Day 4 – look and feel, baby

Yesterday, after everyone else was sensibly in bed, I burnt the midnight oil working on the new design of the Mummywear maternity site. I’ve taken what I feel to be the better aspects of the major retail sites in the industry and put them together in a fresh original design. Family feedback this morning was positive, so the next stage is to take my mockup design and convert it into a Joomla template.

I also need to give some thought to the best format for my blog which brings me back to the Joomla vs. WordPress conundrum. I’ll do some final research on this tonight and then make a decision. Certainly the sooner I can start adding copy the better, even if the site is still in development.

Hasta manana.

Day 3 – slowly but surely builds the site

Today was mainly spent on routine work for Generation X – confirming a new client order, chasing up payment from existing customers and catching up on some development work. It was a productive day and I felt that I’d achieved a lot. However, this has left little time to work on Mummywear Maternity. It was only after Jude went to bed that I thought I’d spend an hour on the project, and now almost four have passed.

Yesterday I created a Statcounter account and added the code onto the Mummywear site, to run alongside the Google Analytics code. I hadn’t been sure which of these two stats package to use – I am familiar with the information provided by Statcounter and feel it will be more helpful (and interesting) in the early stages of the development of the site. I anticipate that Google Analytics will come into it’s own when the site begins to generate significant traffic.

I also captured some screenshots of the websites of the major maternitywear retailers I hope to partner with, to get an idea of how they present their products, and to seek some design inspiration. I looked at the main page of each site and the appropriate maternity and product pages in each case. Jude and I then agreed on a shortlist of  four which I’ll look at again later today. In addition to site layout I also need to consider the structure and navigation elements that need to be incorporated into the design. 

Tonight I’ve installed the latest version of Joomla, and then put the holding page back at the public front-end. I had also installed Virtuemart 1.1.3 but then discovered that it appears to have serious compatibility issues with versions of Internet Explorer prior to IE8. In fact the whole Virtuemart project shows few signs of activity in recent months, which is a little worrying. In the meantime I’ve uninstalled 1.1.3 and am in the process of installing 1.1.2. The upgrade was a maintenance rather than a security one, and I intend to upgrade to 1.1.4 when (if) it becomes available. In any case as an affiliate site security issues have less impact on me than if I were developing a full ecommerce solution.

I’ve also installed the Internet Explorer Collection, which contains multiple standalone versions of IE which can be used at the same time to enable me to test cross-browser compatibilty in earlier versions of Internet Explorer.

Just going to finish installing Virtuemart now and then bed. Tasks for later today are to work on the site design and putting together some relevant content. Only when I have done this can I start to establish the affiliate relationships that will lead to that all-important dollar one.