It’s Alive! – 3/10/2013 Update on the Art Office Website Project

It’s alive! Well sort of. I’m happy to report that the new Art Office website is now on its new hosting provider and is in the process of being set up. WordPress is installed, the old Tumblr site imported, and the template is doing its job of making everything pretty! It’s not done – far from it – but this step represents a huge leap in the status of the project. I can’t show off too much of the project. A lot of it, while imported, needs to be tweaked and tuned up to be pretty. That said, to get an idea of what the site will look like, I worked on importing a test page and spiffing it up. Without further ado, here is the first screenshot of the Art Office website!

It's alive! The first screenshot of the new site is here!
It’s alive! The first screenshot of the new site is here!

I’m pretty happy with it so far. Like I said before, it’s far from done. There’s a lot of things still on my to-do list just to get the site usable again, and then beyond that improving the features that Professor Fu wants to see. Along those lines, I’ve been doing a lot of research into various plugins. Right now, I’m looking into tagging plugins to see if I can find anything that best fits her needs for the site. Already I’ve found a pretty strong candidate called Configurable Tag Cloud – it’s live in the screenshot above. What it allows over Tumblr’s tag cloud system is instant loading (Seriously Tumblr? Your tags take 45 seconds to load because she has hundreds. You can’t cache that somewhere?), sort-able listings, and hiding of tags based on certain conditions. It’s powerful and I’m pretty sure it’s exactly what she was looking for. The only problem I’m foreseeing here is the sheer size of the tag cloud. Right now, I’ve limited it so that only tags with 2 posts even show up, but if that restriction is lifted then the tag cloud becomes 3 times larger than the page – and that’s with the tag cloud as condensed as humanly possible. On top of the tag cloud, I’ve found some plugins that should make mass editing/cleaning up of tags easier. I haven’t the opportunity yet to test these in depth, but the potential is certainly there for these to work.

Lastly, looking forward the next thing I plan on tackling is the blog posts. They’re all there, imported cleanly from Tumblr, but the images were all shrunk into tiny thumbnails by WordPress. Unfortunately, it makes the front page look like an eye-sore (hence no photos of it). I tried doing my research into a solution for that, but I’ve yet to find something that has worked. Hopefully I can find a solution that allows me to edit all 500 posts with maximal speed. Once those image sizes are increased, it’s mostly just some tidying up on each post to get it ready for the spotlight.

Anyway, hope that covers the bulk of the front-end work I’ve done so far. Can’t wait to see this project come together, I’m enjoying it immensely already. See ya next time!

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