Half-Hidden Lotus

This card, the half-hidden lotus flower, is in the Possibles drawer. I am putting it here so that Tamara and I can look at it from time to time while we decided whether to get it printed and added to the catalogue.

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Categorized as Possibles

Themes and Worries

the header hero image for the main site at Flying Twigs

There’s a lot to be said for using something like a Squarespace or Shopify or Big Commerce to run a store.

You let them take care of all the security issues; they have great layouts with all the styling elements, and you can just get on with the business of selling whatever the product is that you’re selling.

But what if you’re the kind of person who likes a bit more control over what your site looks like?

Or what if you have special needs such as that you’re selling wholesale and you need some minimum quantity that the buyer must buy with each order?

Then there is the fact that sites running on Squarespace, Shopify, or Big Commerce cannot be exported. If you stop paying the subscription, you have nothing.

Tamara and I needed more control because we have a trade site with special requirements, so I set up our store with WooCommerce on WordPress, and it’s excellent. The things you can do with it are absolutely terrific but of course you have to take care of the security yourself.

That’s not such an onerous task. You have to make sure that you keep everything up to date; that you use strong passwords; and that you are careful not to use any dodgy plug-ins or pieces of code that you’re not sure whether they are the right thing or where they came from.

But if you do that and you choose a good web host (that’s a web host that doesn’t let hackers in through the back door), then you should be okay.

So it might come and surprise to find out that it’s not okay in one rather simple aspect. And that is the theme that controls the styling and the look of the store.

When we first started we used Canvas which was a theme from WooCommerce. We thought the theme would just go on forever. And then WooCommerce dropped it.

So we switch to a theme made by Array Themes, and it was excellent. And then what happened? The owner of Array Themes gave up his business to become part of StudioPress, which is part of WPEngine.

And that was the end of support for that theme.

We had to look around for another theme because I knew that sooner or later there would be a template file or something that was no longer compatible with the latest version of WooCommerce or WordPress. And you have to keep abreast of these things otherwise you will definitely run the risk of having your site hacked.

So where are we now? We are now using the Generate Press theme with the pro add-on.

It’s the most flexible and undogmatic theme I’ve ever used. It is a pleasure to be able to put things here and take things from there; move things around and do whatever we want.

And it is built with a deep knowledge of what WooCommerce shop owners may want to do with their sites, and it does it ‘right out of the box’.

I hope the theme author keeps on trucking.

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Categorized as e-commerce

Calendar Mayhem

On 7th June 2019, the Government announced its decision to change the 2020 May Bank Holiday from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May.

Calendar makers are angry at a Government that gave them only 11 months notice, because they have already sent the 2020 calendars to print.

The final note to the Government Press Release states that a bank holiday is achieved by Royal Proclamation. Looking at the Gazette, the only recent Royal Proclamation that I can see on the matter of Bank Holidays is that of 24th May 2019 referring to bank holidays in Scotland.

Perhaps Her Majesty has not yet made the offending proclamation, and if so, then perhaps there is mileage in appealing the decision to the Crown.

Update

Ah well, now I see that on the 10 July, the Queen has made the proclamation and it is published in the Gazette on 12 July.

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Categorized as Stuff