The keynote article on the re-opening of VHBelvadi.com v2.0 in association with StudioPress. Now based on Genesis, the improved website has functionality rarely ever seen before, from subtle tweaks to open additions coded to craft a website readers would love to engage themselves with, contributors would dream of writing for!
[I]t has been quite some time since somebody decided quite openly to try something new and reverted back when they realised there is little they like in it once they did try it. This is a rare case of the grass turning dry as soon as you cross the fence, and over the past few weeks, it happened to me.
I had a few ideas in mind, some unique, some necessarily orthodox and when I began playing with the codes for this website, I realised how much typicality–centred towards me, of course–existed in my style when, slowly, but surely, I found myself re-editing most lines I had already written to come back to my default designs: I have probably even been associated entirely with this pattern, but it was almost amusing when I realised how much this was true.
The inspiration to write
I had a brief conversation a couple of days ago with my good friend, Raghul, when I was contemplating what to write for this opening post. I put before him the idea of writing a series of posts outlining blogging. While I originally intended it to be the ultimate guide–as far as I was concerned–to building one’s blog and watching it thrive, his open lack of enthusiasm made me look in other directions
Now, I do not blame him. Perhaps he was busy with other things and I could hardly demand his attention, but then, perhaps, I also have something to thank in this when, as I was savagely barging into WordPress’ website, I came across a terribly inspiring phrase that set me thinking.
I reflected on it: having just put down my tools of masonry, almost fully structuring and coding this website (it had begun its affiliation with StudioPress) it seemed to me that this little phrase on the bottom of the website was all I needed to get an endless train of thought and an insight into my first article on this site. (I fondly call it VHBelvadi.com v2.0)
Some of you may be familiar with this phrase I am talking about. The line simply ran, “Code is Poetry.” It was a powerful statement and could clearly mean a lot to anybody who just wrote a website. And there I had it: my keynote article.
In this article I intend to bring you closer to the new website. Most of you have been with me for quite some time now, others I hope will join in, so I dedicate this first article for my readers. Over the next few minutes you will read about the small, almost subtle but not uncountable, changes I have made; many interesting lines of code I have added (I will not bore you by stating the code, rather by showing you what it does!) and lastly, show you my improved database which will allow you to contribute to this website with unimaginable ease. To take a peek at it before we dive in, I will tell you this much: you will have your own desk on this website, a homely WordPress-styled author area crafted just for you, where you can write your great stuff and get published here.
But let us go systematically. Below I have outlined, briefly, most of the major changes I have made. Frankly, over the past weeks I made so many additions and deletions that I have begun to realise the need for a hardcopy, perhaps even an advanced Dewey Decimal? Alright, I am joking; but the point is, some fun changes may have skipped my mind, so let us just treat them as pleasant surprises when you stumble upon them as you explore this site.
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The ability to add columns in articles is one of the best in-text abilities I created myself. The joy of designing my own article-writing window based on WordPress’ time tested layout was great fun. However, this is not the only feature around these parts. There is also the ability to add a number of typographical florishes such as the quote you just saw, a drop-cap feature I am working on, a lot of Genesis powered quick edits and the usual indentation, code and html clean up and the rest.[/wpcol_1half]
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Perhaps the most important part of owning a Content Management System is content organisation. If you roll over the navigation menu I have put up after the header (another aspect of design I was particular about; I think navigation atop the header is old school and not attractive enough) you will find turn after turn of well organised, cooperative categories and genres. While–almost like I spoke too soon–none of the 150 or so posts have been categorised yet, you will get an idea.[/wpcol_1half_end]
Above the fold is a raging term in web design circles. It refers to that part of a webpage you can see without scrolling. Research shows that anything above the fold is sure to catch the reader’s eye–and engage them. This could be a little titbit from me that you could put to use on your own sites soon. But let me elaborate on this:
Above the fold of my website, you see the usual branding, navigation, search box (so you do not have to walk around!) a carousel that states Featured in letters bold enough to make you scroll down and take look, but most importantly, several social networking links for you to connect with me. While most of my readers have already done that by now, this is targeted at new visitors whom I intend to turn into subscribers.
Subscribers to this site get a great photographic tour of a place in the tropics, so if you have not subscribed yet, be sure to do so. This time round, I am giving it away for a limited period right from my site.