The Current & Actual Status of This Website

Küstenlandschaft mit 2 Aussichtsfelsen (Mit dem schwarzen Stern) Paul Klee. 1918. Watercolor over a chalk base on paper, laid on cardboard

I unintentionally started working on this website again at the beginning of the week, undertaking to rewrite my old template as a WordPress theme. As I always do whenever I undertake any kind of coding-based project that I am still fairly low-level in, I got completely engrossed and this week has been a write off. What I have to show for it, however, is this nice new website–managed by a CMS system whose power I did not appreciate prior to a few days ago.

The two things that remain to be done, in terms of web design, are to style the comments and to change some aspects of the layout. I would like the text to be just a bit wider at its maximum width, and I want the grey content area to take up more space.

I am locked into reproducing a lot of the features I see on digital publishing platforms. I want the main article area to have two side-columns, invisible, but capable of holding notes, references, and pull-quotes. I like the way that Real Life Magazine designs theirs, where the pull quote is kind of half-offset. It’s also important to me that I have a robust system for arranging citations–I think the way The New Inquiry does theirs is the best I’ve seen. From visiting their website for years, it seems like quotations and references can go in either side-column, based on the discretion of the editor, I assume. I think having the citation alongside the text is a lot better than the more common method I see, which is having a superscript number that takes you to that particular section in the endnotes section. Wikipedia is the most prominent example of this system.

Just a few other things that I would like to figure out for the website:

  • Category pages with a bit of text explaining what the category actually is, since they all have non-intuitive names (like Hypnic Jerk for my general blog).
  • Reddit-inspired commenting layout, with pagination and bbcode.
  • An archive–this one is a big project that I haven’t fully thought out, but I know that I want a tag cloud; I want post titles to appear in a list on the same content block (easier to navigate). I want a lot of collapsible elements (iframes, I think?) and I want the reader to have the options of browsing the post index by category, by simple chronology, and based on some kind of tag collation.
  • I know that I want a bright red newsletter icon to constantly be floating in the bottom right, bothering people to sign up.
  • Another perhaps overly-ambitious project, but the intention is for the home page to have an instagram-like grid of photos, that can be clicked to bring them into focus / larger size, with some context. A reason for me to have a camera–a place for me to post photos. Just like writing, an escape from all the private corporations.
  • Perhaps a PeerTube instance (lol).
  • Drop caps.
  • Mailing list archive.

The mailing list is something that I will have to code independently of WordPress. I think that, once I get commenting and the mailing list set up, then I will have no excuse for NOT running the Lufa Farms story. 

Hilariously, this doesn’t get into the question of a local workflow at all, ha!