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My portfolio website revamped...

Before I get carried away about the solution that I found to build this portfolio fast and easy, I would just like to say 2 things. The first one is, of course, go and check it out! www.zgallery-art.com

The second one is, that I’m always looking for link exchanges. So, if you have your own personal website, preferably art related, and if it has a link page and you want to exchange links, then please bmail me.

°°°

For months now, no, for years even, my personal website, for which I pay good money, has been out of date. I had great plans for it, but I kept putting them of because they’d involve lots of programming. As I program for a living, I didn’t feel like doing some more after hours and so my site remained as it was: out of date.

So I started looking for a ready made solution. If I couldn’t have a complex up to date site, I would be better of with a simple one, then an out of date one! I looked at tons of things like for example Drupal and Wordpress. But still, I found them all to complex and to time consuming. That’s when I stumbled onto Stacey App . The minute I saw it I knew I had a winner. A minimized, yet configurable, content management system, specially designed for portfolios! Wow! Best of all? It works as it is! you can download it, unpack it, upload it to your server, you then have an online portfolio where you just need to edit some text files and add your own images et voila, ready! Stacey App is completely text file based, so no database is necessary. Ok, this limits the flexibility to some degree, but it also makes for a simple, manageable project (as long as it is not to large and complex to start with, but I’m talking about a portfolio here, so…)

For those of you who might be interested, let me run things down for you, as in what you need to get you where.

First of, and this really is a must, you need to have a server that supports PHP and you to have the knowledge how to FTP stuff onto that server. For the first part, the server, if you don’t have one already, I can recommend the one I use to you. Great stability, good service. But as I get rewarded for bringing new customers, I’m not just going to put a link here and trick you into clicking on it. So if you are interested, bmail me for details. As for the FTP bit, I’m sure there are tons of tutorials out there. So, go and have a look if you need more explanation there.

Now you have a very basic portfolio online but with the wrong content. If I’m not mistaking, it will look something like this . You can however by reading the Stacey App documentation figure out where to upload your images, how to change the folder structure and which text files to edit to get you going. In the documentation you find a link to the Markdown tutorials to learn how to put special things like links and bold text into your text files. A bit like here on redbubble, just a different syntax.

If you can do all that, you can have a plain white background website with a very simple layout in relatively little time. If you want to go further and change, for example, colours, fonts, etc, you will have to have knowledge of css. By editing one css file you can change all that and make for example adjustments in the layout. If you want to go a step further and make major changes in the layout, you will also have to have some knowledge of html. You have 3 templates within Stacey App to choose from and to start with, from where you can build a portfolio like mine, that still has the typical Stacey App simple look. You can, of course, also go a lot further. Check out some more examples on the Stacey App In use page

Now, if you really want to go the extra mile, you write your own templates and your own partials. But as you can guess, we are now getting technical and for this you’ll have to have some knowledge of object oriented programming. Finally, you can also start hacking Stacey App, as I’m doing for another project at the moment, but then you’ll need PHP knowledge. This goes a bit against for what Stacey App was designed though, namely simplicity.

For those of you who are truly interested, there’s an online community behind Stacey App, accessible via there website, where lots of questions have been answered or where you can ask your own. If you’re going for it, well, then I wish you good luck!

Cheers,
Peter

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