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Claiming a Domain of My Own: Overwhelmed by Wordpress

In my last post, I explained the process of choosing my domain name. I thought that that would be the hardest part; I have used wordpress.com before in my teaching, and have even worked with faculty to develop their web presence. But I wasn’t fully prepared for the sheer size and scope of the Domain of One’s Own project, learning about the full potential and possibilities of the initiative. I am also terrible at choosing an appropriate theme.

These two challenges are not mutually exclusive; I have typically used “the Internet” as a platform for sharing text in various forms. I am a writer, I taught writing, and I came of age when the Internet was primarily good for sharing text (dial-up is really only good for that). And while I can creatively think of ways for others to feature their work on the web, or to think about having their students create multimodal assignments, I have a lot of trouble seeing how to do that for myself and my own work.

I see all of the potential of DoOO and think to myself, oh goodness, I’m not doing any of this. And when I look at the long list of potential themes, I think, these are all for people doing really cool multimedia things on the web, not for someone like me who focuses primarily on text.

I have said elsewhere that design and visuals are not my strong suit. Give me a good page filled with white spaces and black text…and little else. I don’t nerd out over fonts or color palates or even the placement of photoshop-perfected photographs. Make it look clean, make it easy to find things, focus on the text, and that’s it.

But while that sounds easy, it really isn’t, especially because the website I’m creating isn’t going to be a blog, but more of a landing page. What text(s) do I want to highlight? If this is about bringing together the bits of myself scattered all over the internet, how will that work? What should it look like? What plugins should I be using? How should it all be organized?

What have I gotten myself into?

Thankfully, I work with a terrific team who have been very patient with me and my…quirks. It’s been fun to try and articulate my vision for the site while also remembering that it’s 2015 and I can do interesting things on the Internet visually. I ended up choosing “Independent Publisher” and added a crumpled paper background, at the suggestion of Jesse. I think it really captures what I want to communicate with my site and the general ethos I want to convey.

Next up, deciding on a structure, adding content, and then playing with the CSS to really make it mine.

[Creative Commons Image “Hello, World!” by Dwayne Bent]