I came into this publishing class with next to no knowledge on the intricacies of setting up and managing a website.
I spent a lot of time deciding on my URL, since I was stubborn about not just using my name. After a lot of dead ends with brainstorming, I was suddenly inspired by the song ‘In Media Res’ by the band Los Campesinos! as it started to play on shuffle.
The phrase means to begin something in the midst of a story. I thought this was fitting, seeing as how my blog aims to drop the reader in the ‘deep end’, explaining terms and providing context after the fact.
Despite my fairly good computer skills, I felt a bit in over my head when I started. I have plenty of experience with HTML themes from my maintenance of tumblr blogs since 2016, but CSS is an entirely new language with styles, different formats, and much more interactivity.
I knew that I wanted an optional dark mode (mostly for my own comfort), a sidebar, and a generally minimalistic base. This gave me a good starting point, while allowing me the freedom to add more features in the future, when I’m further along in my learning of CSS.
I wanted to add a font that wasn’t provided in the default customization menu, so I went into the code to add Atkinson Hyperlegible: an accessibility-driven typeface that I learned about from this wonderful video.
Next, I began to work on my site design. I added this Pinterest plug-in to display my vision board in an aesthetically pleasing way, and got to work deciding on how I wanted to design my blog. I also included this One-Click Accessibility plug-in, since I spotted the logo on another blog and found it easy to use and nice-looking.
While looking for themes, I was reminded of how much I like vintage graphic design and especially old styles of printing. I tried to give my theme a Risograph inspired look, but found it pretty difficult to actually imitate such a format digitally. The remains of my attempt are apparent in my first process post art, in which I settled on coloured screentones instead.
For future posts, I’d like to pivot directions towards mixed media, graphic design styles I’ve never tried, and interesting textures. You might notice that my website is a bit lacking in colour compared to the vision board; I’m working on adding more accent hues whenever I have the time to code it in…
As I was learning about managing my website through trial-and-error and tutorials, I wondered how my classmates were faring. I would stick around to see if anyone was having trouble, and found that there was indeed a steep learning curve for everyone else too.
Word got around that I could help with setting up websites, and I have continued to get requests for support ever since. Luckily, I find creating menus, organizing elements of a webpage, and troubleshooting errors to be the kind of thing that I can do for hours without it feeling like work.
Lastly comes the real substance of this class in the form of content for my blog. I’m currently writing all of my assignments the night before our next class, which should tell you everything.
Writing anything at all takes a lot of concentration which, combined with the unique modifier of needing to use casual language, makes this a nightmare for me. I’m grateful for the opportunity to improve in this area, but it’s easy to procrastinate by adding new elements to my theme or trying to learn more CSS instead.
I’m honestly annoyed at how much fun it is to work on my website! >:(