Create a website instead of a blog from WordPress using the right theme

WordPress is no doubt a great blogging platform. However, it is also a user-friendly Content Manangement System (CMS) that can be used to run a website. However, you have to tweak it to not look like a blog and more like a traditional website. The easiest way to do so is probably through an appropriate theme. I ran into the Phanatics theme, which looks very asthetically appealing with a monetary fee for its license. I also found the free Weaver theme to also be good looking.

For basic sites that I don’t want to host, I’ll probably still be using Google Sites. For sites that I want more control over and be able to host, I’ll rely on WordPress with an appropriate theme.

Making my personal website and course websites: iWeb + rsync

So I’ve been using iWeb on my macbook to create my personal webpage and potential course websites. I use it because i don’t really know html, and i don’t think I NEED to learn it right now. Point and click to create them is fine with me for the time being. Actually, I would prefer to create the pages in google sites, and export them to my professional-life host, ie, uci-ics domain. However, this option isn’t quite available from google yet.

My main webpage is http://www.ics.uci.edu/~vqnguyen/, and from there, i can have my personal homepage and course websites hosted. However, when I use iweb to publish multiple sites to the same destination via the sftp option, things get funny because iweb puts a default index.html file in each directory, and this file directs u to a page. As i upload multiple sites to that one root domain, re-direction get’s a little fuzzy. I fixed this by uploading the course websites first, then my personal site (root directory) last. Then, with every update, i just use “Publish Site Changes.” However, what if i want to add some more pages? I didn’t like this, and i finally did something about it.

Got my information from UCI’s EEE help on iweb.

Now, what I do is this:

  1. ICS servers: websites are in ~/public_html/
  2. Created ~/public_html and ~/iWebSites on my macbook.
  3. Publish my sites to a local folder, ~/iWebSites, instead of using sftp, one directory for each site.
  4. After every update and publishing to my local folder, i run the following script (supposing my i have two sites, one personal, and one for a class website):
   <pre class="src src-sh"><span style="color: #ff4500;">#</span><span style="color: #ff4500;">! /bin/</span><span style="color: #00ffff;">bash</span>

rsync -progress -av ~/iWebSites/Vinh_Q._Nguyen/ ~/public_html/ rsync -progress -av ~/iWebsites/stat8 ~/public_html/ rsync -progress -av -e ssh ~/public_html/ vqnguyen@chi2.ics.uci.edu:~/public_html/

Now things work great! Good thing i have passwordless ssh!

Next thing to try is html in org-mode (emacs), which i found out through Michael Zeller’s comment on here (he makes his website with it).

Scribd: embed documents in your blog/website

Want to share a document online? Whether it’s a MS Office doc (xls, doc, ppt), open office document, txt/rtf, or a pdf, Scribd allows users to upload a file and have it viewable on a website by embedding their iPaper program (Flash-based). This is cool as visitors no longer need specialized software on their computer to view the document.

I’d like to note that Scribd’s purpose is to democratize publishing, as stated on their website. I think highly of their philosophy.