MY EXPERIENCE WITH WORDPRESS
Strengthened by my past experience as web designer I have always created my websites by myself. I was specialized in the creation of Flash websites and despite the detractors of this software I have never felt the need to change. Flash gives you total creative freedom and graphic effects that HTML cannot afford.
With the spread of smart phones and tablets, but mainly because of the choice made by manufacturers – Apple in the lead – not to implement SWF readers on their phones and tablets (without mentioning how many people have lost their job because of this choice!), I had to consider a change of platform in order to make my website accessible also from these new technological gadgets.
It also became an opportunity to merge my websites: jerrytattoo.com, dedicated to my profession as a tattoo artist and jerrymagni.com, dedicated to my work as an illustrator and comic artist.
The redesign of the website began almost three years ago, in my spare time. Over this period of time it has changed appearance more than once, until I felt the urgency to finish the project deciding to dedicate more time to it. The result is here in front of you and I’m very satisfied. I hope you will find the new website interesting and easy to navigate.
After trying almost all available CSM I decided to use WordPress, which I find to be the easiest one compared to all the others out there, and I think that the experience is worth sharing, if only to avoid you the “headaches” it caused me if you are thinking of creating a website based on this CSM.
Wordpress, like other CSM, allows you to update web pages, galleries and add new posts without the need for an external HTML editor making it particularly convenient, especially if you have the need to constantly update your website.
It is certainly easy to use, if you want to build a simple unpretentious website, but from a graphic point of view its framework is very strict. Online there are pre-packaged themes that offer good opportunities for customizing your website, but apart from the search to find the most suitable design there remains the doubt of whether this or that theme will really be able to do what it says without having to learn CSS writing.
The hours lost searching for the right theme cannot be numbered, as well as the money wasted on themes or plug-ins that were not able to offer what they promised (nobody will give you a refund).
Online there are tons of free and paid plug-ins and themes, but finding the right one, one that does not conflict with the theme or other plug-ins, is another one of those time-consuming and annoying searches.
When everything you need is finally there, the last word has not yet been said.
Plug-ins and themes often lack documentation, everything is devolved upon the support forums who make you waste entire nights looking for the topic you need, even to simply find out that the line between a graphic element and another cannot be moved. Also hoping not to run into some schizophrenic programmer who instead of solving the problem creates ten more.
If this were not enough, every time a plug-in, a theme, or wordpress is updated you may lose some changes to the site and saving changes or doing a back-up is not always enough.
The customization of the website often involves changing CSS sheets, php pages, images and so on, that are scattered inside folders in an almost schizophrenic manner.
Wordpress (and possibly other MSM) seems to be a system invented by a “caste” of programmers who want to defend their status preventing or making it very difficult for others.
The freedom of expression of Flash seems a distant memory. If you want a structured website with a number of advanced features you have to arm yourself with patience and be prepared to spend many days and nights in front of the screen, or you can turn to a professional expert, but be careful, when I was close to giving up I turned to individuals that have proved to be anything but professional.
Unfortunately the world of web design is full of charlatans just like any other industry!
I relied on my persistence, I learned something new and I was able to create the website all by myself.
Personal pride aside, I think it is well constructed.
I wasn’t sure of the results I could obtain with the English version, but luckily,
my other half’s mothertongue is English and she kindly offered to take on the longer and more complex translations and correct my mystakes in the shorter ones,
saving me many hours of work and a few bad impressions 😀
So if you are viewing the English version of the website and think it’s well made, it’s also thanks to her 😉
Now all I need to worry about is updating it … and I can finally go back to drawing 🙂