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December Tumour Review

Every six months I still go through the process of having a review of my current health and the impact on the tumour and associated chemo and surgery. I had my MRI scan earlier in the week and went to my doctor a couple of days later. The positive news is that there has been no change in the tumour size or type. The specialist then suggested that we have another review in another six months. I also have a neurology yearly review booked for next week. So all in all, everything’s going well.

I found a great user story product called Arbor. It’s such an easy and simple way of creating User Stories. In my day job creating user stories can be a bit of a tedious job, however this particular website seems to have a great way of looking into it.

Arbor I found on product hunt and I think I’m going to give it a go for the next project I work on. Specifically I’m interested to see if the estimation also works as I hope! I actually created my own excel spread sheet that used the complexity and scale of a project to calculate an estimate, however this seems to be a little cooler!

http://www.getarbor.io/

 

Plugins

Across your site you have deployed a minimum of 6 front and back end plugins and identified briefly what you have used and why in the appropriate blog post with screenshots. You should address SEO, back end editing tools and front end mechanisms for displaying content and linking socially.

I have installed a number of plugins for my site. These are both front end and back end plugins. A full list and information can be found in this blog post. Specifically I’ve included the following plugins.

  • Jetpack by WordPress.com
    • Sharing – Ability to Share Posts
    • Comments – A Nicer Comment Function
    • Site Stats – Basic Site Stats in the Dashboard
    • Spelling and Grammar – Spell Checker
    • Subscriptions – Visitors Can Subscribe to Blog Updates
  • Smart Slider – A Responsive Image Slider
  • Add Custom CSS – Add Custom CSS to Site, Posts and Pages
  • WP Editor – A Better Looking Code Editor in the WP Interface
  • Yoast SEO – Search Engine Optimization
  • WP Super Cache – Makes Static HTML and Site Speed Enhancements
  • Post Type Template – Create Custom Posts Types
  • Content Forms 7 – Contact Forms For Sending Emails
  • Unsplash WP – Easy Image Placeholders
  • Genesis Columns Advanced – Provides Column Shortcodes
  • Remove Admin Bar – Removes the Admin Bar for Logged in Users

A number of these plugs require configuration for them to work. Specifically the WP Super Cache plugin. This particular plugin can make the site yield some strange behaviour. For example when WP Super Cache was enabled changes to my slider would not be displayed properly. As a result I decided that turning this particular plugin on is only helpful once all configuration is completed. It can be configured to only cache certain codes, pages etc. However I found that ensuring it was disabled during configuration of the site was the best policy.

A number of other plugins are purely for cosmetic and personal preference only, i.e. the WP Editor enhancement and also the Remove Admin Bar plugins. These are really for me personally as I like to see a proper code editor instead of the standard editor. Also I don’t like to see the WordPress Admin Bar when I view the site as this isn’t displayed for unauthenticated users. I like to have the back-end and front-end of a site completely separate.

See the screenshots below for all of my installed plugins
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Style

You have chosen an appropriate free WordPress Theme from your choice of provider and customised it to effectively convey your brand through creative and inspirational modification and addition of factors such as logo, banner, branding, CSS content styling, fonts, contact form and images. Note that it is best to avoid more advanced and framework based themes at this stage unless you have established an agreement with your lecturer to do so.

To achieve the second part of my assignment I have utilised a theme that I have previously purchased. This has enabled me to have a starting point to work from. From this theme I have configured the site so that is easy to view and use. I have created a number of menus, name, branding etc. I have also included a plugin which will assist me in adding custom CSS in certain locations within my site. Specifically from a CSS point of view, I’ve modified the size of the main image displayed for each page and post. I found that the standard size was far to big.

In addition I have included numerous areas which are required for users to view data on my site. I’ve created categories for my assignments, portfolio, research and a blog. I have also created specific category templates for both blog posts and the portfolio. In addition I have also created a page template for my home page which displays my main slider image. This highlights my site and my portfolio and blog information.

I’ve also included the following CSS to my entire site using a plugin, this modified the standard size of the featured image and makes it slightly smaller:

.entry-full .entry-thumb {
margin: 0 auto;
width: 100%;
height: 30.5rem
}

Further to this, in the home page I’ve included the following CSS. This is to make the home page look more like a separate page and not like a normal standard page.

.entry-full {
  display: none;
}

.col-md-offset-2 {
  margin-left: 0px;
}

.col-md-8 {
  width: 100%;
}

.section-logo-and-menu {
  padding-bottom: 3rem;
}

Further to this my theme is responsive and it has been tested across multiple size devices. Please see the below screenshots for both tablet and mobile sizes.

Analytics

You have set up a Google Analytics account and integrated your site to it through the utilisation of an appropriate free plugin. This is demonstrated via back end screenshots inserted into the appropriate blog post.

I’ve utilised my purchased theme to manage the code that is required for the installation of Google Analytics within my site. I’ve included the required code within my plugin. Please see this post for further information on how I have added this within my theme.

In addition please see the attached screenshot of my Google Analytics dashboard:

Deployed Plugins

What plugins have you deployed and why? How have you deployed and configured them with discussed examples and screenshots?

To ensure that my personal blog and portfolio page is of the utmost professionalism I have installed a number of front end and back-end plugins. These have provided my site with additional functionality from the standard vanilla installation of WordPress.

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Front End Plugins

Google Map

I’ve added a Google Map plugin to my site to provide my visitors with a visual representation of where I am located. I have found in the past that people like to find out where people are located in the world when speaking to them. As a result I utilised a Google Map in my Contact page which shows my approximate location. I have not provided my actual address as this could be regarded as a security risk (For now I’ve just place a fake location). Also for this plugin to work I created a Google Maps API and added it to my plugin configuration

Genesis Columns

Unfortunately the theme that I have used does not have the ability to create columns, so to fix this situation I have installed the Genesis Columns plugin. This installs a column selector to the graphical editor which I can then select how the columns will look. It utilises shortcodes for modifying the text within my site. I have used this in this post with the back-end and front-end plugins being split through columns!

Jetpack for WordPress

Jetpack is a plugin from the makers of wordpress.com and as such is quite common in use. Specifically I have used it for showing a social sharing link for my content at the bottom of my posts. In addition to this I’ve turned on better Comments which use AJAX to hide the fields for commenting on posts until the user clicks to enter a comment. In my opinion this makes the site more user friendly and hides a lot of the comment form unless it is required. I’ve also activated Site Stats, Spelling and Grammar and Subscriptions. This provides additional functionality to ensure my posts look clean and clear and it also provides a subscribe box in my footer (via a widget) where visitors can receive notifications of new posts.

Remove Admin Bar

This particular plugin is a personal one. I do not like administration bar to be shown when I view my own site. I like to ensure that the site for me looks exactly what it would look like to a normal user unauthenticated user. I know that I could utilise the incognito mode of my browser to do the same thing, however I have personally never liked the WordPress Admin Bar and as such I have it removed for both logged in and non-logged in users. The only time I see the admin bar is when I’m logged into WordPress Admin. I like to have my back-end view and my front-end view to be completely separated.

Justified Image Grid

I had previously purchased and used the Justified Image Grid plugin to create amazing image galleries. It is a responsive gallery plugin and I have used in in my page. It takes into account the image sizes and has hundreds and hundreds of configuration options. I wasn’t overly happy with the standard wordpress gallery when displaying screenshots, so as such I included this plugin for pages with many screenshots (such as this one).

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Back End Plugins

Yoast SEO

To assist in having my blog and portfolio site more visible and searchable on the internet I have installed the Yoast plugin. This provides me with numerous configuration options to assist in having my website available for the world to find. It can make certain changes to my website automatically which will make my pages and posts more identifiable to google and other search engines. It can also make changes to themes and other site settings which would only be able to normally be completed through coding and enhancements to themes.

Contact Form 7

To provide visitors to my website with the ability to contact me without me having to provide them with my email I have installed the Contact Form 7 plugin. From here I have created a form where users can contact me. I will receive the notification via my email, however utilising the contact form I will minimise the amount of spam and potential issues which can arise from having my email address available on the internet. I have also used <h5> tags for my contact form to make sure the labels match the rest of the site (see screenshots).

WP Super Cache

To increase the speed of my website I have installed the WP Super Cache plugin. This tool creates and serves HTML based pages instead of PHP processed pages to users. This provides an extremely fast user experience for my visitors. Due to the fact that most of the content of my website is static it makes using a caching plugin more advantageous. In previous work I’ve used Caching plugins, and if the content is more dynamic then these plugins will not yield as much speed savings as expected. Also cache plugins can cause issues with dynamic sites, one issue I found was my slider was not updating when I made a change. As a result I only enable the cache plugin after all configuration is completed.

WP Add Custom CSS

This plugin provides the ability for me to be able to add custom CSS rules and configuration to my site without the need to update any source code within my theme or within WordPress as a whole. This enables me to quickly and easily change the way different pages and posts look. Specifically for my site I wanted to make the height of the featured image to be smaller. To achieve this I added a snippet of CSS code to my WP Add Custom CSS which allows this to be rendered when the page is displayed.

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