MCS Wiki:Dynamic Gymnastics and Cheer
I was fortunate enough to have a couple sources of motivation for this project. The primary source of motivation was that my girlfriend and one of our friends work for the local gym that I built the website for. The gym needed someone to build a website to help get there name out to the public and have an extra means of communicating with everyone. This going hand in hand with the fact that I needed a project worked splendidly. The second source of motivation I had was the fact that I previously had no web development experience. It was a great opportunity for me to leave my comfort zone and learn something new using the skills I have gained through my education her at UVA-Wise.
This project required a lot of research on my part in order to be successful. As I previously stated I went into this project with no previous web development experience. I had no idea where to begin. My first step was literally Google searching "How to build a website". I did a fair amount of reading on different sites. This allowed me to pick up a few things here and there mostly html code tricks, but overall still left me kind of in the dark. The next step I took was seeking the help of some of my fellow colleges. I asked around in the Software Engineering lab about who had web development experience. I was given a couple ideas about content management systems and shown a quick rundown of some of their past projects. This was a huge help. After what software I wanted to use to host and manage my website for the time being. I downloaded and installed the necessary software and began watching several hours of Youtube videos on how to build websites. I would follow along with the videos making edits on my website just to learn the ropes.
Even after learning most of the basic principles and how to get my website going the research turned out to be nonstop throughout the course of the entire project. I would constantly run into something I did not know how to do, or even better my website would break leaving me with a lovely Error 404. This caused a lot of frustration especially in the stage of my project when I was ready to move the site from being locally hosted by WAMP to putting it online with Hostgator. Luckily, Hostgator has a fantastic technical support staff which alleviated a lot of my issues.
•Hostgator Software Package
To being with I chose to host my website using WAMP servers. This was an easy choice for me versus several other options such as Hostgator primarily because it is free. WAMP just let's you host it locally on your machine without having a web domain. This saved me from having to purchase a web domain and pay for hosting until my project was mostly completed. This also allowed me to show the client a finished product before they had to commit to making any payments. I did in the long run end up switching to Hostgator. I chose Hostgator for a few different options. The first one being it was used by almost every tutorial video I watched on Youtube, so it was much easier for me to learn the process versus picking up another random host. Another great perk about going with Hostgator is the price. It is very economical by comparison to other sites and they offer a lot of coupon codes to further reduce the cost. The final reason I decided to go with Hostgator is because of their fantastic technical support. Whenever I was faced with an issue I could be live chatting with a technician in anywhere from 1-30 minutes. I would highly recommend Hostgator to anyone.
When it came time to decide on a content management system for my website I was faced with three options. I was either going to do without a content management system, go with Concrete5, or go with Wordpress. I quickly decided against not using a content management system due tot he fact that I do not intend to manage the website for the gym after I graduate. It will be much easier for them to maintain it using a CMS. After testing both Concrete5 and Wordpress I elected to use Wordpress. This was because I liked the overall interface of Wordpress much more, you can do a lot more with Wordpress, and Wordpress is used by a lot of major companies and has a huge community supporting it.
Powerpoint is pretty self-explanatory it is standard presentation software used by the majority of the working world.
I used Pixlr to edit the images for the website. This was because it is free image editing software that is very straightforward and easy to use.
FileZilla was a crucial part of my project. It made it possible to transfer all of the files from my WAMP servers to Hostgator relatively painlessly. I chose to use this because it came highly recommended from a lot of the tutorials I watched on Youtube, and it had a large amount of online support.
This project was a constant stream of challenges. Most of them were fairly menial and not worth mentioning as they were resolved within an hour. However, I did run into three major issues that required greater than an hour to resolve.
The first major issue that I encountered had to do with domain names/permalinks. I made an alteration in my Wordpress settings which allowed the URL of my webpage to read like this www.dynamiccheer.com/about-us rather than having a string of values where the page name is like this www.dynamiccheer.com/klj432ljh. I did not realize that this had broken anything so I continued to edit my website for a couple more hours. Then when I tried to view my webpages they were all broken except for the homepage. I spent the better part of my evening trying to figure out what had went wrong. I later got in contact with one of my colleagues, Dakota Gallimore, and explained to him what had happened. Fortunately, he had resolved this issue before and walked me through correcting it. I had to go in the Apache settings within WAMP and turn on the rewrite module so that it could recognize my webpages.
The second major issue I encountered was by far the worst. I had to figure out how to change the host of my website from WAMP to Hostgator. I watched several Youtube videos on how this should properly be done. Sadly, all but one of the videos led to failure after long periods of effort. Until I finally found what my major issue was. Before moving the website files I needed to delete my configuration folder because it contained all of the configuration information for WAMP instead of Hostgator. Once the site was moved to Hostgator without the configuration folder it could generate a new one for the site. Previous to deleting the entire folder I had tried editing the text file by hand following several of the videos to no avail.
The final major issue I faced was still tied in with the transfer of web hosts. However, it was a separate issue within the problem as a whole. After I had gotten my website transferred and worked on it for the first day everything was fine. I closed out and returned the next day unable to sign into my Wordpress dashboard and my website wasn't working except for the homepage. I was getting those lovely Error 404 messages. I read through a lot of forums and couldn't find anything helpful. There was almost no content in regards to my issue on the internet, so I contacted Hostgator Technical Support. They had me in live chat with a technician within 5 minutes. I explained the problem and what was happening we tossed around a few ideas and I explained to him that I had just transferred it over. He then knew the problem and pointed me int he right direction. I had imported my database but I didn't alter it any. This meant that the site URLs were still set to Local Host instead of dynamiccheer.net. I had to go into the database and alter the URL and home entries to reflect the new host.
I will continue to work on this website making any changes they would like over the course of the next two weeks. However, I am moving to Colorado on May 12th, and do not want to have to worry about maintaining the site past then. In the next couple weeks I will be training one of the coaches on how to use Wordpress and leave them with my contact information in case any problems arise. If I was going to implement any other functionality it would be payment processing for gym dues. However, I do not intend on implementing anything else at this moment because all of the requirements of my client have been met to satisfaction.
•https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Jv47_VIBOQ •https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMLdKMh0P3I •https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9Qo5WZzXjg •https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPR_I00comE •https://www.Hostgator.com •http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404298,00.asp •https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qb0B3FN7KjA •https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWMtHcmGS78 •https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBsD48nUO4w •https://wordpress.org/support/