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

Upgraded the site Using iPad

 

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As you may have noticed, the site has had a major change within the last day or so and this is due to me finally making the plunge and upgrading to a premium WordPress package. I always wanted to do this, but now that I am without freelance work, I figure it is the best time to try monetising the site with ads, creating a custom domain, and adding some flair to the whole package.

I made the purchase, allowed the domain to be set at mlata26.blog, and started working on themes, custom colors, icons for the site image you see on top, and more. I have never made a premium site using WordPress, nor have I ever upgraded a regular or free WordPress site to a premium one. So this has been an interesting experience for me.

I started to hesitate for a while due to noticing that you have to pay for the whole year at once when upgrading to premium. Then I also noticed that you get a free domain name along with this package, but once you pick the wrong one or want to change your mind, you can’t go back and repurchaee another one.

You are pretty much stuck with what you have at that point unless you want to spend more money either at WordPress itself, other domain registrants like GoDaddy or create a redirect, which also costs money. If you cancel the transaction, you get the money back for the site, but not the domain name itself ad WordPress claims it may confuse visitors. You have two days or 48 hours to cancel the package deal, albeit again lacking the domain registrant.

(please note: After scheduling this post I once a gain purchased a custom domain to be redirected to the site alongside mlata26.blog. This domain is callmikelata.com as ai wanted to have a .com URL as well to boost traffic.)

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This is what screwed me up due to my impatience and doing this for the first time. I ended up with mlata26.blog, which was the defsult showing, but I did not know I could have choosen something like mikelata.blog or mike-lata.com or another domain name had I clicked on the one given. Again, I am not sure how does may have looked on desktop, but on iPad I didn’t think the option was modificable, until I tried it again, but this time would have been charged. So I decided to stick with tis domain name for now.

Everything else after that was smoothly on the iPad, with the first few hours being a bit slow and giving me some errors when clicking on the customization tools, due to the verification and site upload process. I have also noticed during this time it was faster to use the app on iPad to do certain customizations before it become available through mobile Chrome for me.

However, I was later able to do everything from mobile Chrome or the app including adding a new theme, AdSense monitization, and even created a custom Adword add that you may see sometime showing the site and my email. However, I included a very low budget per day for the add just to try it out.

One thing I have also been doing is uding Facebook to generate interest through promotional ads for the site, so it grows in viewership. I will continue to improve the site, add new content, and make it compelling. But the main drive right now is for me to be oicked up by the major blogs as a worthy contributor, various magazines as a freelance contributor, and be noticed overall in the journalism and tech worlds.

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I remember when I first started my career as an iPhone and iPad app reviewer — as you can see from the links above in the iPhone and iPad game review pages respectfully — I had a hard and slow time uploading content to WordPress and using WordPress on the ipad. Boy have times changed. It was such a slow process back then because the various WordPress apps would constantly crash and the browser version and incomplete or incompatible to what I was trying to publish in many ways.

I also remember not being able to access most Youtube videos due to them relying on Flash still, various CMS platforms at all, or in a very limited fashion, and even be able to see how my image alignments would look like when published. Most of these problems have been fixed or solutions found as workarounds. There is still a seperation of mobile and desktop browsers, but it is much more superficial than functional now.

The big issues are still editing image size and aligning them to be efficient on both desktop and mobile versions of the site; posting thumbails and wrapping them around text, and dealing with typos that are easily overseen on the iPad and its touch-based keyboard; and lastly the app not aligning paragraphs correctly when editing a post, but the desktop site being able to share posts the way you see them edited on iPad. Another thing I still haven’t figured out is why when I have a not-published, albeit scheduled, post I wrote through the browser not show up on the app so I can modify it more through the app.

So yea there is still some nuances or variations among the mobile site and app when trying to create a WordPress site or modify a site. Hurdles still have to be overcome in certsin areas for the iPad to truly become a PC replacement and an ultimate tool for Web designets.

Overall, there is much to rejoice and I jope you continue to enjoy the site and my work overall across the Web. Now, onto those CSS modifications…