Using WordPress to Build a Website

Hello!

I started a new new side project together with my family. Casas de Férias no Algarve is a holiday rentals website which can be found at sunnyhomerentals.com. Here people can find unique and privately owned properties to rent in the south of Portugal.

I created this website using a WordPress installation with a custom theme and several plugins and hosted it at TSOHost.

I have learned a lot by using WordPress to build this website, not only is it quick but it also has many useful plugins like Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin  and Yoast Google Analytics for WordPress. I have also used WPML to create a multi-lingual website. It is not perfect but certainly a quick way to get your website running in different languages in no time. I’ve used a highly customisable WordPress template which is simple but looks great.

I had so much fun building this site, which reminded me how much I love coding! I encountered several challenges while building the site and I actually fixed a bug in WPML redirection module (in PHP), which I as chuffed about, after not coding for more than 2 years.

The logo below was commissioned by a designer at 99designs.com. It’s so easy to make a website these days and I love it!

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Changes

When I started this blog back in 2006 I was a graduate starting my first job and I was super excited about learning Java and all sorts of related technologies. I have since then been in numerous roles as Developer, Team Lead, Scrum Master, Software Delivery Manager and even Product Manager.

I wrote many lines of code, created several projects on my free time, attended many conferences and courses, worked in companies in Holland, Portugal and England and had the pleasure of working with so many people of different origins from whom I learned so much. It’s been an amazing experience and having this blog allowed  to keep those memories!

I still have visits to the blog on a daily basis, perhaps from developers searching for answers about Java coding so thanks for everyone that visited, commented and found it useful over the years.

Thanks for my grandpa for giving me a Spectrum 128k and for my dad for showing me his brand new Windows 3.1 PC. This played a huge role on shaping my future and on my passion for engineering and problem solving.

It is unlikely that I will be writing any more posts about coding and engineering since my life has evolved and I found other interests over the years. I love learning new things which are not always technology related, although my heart will always belong there.

It’s been so long, again!

It’s quiet crazy how time goes so fast! I haven’t had any time to make posts here, but I hope to write some more in the near future, and if not here at least on Travelfusion’s blog (I’ll post the link here when we go live). I’ve been working for Travelfusion since July and it’s been a great experience! If you want to find cheap flights you should check our website. I am currently the lead developer for the site and we have a planned a major redesign, so there are so many cool things to implement using GWT. Drop by anytime and give us some feedback.

I am loving London, so much to do, never bored – well almost never – and visiting friends and family once a month just makes up for the occasionally lonely days.

Here are some pictures of a team building event. I can’t say for sure that shooting each other is team building but it was a lot of fun.

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Ending up at a museum

Not everything is wasted time…3 years ago me and Bas worked on a “mashup” of Google maps, when that was a very HOT subject and Ajax apps where appearing on every corner of the web. The project was closed and our domain name taken but the good news is that we managed to stay in the museum of modern betas for eternity. Plus we learned a lot from that experience and now I am trying to get Bas to put it live on his domain so we can remember from time to time how much fun we had doing it.

River Tejo, the sunset and new challenges

It’s been a while. I have moved back to Portugal after 4.5 years in Holland. It was a journey, a good one. Now I start a new one with very different weather conditions. 🙂 I travel by ferry daily and in the evening the sunset plus the warm breeze alongside the river Tejo feels just great.

I am working as an IT Consultant now and it’s very different but also interesting. On my free time I work on my next big thing. My project should go live somewhere this year (I hope), and if it does I will post about it.

For now I won’t be writing much about programming or Java because I don’t really have time and my work is more directed at business analysis these days. I miss working with the latest technologies, but what I am doing now is also interesting and I still get to taste a bit of coding at home.

Manage your energy, not your time

That is the title of an article by Tony Schwartz which I read last night. It might be common sense (or not) that eating better, exercising and taking relaxing breaks prolongs lives and makes people feel healthier and happy. But in the busyness of our lives how many of us is actually doing that? How many managers and leaders out there address these rituals in their own companies or teams? Focused, motivated and energized people perform better and produce more. Maybe it’s time to start supporting energizing rituals in our organizations. Here are some which I extracted from the article and that you can apply on your own:

  • Start moving, do cardiovascular training and strength training at least 3 times a week
  • Eat healthier and do not skip breakfast, take a break for lunch
  • Take regular breaks during the day – go up and down the stairs or go for a walk
  • Attract positive energy by changing the stories you tell to yourself – don’t be irritated just because it’s raining, instead enjoy the good side of it
  • Breath deeply to recover and relax from a stressful situation
  • When focusing in a task avoid distractions, turn off your email – distractions will make you loose 25% of your time on each task (it’s not worth it!)

Remember, time is limited but energy is not!