Looking back on this (not complete and definitely still on-going) web design experiment, I’m wonder if it would have been easier finding a free template online and drafting the site entirely in the public domain. There are some attractive ones out there no doubt superior to my painstaking one.
I ran into quite a few typical amateur problems after doing the HTML/CSS/PHP coding work. Learning how PHP functions generally, and then in combination with WordPress functionality, was new ground to cover, but with WordPress Codex, it was managable. Having a little bit of HTML/CSS experience the nuts and bolts web building was also pretty smooth.
The eventual problems related to the local server (EasyPHP) that I used to design the WordPress site before publishing the site via the avenue of a domain name and GoDaddy hosting. I shouldn’t use past tense. Because at the current moment of writing, I have absolutely no way accessing EasyPHP locally! Indeed, I now have a functioning public site that I can edit through WordPress’ dashboard and various PHP theme files that I can upload, but no way of using the design tool instrumental in building that very site.
So the site was designed using EasyPHP, a common development tool. This allowed me to do the coding and simultaneously view the look of the site inside the WordPress universe, but without anything going live. When I went to transfer the site to the public domain, via ftp upload of my ‘theme’ files was when things started breaking down. Here’s the process in a nutshell. Within EasyPHP’s MyPHPAdmin I was able to export a SQL file with all the WordPress post content that I had already drafted (mainly in the current Projects section).
In GoDaddy, I set up a database with the core WordPress files (GoDaddy does the work here). Then I went to this database and imported the SQL file I had exported locally. After doing this, SQL files are displayed in ‘tables’. I needed to change the wp-options file to reflect the fact that the site was no longer local (adam-morse.com went in the siteurl and home table entries). Then I used FileZilla to upload the files I had created as part of my custom theme. Except I went into config.php and needed to make changes that reflected the new domain and IP address.
Then I had the hassle of needing to change the root location of the website so it would appear directly in “adam-morse.com” and not in “adam-morse.com/localfolder/”. I’m now uncertain of even how this was accomplished. In fact I think this process is related to the current problem I’m having with local EasyPHP. Anyway, before things got into a finished sort of state, I needed to change the directory in the remote WordPress Dashboard to adam-morse.com. I needed to go into the locally exported SQL file and change (find/replace) all the image links to reflect the new domain.
Without my dad’s help, I’m not sure I could have made it though. It was a frustrating but valuable experience.