In some of my previous blog posts, I mentioned how the MCOR Bootcamp had internship interviews towards the end of the course. I interviewed with three companies: XOXY, Crisis Preparation and Recovery, and Pyxl. At the time I really wanted to become an intern at Pyxl because they’re a large digital marketing firm. I thought that an internship at Pyxl would offer me the chance to work closely with senior developers.
The company that offered me an intern position, however, was Crisis Preparation and Recovery, or CPR for short. They picked me because of my history with WordPress which their website was currently running.
What Their Website Looked Like
The last time they had a web developer touch their website was in 2006 if I remember correctly. The website had a very out-of-date design, some empty pages, a few broken links, and wasn’t mobile responsive. I knew going into this project that BootStrap was going to be the easiest way to make the site mobile friendly.
Below are some screenshots of what the website looked like when I was hired.
Learning How to Develop WordPress Themes
At this point, I was perfectly familiar with Bootstrap and building websites without any sort of content management system like WordPress. I had experience running WordPress websites, but not experience developing WordPress websites. The day before I officially started my internship I watched a ton of YouTube videos and read lots of articles about how to build a WordPress theme.
The biggest problem I faced early on was getting BootStrap to properly work with WordPress. After some hours of frustration, I found out I needed to include a “Nav-Walker” file. This file would allow WordPress and BootStrap to play nicely and after including that file I had the navigation working perfectly.
Making the Website Modular
The whole reason CPR wanted to run WordPress was so they could easily modify anything on the website without a developer on hand. I knew that whole site needed to be easily modified however they want once I was no longer working with them. For that reason, I decided to find a WordPress plugin that was basically a visual editor. I personally didn’t want to use a plugin to basically build an entire website, but it was the easiest and fastest solution to my problem.
The plugin I ended up choosing is called Elementor, and it’s a free plugin available to anyone. This plugin was loaded with features, and although it isn’t 100% perfect it’s close.
I created a couple of different designs, some of them were good and some of them weren’t. Eventually, we picked different elements of each design and smashed it all together. The result was pretty decent. The new design didn’t start to look really good until the homepage had a full-size image, and I introduced a blue gradient to the footer.
We decided on fixing the navigation to the top of the browser because, well, it just looks good.
I could probably keep going on, but I think it’s time to wrap this article up. Overall my experience working as a web developer intern was pretty great. Not only did I learn new skills, but I also gained the experience needed to launch me further into the web development field. CPR really let me be creative and genuinely listened to what I had to say. Plus they paid me pretty darn good for an intern so that was awesome.
You can also view the finished website if you’d like. Now it’s time to touch up my resume and website so I can find an actual web developer position!