Self-initiated: Hitting a rough patch

In the beginning there were a couple of issues relating to the change in direction of the course as a whole. These were over come and Jackie and I had a clear vision of where this project was going to go and what we were going to do.

Unfortunately things took a nose dive due to issues with student finance withdrawing our final payment.

The issue had been in the air for some time but we had been assured things would be okay.

Just before the Easter break I realised I had no assurance that my funding would be paid as usual. This began what could only be described as a nightmare.

After being interrogated and grilled and made to feel like a criminal they announced with three days notice that funding would be withdrawn – all on a technicality. I had a complete breakdown having to beg my work to allow me to go full time just so I could make my rent.

Everything became about finding money to survive and be able to live.

I have always suffered badly with anxiety and this went out of control, I suffered panic attacks and at times wondered if there was any chance of getting through this.

Unfortunately the result of this was that all my uni work including this project has been but on the back burner.

In part due to being organised before I have come up with something which I am reasonably happy with, but in fairness it is no-where like the standard I pride myself on.


Self-Initiated: Social Media co-ordination

One of the first things we were taught in the first year branding and how things need to be coordinated.

The Twitter account in it’s current form looks like this:

Facebook currently looks like this:

The Facebook page is called Hull Journalism, I propose that this be re-named Hull Central.

With regard to the all important branding, I have taken inspiration from the header on the FB group.

I think it would work well with a ‘team photo’. This will help personalise the sites allowing us to be seen as a team of reporters rather that just names on bylines.

Both Twitter and Facebook banners will be the same. They will both contain the same news contact details and the same bio.


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.



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.