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About The Website

This post is for those of you who might be interested in finding out how I got to create this website. It covers my journey into web design and some technical information about the website itself.

I had been working as a graphic designer for many years, but had no knowledge of web design and with the shift from traditional printed media to the internet, I knew that this was going to become an essential skill to acquire before long.

When my husband relocated our family to France in pursuit of his career as a scientist in 2010, I had to hand in my notice and was out of job.

There was a serious unemployment problem in France then and the government set up free training courses for job seekers. I had to pass a series of aptitude tests and after a successful interview, I was attributed a place on a web design course. It was an amazing opportunity for a print designer to develop such technical knowledge. This would increase my chances of getting a job and if not, I might be able to set up my own venture. I did get a job, this time in Germany, when we arrived for my husband's next contract in 2012. The Pierre Auger Observatory (a cosmic ray observatory based in Argentina) had commissioned their associates at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology to build their new website. I was thrilled when I was recruited for the job.

The experience I acquired there is proving priceless right now as I have decided to take the plunge and launch a blog that hopefully will turn into a selling base as well at some point. In the meantime, I might start by selling a few items on Etsy...

Anyway, I designed the Pierre Auger website using the Open Source Content Management System Joomla, as it seemed versatile and functional for the task at hand. This is what I am using here as well, having learnt quite a lot about it over a period of eighteen months. I could have gone to Wordpress instead, as they have a reputation to be more appropriate for blogging than Joomla, but components have been designed to add good blog functionality to Joomla. I decided to stick to it.

Now, I needed a template that would provide a pleasing design framework that I could grow into. There are plenty of Open Source tools out there, so there is no need to buy expensive templates in my view. After lengthy research, I opted for Krom, a new template designed by the good people at Joomfreak, a bunch of super talented nerds making their software freely available. I find they provide quick and efficient technical support. Krom is fully responsive so you should be able to visualize this site on any device (please do let me know of any problem you might encounter) and comes with excellent components such as K2 for organising contents in a superbly efficient way as well as allowing readers' comments. Also included is Virtuemart, which I intend to use at a later stage to create my own shop, we shall see...

Additionally, I have installed the following extensions: Akeeba Backup for periodic site backups, Re-Captcha for blocking robotic spam, Acymailing for sending newsletters out to subscribers. I like the JCE editor for writing articles with spell check (vital!) and easy image insertion. I also have in place the Modules Anywhere extension that allows the display of a module inside an article for example. I added Mini K2 Content for displaying a portfolio. I am sure these will keep evolving, as a site has a life of its own and permanently changes and upgrades.

Now I live in hope that there won't be too many technical glitches, wish me luck!

 

More in this category: « It's my life Decorex, here I come! »

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