Site Development

Category: Blog • Posted by Jeff Starr • Updated:

Now as the design is nearing completion, it's useful to post some of the development notes for future reference and general interest. To build this site, the following components were integrated:

  • WordPress
  • bbPress
  • Yourls
  • s2member
  • WP Affiliate
  • and about 11 other plugins

The WP theme, bbPress theme, and other pages are structured with HTML5, styled with CSS, and enhanced with jQuery. Everything other than the Yourls script is managed from within the WordPress Admin area, providing a streamlined workflow.

The design of the site matches the book, which was written before the site was built. As book graphics are recycled and improved for the website, the design of the book is updated and improved as well, and vice-versa. I've enjoyed the synergistic interplay between the two formats.

The slideshow appearing on the homepage and store page is cannibalized from one of those fancy Ken Burns jQuery plugins. The demo made it look so simple, but all of the fancy options turned out to be a downside, as many hours were spent trying to tune the script to meet my relatively simple design goals. Also, there's a weird and apparently unresolvable "1-pixel" bug in Chrome that causes a gap between the edge of the slideshow and the scroll-up caption box. Mysteriously — and similar to old Internet Explorer bugs — the 1-pixel gap appears and disappears as the browser is resized.

Other than that, it's been a lot of testing, re-testing, troubleshooting, configuring, and more testing. Especially integrating s2member with PayPal with the affiliate plugin with the bbPress forum. But I'm glad to report that despite the difficulties and issues along the way, everything is meshing together quite seamlessly, with just a few loose-ends remaining on the project's "to-do" list. It's good times.