This is part 3 of Journey to Raijori.com
We are not done yet. For some reason color was the hardest thing to choose. I have three favorite colors: black, red and blue. For a long time I had blue color as my main color. But I didn’t felt that it was the right color. I knew that I don’t want my website to be too dark or too bright. Through adobe color wheel I explored different color schemes. These color schemes I took from photos I liked on pinterest and from my own photos. I read a little bit about color psychology too, I got some insights, but otherwise it wasn’t helpful. For a short period I thought that silver color would be nice. I even found a tree with silvery green leaves, while I was on my meditative walk. But that color scheme wasn’t the right one also. Even when Raijori.com was practically finished I had no idea about colors I wanted. So one day I looked through more then 100 personal development websites (again) and websites that published stories. From all these websites I liked maybe one or two. I looked at both, design and colors. One thing I gained from this was, that even personal development sites can be in any color. Oh, and not one website had red color as a main color. At first I was strictly against red, because I thought it would be too aggressive. As time went on I loosened up a little bit and decided to have red color as an accent, little bit here or there. But seeing these different colors I shifted to the red as a main color. And even then it took time to find the right tone of it. I also looked at other websites that used red as their main color. Finally I found geode that had color scheme I liked. I also used colors from another color scheme that I had found previously, because something was missing from both of them, but together they created a whole.
So I began experimenting with these color schemes. An eye opener was seeing how the same color can look differently in different amounts. For example, one red looked awful when I used it for blog containers (big shapes), but that same color looks great as a border (small shapes). Same thing with blue colors. And it’s even possible to slightly change the original color (push it lighter or darker) while keeping harmony. Through experimenting I ended up with this color scheme for my website. Something between red and blue. Even now I’m not 100% that these are the right colors, but they are growing on me.
When I was happy how website looked on desktop, I thought I was done. And then I looked at mobile view. Whoops, it looked awful. And I already knew that mobile view is actually very important. So I revisited codeacademy.com and learned basics about responsive design to understand what I must do. Big help was generatepress support forum also. Of course there were times I thought that it’s easier to throw my laptop at the wall, but overall it wasn’t that hard. As I said I really liked the mobile menu StevePavlina.com has, but I had no idea how to make it. So I was perfectly fine with having a normal hamburger menu. But one day, while messing around with codes I accidentally created that menu. I actually began to laugh at that moment and of course I kept it. Then there was a question about transition between mobile header and desktop server. Probably it’s not even that important, but I had to get it right. It really gave me some headache. And again, accidentally I managed to get it how I wanted it, and that’s why whole header looks like a ripoff of StevePavlina.com. I’m sorry about that. Then there was little font size tweaking left and various other little things that piled up. According to some people mobile view looks good, and it looks fine on my phone too. I can still see multiple little things that could use some tweaking, but I’ll leave them for later.
Contact and mailing list
For contact form I took Steve Pavlina’s suggestion about ninja forms. They looked nice and professional and I might have slight obsession with ninjas too. Their plugin is really easy to use and it wasn’t hard to customize their basic form to my needs. Few codes shaped that form to my liking.
Early on I learned about mailing lists. How important they are, how many beginners make a mistake by not creating it. I thought, I will be a cool beginner and I will create a mailing list. From offered services I had few choices, so I took a chance with Mailchimp. They seemed professional enough and had nice option for free users. Because remember, I took everything I could for free. I think this is actually a hidden guide how to create a website on a budget. After registering I put on a two- factor authentication, because you can never be too safe. I tried it a little bit, managed to put an embed form on my website and forgot about it. When I decided to go back, I couldn’t get my two-factor authentication to work. Well, shit. I didn’t want to bother with it so I looked for alternatives. Found some, chose one. I will not point fingers, but that company I chose should re-think their criteria for accepting people in their midst. There was dilemma, I didn’t want to launch my website without mailing list and they wouldn’t accept me without a website without content. Which I suppose means a website in a full swing. I think that’s just dumb.
So I went back to Mailchimp, because they don’t have weird criteria like that. I talked to their support, they appeared nice and after some questions to prove that I’m me, they removed that two-factor authentication and I was back in.
Now I explored fully what I could do there. Biggest thing was to figure out what I would offer to those who will subscribe to my mailing list. I have nothing to offer yet and cheap pdf…well, felt cheap. So I decided to exercise your imagination. How? You may ask. Subscribe and see it for yourself. Anyway it was fun to make all the welcome and goodbye emails. When I was testing them it worked nicely, so if something seems off please tell me.
Comments and sharing
At first I was thinking to keep comments closed. Less work for me, so to say. Later I decided to keep them, just to experience how it is when others are commenting. I’ll keep them until it will become too troublesome, so comment away. I upgraded default wordpress commenting with jetpack’s comments and some CSS.
I knew I wanted sharing buttons, but to find the right one was quite a nuisance. Negative reviews once again were helpful. I tried all the popular ones and didn’t like them much. What I liked was warfare plugin, but reviews were quite intense. In the end I went with social pug plugin. It looks fine and I hope it works fine too, but to be sure you should try it for yourself.
Search and search result page
One thing I totally forgot about was search result page. I had finished Raijori.com and I was testing how everything worked. When I tried how searching works, I was like, oh shit it looks bad. Search result page takes properties from blog page, so it looked similar, but with my own CSS it looked straight out of horror movie. I wanted to keep it that way, because I had no idea how to make it nice. But it was on top of my mind forever. So I did some internet searching and nothing helpful came up. Then I decided to once again dig in my codes. Surprisingly it took only couple hours to figure out how to make it nicer. I had to combine some codes into one and that was it. Of course it’s not perfect, but it’s functional at least.
Search itself I replaced with a plugin Relevanssi. And also used some CSS to create it how I wanted it.
Something you may notice is a lack of images, except my own face in about page. I like images. I think they are great. And they definitely would make my website more colorful. Years ago, with my first website I experienced the hunt for images. Where to get them? Can I use them? Is that legal? That was pain in the ass. Now surfing through the web I see these stock images and it looks cheap. Especially if I see one image multiple times. Even on websites with high reputation it just looks bad. That’s why I made a deal with myself. I will use only those images I have photographed or made myself. I will not use these stock images found on internet. That way I will know that images on my website are my own.
Disclaimer was also important. I had to be clear that information here is purely informational and what readers do with it is not on my consciousness. It also is taken from other people disclaimers, but of course I changed things to suit myself.
I think that next part will be the last one, so please continue to Part 4