I went a little crazy and built 4 sites... (11 posts)

  1. redhousepainter
    Posted 7 years ago #

    So I went a little WordPress crazy and built 4 sites in the past few months. Like them or not I think that for a novice they are decent sites.

    I'm going to list them all here rather than clutter this board. All feedback is welcome - but especially critical feedback. Does something not look right? Did I miss something? Do they look like crap on your browser? I'd love to hear about it!

    More than anything, I'd just like to thank everyone on this forum that ever took the time to help me out!


    Art Gallery site with over 150 artists and about 2000 images so far. I use a custom Zenphoto theme for the gallery and Mimbo for the site. It's plug-in heavy and has useful but common features such as a rotating logo and banner and NextGen sidebar thumbs.


    I already posted this on the forum so won't get into it here. It's an animal photo site that I built for a friend but now run together. It also uses Zenphoto in the Gallery

    Anonymous Pond

    Very basic political image site. After spending a lot of time on the two sites above I felt like I needed a place to post images that I came across - without any commentary or words. Each image is intended to spark a debate. Some have. Most haven't. All of the navigation is done through tags.

    I'm moving toward simplicity and ease in web sites and was very attracted to the Barecity theme which I used for this site.

    Sophistry & Illusion

    This is a philosophy blog. I built it for my wife to use as a resource for her students. We maintain it together. Again, I use Zenphoto in the video gallery and a heavily customized Firebug theme for the rest. This site was my first attempt at going deeper with typography and CSS.

    Like I said, I was a total beginner going into making these sites. I know that some of you think that a site is never truly your own accomplishment unless you build the theme. I'd like to try that for my next project but for now I'm happy with the customizations and changes I made for these sites.

    I'll reply to any comments made but I'm only going to add to this thread once and that's when I add my Fluxbb forum to each of the sites in a couple of weeks.


  2. Dgold
    Posted 7 years ago #

    It would be nice to get "Recent Comments" and "Most Commented" in the sidebar of Anonymous Pond. The tags alone aren't enough. Also stop tagging the word "Images" or hide this tag from the tag cloud, it seems like a silly word to have the largest. Obviously they're mostly images.

    On Critter.... Change the text where it says "No Comments". I think you can hack this wording in your comments.php. Change it to something inviting like "Click here to comment about this pic!"

    On Sophistry... not a big fan of that Charities box... looks flashy next to the muted colors of the rest of the blog. If you need advertising, I'd understand, but if it's just charitable --- ask whether THEIR message is as important as your text. Because their colors are presently distracting the reader's eye AWAY from the text.

    Hope this feedback is helpful! Nice post, nice work with 4. Are you ok with the work needed to upgrade 4 blogs every time there's a new WP version? Personally I am a fan of Stephen's Virtual Multi-Blog technique, where you can run 4 WP's from 1 install. Then you just upgrade that 1 install, and BINGO: all your blogs are upgraded.

  3. redhousepainter
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Thanks for the advice Dgold. Great suggestions that I hadn't thought of before. I already removed the image tag from Anonymous Pond and I'll look at changing the 'No Comments' text on all of my sites.

    Updating 4 sites is pretty easy going unless something goes wrong. I'll check out the virtual technique but I have to say, I'm a fan of having separate installations and databases for everything. I suppose at my level it gives me a little comfort to know that if something goes wrong it's usually just with one component.

    Thanks again,


  4. Joni
    Posted 7 years ago #

    redhousepainter, you really went crazy, huh? You have a nice start of a web design portfolio there. Each is different and shows off your design skills. Each design seems to fit the subject of the site. I like that the political "photo blog" has a minimalist design so that it takes a back seat to the content. I agree about the "image" tag. Simply remove it as a tag since, as Dgold pointed out, it's restating the obvious.

    As for the critters site, I am wondering why you aren't using the NextGen Gallery plugin for your albums. It's very powerful. I too used to use Zen Photo as a companion to my WP sites, but once I found NGG, I never looked back, plus it's just easier to maintain your site when everything is at your fingertips. :)

    Here's a link to the plugin if you want to check it out:

  5. redhousepainter
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Thanks for the kind words Joni! You've helped me in the past and it's always much appreciated!

    I removed the image tag and will take a further look at NextGen today. I truly love Zenphoto and the devs have really helped me out on their forum. I suppose that in the beginning I went with what seemed like the best option I could find at the time - and then used it for each site. I'm always open to change.

    For the past few months I have had a tonne for free time. I'm applying for US citizenship (I'm a Canadian who married an American) and I haven't been allowed to work here yet. WordPress kept me sane!

    I feel like I have gotten a handle on the basic concepts of web design and want to take it further. I know my sites are amatuerish but soon I'll venture into a greater understanding of functionality, design, concept etc.

    Plans for the near future include...

    - finding out why none of the images on Phauxshow are Google indexed and why they bring back 404 errors in Webmasters.

    - adding a forum to the sites.

    - validating all four sites.

    Thanks again for your advice!

  6. Joni
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Check out the WP Forum plugin
    for a small, light traffic forum. The login is shared with the main WP site so there's no annoyance of having to register for the WP site and for the forum separately. And of course, there's always BBPress. If you opt for that, be sure to grab the WP BBPress plugin
    which also bridges the forum with the blog, even to the point where a blog post automatically becomes a forum topic, open for discussion on the BB Press forum.

    Good luck with it, and yes, I remember you. Good luck with the citizenship... :)

  7. redhousepainter
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Thanks Joni!

    Forums make my head spin. I've been looking at Fluxbb but may try bbPress again.

  8. FinkAboutIt.com
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Man, you must be WordPress addicted. Congrats!
    My favourite one is Sophistry & Illusion

  9. cozydunt
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Sophistry & Illusion love that one!!

  10. redhousepainter
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Thanks! I wonder why you like Sophistry & Illusion though? It's the newest of the sites and very basic. We need to add a lot more content. There are some good videos on it at the moment.

  11. redhousepainter
    Posted 7 years ago #

    Well, I'm not sure what the etiquette is here - start a new thread or make you read through this long one just to get to the update but...

    I've significantly changed my site Phauxshow. Just went live with the changes tonight. Still working out some bugs, wondered what you think.

    I also put together two more sites since I last updated this thread. There kinking around this forum somewhere. I think I'm going to stop for a while though, to focus on building the content on each of these.

    Here's the gallery site again...


Topic Closed

This topic has been closed to new replies.

About this Topic


No tags yet.