I’m afraid I’ve failed at my overall mission for Creative Pact, which was to have caitlinrowley.com online today. But on the flipside, it’s been TOTALLY worth it. I’ve had a fantastic time doing it, and achieved a ton of work I wouldn’t have otherwise, and the site’s very nearly ready to go – I’m hoping I can send it live on the weekend sometime, or at least early next week.
Today was spent messing around with PHP – I sorted out the include files for header and menu and so on and go all that working. I’ve also pulled together a basic WordPress template for the blog (which, bizarrely, has already received its first spam comment – how, I don’t know, given that it’s not been linked from anywhere at all) which is starting to look pretty good. I’ve moved some files around so that the detail pages are in a subfolder to keep the upper levels clean and I think I’ve pretty much decided – at least for now – to use variables in each page which indicate which section should be open in the left nav. I’ve also – I think – worked out how to include the latest blog post in the homepage automatically, although I haven’t yet had time to test it out, but it seems pretty clear how to do it, which it wasn’t before. I found a useful page on creating custom RSS feeds using custom page templates, which made me realise that I actually don’t (probably) need anything that complex, that I should be able to achieve it with a custom page template which consists solely of picking up the latest post ID, and that blog post’s basic code, then reference that as an include file directly from the homepage.
So I’m feeling pretty good about what I’ve got through today, and it’s really starting to come together, and feel like going live very soon is a real possibility, which it wasn’t feeling like two days ago, but there’s still quite a lot of work to be done: Fixing up links between pages to make sure they go where they’re supposed to, testing the whole template in various browsers and implementing fixes as needed for IE6 and other contrary beasts, which will probably take a while of course, getting the twitter feed on the homepage sorted (or possibly I might just hide that until I get it working properly – there seems to be an issue with the script I found and my PHP isn’t quite good enough to work out what’s wrong with it), copying across all the various assets for the composition pages – flash files and cover images and PDF downloads and so on, which I haven’t done yet because there didn’t seem to be much point when I was working on the iPad… And I’m bound to think of other things too. It’s enough to keep me off the streets a little while longer, but I’m still confident it’ll go up very soon.
But SO glad I took the plunge and actually did Creative Pact, in spite of my misgivings. It’s been a difficult month for me personally, but it’s been fantastic having a clear goal to work towards and knowing that if I did just a tiny bit each day then that’s at least a small win for that day. And I’ve met a bunch of really awesome people online through it too, doing some fabulously interesting work so YAY! Bring on next year’s!