Nikki's Notebook

My journey as a fiction writer and a place for my projects, writing and otherwise.

Posts Tagged ‘wordpress

Working on a new site and garden week 5.

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I am working on transitioning this blog to a self-hosted domain and making it part of a larger website. The other day I learned how to export this blog here as an xml file and upload it to the new site. But I’m not quite ready to start posting from the new site. I’m chipping away at it in bits and pieces.

I’ve had a few obstacles. One of them has been learning how WordPress works when you’re using it to make a website. I will get stuck on one thing that I want to do and then get super frustrated when I can’t figure out how to do it right away. In these situations, when I get over the frustration that makes me want to cry and throw things, I have to laugh at myself. How many times, as a tutor of school-age children, have I lamented that they get frustrated when everything doesn’t come easily to them? I try to explain to them that it takes mistakes to learn, that you have to let yourself be bad at something so you can practice and get good, and that they just need to keep trying. All the while, I’ve gotten caught in the same trap. If something doesn’t come easily right away, I let myself get distracted, procrastinate, and go do something else. My biggest weakness? I don’t like asking for help.

Here are last week’s shots of the garden. It’s gotten even greener by now.

Baby lettuce! I need to thin these, and then eat the thinnings 🙂
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Snap peas have started to climb the trellis.

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Zucchini plants getting bigger, and the whole garden getting greener.

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Jalapeños! Sadly, they weren’t spicy. Apparently too much water can do that to them. We had the same problem last year.

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Another overall garden shot from the other side.

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Written by nikkinbird

July 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Learning to Use WordPress to Design a New Website

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Untitled Check out this old computer! Chris’s boss was going to recycle it. It’s an Apple SE. He had it apart this morning and showed me the inside of it. The designers all engraved their signatures on one and then had a limited number of the cases made with the engraved signatures reproduced. This was one of them. So it has Steve Jobs’ signature engraved inside it, along with at least a dozen other people. So cool!

I’m currently in the process of building my own website for this blog to move to. I will have my own hosted space with my own domain name. Fun! It will be more than just a blog, but for now I’m just learning the ropes. Things have changed a lot since I made my fist website with Netscape Composer and hosted it on Geocities. That was when I was in seventh or eighth grade. Back then, people did a lot of different things with personal websites. One of them was creating “adoptable pets” for other people to have on their websites. Basically you “adopted” a picture of a pet and put it on your site.

I created my own adoptable dragons. They started out as images of eggs that I sent to the person. When their egg “hatched,” I sent a picture of a baby dragon. Then there was a young dragon, and an adult. All of these I made by drawing the dragon pictures, outlining them heavily in pen, then scanning them, touching them up in an editing program, and filling in the line drawings with different colors. It was fun.

Yes, times were different then. Now, I’m learning a new set of tools, and updating my knowledge of HTML (and CSS). I’m using to build my website. is different from (where this blog is currently hosted) in that you download the software and install it on your own server to use as a back end for your website. It still has themes, but you can edit the themes and customize more.

Last night, I was trying to play around with it and got discouraged. There is a LOT you can do with WordPress, which also means that there is a LOT to learn. I have to keep telling myself what I tell the students I work with: If it’s not hard, then you’re not learning anything. You don’t learn from doing things that already come easily to you. You learn when you are challenged. Yes, some things will come more easily than others, but the harder it is, the more you will learn if you stick with it through the mistakes and the pitfalls.

One of the goals I had for today was to change the colors of my theme. I know that I wanted some kind of warm but earthy color scheme. The trouble is, I always get afraid of getting sick of it. Then, I found myself getting stuck going back and forth trying different colors that didn’t quite work, refreshing the page, trying a new color. It was tedious. Well, thanks to Google, I found this: Color Scheme Designer. You can choose different types of color schemes and drag them around the color wheel to get a preview of how colors will look together. Way easier than my trial-and-error combinations! And pretty. I’m pretty sure someone showed me this once in relation to yarn and knitting.

I can tell I’m going to be slightly obsessed with this for awhile while I learn. But, I’m off to a wedding tonight, so I guess I have to take a break.

Written by nikkinbird

May 6, 2012 at 5:45 pm

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