About the project:
This project is an independent study I'm tackling at Ball State. It's focusing on the use and integration of WordPress as a content management system and the programming behind it. Throughout the semester, I have been developing a WordPress theme that will act as a specialty-level story platform for student media, minus the hard coding developers (myself) currently do from scratch. This will allow future editors and designers to build custom sites for enterprise stories on their own even if they have minimal knowledge of development. The platform I aim to build will expand my knowledge of React and I hope to build much of the theme with this and WordPresses’ new Gutenburg blocks. The platform will consist of a custom-designed WordPress theme that is housed by WordPress and can be installed on any site. By the end of the semester, I plan to have a fully-functional platform as well as in-depth documentation that can explain to others down the line how to use the tool. I am also going to explore how analytics would integrate into the platform and how Google Tag Manager might be used to add these in. I will also be researching how revenue might be available through advertising on the custom sites. The final product I intend to present to student media and see what teams might be interested in using the product. It will integrate into their native sites through whatever method they currently use to publish specialty stories. The final product will be available for immediate use once it is installed on their sites.
Giving a non-existent product a name:
I wanted to kick off this project with something to keep my focus on the end goal that was approaching faster than I had anticipated (how is a semester only 15 weeks long and how was I going to pull this off in that amount of time?) so I determined what better way to do this than to come up with a name for my product? After some research and thinking (i.e.: thesaurus.com), I determined the name i wanted to use for my product: Framework. I was in search of something that captured the essence of a tool that would give journalists the help they need to build a story site without making them start from scratch. I bounced around the idea of “Augment” for a while, but augmented reality kept hitting the forefront of my mind and that was not the idea I was looking for. So Framework it would be.
Creating the domain:
I'm a student so I have no money so for now, the site was going to have to live on a subdomin under my existing domain. After some research, I found the best way to install WordPress on a single subdomain was through the plugin manager through cPanel. Step one was to – obviously – create the subdomain. This was easy – I’d done it a million times before (15 times to be exact, which led me to another question: “What maniac has 15 subdomains on one portfolio site??” That would be me – I am that maniac). Once this was done, I got into the plugin manager and installed WordPress, all the time praying it only dumped into the new subdomain and did not override my portfolio site (yes, I have pulled that one before). It worked! I gave it a title and description for the time being and voila – we have WordPress!
The first thing I learned when researching some React tutorials was the React is maintained by none other than Facebook Open Source (what do they not do?). After going down that rabbit hole of seeing what else Facebook rules the world with, I started to aggregate a list of tutorials and trainings that I’ll be focusing on before moving on to actually building out Framework. I’d started the course through Codecademy so I finished that one off and bounced on to a few more that I found to be helpful.
Updates to come!