I Launched a New Website Using Weebly This Time Around Called Artistic Counterculture

F8C41266-706D-4CC9-9634-4EBB0E8A22C8So I have decided to launch a new website using a visual and drag-and-drop style of a web design interface called Weebly. The website is available here. It has been in the planning stages for months. I wanted a service site that is less of a personal site focusing on me, my ontent and resume, but on services I or my friends/co workers can offer. I also wanted a site I can showcase some of my skills, such as graphic design and video editing, past writing, reporting and type.

Again, I used Weebly for its creation process and surprisingly I mostly did it all from my iPad, although I also used my Macbook Air for certain things or simply because I did not have my iPad at hand. Weebly is similar in some ways to WordPress and different in many ways as well. I would say that I prefer it to WordPress when using the app on iPad and how easy its drag-and-drop interface is when compared to the mobile WordPress app. It is seamless from mobile and allows you to add videos, slide shows, backgrounds to image layouts with ease.

Obviously, it works more efficient or loads faster as you upload new content from a Mac or PC than iPad, but it is still great on Apple’s tablet from my experience. Once you make your changes, however, be sure to publish them after clicking preview on the upper right-side bar. It even has blogging integrated and many styles of templates you could work from.

Another reaosn I prefer Weebly to WordPress in certain instances is that it is simpler to use overall to accomplish certain Web design tasks. You do not have to worry about navigating various menus or sub menus such as WP Admin, or the various plugins to accomplish basic tasks. It has search, maps and various things integrated form its main drop down menu you access when clicking the plus sign. You then just drag such features onto where you want them to appear on your landing page or any other page of the site.

6DE83E73-0497-4C23-91B6-FFD48E55171BThere are obviously a lot of advantages WordPress has over Weebly and similarities as well. It is good to be able to use various web design services, apps and software and get a good perspective that way on the type of templates or sites you want to work from. WordPress seems more integrated with CSS and HTML in custom creation of content and editing, but then again I am currently just starting to work with Weebly and on the free plan, so I will see going forward what else it offers.

I also like how you can use WordPress, as long as you have at least a personal site plan, to store multimedia content and share the url of such files or content elsewhere. You may have noticed that the search bar in the image above does not appear on my Weebly page. This is because the feature that I accessed simply from the drop-down menu is not available with the free version of the site. Another advantage of WordPress I find is how easy it is to modify the custom url of a blog post, or site section for further sharing and linking.

I have been using the Artistic Counterculture tagline or brand name in certian instances, such as some content on my Facebook sister site as well as some video content I uploaded to Youtube. Thus, I figure this is a great name to my site and potential company (or at least an icon/emblem of my services) I am in the process of realizing. The reason I choose Artistic Counterculture because I enjoy mixing street art, urban culture, graffiti and the like with an artistic flair. I enjoy taking pictures, capturing video content from my iPad or digital camera and modifying it or adding effects to make it art. I also enjoy traveling to strange or scary places and adding flair to the captured content I find there with the aid of visual tools — whether video or still images/graphic design.

Also, if you have been following this blog, you may have seen my other recent posts such as this one, which showcase the way I combine street art through photogrpahy with graphic design for added flair and ideas. This is also part of my Artistic Counterculture idea. I think the name sounds right for the type of content I enjoy doing, hence the reason I used it for the new site, which again is: https://artisticcounterculture.weebly.com

I like the way the portfolio section looks on the new site and the way that Weebly let me organize it with my custom background of a rock wall I actually took from my iPad and uploaded it to Weebly. I also like the slide show feature of Weebly and utilized this on the landing page of my site or the home page. There are clearly advantages of using various templates and some services have better ones than others, but overall with certain workarounds and navigation you should be able to create the type of content you need for your site or brand across services, with some differentiations along the way. The other thing, is some services have better free vs paid tiers than others as well as advantages and disadvantages like I already mentioned above. Bottom line, however, is you can always use custom HTML code and CSS to design things your way outside anything a service or template may try forcing on you or your design.

WordPress really just started out as a blogging service and turned moe into custom web design software over time. Weebly offers blogging as part of its templates pages, from the get go, as you can see in my template along with a news section. This is one way it integrated full web design with blogging as just one of its features rather than the focus.

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I also like how Weebly has the various insights integrated right into the main app rather than having to navigate to see how many visitors or clicks you got from some separate menu. Anyway, check out my new site and send any suggestions or comments as well as ideas. I may try integrating more of this site with it or link between sections, however I still have uet to add a full service page with a bullet list (I simply linked to the Facebook sister site). So it is obviously a work in progress. Also, you may have noticed that a lot of the content I have posted over the last few months, or so, on here I have integrated into the new site across the pages and into the portfolio as well. I will try to keep the themes or focus more segregated as it is a bit of a jumbled mess right now.

Oh and yes I do get that the background may be a bit unsuited to the writing on the portfolio page due to the rock wall image. It makes the writing a bit hard to read, but I am still trying to figure out if there is a way to segregate that background or rock wall into only secitons with specific content on the sub page (portfolio) and not across the whole page. However, I am not willing to rid of the beautiful background just yet.

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Created a Facebook Sister Site with Services on Offer

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So I’ve decided to try expanding this site’s reach with a link to it on Facebook. And what started was this idea of simply expanding its reach turned i to me making a sister and entirely Facebook site called Ipad Citizen Journalist.

I’ve also decided to try my luck with ads on Facebook, so fsr with mixed results, and started offering services on the page. If you are looking for a journalist, freelance writer, blogger, press release writer, WordPress Web designer, graphic artist or video editor, simply check out my services and fees I offer. Here it is:

My Services and Prices

Coding and the iPad: an Example of How It’s Done

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I may have previously mentioned on here how the iPad continues to surprise me in so many ways with what can be done on it today as compared to a few years ago. How it continues to defy its own limitations and be utilized for much more than intended when steve Jobs unveiled it in 2010 as basically a larger iPhone.

I myself have started to replace — and more often than not expensive and time consuming to download and update — desktop apps or programs, such as Photoshop, with iPad alternatives such as Art Studio for iPad combined with say Aviary. Sure you may have to send the image you are working on across various apps before you complete the project, but in my opinion that isn’t much of a hassle for a project that becomes much more hands-on, fun, inventive and cheaper to produce while on the go.

Well, this morning when I opened up my two favorite iOS gaming websites, PocketGamer and TouchArcade respectively, I found that a game was on sale with pretty good ratings, especially since it is a standard old-school shooting affair from the looks of it. I dug further and guess what I discovered? Apparently it was coded on an iPad, and exclusively on the tablet, during a morning commute to work.

According to the iMore, the developer’s name is Richard Morgan and this is his second effort on the iOS platform. He is also a one-man development house and he calls his studio 8bit Magic Games.

A press release was issued that I dug up, which further proves how this one-man development srudio created the game. It also highlights the actual app he used to create the game on the iPad and it is called Codea.  The developer was quoted saying:

“My work commute is basically the only spare time I have. So I needed a way to make games in that time – on the move, on my iPad. And I found an iPad app called Codea that let me make games wherever and whenever.”

the press release goes further into the app called Codea saying it is a simple programming language tool similar to the original Basic. It also offers community sharing of code of sorts; this maybe another way of saying “open source.”

The App Store description further describes it as “Garage Band of Coding.” It currently costs $15, which is no slouch in App Store pricing sematics, thus it shows the app is at least serious by iPad’s App Store standards.

Either way, this developer created something incredible using this iPad-specific editor and at $15, plus an Apple Developer’s account is a very inexpensive and interesting ways to create iOS Apps . A game, highly rated on the App Store (over four stars last time I checked) using only an iPad while commuting.

I have recently done some coding myself, this very site to be exact. However, I used WordPress plugins, themes and visual-based WYSIWYG type of tools. I outlined my esperince here for those of you interested. It still seems like there are discrepancies between the mobile site editor and the actual WordPress app, but this could be a WordPress issue not based on the limitations of the iPad.

Codea seems much more code based and technical from the press release’s description, so this further shows the iPad’s potential in the future when it comes to coding. And by coding I am tslking about not just creating mobile apps, but potential HTML website creation, Web apps, and apps that work cross platform from the PC to tablets.

I have seen a couple HTML apps on the App Store that offer editing files in HTML, CSS, javascript and the like, however the App Store is mostly filled with teaching apps; basically, it offers apps teaching users how to use desktop editors. An example of a real editor with descent reviews on the App Store is Nitro HTML, which offers both HTML and Javascript coding and editing.

After finding out about this app and the dev’s effort, I searched further to notice Apple itself also offers an app for coding from the iPad. It is called Swift Playground. However, according to its description on Apple’s website, it seems to be limited to bit-sized apps:

In Swift Playgrounds you create small programs called “playgrounds” that instantly show the results of the code that you write. A single line of code can make amazing things happen. Interactive lessons teach key coding concepts, and additional challenges and templates encourage you to explore code in exciting new ways and to create something completely unique.

The day the iPad is used to create full custom professional websites or a Playstation 4 game, for instance, will be when the tablet truly makes its presence felt in professional developer circles. I believe that day may be sooner than later, the Pro lineup is Apple’s way of showing developers the demans is there and is pretty much built for such tasks.