It’s late February, nearly March, 2017. I’m doing another website upgrade: This time I’m adding an animated avatar to almost every page, and to a certain extent, to every post too.
Due to the way my website’s theme is set up, I have to write this article as a page rather than a post, in order to be able to add a unique avatar sequence to it. – That’s purely due to the way my WordPress theme works.
While I could add the avatar sequence as an additional overlay on a post, and redirect the URL via my site’s domain to make it appear “easy”; such an approach adds complications in this case; and so a page it is.
I’m using VideoPal for the website upgrade.
With VideoPal I can generate a character and use text-to-speech, before saving that individual project and generating a script to place in the HTML page code for the relevant article.
I can also use VideoPal to universally place an exit-pop on posts; in this case I accomplished that by dropping a script into the posts’ footer file in the theme. I could have done the same kind of thing with pages; but I already had a couple of unique exit pops relating to a couple of pages.
Another great thing about using VideoPal in a website upgrade, or not – as the case may be, is that you can place an animated avatar in front of another active web-page and keep that page fully active at the same time – rather than just a picture of the page. This can be particularly handy with regard to some affiliate offers for instance; although it doesn’t always work with every affiliate offer as it depends upon the way the server is set up as to whether not the avatar actually manages to make it through a number of redirections.
Anyway, I still haven’t finished the upgrade; but having broken its back I though it a good idea to write an article about it.
I started off this website with a fully customised theme: I’d hacked up the Twenty Fifteen theme by the WordPress team, and I’d added extra functionality to it; by means of theme additions and plugins, sometimes both in tandem with one another. I added full https-compliance site-wide, with the help of a plugin and an SSL-certificate.
I’d assigned a static Home Page, and assigned my posts listing to the Blog Page. The posts’ listing, however, continued to adhere to the WordPress default of a scrolling chronological listing. I’d solved this issue on my previous site by using a PHP routine to highlight the latest posts only, adding excerpts to their listings, while relegating previous posts. That method still wasn’t an indexed or ordered listing though. It was simply making the best of a bad job. I used a rather complex PHP routine, written by a greater geek, that was above my PHP writing capabilities, to index the posts and place them neatly in order as 5 posts to a sub-page. See my Blog page to see what I mean.
But still it wasn’t a unique site.
I was a unique artist with my own individual USP; but my website was… well a website. If you went to another website then you’d been to another website’, and when you returned to my website you were on ‘another website’. OK it is one of the better-looking websites possibly, and it has some fairly awesome content on it in places. – But it is, at the end of the day, just ‘another website’. A visitor could leave it and forget it existed as easily as they could any other website. They may have felt happy and entertained on site; but afterwards they had nothing really special to remember it by.
I’d decided that I needed an animated avatar to use in another website upgrade back in 2016, and there were a few around. It was just a case of which one to use: Some of them cost a small fortune, others would be a challenge to even the combined mighty technical intellects of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs combined. Some were both.
There was one I came across though:
It was technically easy to use. I didn’t need a degree in advanced computer science to implement it by any means. It was also cleverly programmed and extremely versatile. It also didn’t cost a fortune. – In fact the price is very reasonable. This was one to jump on.
And so I started using VideoPal. – But my problems were definitely not all over: As you see above, there are a number of ways that I could have implemented the new avatars: I could have had a default avatar for posts, a default for pages, and a default exit-pop, and that would have done the trick to a certain extent… But I don’t want this website to be ‘acceptable’. I already have an acceptable site. Adding acceptability makes it acceptable and fat. I want it to be memorable as well as a great site. I want visitors to know that they’ve visited Sharron-Idol’s website, and I want them to remember it: –
“Yes I’ve visited Sharron-Idol’s website.
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...