Process Post #2:
The overall setting up, installation, and designing process was a lot more difficult than I expected, and incredibly stressful to say the least. Regardless of the troubles I experienced in the beginning, I was determined to start right away to make for a more seamless and efficient upcoming weeks.
To start, the process of buying a domain on Reclaim Hosting was fairly simple. Installing WordPress was also not too difficult with the help of the instructions on https://posiel.com/docs/hosting-setup/. However, it was what came next that I was very stumped on. After installing WordPress, I was unable to figure out where to go from there. I was staring at an “Installatron” screen with no direction of what to do next. I looked up my website name and it was there, but I was unaware of how or where to begin editing. The last thing on Posiel read; “You can now start writing”, which only made me more frustrated. I was beyond lost and confused. I facetimed a friend in the course who was also just as lost as I was. After 10 to 15 minutes of us both mindlessly clicking different things in the hopes of figuring it out, my friend randomly stumbled upon a link under “My Applications” on the top right of the screen. She pressed the second link which directed us to the Dashboard on WordPress. We were so relieved! Finally, we were in!
I then used the instructions on https://posiel.com/docs/customizing-wordpress-themes/ to customize my WordPress theme. Here I first read; “You’ve probably researched a number of WordPress themes, and chosen one that you like for your site”. Again, I was discouraged as it had already taken me a good 40 minutes to get to this point and I already had no idea what it was talking about. Nonetheless, we haphazardly pressed “customize your site” and realized “or change your theme completely” was what we were looking for. Here we were met by an abundance of themes. I entered “Fashion” in the search bar and began pressing “Install and Preview” every time I found one that embodied my vision of my blog in my head. It took me a while to settle down with a theme I liked, as I was waiting to find one that allowed me to customize fonts, menus, etc., (before I figured out that this can all be done using the rest of WordPress). In the end, I settled with “Savona Fame” as I enjoyed the color scheme.
Unfortunately, I am still not sure how to change the font like the one in the listed preview, but that is okay!
I then began playing around with the sidebar, not aware that you can do so much more from the Dashboard. When I figured that out, I was still confused! I was struggling with the menu set up and how to add categories. It took a lot of trial and error as well as time, but I ended up reverting to these YouTube videos to assist me; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_3H2tJRPpM & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoQ6pAu0iqo. After I got the hang of things, it was smooth sailing from there!
One of the hardest and most frustrating parts of the whole set-up process was setting up a Child Theme. Although I followed the instructions on Posiel and used https://managewp.com/how-to-create-a-child-theme for further assistance, I was unsuccessful in creating one. Therefore, it was a relief to hear that I would not need to set up one after all and should not if I am inexperienced with coding.
Looking back at my experience, I am reminded of the first quote by Campbell (2009); “Sometimes progress is linear. Sometimes progress is exponential”, as it sort of relates to my process of setting up my blog (p. 58). This quote recalls that sometimes you have to take a few steps back before you take any forward. At first, it may seem like you are not going anywhere, however, it is important to remember that learning new things takes time. With that said, I was eventually able to afford myself the patience to figure out the back end of things, and now I am happy with the direction that my blog is going.
Furthermore, at first, I was unsure and wary of the course layout and was quite worried about the blog format as well as the student-centered motion of things. However, now that the hard part is done, I am grateful for the opportunity to “express [myself] in a variety of ways beyond the traditional pen-and-paper test or essay” (Watters, 2105, para 11). I look forward to “shap[ing] [my] own cognition, learning, expression, and reflection in a digital age, in a digital medium” (Watters, 2015, para 15), while also allowing my work and opinions to be seen by others, the public, rather than disappearing after it is submitted (Glass, 2015). Eventually, I will be even more appreciative of the agency and control that I am granted when it comes to the look, layout, and content of my publications (Watters, 2015).
Campbell, Gardner. 2009. “A Personal Cyberinfrastructure.” EDUCAUSE Review 44 (5). http://er.educause.edu/articles/2009/9/a-personal-cyberinfrastructure
Glass, Erin. 2015. “Why We Need Social Paper.” https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/papers/45249/
Watters, Audrey. 2015. “The Web We Need to Give to Students.” https://medium.com/bright/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713 – .4d7j8rs6x
Featured image retrieved from Reclaim Hosting