I'm back to work this morning so will write a brief post. But I acknowledge that I need more vacation time to finish everything I've started...then again, a 4-day weekend is hardly much of a vacation but it's better than nothing.
I spent most of yesterday working on the Cyber Cafe website . I'm recreating the site in Joomla!, a free open source, web content management system (web CMS). I'm creating the site on a subdomain, so both sites are running parallel right now. But I hope to replace the current site with the new one later this week. It won't be complete, but it will be complete enough to serve its purpose. Websites are never done anyway. They are always works in progress unless you just have a static brochure that changes only occasionally.
I've been teaching myself to use Joomla! over the past year or so, in my spare time. This means I don't often get a good chunk of time to work on it and learn it really well. It's only in a stretch like yesterday that the new concepts and ways to use it effectively can really sink into my brain. Like most things, you learn it best by using it frequently. That way, the concepts become ingrained in your brain and you can visualize how it works even when you are not in front of your computer.
Yesterday I had the time to document how the new site is organized, using PowerPoint to create some teaching tools. This will help my clients edit and maintain their Joomla! sites after I've created them. That takes a lot of work too. I find documenting how I'm working helps me discipline myself. It helps me lay things out and keep them simple because I don't want to write a lot of documentation. Using fewer section and category options can make it easier for an organization to maintain the site and doesn't overwhelm them with choices and decisions. That makes me a better web designer for small organizations and non-profits that have non-tech staff who will have to support the site after I'm done.
I'll post more on my progress later. ...gotta get to work!