Category Archives: 6 – Code Kitteh

Deals with the joys of hammering together a Wordpress based website. From coding to traffic management, I’ll touch on a little bit of everything here.

6 - Code Kitteh

One Post Forward, Two Posts Back

Old Plans, New Wars

Old Plans, New Wars

I now have over thirty posts in the Draft folder again… and nothing has made it out of that event horizon save Saturday Story Prompts.

They are all still proto-posts, full of rough ideas and a few pictures, but nothing that’s ready to see the light of day. Which means it’s probably time to sit down and start getting serious about the blog again. *rolls up sleeves*

What Came Before

I’ve been working with roughly the same posting schedule since 2010, although there have been plenty of variations. But when you compare plans to reality, most of the categories have fallen significantly short of their yearly goals, in fact only the Saturday Story Prompts have held steady over the years.

So what I’ve been doing obviously isn’t working– time to rethink my battleplans!

Things Yet to Come

I’ve read a lot of good posts on other (more serious) blogs about making sure to keep posts ‘on brand’ and how long they should be and exactly what should be in it. I even played around in ProBlogger’s link gatherum on How to Write Great Blog Content. (Note: this post has almost none of these things.)

After all that reading, I’ve decided to toss the category-specific posting schedule out the window. Instead I’m going to focus on posting once a week on any topic. I’ll also be trying to write ahead so I can pre-schedule the posts until the end of December. Then I’ll loop back and write another weekly post until I hit year-end, continuing until I run out of posts or I run out of days.

Horses and Stories will continue to be posted as they are finished, but I will count them as the weekly post until I manage to get back into the swing of things.

…and no, this doesn’t count as the post for this week! ;) *heads off to evolve a proto-post*

6 - Code Kitteh

Rough Outlines of the Blog-to-come

Editing Chainsaw

Vroom!

January has been a chaotic month, but things are starting to settle down again and I can get moving on some of the major projects for this year!

As I’ve mentioned before, 2014 brings with it the complete overhaul of the blog’s design. I’m transitioning from the multi-threaded blog that was the site’s rebirth in 2010 and focusing more on producing and organizing content that people find useful/interesting. There will still be all of the Horse/Warcraft/Writing/Business goodness there was before, this time it will be easier to find. ;)

I’m sticking with the Boilerplate theme as my base, since I’m not quite up to maintaining my own full-theme but I’m getting vicious with the edits I’m making to the childtheme. Continue reading

6 - Code Kitteh

Of Phones, Tablets, and other WordPress Woes

Code Code Code

Code Code Code

My site currently sucks on anything that’s not a ‘traditional’ screen size as Screenfly has now made painfully clear.

As a quick fix I’m trying out WPTouch, which is a plugin for WordPress that seems to be working as a pretty decent band-aid. It’s not as pretty as I’d like, but it will do for now.

For later… well, it looks like I’m going to have to sit down and really learn how to code websites next year. I’ve already made it one of my New Year’s Resolutions, I’m just at a bit of a loss where to start, there’s a LOT that needs coding, even before I add in the mobile designs.

The Three To-Do’s

I need to design a gallery layout in which people can See Horses and filter for the horses they want to see. Filter by year, by scale, my mold, by color, etc.

I need to design a bookshelf/archive layout in which people can Read Stories… and filter for the stories they want to see. Genre, Length, Universe, Warnings, etc.

Then I need a layout for Learn Stuff, which will most likely be a combination of the other two. Lots of pictures (like the horses) and lots of reading (like the stories). *pokes rough sketches*

On a high note, I’ll be posting whatever I do design/code for free, so if there are other See Horses, Read Stories, Learn Stuff websites out there just trying to fit into a theme, they will finally find one! (On a down note, I have no idea how much maintenance work goes into themes beyond ‘here you go, try this!’ Hmmm…)

6 - Code Kitteh

Rebuilding a Website (or: See Horses, Read Stories, Learn Stuff)

Editing Chainsaw

Vroom!

I’m undertaking a big project this month, although most of the change will happen slowly, at some point there will be a dramatic shift in the design of this blog. Why? Because I’ve realized this web-home exists for three reasons: See Horses, Read Stories, Learn Stuff.

Right now the design of this blog is really all about my own ability to find things I’ve archived in the posts.

Want to know how many colors I’ve painted Breyer G2 Scrambling Foals? There a category for that.

Want to see how many blue horses I’ve painted? Oh look, there a tag for that!

How about monthly accounting posts from 2012′s small business adventures? Have a tag.

Or learning how to play World of Warcraft on a treadmill? CATEGORIES AWAY!

Soooooo, yeah. I am relatively certain no one uses an of these nice shiny ways to hop around the blog other than me (if Google is to be believed). Which means it’s time to pare things down to the three core reasons anyone would stop by these hallowed halls.

So for 2014, it’s going to be a bit easier to See Horses, Read Stories, and Learn Stuff.

6 - Code Kitteh

Converting Images to CSS Sprites

Google Page Speed Report 01-16-2013

I’ve been on a speed kick lately with the site, trying to find ways to make it load faster while keeping the same functionality. I started out by turning off all the plugins I wasn’t using, replacing dynamic widgets with static images… and finally by looking at the Google Page Speed Report and following the recommendations.

The easiest one (at least in theory) was “Combine images into CSS sprites” which meant dumping all of the commonly used images into one PNG file and then using CSS background-image and background-position instead of IMG calls. Continue reading

2 - Hue Askew Horses

Renaming the Subblogs

Custom-Models.com

Custom-Models.com and Martha.net have been less than inspiring subblog names, but I’ve been dragging my feet on getting them fixed. Since the new year is just around the corner, it’s time to wipe the slate clean-ish!

So Custom-Models.com is now Hue Askew Horses and Martha.net is now Code Kitteh.

Martha.net

The logo for Hue Askew is going to remain as the paintbrush-wielding Puff, but there’s new logo into the works for Code Kitteh. (Because lo, I am tired of the giant M.) With luck I’ll have it up Saturday, depending on how bad my drawing skills have gotten over the years. *crosses fingers*

There will also be a bit of a site redesign when the category names change, but I should have the forwarding worked out so that it all updates seamlessly. *crosses toes*

See you on the other side! ;)

6 - Code Kitteh

Landing Page Redesign(ish)

Editing Chainsaw

Vroom!

I’ve been musing over it for a bit now and finally decided to swap the Index page for the blog back over to a list of the seven most recent posts.

Originally I had it split out so that visitors could see at a glance if the subblog they were interested in had been updated– but honestly the traffic seems to come in to the most recent post (via a RSS link) or to a specific page/post via search or signature link.

Traffic has dwindled a bit over the course of NaNoWriMo so I figure now’s a good a time as any to get things back on track. *rolls up sleeves*

6 - Code Kitteh

Posting a WiP: NaNoWriMo + Blog = WIN?

NaNoWriMo 2012 Participant-180x180

As November starts to amble into view, I figured it was time to sit down and take another look at how I’ve been posting Work-in-Progress stories.

For previous NaNo’s I split out the daily writing by scene, but since I rarely write chronologically that meant 3-4 posts a day. Since I’d rather that the non-NaNo readers don’t flee in terror, I’ve been looking for a different way to sort this out.

After a few false starts the plan is to break Paper Wolves up into five Monday posts that match up to the planned Acts. Act V will be tiny, but I figure that’s where I can stash the worldbuilding notes. *pokes plot*

I’m trying to write the story in order this time, since I’ve got a solid outline, so in theory when each section posts it will be more or less complete. Hopefully a little easier to follow for those folks that want to read as I go– but not overwhelming for those that don’t.

At least that’s the plan… *rolls up sleeves and starts laying out the foundation work for November*

6 - Code Kitteh

The Story of Martha.net

MarthaNet

The Martha.net subblog (which is also overdue for a better name) is supposed to be all about the tweaks and tricks I’ve learned about designing and maintaining a WordPress blog.

It covers everything from basic analytics and visitor flow to the coding itself, pausing along the way to dip into posting schedules, color theory, UI and other design elements. For the moment I’ve been writing it retroactively, centering on changes I have already made or plug-ins that I’ve found useful.

So it was a bit of a mess when I sat down to storyboard things. Continue reading