In-Depth Blog Post #5

Hello and greetings from the big apple. I am currently on vacation in New York City but nonetheless have been able to make progress on my In-Depth project. In this blog post, I will outline that progress and answer some prompts provided by my teacher. To start, what have I been up to in these past two weeks? If you recall where I left off two weeks ago, my mentor Sam asked me to create a wireframe mock-up of the final website I plan on creating for this project. Thus, I fired up Adobe In-Design and got to work. This is what I was able to produce in a couple of hours:


If you would like to see the working file for this mock-up you can find it and other files I reference at this link: Blog Post 5


As you can see, a majority of this mock-up is empty image frames and Lorum Ipsum text. This is mostly because the purpose of this assignment was to get an idea of how the website will look so I can begin coding it, the actual content is yet to come. Only a day after creating this mock-up I was able to squeeze in a meeting with my mentor before I had to fly away. This meeting was recorded, but I currently do not have access to the file as it is on my computer at home. In this meeting,  we discussed the mock-up I had created, which, for the most part, was more than adequate for this project. Then, we moved on to talking about the back end of this website. First up were content management systems. A content management system is a piece of software that allows users to manage their website without having to code in everything themselves as well as giving them access to other features like plugins and themes. The most popular content management system is WordPress which is coincidentally the content management system that the blog that you are currently reading is built on. Because of its cost-effectiveness and popularity, Sam and I decided that it would be best to use WordPress as our content management system for this website, the only caveat being that I will need to learn some basic PHP (another coding language) to import my code into WordPress. Next, we discussed hosting. Every website needs a server that it can exist on so that users can access it. Now I have a server at home, however, self-hosting a website can be both complicated and insecure. Sam and I discussed many other options including purchasing a host for a month and using a free instance of Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS. In the end, no resolution was reached as the option I go with is largely dependent on the time I have after coding my website which is yet to be determined. We ended the meeting with a brief discussion on domain names, the purchasable URLs that direct users to your site. Sam kindly pointed me to where I was able to find for $12.98 a month and ore obscure domains like .xyz for even cheaper. We agreed that moving forward my only task would be to continue to code the website each week and report with questions during out meetings. With that being said, this is what I have been able to complete since that meeting:

The HTML file for this code can be found in the folder and run in your browser.

So far, this project has been largely guided by my questions and my goals. However, Sam has been incredibly effective at taking the chance to expand on topics that I wasn’t originally curious about when I ask questions. For example, in our last meeting when discussing hosting, he brought up a way to be able to view changes to my website in real-time as running on the WordPress engine. Something that I hadn’t asked about but was both interesting and will prove to be essential to my progress. During our sessions, I always have a chance to go forward and apply what I have learned in my code. For example, after discussing the flexbox model I used Flexbox froggy to learn about the model and then created a webpage where I could play around with the idea. The biggest opportunity I have right now to accelerate my learning is to research new things to add to my code on my own, for example, in the webpage I have worked on most recently there is code for a “hamburger menu” which I discovered in an article after doing some research on how to integrate this kind of menu. Outside of the obvious question and answer period which most of our mentoring sessions revolve around we also take time to catch up. For example, I have learned that Sam is in a band that recently travelled to Calgary and that he has a particular attachment to New York City, where I am right now. One thing going particularly well now that I could not say last year was our communication outside of meetings. Sam is great at replying to emails promptly and our meetings have been able to occur with an expected degree of frequency considering that both of us are currently battling busy schedules.