Self-initiated – Plugins

One of the hardest decisions was the choice of plugin’s to use on the site.

I spoke sought advice from some industry professionals including the a small business advisory company who specialise in the use of WordPress.

The chosen plugins at this time are:

1 and 1 WordPress Wizard – This is a set up assistant provided by 1&1. 1&1 is the company which hosts @yorkrosemedia which is my own website which is being used as a dummy site to show the capabilities of the proposed theme.

Affiliated Performance Ads – Integrated data and Automated performance display. Targeted adds for users in real time

Akismet Anti-Spam – Protects against spam

Google Analytics Dashboard for WP – Allows insight into the number of visits the site receives

Sassy Social Share – Allows sharing of content to other platforms including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp LinkedIn and Pinterest

Yoast SEO – Complete SEO plugin. This also includes analysis.






Self-Initiated: Think Mobile Friendly Web-design

When thinking about the layout for the Hull Central redesign I needed to take into consideration the look of the chosen platform on mobile devices.

More and more frequently people are accessing information on the go on mobile phones and tablets so it is important that this be taken into consideration.

The current theme works okay however, if i’m honest is not the most inspiring website I have ever seen and would not choose to stay on there.

The theme I have chosen works well on mobile platforms:mobile 3

A ticket tape revolves across the top of the page for the headlines.

Featured stories are highlighted front and centre.

A hamburger to the side next to the social media icon allowing access to the contact and our team pages.

The scroll bar on the side takes the reader to other content or they are able to search for things of interest using the bar at the top.


A New Look For A New Year at Hull Central

After hours of searching I have finally chosen a new theme for the Hull Central news site.

This was really hard to imagine so I made a brave choice to re-brand my own site as a kind of living dummy version.

This would allow me to physically see what the page would look like and how it would respond in a mobile format.

The theme chosen is called News Unlimited and it does as it says on the tin

To content on the dummy Hull Central website is my own, however it does give a clear indication of how it will look.

When deciding on the colours I took into consideration where we are based on opted for the orange theme as it connects with the HSAD colour, it is also really warm and inviting.

The layout is simple, yet clearly laid out making it easy for people to navigate.

Links will be included to social media feeds and other relevant locations.

The Our Team page will allow us as students to promote who we are and what we as individuals do.

In addition it allows the readers to put a face behind the words. This makes the whole site feel more personal and helps the readers connect with us.



Dissertation Planning Tips

As students we all use the library.

Like most I like to think that being half way through my second year, I’m pretty confident in finding the what I need.

Last week however out tutor arranged a specialist session with Chris out librarian. I went asking myself “is this really needed?”

The simple answer is yes! He explained that research is not just about knowing where to look for information, its about the way you think about  what you look for.

Lateral thinking is key, along with organising what you find.

After the class session I booked for a one and one meeting. I came out not only feeling positive about going forward, but excited.

Here are some tips on starting the planning and organisation process.

One Note: I love one note! It’s a one spot shop for keeping notes on everything

one note image

It allows you to keep your research organised. You can easily copy links of articles that interest you or quickly note a thought.

Apps are available for all devices and online which sync up so no matter where you are, you can access what you need.


Key Words

Make a note of key words to search for.

This list should expand as your research grows.

If there are words which keep coming up make a note of it.


When using e-resources in the Uni library there will be the official Harvard citation available.

If you find something of interest dont just note the article note the citation as well. It will save time later

Keep an open mind

At this early stage don’t dismiss anything. We are told time and time again that our initial idea and final piece of work will probably be quite different.

Think Laterally 

The key will be to think laterally not literally. In reality there may not be exactly what you need, so break it down into sections then try and join the dots. It will also help with analysis.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

After seeing how much time my other half has given  to his research, and speaking to my tutors start the research as soon as you can. There’s not way it can be done with only weeks to spare.

Self-Initiated Project: Hull Central Makeover Plans

Redesigning a website is not as easy as you may think.

Planning what you want to achieve on a digital platform, in many ways can be approached in the same way as you would if you were redesigning your kitchen.

By answering a few simple questions you can build the frame then add the fun bits.

What is it going to be used for?

What style do I like?

Does it need to be more practical, visually pleasing or both?

What gadgets do you need?

What extra gadgets would you like?

What do you want it to say about you?

I began the process by looking at four hyper-local sites: York Mix, HU15 Online, Thorne Times, West Leeds Dispatch.

I looked specifically at three area’s.

The home page:

They demonstrate a mix of styles. Three are quite traditional, yet York Mix has a more contemporary feel.

The news page:

There is a clear difference’s between the four examples shown. West Leeds Dispatch and York Mix are very clean, uncluttered,  easy to read pages.

HU15 Online is almost to busy for my personal taste. Everything seems to merge into one.

Thorne Times is clearly structured with news articles clearly running down the centre of the page, however, it also contains advertising at each side.


The contact page:

Though the different pages vary slightly, however some similarities the primary being an email address which encourages people to tell them what is happening in their area, and what is important to them.


Self-initiated: Time For A Rethink

Recent events, and decisions regarding the course has led to a major shift in direction.

The original intention was to help increase the number of people applying for the degree, however as the college made a decision to pull the degree this was no longer needed.

In  a meeting with Jackie it was decided that we should use this as an opportunity to promote the college and the students.

To be fair it was no great shock when the news was given to me, but things happen and it’s all about adapting.

I said I’d have a think about what we could do and get back to her.

A couple of days later in one of Johns classes he was talking about ‘mending the leaky bucket’, then we had a news day and it hit me.

We have a platform existing platform, which is under utilised, we have great students and most have something to say. So lets start shouting.

My idea was outlined in an email to both Jackie and John.