Time for a new website!

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Madeleine's picture
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What's your favorite 'theme' for a website? I have a few I'm looking at (thanks EmptyNest) and was wondering what everyone likes?

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seashanty's picture
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i have so much trouble learning word press!  what is wrong with me?

i keep hearing it's the way to go ...

if anyone offers a stay and learn word press, i'm in!!!

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It really isn't hard at all to use wordpress...REALLY! But you need to use plug ins for some things and if you want some changes different than the theme, you need to learn custom styles.  If you need help, just email me SS. I am glad to help Smiling

Madeleine's picture
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Let me give it a go and if I'm ok with it, I'll help you.

Arks's picture
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I would say that access to an HTML version of WP themes is just offered to get some more business from folks who know HTML so well they will not abandon it. Unless you're an HTML maven, go with WP.

Remember that you can still use a lot of custom HTML code on the WP theme pages, like to add links to bookmarks that move you around the current page or website, showing calendars from other websites within a page on your site, etc.

You know, I've already made a dozen tweaks to my own site in the last 24 yours, just because this thread caused me to look at some stuff. No matter how "finished" I think I have my website, any time I look at it I can see things that need to be added or changed. Websites are never finished.

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Generic's picture
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Catlady suggested the Karma template (themeforest) to me. And in fact, it is exactly what I used. We hired someone (elance) to do the basic setup and put up our content in that new template and then move it into place. We also put in a WP plugin for multiple languages, so you can see the website in two different languages. 

Only thing that I'm thinking about now is setting up a new set of templates for mobile access. 

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Madeleine's picture
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Eric, that looks so much better! I noticed the option for languages, that's great. Do you know if you could change the colors on that template? I'd like to stick with the same colors we have rather than changing them to something else.

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Karma is an OLD theme now Sad  It is not responsive. Maddie, I would go with the one I suggested to you earlier. it is responsive. You can ADJUST anything on it. Colors are changeable in just about ANY theme. As I said earlier, you will need to do some custom css but it is not hard. Check out Coherence again. there is a new STRIKING responsive theme coming out very soon. This one is so totally adjustable it can be overwhelming.

Madeleine's picture
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That's the one I had in mind. Coherence. Looked at it last night and liked it.

Arks's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

That's the one I had in mind. Coherence. Looked at it last night and liked it.

I've been using Coherence for months now and really like it, and I don't even know what I'm doing!

It can also handle your blog, or you can keep the blog you have now and link to it. Since I started the blog first, with a different WP theme (Twenty Eleven, I think), I've left the blog on that theme and do the main website with Coherence. They look enough alike in style and colors that it's not a problem (plus I don't know how to merge the old blog posts into the Coherence stuff).

Madeleine's picture
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The blog is the biggie. I am not going to try to convert all those files over to WP. As long as the new web host will let me set up a subdirectory I'll be good to go.

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You can continue on with  your blog as is with a link to it. or start a new one within your new site and point to the old one for archives. Lots of ways to accomplish this.

 

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If you decide on that one... I can help you wink

Madeleine's picture
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EmptyNest wrote:

If you decide on that one... I can help you wink

I'll keep that in mind! I am probably going to contact your webhost person, too. Build the new site over there and then launch it when it's done and turn the old one off. That way I can take my time and decide what's coming along to the new site and what's being left behind.

Arks's picture
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EmptyNest wrote:

There is a new STRIKING responsive theme coming out very soon. This one is so totally adjustable it can be overwhelming.

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Eye-wink

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I just bought CANVAS from Woo Themes. It is totally customizable and it has thrown me for a loop!  So many things you can adjust...just about every aspect of a site. It truly is overwhelming that even I have given up for the time being. 

Generic's picture
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There are 20 different colour variations. And I'm sure if you needed it, someone could change the template for you for your colours specifically. 

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I hadn't seen yours redone yet. Sorry I forgot your link. Just went to see the site... I agree A great improvement over the old one.

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Madeleine wrote:

Eric, that looks so much better! I noticed the option for languages...

Yes, great, classy look. I hadn't visited the website since you made the change.

I'm interested in the language option. Just a couple of questions.

  • Did it default to the English page when I went there because it sensed my browser settings, or did you specify that going to the dot com would always start with English?
  • Do you provide all the translations yourself, or is it a computerized translation? Of course, providing your own would give the best result, but I guess it could get tiresome to have to change both versions every time you want to change some wording on your site.
Generic's picture
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The plug-in has a few options. Basically I set it up so that if you have French as your default language, the website comes up automatically in French, if you have any other language, you get English. I had a friend who is set up as French first test it and he did report that it came up in French, but he can switch if he wants.

We do our translations in house, but there is an option to outsource with an estimate of what it would cost. I might consider doing it, in the future, to have the information available in other languages. (Likely the next language would be German, as that is the third most popular language.)

I just checked, about 70% of my traffic is English, 22% is French. German is just 2% and 1% for Spanish. I think the next language is Italian. Then Japanese and then Chinese. I don't know if my traffic would pick up significantly if I provided the website in German, so I guess I just don't know if it is viable. I have a friend who speaks German, so I might ask him to do it and see if it significantly affects traffic to the website.

Madeleine's picture
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I would love to have the website available in different languages but then I would worry that guests thought we fluently spoke those languages! Good for you (required for you) to have French & English! If I were to do multiple languages I would definitely have Italian. After Canada, Italy is our next biggest draw.

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I like a lot about using WP vs. HTML, but have been surprised that the feature I use most is that, being totally web-based, I can log in to my site and make changes from anywhere, any time a new idea pops into my head, rather than having to be at my regular computer with the HTML software loaded, as had been the case in the past.

Of course, if you don't get away from the inn much, this would probably not make much difference!

Arks's picture
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Just make sure it's a "responsive" theme that automatically resizes photos and columns and all as screen size/shape changes, so the same page works for desktop, tablet, and phone. Definitely the way to go!

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Ah yes, I second that for sure.

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There are a gazillon themes out there. I have not found one I can use "as is". They all need some sort of customization to suit your / client's needs. It will be a learning curve for sure. Get yourself FIREBUG and learn to read the style codes so that you can customize to what you want for your own Custom.css.

I also find the absolutely most critical thing is Customer Support.  I have learned so much from them and I try and help out others on their forums as I can. The ones that have the best support for me so far have been these:

https://support.truethemes.net/

http://www.kriesi.at/support/forum/

http://kaptinlin.com/support/categories/striking-general

Madeleine's picture
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Is the recommendation to go to a WP theme vs an HTML theme? Pros? Cons?

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ABSOLUTELY. Why mess with html. You will actually have to probably edit the css styles but it is a heck of alot easier in a wordpress theme. Don't even go to html. Get a responsive wordpress theme as I told you before and don't look back!

 

Madeleine's picture
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EmptyNest wrote:

ABSOLUTELY. Why mess with html. You will actually have to probably edit the css styles but it is a heck of alot easier in a wordpress theme. Don't even go to html. Get a responsive wordpress theme as I told you before and don't look back!

 

I'm looking over different themes and because they seem to come in both flavors I thought I would ask.

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