Michael Dutson Landscape Photography

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Aaaarrggh!! Web Development

Following on from the previous post about the new website, my friend and neighbour Andrew very kindly registered the web domain and sorted the hosting for me. He is an IT consultant and is very clued up on the costs and value for money with regard to this so I was in a safe pair of hands. As I have noted previously, I have built websites since 1998 but only in a personal capacity and I have never got deeply involved in WordPress and CSS and Json.

Way back in ’98 it was just a case of simple HTML control codes to make everything display on a 1024 x 768 screen, but as of today the website has to be responsive to desktop PC’s with variable screen sizes, tablets, again with variable screen size and phones which don’t seem to have a standard size display on them either. WordPress seemed to fit the bill as it offered all the required flexibility, and had an enormous amount of plugins to ease the setting up of ‘stuff’.
Initially, I contacted several people on Fiverr, the Freelancer job-pitching site, and found that nobody really seemed to be bothered to want to do a website for me. A few people responded but then went very quiet – it appears that client service is not something to be bothered with on Fiverr. Eventually, I thought, “Bugger it! I’ll do it myself”.. and so I did.

After a shaky start trying to use the built-in WordPress block editor known as Gutenberg, I ended up downloading the Elementor plugin as this works as a WYSIWYG type interface. There is a free version of Elementor or a Pro version. The free version has many features that are locked, so I shared the cost of the 3 licence Premium version with two others and it worked out at just over twenty quid each. The whole process was made much simpler by being able to just drag and drop the various blocks and widgets which form the web pages. After a frustrating start, I quickly started to understand Elementor and had within a weekend built the website – I then built another for a pal of mine who wasn’t up to speed with what was required.

So, the website is up and running, and with a blog post system too – I’m noticing things that require tweaking such as typefaces, font colours and so on, but overall I’m really happy with the look. I didn’t use any preformed themes or templates and just did everything from basic blank pages. I suspect it will be a Work in Progress project over the next few months.

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