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Janine Suvak
Janine Suvak
14,954 Points

Thanks Treehouse - my WP website is up!

Check it out at www.glimmerjam.com

I used the Cannyon free theme and the MailChimp for WordPress plugin. These free versions have very limited ability to customize, but were sufficient.

Frankly, I liked the placement of the buttons (on the center bottom of the header image) that came with the Cannyon theme but couldn't figure out how to connect them to MailChimp without a premium plugin. I also couldn't figure out how to get rid of the menu button in the nav bar, which is why the semi-redundant 'welcome' and 'about' pages. I should probably add the MailChimp sign up form to the About page too, just so people don't have to click back to enroll. But hey, it works. Next I'll be adding Google Analytics and Dashboard for WP, so I can see what kind of response I'm getting from my marketing efforts. For the sake of discussion, feel free to constructively critique away.

I'm taking the approach of a lean MVP (I have a bunch of college-age kids, and now I'm afraid to use the word 'basic') rather than spend more hours perfecting it, or learning to build it from scratch. Several reasons, that all seem to boil down to a common theme of time vs. money. My intent is to get my app successfully launched - soon - which means spending a lot of time and energy on getting the word out, a.k.a. pre-launch marketing and all those pesky little details of starting a business, let alone working on the app itself! And thanks for all the tips for this too, Treehouse! Oh government forms, I thought I escaped from you when I left the military. sigh

For the sake of discussion, my skill set is mobile application development, not websites. I decided I could whip this out with the help of Treehouse, and save my budget to hire people who know what they are doing for the post-launch much more complex website.

Not to mention it's easy to get lost in the nitpickies and never publish a site or app or whatever. Academically/intellectually stimulating and all that, but now it's time to get real. I'd say get serious, but that's no fun. :)

I educate myself using a multitude of resources, but I have to say that Treehouse is awesome and where I usually start from to get the latest greatest. You really have excellent, detailed, PRACTICAL material. Thanks guys - and Happy New Year!

  • Janine

3 Answers

Great start! The only critiques I have are related to SEO

  1. Be sure to use keywords in your text so Google can rank your website higher when people search for beads.
  2. Make your text scannable by adding bolded text and headlines.
  3. I would change the headlines or subheadline to something like "Easily experiment, create, share and save your designs..." Some examples of websites using headlines like this are https://squareup.com/ and https://teamtreehouse.com/

Good job so far and I normally don't like beads but will be on the lookout for your app.

Janine Suvak
Janine Suvak
14,954 Points

Hey is it against rules to mention your business? Not sure if there's a PM feature here either.

Jason Anders
Jason Anders
Treehouse Moderator 145,854 Points

Hey Janine. Good Job! :thumbsup:

For a simple site (I like simple) it will do the job you need it to bring info and insight to your app.

I like the design and theme. Again simple but effective. I have two suggestions:

1) Is there a way with this theme to maybe shrink the header and body so there is no scrolling needed?

2) On the about page, I would change the max-width for your text to about 60% of what it is. As a writer and editor, I know that 'human eyes' have a problem maintaining readability when a line of text is too long. The optimal length of a line is 50-60 (and no more than 75) characters, including spaces.

Good luck with your app! That's where I'm moving to next. :smiley:

Janine Suvak
Janine Suvak
14,954 Points
  1. I think there is much more flexibility in the premium theme layout rather than the free one. I haven't dug into building/customizing themes so the code was beyond me at this time. I agree with your comment about avoiding scrolling. But I wonder how much you can do about that not knowing what window or device screen size of users? My first try was to not have any text in the body at all, given the way I'm using this site more as a temporary tool. But having nothing lead to the can't-get-rid-of-the-menu-button issue, and particularly an empty slider menu in the mobile version.

  2. Right now it's whatever was built into the theme. Not sure how editable the widths are but I'll look into that this weekend too, thanks.

Interesting fact about the optimal line length! As a voracious reader I sometimes think that the optimal length is three emojis and nobody reads anymore. I thought the serif fonts were supposed to be easier for eyes to track on than sans serif, too, but they definitely aren't in style right now.

An easy way to change the width is edit the page and go to "templates" or "sidebars" on the right hand side and see if you can add a sidebar. Then go to widgets and delete everything in the sidebar so it is empty.

For the scrolling, you can assume a screen with 1920 x 1080

   add the following CSS to the theme where it gives the option for "custom CSS"
   if there are no options then add it to appearance > editor > style.css at the bottom.
   Also, delete the "Join the evolution" and radio buttons for the scrollbar to dissapear.
   P.S. I added !important to everything since sometimes these free themes are difficult to edit
footer div.mythemes-social {
    padding-top: 30px !important;
    padding-bottom: 30px !important;

.mythemes-header.parallax-container.overflow-wrapper {
    height: 230px !important;

.content {
    padding-top: 50px !important;
    padding-bottom: 20px !important;

div.mythemes-header div.valign-cell-wrapper .valign-cell {
    margin-top: 0 !important;
Janine Suvak
Janine Suvak
14,954 Points

Awesome Philip, thanks!

  1. I have done zilch from the SEO aspect, as your critique reflects. Not even the Yoast SEO suggested in the tutorial. I do know what it stands for, but that's about it.

  2. No value either, come to think of it, other than the cheap thrill of getting to use the app early and get to be involved in its making. I'm recruiting beta testers, mostly from groups of crafters that I'm involved with, for the app is fairly unique. Not a game, but more fun than just a tool. I don't really need massive numbers of beta testers and I prefer those to be actually interested in bead jewelry design as opposed to general driving massive anonymous traffic. I was thinking of this more as a place to send people I know are interested in being involved and using MailChimp to coordinate communication; I guess I had no expectation that people might be searching.

  3. You aren't the first person who told me that I talk too much. :) I'll try to make it brief, bold and punchy this weekend.

  4. I didn't even know there were tags. It's like it's my first day! Or website! Gotta start somewhere, right?

I do appreciate your feedback - thanks so much!

No worries, I edited my response to give better examples of things and to reflect that your goal isn't large amounts of organic traffic.