Wordpress, Headway Themes, and GIMP | Indispensable Tools For Website Development
I have built my own websites for 13 years now and I can tell you that a day does not go by that I don’t use Wordpress, Headway Themes, or GIMP. These have become my right hand tools for web development. These tools make my life easier in so many ways while saving me a ton of money!
If you’ve spent any time at all on the internet, you have heard of Wordpress. I was introduced to it by a friend several years ago. Initially I dismissed this software all together as I felt that the admin dashboard was lacking, but after further inspection I found this to be very untrue. It’s not lacking, it’s simple, there’s a difference. Most of the content management software (cms) that I had used was cumbersome and complicated. This is not the case here. The wp dashboard is simple, because the software does the work not you. You have very few decisions to make. If you want a new theme, you put in keywords and it finds a theme and self-installs. Need a shopping cart? Wp will lists your choices and installs the one you want. It does the coding not you!
BlueHost will automatically install wordpress for you all you have to do is configure it through the dashboard.
Headway Drag and Drop Themes
I know I mentioned themes previously, but free wp themes are static by nature. For the most part you have to know how to code to make drastic changes to these themes. That said, Headway Themes solve this problem. Yes they do cost money, but let me tell you why this software is so beneficial.
This “drag and drop” theme software allows you to manipulate not only your front page. It allows you to customize every post and page in your Wordpress site. Wp operates with plugins and widgets. The plugin being the program such as a weather plugin or an Google Adsense plugin. The widget is the box in which the product of the plugin is displayed. With static themes you can only use the available widget locations for the same purpose on every page. With Headway you can create custom widget boxes for every page and post on your site. That goes the same for you header, footer, and page layout, they can all be customized. For example: I have one website in which I provide weather for every major city in a state along with advertising for businesses in each city. This site has over 200 widget boxes that took me seconds each to install. Each city has a different header image and layout giving them a custom feel.
Using a drag and drop theme can be a bit intimidating at first, but Headway offers several video tutorials designed to walk you through the process. Check them out at Headway Themes.
Headway Drag and Drop Themes
GIMP Image Editing Software
We’ve all heard of Photoshop, well GIMP is it’s opensource little brother. I’m cheap to say the least and don’t feel the need to pay hundreds of dollars on software that I will rarely use. GIMP is a powerful FREE alternative for those who wish to design their own logos, banners, headers, or edit photos. I’ve used this image editing software for years and have found it to be reliable and there are hundreds, if not thousands of tutorials out there that will teach you how to use it. To find this software just do a search for GIMP and the download link will pop up. Download the version appropriate for your operating system and install. It took me about a week of practice to get proficient enough to make a header for my site, but that was before every kid in America stated making GIMP how to videos. Learning how to use this software will save you a ton of money that you would otherwise spend on professionals.
Gimp Logo Tutorial
I know that I didn't go into detail as to the operation of each of these pieces of software., but each of these has a place in your web development arsenal. Wordpress as a power content management system, Headway Themes as a tool to customize your website, and GIMP the low cost yet versatile image editor. Combined, these tools allow you to build an impressive website in short order!