The easy way to a nice looking website design By a total non-designer (Me!) Website Refresher Three types of Website 1.Hand rolled HTML. Lightweight static pages. 2.Scripted Website. (PHP, ASP.NET etc.) 3.Content Management System (CMS) e.g. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal (Mensa Website) and many many more. Handrolled Websites • Can be very pretty but take a lot of work and look a bit 90s. http://raymondwalley.com Scripted Websites • A scripted website is where the script (.php, .ASP) is a computer program that runs on the server and outputs HTML etc to the browser. • Any website which is not built on a CMS but which has logins etc is also a Scripted Website. Content Management Systems (CMS) • Data is held in a database. This can include instructions about the appearance as well as functional data. • A CMS is a scripted website. Apart from some written in ASP.NET, the majority of CMS are written in PHP. • Most CMS are Open Source. i.e. Free. Just Some of the PHP CMS! Making a Scripted Site Look Pretty There are thousands of free templates out there. Search for Free CSS templates Free html5 templates Free web templates So You’ve Found a Nice CSS Theme • Let’s assume website hosting is set up. 1. 2. 3. 4. Need to download theme files. Edit files. Upload. Voila! • Example: http://bespokeprogrammers.com Original Template • http://www.solucija.com/template/internet-sharing My Website! Another Example • Client’s Past Life Regression site needed refreshing. • Used this template: “small business” on http://all-free-download.com Original Template Ended Up as Pros and Cons for Scripted Websites Pros Cons • Look’s pretty. • Easy to Change. • 1000s of templates. • Usually need a web developer or to learn PHP. • Can be time Consuming. Using a CMS • Generally not too difficult to master. • Once learnt you can change appearance very quickly. • The popular ones have thousands of themes to alter appearance as well as plugins or extensions to add new functionality. Most Popular CMS • WordPress - most popular CMS for blogs • Drupal (New British Mensa website) • Joomla • We’ll focus on WordPress, I’ll show to use it. WordPress • Not just for blogs but also for full websites. • Takes a minute to install (with some hosts, not manually). Two Versions 1. WordPress.com – hosted service. Free or Premium. 2. WordPress.org – free software, you host. Example 1 – WordPress Blog Site Example 2 – My Blog XamApp.com Not a Free Theme ($39) but beautiful! How to Setup WordPress In this demo, I’ll 1. 2. 3. 4. Install WordPress (1-2 minutes) Upload a few plugins (2-3 minutes) Look for and install a theme (3-4 minutes) Sit back and bask in the glory! (A lifetime!) install WordPress (1-2 minutes) • Start with a “Naked Website”. No Content Logged into CPanel • Install from open source installer WordPress Install Takes 1-2 Minutes After Installing WordPress Dashboard Need to Keep WordPress Upgraded • New versions often with security fixes come out every few weeks. This is for WordPress.org • Wordpress.com is managed so they do it, but much less flexibility unless you pay for service. Customising WordPress • Themes – completely change the look • Plugins – Add extra functionality • Widgets – On screen controls • WordPress comes with two default themes2012 and 2013. Here’s what the site looks like with the 2012 theme. 2012 Theme • Plain with no images. We can do better! WordPress Dashboard lets you search Lots to Look For Or Google for Themes Search for •Free WordPress Themes •Free Charity WordPress Themes Lots of variations in search! A Free Charity Theme - Danko Found this one Two Options • Search from the WordPress Dashboard. It’s a one-click install. But limited choices. • Search Externally – Ie Google. Lots more available externally but quality varies enormously and you may need a techy to upload unless you are happy with FTP. (File Transfer Protocol). Themes • Each comes as a single zip file. • Need to downloaded, unzipped into your PC. • All files copied over to server themes directory • Use FTP client to copy files. Eg Core FTP is a free FTP client from http://CoreFtp.com FTP – How To (Slightly Techy!) 1/3 • (For Windows) Goto http://coreftp.com • Download and install free Core FTP FTP 2/3 - Setup the site details Fill in these four highlighted fields. 1. Site Name 2. URL 3. Username 4. Password Then click the Connect button. FTP 3/3 - Drag the Theme folder • Left is your PC, right is webserver folders. • Use buttons to navigate folders then Drag folder from left to right, wait for files to copy. New Theme now known to WordPress Now activate the theme • But still need to Configure it. Configuring • Adding a Logo • Adding Pages (it depends if it’s a static page site or a series of posts site). • Menus (if the theme supports them) • Tweaking the Theme. • Adding Plugins for functionality • Configuring Widgets After Some Tweaking What are Plugins For? I’ve installed these plugins. All free. • • • • • • • Cache the site for speed. Increase WordPress Security. Build a sitemap and upload to Google/Bing. Display on smartphones (Next Page). Automated Backup. Simplifying Updates. And lots lots more available. Website as seen by Smartphones This is thanks to the WpTouch Plugin Questions?