I code websites for a living. So it’s not a surprise that I hear the question from a lot of people, “So I’m thinking about redesigning my website, what do you think of . . . ?” How people finish that question ranges from color preferences to the benefits of certain technical features. On occasion I offer my advise or my opinion if it’s something I feel strongly about, but the majority of the time my answer is, “I don’t know, have you looked at your analytics?”
It’s no secret that WordPress is being adapted to go well beyond its traditional blog functionality. In my free time I’ve been doing a lot with WP and in most cases it becomes a content management system. But for a site that isn’t a blog it’s kind of like fitting a square peg in a round hole. Pages aren’t quite pages, posts turn into special pages, tags and categories are adapted for organizing and showing data, widgets are modified to make universal yet flexible pieces on the site, and the whole thing you have to kind of “get used to”. Plugins help expand the functionality and I’ve recently started playing around with Flutter, which is proving itself to be very a powerful step in using WordPress as a content management system.
*This post has been updated to support the latest version of nikeplusphp (2.0.1). Sorry it was out of date for so long
Nike+ is a system designed by Nike to work with Apple iPod nano, touch, and iPhone 3GS to keep track of your running and a lot more. I’ve been using it for almost two years now and love it. It’s a device that attaches on my iPod nano and gets data from a chip that’s inside my Nike shoes and keeps track of my pace, distance, etc. I can then sync my running data to nikeplus.com where it graphs and keeps track of my running history. The site is ok, it does have its weaknesses. The site is done completely in Flash. Which can be frustrating for a number of reasons.
Two things you need to have to start your own website is a domain name and hosting. A name and a place to put it. Buying a domain name is pretty straightforward. Some companies offer different services, but pretty much all of the ones I’ve had experience with do and cost more or less the same thing. I personally like having my domain and hosting accounts through the same people, as it is easier to keep track of and handle, but that’s not even a necessity.
So you know you need a website, or perhaps you already have a website but it’s being hosted by some free limited service. They had a catchy ad that said you could create an amazing website with anything you wanted, without any experience necessary. The more you use them however, the more you find out just how limited and frustrating they are. There are a lot of benefits of creating a site yourself or having a website custom created for you. Two of the biggest benefits that I always talk to people about are how important it is for a custom experience and the fact that you own and control all of your own content. Read the rest of this entry »