Process Post #8

I’ve reached the point where I’m pretty happy and comfortable with where my website is at, and as a result, I’ve been implementing fewer design elements over the past few weeks. With that being said, I knew there had been something missing from my homepage up until this point and decided to take action to liven it up this past week.

While Great White Sport isn’t intended to be a hard-hitting sports journalism website like The Athletic or Sportsnet.ca, I realized one thing that all successful sports websites like them have in common: featured content and images.

NHL homepage for The Athletic.

Homepage for Sportsnet.ca.

So, I set out to include my most recent sports posts on my homepage. That way, my readers wouldn’t have to navigate to the blog to find recent posts but could instead find them immediately after landing on my website. Another advantage to this is that they might end up finding content they weren’t looking for in the first place, and spend more time on the website.

It took some Googling, but eventually I came across the Post Grid plugin which was highly rated by WordPress users. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an absolute beginner when it comes to setting up a website and have no idea how to code, so I was grateful to not only have a dedicated plugin for this purpose, but also to find a very informative YouTube video explaining how to put it to use.

Where I struggled was figuring out how to display only the posts I wanted on the homepage and not every post (including my sports posts, essays, peer reviews, process posts, etc.). I only wanted it to include my sports posts, and after some fooling around I figured out how to make that happen.

The Post Grid plugin allows you to either include or exclude posts by their post ID, as seen in the picture below.

The only problem with that was that I had no clue how to actually find the post ID. So, back to Google I went. Thanks to a blog post aptly titled “How to Find the Post ID in WordPress,” I was able to locate the post ID of my posts so far by going to the Posts section of my WordPress dashboard, and then clicking on the post in question and looking to the URL.

Once I knew which posts I wanted excluded from the homepage, I just had to go through and click on each one and then record the post ID. However, it didn’t take very long before I realized that this was far too complicated of a process in comparison to just recording the IDs of the ones I wanted to include.

In the end, I decided on 6 posts as being an adequate amount to feature, and have just been updating the “Include by post ID” entry box with each new sports post.

The last issue to take care of was making all the pictures uniform sizes so that they would actually fit in a uniform grid style rather than being scattered unevenly. This ended up taking the most time of anything in this process, as I had to edit every image on all my posts to date to be the same ratio (I eventually chose 16 x 10).

Although I knew it would be tedious, I didn’t realize just how challenging it would actually be. That was because I couldn’t crop photos that I had copy and pasted from the Internet, so I had to go back and save the photos and embed them in the posts all over again.

Finally, about two hours after I began and a few swear words later, I completed my brand new post grid homepage.

I had no idea Coldplay was talking about PUB 101 website design when they said “nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be so hard.”

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