The wp_postmeta Table is a Sexy Beast

The longer I work with WordPress, the more I love it. There’s something about knowing something so inside and out that makes you all the more fond of it.

The farther I dig into custom themes, post types, design…the more I have started having to get down and dirty with the actual MySQL database where all the content for a WordPress website is stored.

It gets super geeky, and there’s no need to go into any level of detail. But this sort of detail-oriented digging tends to make one punchy…which led to this:

I just imagined the two of us in a sordid love triangle…I’m calling my boyfriend, “oooh I have to stay late…I haven’t gotten this functionality to work.” Meanwhile the wp_postmeta table is kissing my neck and massaging my back. I’m digging in deeper to find the slug for the custom data I need displayed…he’s asking me on a ski weekend.

What did I tell you? Punchy.

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the votes are in

Last Friday I asked y’all for your honest feedback about my new design.

I got four wonderfully truthful critiques (I LOVE CRITIQUES) and one very positive thumbs up (I LOVE FLATTERY) on my current, horizontal design.

Here it is for posterity, photographed on my big, spacious designer monitor where it looks really nice if I do say myself:

It also looks super hot on iphones and ipads (I think).  ANYWAY, I am totally one hundred percent convinced that this foray into pushing the boundaries of web design to the limits was a total waste of time.  I’m salivating over a new, sexy, vertical design so much that it’s painful to update this website as is.

I feel the need to defend this design a little bit.  Or myself.  I had just gone to WordCamp and gotten all these new skills that I needed to put into action IMMEDIATELY.  One of them is the little diary photos at the beginning of each Diary Project post and that I never got working right in Internet Explorer (made possible in Firefox, Chrome and Safari by “pseudo elements”; thank you Chris Coiyer, awesome speaker and geeky blogger).  Check them out on the post to the right (or below) but again, not if you’re running IE.

Sara Cannon taught me about responsive web design in which a website actually changes it’s layout depending on the size of the window.  I should make a video for this. OK, fine, here’s a video:

The last design iteration of got painful too.  I’m so sick of looking at those clouds.  And I realized that a sorta ex-friend was referring to the clouds when she was criticizing my “pixelated graphics” the other year.  We all have our axes to grind.

It’s interesting to me how much I love to update this website when I love the design and how much I hate doing it when I don’t.  I tell this to my clients — “When you have a website you love, you love updating it.”

Photo taken August 21st, 2011, before the horizontal scrolling action took over.

It’s so true.  And this is one of the greatest things about WordPress.  You can dramatically alter the look and feel of a website just by flipping a switch.  What’s that?  You’d like to know where you can get a sexy WordPress website?  Check me out over at Artsy Geek.

And now I’m off to develop my new theme on one of my testing ground websites and will go live with it as soon as I’ve tunneled to the bottom of my pile of volunteer and client work. I can hardly wait.

I went to Swagapalooza and I didn't get an iPad.

I was inexplicably invited to this event called Swagapolooza last Tuesday evening.  Attendance was strictly limited to tweeters and “digital influencers” from San Francisco.

Flattery will get you a long way with me, as it did when I received the invitation only a week before the event.  I assumed that they hadn’t gotten enough RSVPs and started scraping nearer the bottom of the barrel of local bloggers and tweeters.  Or maybe I have more reach on the Internet then I think I do.

Regardless, I showed up at 7 to get my two free drinks and see if I couldn’t make a new friend.  I was lucky to have gotten to stop by my great friend Corrie’s birthday party just a block or two from the event.  There her partner Ed gave me the idea that at an event called something like Swagapalooza, one might leave with an iPad.

An iPad!  I’m too cheap to buy one, but it would sure be a great addition to our upcoming European adventure (as well as every moment of my life).  Maybe that night was the night?

I reflected on this as I waited for my turn at the bar and checked out the grub they were serving.  Crappy rolled sandwiches I know from attending far too many networking events and pizza.  I was glad I had eaten.

I asked the bartender what was included for my red ticket, and was shocked to discover I could have anything I wanted!  I searched the bottles.  “Anything?” I asked. He nodded.  I noted that this event was heavily sponsored and that I should return as I ordered a Sapphire and Tonic. Continue Reading

So you want to be a blogger?

I received an email from a friend of mine with an extremely unique point of view on the world.  I’ve been encouraging him to get a blog for awhile.  All through our college days, he collected followers to the point where people joked he should start his own religion.  A born blogger!  He asked me some tough questions about blogging.

(1)I noticed you have advertisements on your site but they are for non-tacky items.  Can you select what kind of ads go on your site?

The ads that I have on are for services or products that I actually use.  I’m signed up as an affiliate and should someone make a purchase, I make a commission.  I have made $0. So, yes, I chose them, and made the effort to add them to my site.
Continue Reading

Lushes in Love Looks Great in IE

I’ve written before about the struggles web designers face when designing for multiple browsers, and most specifically IE.

When designing the website for Lushes in Love, I set out to use all the amazing features available to those browsers that implement CSS3, but aimed to provide a viewing experience that degraded gracefully when viewed in Internet Explorer and older versions of other browsers.

I wanted the blog to remind the viewer of neon lights and classy bars. Continue Reading

I'm annoyed by my blog. Really annoyed.

I spent some time today editing photos from our trip last weekend to Greenville, California, and was excited to post about them.

I included in the post a little plug for this WordPress plug-in called Shashin that allows me to insert Picasa web albums in posts I write.  I’ve used it in a blog post here or there to quickly add a bunch of photos.

The software that you run on your computer that goes with Picasa web albums (also called Picasa) allows you to easily look through and edit the photos on your computer.  My favorite part is how it allows me to upload my photos to the web in one click. You can set an album of photos to be viewable by invitation, everyone or no one. Continue Reading

Value of Experience

I spent yesterday updating Van Gogh My Pet for the holiday season.

Van Gogh My Pet was the first website I used the awesome Thesis theme for WordPress as the basis for the design.

Back then, the reason I chose Thesis was because it allowed the customizations that I make to the theme to be stored in only two files in just one directory.  This makes my design invincible to updates to the theme and WordPress. Continue Reading

I am my own toughest client.

I have had some tough clients.  People who want to move the logo over one pixel, just to discover that browsers render elements differently so even though it’s perfect in Safari, it is not just so in Firefox.

I am well versed in the frustrations of cross-browser design, and spend many hours a week cursing Internet Explorer’s very existence.  But that frustration does not compare to how frustrating it is for me to design for me. I am my own toughest client. Continue Reading

Three Hundred Dollar Mistakes, again

I wrote when I was a younger person about my two Three Hundred Dollar Mistakes.

Since then, I have made a number of other Three Hundred Dollar Mistakes, due mainly to my dutifully trusting instincts. Every time I make one, at least I get to laugh about adding it to the Three Hundred Dollar Mistakes list (sort of the opposite of a Bucket List, eh?). Continue Reading