A while back I announced some changes for my iOS business and website. First there was the new name “Cocoanetics” to replace the ill-fated “Dr. Touch”. Next there had to be a new design. Something professional. Something easy to read so that you have fun every time you return to the site.
After asking around a bit I found Jermemiah Tolbert of Clockpunk Studios who took my by the hand and made this wonderful new WordPress template. When working with Jeremiah he took charge of the design with me defining some base rules that I wanted to have incorporated:
- Be a delightful reading experience. A readable font, amble spacing. Let my tutorials and recipes shine.
- No sidebar distracting from the contents, so we had to put navigation at the top.
- Have some spots where advertisements would be placed automatically, right now I had to do all the ad inserting by hand
Working with a seasoned WP-Pro got me some pretty innovative solutions for a previously tedious work-flow.
My website – besides being the place where I publish educational articles – has to be a showcase of my products. Those are either apps that I have on the app store or components that I am selling via my parts store. Right now I have individual pages for my apps and a long list for my parts. Not very nice to manage.
Jeremiah suggested to have custom taxonomies for the components and the apps. What this does is I basically have two new post type that are neither article nor page. With these I can create one app post per app and one part post per component. For apps I can also set the iTunes app store URL, and both have the features image. I can also categorize apps and parts. So I might specify drobnik.com as category for my own apps and contract for apps that I made for somebody else. Now if I set the app store URL I automatically get the available on the app store button leading there. Pretty nifty!
The other thing that this makes possible is to have a front page where I can feature different apps and parts and posts. I haven’t enabled this yet, because first I needed to set up all the apps and parts. I had my icons polished up in 150 x 150 and I need to spend a bit of effort to write something about each app that is worth more than just the app store description.
There’s another cool features that automates something previously tedious. On the left side of each app page there is a list of links to articles that have a tag by the same name. This allows me to tag posts about new versions and have this list be populated automatically. Here’s the first benefit you don’t get on iTunes: proper release notes, magically linked.
The other thing that I will be doing with these is to have like two or three introductory paragraphs for apps/parts, then the MORE tag and then a more detailed description, possibly with a video demo. Then I can simply specify to feature certain apps in my template settings and you will see the icon and app store link right on the wrong page, with a more button leading to the individual page.
Having this taxonomy will also allow for some other great automatic things. More on that next year, unfortunately Jeremiah has way to many customers to be only working for me. 😀 All in all I can say I’m pretty proud of what’s been achieved, nothing beats having your own logo and site design made by a professional.
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You should consider the current state of the site sort of a soft launched BETA version. I encourage you to leave feedback regarding glitches that you find in the comments so that we can have them looked at.
My compliments for the new design. It looks very nice!
Wow, the new site looks awesome and VERY, VERY professional! Certainly it has raised the quality bar 1000 fold! Congratulations and thank you for all the work you do on behalf of the Obj-C and iOS community! Love coming to your site and learning new tips and tricks for my own personal and professional iOS development!