Back In The Sandbox

October 6, 2008

In April I wrote a post called Having Fun In The Web Design Sandbox. I was getting brave messing around with HTML code, aiming personalized URLs to blogs I had on other sites, and getting a little more control of my site. This week I’ve been getting dirty all over again!

It all started because the end of the month came mid-week, and when I was going over the budget – yes, it’s boring sometimes, but it’s also really important – I noticed I was about to pay my annual hosting fee again for my site. I hadn’t done much with it besides changing the template and making a few tweaks to the text since I learned how to play around with it back in April.

I wanted to redo it completely and take down the “Contact Me” form. Those forms were probably a good idea in the past, but the internet vultures have found a way to use mine to send me several messages a day that are either garbled nonsense or the worst version of SPAM I’ve ever seen. I wanted that form gone. I wanted to have full access to the control panel. I wanted the ability to screw it up in any way I possibly could!

So I transferred the hosting from my web guy, to whom I am very grateful for getting me going on training wheels, to the hosting company where I have my two blog-zines. If I were on top of things, I would be an affiliate of the company and I would have just put an affiliate link in this post. Boy, I can see how I should “Always Be Selling,” but I can’t quite make it happen.

I was wiped out with a virus Thursday and Friday, and I had just enough energy to go to my younger son’s soccer games on Saturday before I had to stop and rest. Sunday was my older son’s game, so by the time I was feeling nearly well on Sunday evening I was way behind on first of the month tasks for my small business.

Of course that was the perfect time to focus on playing in the web sandbox. I purchased the hosting and messed around with redirecting my e-mail. I had to stay up late to get it to work, but I finally managed to have the e-mail routed through the new hosting company. Good thing, since that’s my business e-mail address. The site was a different story.

I had to place a call today to the hosting company to have an error message removed every time I tried to access my site. The customer service rep helped me out and made sure I had access to install files for my new site. I looked at a lot of templates and then decided to install WordPress. I spent way too much time choosing a theme and then customizing parts of it. I’m nowhere close to done yet, and I may change it completely, but I’m feeling connected to my site again.

I also managed to take a lot of steps reformatting Chasing Wisdom, but the changes won’t show up for a while. I’ll be rearranging the articles to make the site easier to navigate, and then I’ll start publishing more issues of that blog-zine.

There were times when I was looking at templates or WordPress themes and thinking I was wasting time, maybe even goofing off. But then I remembered I’ve been wanting to make significant changes to both of these sites for months. It takes time because my approach to choosing a design layout is “I’ll know which one I want when I see it.”

I still take a lot of time making changes to the layout of a theme once it’s installed because I have to experiment with different things on the stylesheet to see if what I’m doing is making the right changes on the page. I haven’t mastered these skills; I’m still struggling to learn them.

Fortunately, struggling to learn them is a lot of fun.

May You Know the Joy of Sharing Your Gifts,

Steve Coxsey


One Response to “Back In The Sandbox”

  1. Creativity Cross-Training In the HTML Sandbox : Twisting Road Travel Log on April 12th, 2009 2:05 pm

    […] changing a web template to format my pages. It might actually make sense. I’ve written about the HTML sandbox a couple of times. It’s a fun diversion that uses a different part of my brain. It’s a break […]

Got something to say?