After setting up MAMP and WAMP, following the steps explained on this page – http://trevsfiles.com/principles1/building-a-site-with-wordpress/ ,We were able to begin building our site. We made various changes, and we decided to create a Google Doc in order to log every change we made in the process of creating the website including theme changes as well as formatting decisions which were made. Instead of including all of our changes here, we have included a link to a PDF document below – which logs all of our changes.
On this page, we decided to write about the main changes we made to our theme as the project progressed. When choosing our theme, we always thought about user experience, navigation, percievability, learnability, and visual hierarchy. Below are the themes we have used throughout the project, what we liked and didn’t like about them, as well as the reasons we didn’t use some of the themes.
So initially when beginning to create our site, with decided to go with the Ignis theme (image above). We really liked the layout of the homepage, and the amount of images we could include on the site so that it wasn’t too text heavy. We also really liked the hero image, whereby we could write a large tagline (e.g- Our guide to “Web Design”), and the words in the quotation marks would change and make it look like somebody was typing the words in when the website was live. We thought that was really fun and cool. However, the issue with this site, was that although at the beginning we loved the images on there, we realised that our site and it’s purpose will not use many images, so when writing lots on the site, it just did not look great. It was also very hard to edit and make it our own.
After deciding we were going to change the theme from Ignis, we stumbled upon Almia, which became our next theme choice. We were looking for something with nice transitions such as Parallax scrolling and something that would be suitable for writing more than something which was more image heavy. We liked the clean and modern feel with this website, and the fact that it did accomodate for a couple of images – but did not rely on images as the first site did. We liked the central navigation on the top of the website and the fact that the user would be able to find it quickly and easily. The homepage also had a really nice layout with some banners going across the whole width of the page, and others splitting information into two parts. There were also many nice transitions with images and text coming in from different directions. However, the main issue with this site was that it was very hard to edit. We found it incredibly tough to use the website and to edit it – especially because we had never used WordPress before. When trying to edit the certain aspects such as image placement, we found that we were unable to because it was written in the CSS and could not be altered – as it was part of the theme itself. We knew that we needed something which we could edit more easily.
After trying out two WordPress themes, we found this Parallax theme. We really liked this theme as it was a long homepage, which can be easily navigated through scrolling. There were also buttons on the homepage, which acted as “calls to action”, and would make navigation to other pages very easy for the user. As we wanted a website which was user friendly – this was good. We also liked the large hero image at the top of the page. This was the large image on the homepage, so we thought it would be good to include an image here related to web design or technology – to relate to the website itself and to make the homepage more interesting. We also really liked the navigation in the top right hand corner, and the fact we could add sub-pages within each of the main menu options to group various pages together under one main menu heading. We also really liked the parallax scrolling on the homepage too. Although this website was also hard to edit – we really liked it more than the other themes discussed previously, so decided to persevere with it, and watch tutorials, look at forums, and try to figure out how we could get into the code and change aspects which were part of the theme. We did manage to do this eventually – which was great! We decided to go for this theme essentially because it was very user friendly with the many calls to action on the homepage, features such as parallax scrolling which made the website more fun and interesting, as well as the ability to have one main hero image and tagline at the top of the site – to give the user an idea about what the website is about straight away.