Archive | September 2012

WordPress Templates

I am currently working on a website for SoutherMoon Crossfit, a new gym that just opened in Greenville, SC. When Dave and Hudson, the owners and trainers, came to us with the idea for a new website, they wanted something that would allow them to easily post the daily workouts and videos on their site. We immediately opted for a WordPress site, since that would give them the ease of use and functionality they desired. After selecting their favorite theme, I began the task of building the site and changing the color scheme to fit with their company colors and branding.

The problem started when I could not seem to edit certain colors on the site, such as the link buttons that were generated for blog excerpts. I spent several, upwards of 20, hours trying to figure out why I could not make the changes. I finally diagnosed that somewhere in the template files, there was some style coding that was overriding any new coding I tried to add, but unfortunately, I could not locate the mal-code. I spent hours scouring the main style sheet for the solution. Just this past Friday, I found the answer to my problem.

In the WordPress dashboard, under the appearance tab, there is the “editor” option that allows the user to enter the template files and edit them or add improvements. But for some reason, there was a style sheet for this theme that was not included in the WordPress¬†editor along with the main sheet. Instead, I looked into the database folders that are located on the main servers where the site is currently being stored. There I found a style sheet name “color scheme”, the key to solving all the issues. After finding that file, it only took me about 15 minutes to make all the changes necessary. The hard lesson learned here is that sometimes the WordPress dashboard, for some reason or another, doesn’t always include every file in the editor that is linked to the design of the site. Certain templates will require users to directly edit the files on the database.

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Hosting with GoDaddy

For the last 6 weeks, I have been working on a new website for a client, nothing special in particular just a basic 8 page website with a good look, easy to navigate, and basic functionality. The problem arose when we completed the website and attempted to move the new files to the client’s current hosting location. Unfortunately, it took me about two weeks to track down the necessary information regarding the hosting location. What I came to find out is that the average website owner doesn’t have the first idea about his hosting information, much less what “hosting” means.

After finally obtaining the information I needed, the client still had to purchase separate hosting space because his current host was set up solely for a WordPress site, which is incompatible with the new site. Purchasing GoDaddy hosting was a very smooth, use-friendly process that I would highly recommend to anyone in need of hosting services. The user inter phase allows each customer to set up each domain needed to be hosted and configure the domain with the appropriate IP address. Once the DNS zone records have been updated, the user can easily upload web files via the GoDaddy FTP File Manager. The only issue to be aware of is the Domain Propagation time. This term refers to the time it takes the server and the internet to switch over to the new hosting location. Fortunately this only took 2 hours for our client’s website, but it is not uncommon for this propagation period to take up to 48 hours for large-scale website and web applications.

PHP, MySQL, and WordPress

As the demand for content control rises, our company has recently started moving into the WordPress/CMS field for websites, in order to give our clients the ability to edit their own content and post new material. Working strictly out of the native languages, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, I faced several new challenges in setting up a WordPress theme for a client, particularly with the server-side installation. Normally I do not need to access server data, except when backing up website files. After researching the necessary steps and receiving help from Robert, a senior level software engineer, I was able to successfully create a new MySQL database and upload the new themes.

Initially, I had to gain access to PhpMyAdmin which required the login credentials for the server and for the PHP super user. Fortunately Robert had both sets of login credentials, and the server was already equipped with PHP 5.0, the necessary extensions, and SQL database software. After logging in and creating the new database for the website, it was extremely easy to follow the WordPress codex,, to complete the installation process.

My real issues arose from not knowing what was already installed on our servers, and not knowing the login credentials for any of the administrator privileges. My advice to anyone in the same situation is to contact your upper level management or senior staff because they will have the experience and access privileges you need to make progress on the new project.

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