemplateStore.com for $30 bucks.

On to looking at Blogger. Can I put in on my host site? Yes, they say. I can FTP the page. But they didn’t tell you it had to be a STANDARD TEMPLATE! What if I wanted to add some neat things to my blog site, to make it look pretty and different? Nope. Standard. And If I wanted to tweak the darn thing, I would need to know more of HTML than I do. PLUS I can’t delete my account, but I can put in bogus information in it and decide to never sign on to it again. So there’s another Blogger profile out there, no website, but just sitting on a server.

Sigh…

WhatToDo..WhatToDo..WhatToDo..WhatToDo..???

I went back online and did more research and found out that Word Press has things called “themes.” And then found a youtube presentation on how easy it was to implement one. Will it work? Back to downloading…

This time, downloading wasn’t so bad. It claims 5 minutes to do everything, but it still took some doing…about 15-20 minutes for me. If I hadn’t done the Movable Type, I would have never known how to setup my database. Then on to themes. Did some research and found one that I liked, and played around with it. It wouldn’t work with my widgets and columns, so I guess it wasn’t designed right. On to more templates/skins. Found another one. Not as fun as the first one, but it worked. Now to editting it to fit my needs. Very nice! Just like using the Dreamweaver template. Fun. Easy to figure out. A FUN to figure out, which is most important, and now I have to go along with everyone else who simply enjoyes Word Press!

However, I did read that because it’s popular, it’s subjected to lots of spam and hacks and bad people who just want to spoil the fun. So I went on to finding security stuff for it which told me about .htaccess files. Some of them worked, others just got in the way. Again. I’m not that familiar with web design and stuff, so the few things I was able to add and update, I only can hope they’re deterrents.
So, I’ll just cross my fingers and hope for the best on that.

Back to learning more on Word Press

…And having fun! 🙂

My First Blog

Here I am testing out my first blog. I picked out a theme and on I go…

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