Tag Archives: coder

Site Design & Coding Considerations and Options

The Options:  I fully realize though that there are many aspiring GPT site admins out there that either have already thought things through well and may have a professional web site designer standing by (smart), have purchased a pre-made template design, those who plan to ‘generate’ a basic template and expand upon that by using the relatively simple built in template designer part of the script, those who plan to edit the default gray template called ‘UltimateGPT Template v2.0’ that comes pre installed, or those who plan to go it alone and design their own design template from scratch.

For me, this is where the most exciting parts start – designing my own GPT site from drab to fab!  I’ve been designing my own web sites from code (scratch) for over a decade now and I consider this creative process fun.  The last ShiftCode GPT design template I designed for my own GPT turned out very satisfying by me simple editing the default gray ‘UltimateGPT Template v2.0’!

If your are comfortable with editing HTML, CSS, and some PHP code then this may be an option for you!  If you are already skilled in coding and design the I highly suggest going this route. On the other hand if you are the slightest bit squeamish or impatient with matters of computer coding or designing images then I highly suggest you choose the easier route by exploring the built in ShiftCode Template Generator (for novice designers)  You’d be surprised at the beautiful colorful and functional unique site design the total graphic design novice can manage to coax from the plain old default ShiftCode template (image below) [click images to see larger version]:

Running Through the Site Design Options One-By-One:

  • Design Your Own Site Design Template From Scratch Yourself: (or almost)  If you are relatively experienced in basic HTML, PHP, and you are also not really that bad at graphic design (creating, editing, manipulating, and images online) then here’s your chance to show off some design flair while enjoying the accolades when your site design is finished.  If you are considering this route then we’d highly recommend that you make backups of any/all default code (files) before you start tinkering.

    NOTE: The system is built using an alternate non-standard more secure version of the PHP coding language that is called SMARTY PHP.  A layman’s explanation on SMARTY is located here (Wikipedia) and a more technical primer is here.  Also, the vast majority of the code content (code core) is located out of reach and sight of all clients and the public to protect intellectual property as well as keeping the code as secure and hacker-proof as possible.  There are, however, certain script and ‘include’ segments of code available for modification for the purposes of site customization (though any code changes and modifications (MODs) are always at your own risk)

  • Create a New  Design Template with Help From the Built-in Template Generator / Editor: (or modify/edit the default template)

  • Professional Graphic Designer / Template Designer / Coder: If you don’t already a professional standing by to design you a custom site template (with optional custom coding enhancements) yet that is the direction you are leaning towards then we’d highly suggest that you ask fellow GPT site admins (in the ShiftCode Forum or the ShiftCode Facebook group) for a recommendation or Google the terms “gpt sites designs portfolio”.

    Note that there are a couple of levels in the form of your professional site design uniqueness, time, customization, and cost.  Some designers may offer pre-made (stock) one-size-fit’s-all solutions that you can pick from and order ready made to simply be applied (or imported) to your site.

    When contacting and evaluating a professional site designer then you may want to make sure that they have experience designing templates for ShiftCode sites – Ask them to see their portfolio.  Do they have references that you may contact?  Please know that hiring a professional for a custom design can be relatively expensive depending on the designer and the complexity you are seeking (it’s not unusual to be quoted prices exceeding $500-$700 for a custom design from a professional)  Another good way of finding a designer is to visit your favorite GPT site(s) and note any design credits (usually in the site footer)