This website is now pretty much totally complete.
– Wow that took a hell of a long time to get almost perfectly as I like it; but now it’s done: The colour scheme & synchronisation on this website – which could well be the place you’re reading this from – is now pretty much complete. It was the last piece of the jigsaw; and I launched the site officially on 1st January 2016 after having got almost everything except the final colour scheme sorted over a period of around 8 months of test-builds. The Index page – on which all the tags are indexed – was a late addition in February, and came out as a new major build (22.214.171.124) Since that date I’ve completed two more minor builds – which are basically just performance, functionality, and optimisation tweaks, to bring us up to build 126.96.36.199 .
My old website – which is still around, and still subject to basic maintenance – used the mobile-unfriendly TwentyTen theme by the WordPress Team. It was originally totally rebuilt using that theme in 2010 after a move from fasthosts dot co dot uk to justhost dot com. (Neither of which I currently recommend for your web-hosting. – Try SiteGround instead.) At first that theme provided all of the functionality that was needed, and there were a large number of website features which were hard-coded into the theme as a permanent feature. This was all good until the TwentyTen theme became unusable without basically life-support technologies in the form of plugins and add-ons keeping it just about in touch with basic minimum web-standards.
I planned to upgrade the old website’s theme, when it was still my current and only site; but I soon realised that so much had ben hard-coded in to the existing theme files that it would be just as quick to start a totally new site. I had a second site running (This site.) with basically little or no content, on which I had been experimenting on a casual basis over a couple of years with the Optimize Press theme. I created several test-builds of the new website using this theme in March & April of 2015 and decided it sucked. I opted for the TwentyFifteen theme, also by the WordPress Team, because of its ability to adapt to virtually any type of display under almost any conditions… But TwentyFifteen, apart from its ultra-mobile-friendly display-adaptability and better on-screen layout wasn’t really that much more functional than TwentyTen. What was needed was some ingenious theme extensions; similar to what I’d done with TwentyTen but removable and also of higher standard and greater functionality.
On the old site I had a Blog page; just as I have with this page – but I’d adapted the blog page on the old site to only display excerpts of the blog-posts; with read more links that the reader could click, or click on the entry’s header, and be taken to the relevant page containing the full post and only that single post. The problem with that was that, after the first 40 or so posts, it gets to a point where the reader is endlessly scrolling down the many pages of excerpts in order to find the post they’re looking for.
On this new site a similar type of thing happens; but the Blog page uses multiple pages – and there are only 5 headers with excerpts to a page, and the page numbers are indexed. – This makes it a bit easier for the reader to find what they’re looking for. Another way of finding topics of interest in posts is to use the Index – which automatically indexes topics by tags, and displays them in alphabetical order.
For this I used a third-party plugin. The problem with using plugins is that they’re not always kept as well up to date as they should be or as they need to be, and at times the plugin’s creator abandons their creation, which eventually becomes non-functional or crashes the site due to lack of maintenance in the light of WordPress core updates.
One example of such a plugin is a plugin called * WordPress HTTPS *. – This plugin is a one-of-a-kind plugin; there is no alternative plugin. The plugin’s function is to secure your website to https; basically it forces everything to appear as https – even links that are typed in as http and that have no secure https equivalent. This plugin is extremely useful. In fact it keeps this site totally secure and ensures its strict compatibility with the Secure Sockets Layer protocol in every respect.
The problem is that the plugin in its current form as found in the WordPress Repository hasn’t been maintained by its creator in over 3 years, and it no longer works – in fact it crashes the site. Fortunately I’ve upgraded it myself to this point, and it works perfectly. In fact if you want a copy of the upgraded plugin – which is working as of time of writing; end of May 2016, you can find it on my old site at the destination of this link.
If you want the associated documentation as appears in the WordPress Repository then everything written applies to the Idol-upgraded version of the plugin, and can be found… I’ve actually just discovered while writing this article – and this is a very recent development – the plugin seems to have been taken over by mvied dot com, and a new version is being written. Go here for that.
At this point I’m realising that this article is taking a lot longer to write than I’d expected: I like to take a long time writing articles because I write them better if I don’t write hurriedly. This article’s taking too long however, and I need a break.
Back again; and almost a day has gone by since I last wrote. I’ve been working on my next release. – In fact I’ve been working on this one for quite a while; over a year in total… What should I let you know already?.. It’s a song about debt… Yeah that’ll do for now. – I don’t want to give too much away; it’ll ruin the surprise. A lot of work has gone in to the musical score; but until vey recently I was unable to come up with any reasonable lyrics. Now I’m working on syncing those with the music to create a perfect fit. I’m hoping to release this track, along with others, on an EP this Summer.
While I think of it; I’m currently talking to Anthony Cesari in relation to promoting one of his top-quality courses; this particular one regarding taking your songwriting abilities to the next level. Keep your eyes peeled on this site for more on that too, as and when.
So to the website again, and even today I’ve done a little maintenance: I’d planned to run ads for my EP * Something New * which was released on 12th May 2016 until the end of the month. Now the end of the month has come I’ve taken them down and replaced some of them with a couple of lines of text.
At this point I’ll reveal a promotional post which I posted on Facebook recently. (Although at least a half of Facebook users appear to be illiterate or just plain thick; so I’m unsure how effective it actually was.): –
- 1) This website has a static front page (Which I call the Welcome page.)
- 2) It has a menu of main pages; including:
- *Home: (Which is the same as the front or Welcome page that’s already been mentioned.
- *Start: A great page to start off with in becoming orientated with the site.
- *About: A page describing the site’s function and talking a bit more about it: A great follow-up to the Start page in getting orientated with the site.
- *Idol’s Blog: On this page/s you’ll find the blog entries, the posts, that are laid out in chronological order by default on the home page of lesser sites. You’ll find the entries neatly and clearly listed using snippets & clickable “read more” links; 5 to a page.
- Index: This is an index of post tags; or more succinctly, subjects. – Great if you’re using the site as a learning resource.
- Videos: An amalgamation of Sharron-Idol’s music-related videos, fed by You Tube or wherever.
- Lyrics: A page on which you’ll find the original lyric sheets to many of Sharron-Idol’s tracks; as produced by Ice Recordings.
- 3) It has an HTML sitemap; a linked map of the site, which you can consult any time for navigating around the site.
- 4) It has an associated Facebook group with over 1000 members.
- 5) It has an associated Twitter account with over 2000 members.
- 6) It issues push-notifications; which you can subscribe to with a single click.
- 7) It even has a spam-proof guestbook for visiting dignitaries.
( …And you say that you haven’t visited? – You are SO missing out! )
…But there is one aspect that I missed out from the above list: Security. You’ll appreciate that security is a sensitive subject, and I’m not going to reveal details of how my site’s security works. If I were to do so I’s just be tempting hackers to hack into it and defeat it. Let’s just say that security is handled by some hard-coded apps and also some third-party plugins too.
So that’s pretty much your lot as far as this article is concerned. It’s quite a big article anyway; and if I write too much more I’ll end up publishing it on Amazon. Enjoy life and make the most of it; you’ll quite possibly have a good long rest afterwards; so let’s all responsibly make the best of it for ourselves and for others too. – Peace.
If you like my spiel, or my music, or both - even my geekiness; then I'd like you to come back some time. - In fact I'd like to stay in touch with you, and have you come back here to this site sometime.
The only way I can think of to achieve this is to ask you to leave me an email address on which I can contact you... So I'll tell you what I'll do: I'll give you almost 30 minutes of my self-composed mix in exchange for your email address. - 'Good deal yeah? - 'Great, we're singing from the same lyric-sheet here, as it were.
When you enter your email address below and click "Get It Now", you'll be taken to my "Thank You" page, where you can download your music, and click on links to more of my stuff if you're interested too.
Since I will then have your email address I'll send you email from time to time; like when I have something interesting to say, or when I release something, or even when I think there's something I've found that you'd be interested in.
You can unsubscribe from these emails at any time if you get fed up with getting them, and I won't complain about it. - And you won't hear from me again; unless you re-subscribe.
'Sound good to you? OK let's do this: 'See the inset below? Follow the instructions - it's really easy - and we're away.
'See you there.
*Opt-in for Sharron-Idol's emailing list - stay connected with this great new site...