Potato Strip #4: Theme Coding + Cats

Hi, guys! Welcome to the awesome feature here on The Social Potato! Here, we feature weakly”comic strips”, drawn and told by yours truly, talking about whatever stories we want to tell. Right now, I’ve decided to draw about how The Social Potato came to be, right from the very beginning! Once this “volume” finishes, we’ll try out different other stories! In any case, I really hope you like it!

Potato Strip #4: Theme Coding + Cats

potato strip 4

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If you’re a book blogger, you don’t just deal with contacting publicists, scouting upcoming titles, reading, and then reviewing… no, if you’re a blogger, it’s almost necessary to know how to code – be it HTML or CSS. Even for the widgets in your sidebar, you need to do a bit of HTML here and there! And if you really want your blog to completely represent your personality, that’s an even bigger issue – because unless you hire an expert – WTFOMFGBBQ WHAT DO THESE THINGS MEAN?!

Unfortunately, I know almost nothing about coding. I mean, I do know some HTML, the bits and pieces I learned along the way when I was obssessed over anime div layouts that were free on some sites, but going beyond that is like hell for me. I will have to consult tutorials, ask my buddies who know their shit, and spend time messing things up. I mean, could HTML and CSS possibly be so hard that you confuse cats and strings of words? In my case and in my situation – YES!

That’s why I want to learn. We had mandatory HTML classes back in High School, but we never got to learn CSS. I unfortunately can’t afford classes right now as I am saving up for a mobile dev course, so I will have to turn to online stuff. Do you know HTML/CSS? Are you self-taught? Do you have any tips pour moi? I would super appreciate it!

What about you? Do you have a blog? Did you have a hard time choosing a blog theme when you first started it? If you don’t have a blog and more of a reader, do you think that a pleasing blog theme is important for a blogger to consider?

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A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena


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    • FayeFaye says

      Mine is custom in a way, it was built on an already established theme and just tweaked to suit my preferences. Haha. But one day, I WILL know how to build my own theme from scratch. I’m already learning, thankfully!!

  1. says

    YOu seriously rock girl! I am amazed at your talent, I love it!

    HTML confuses me mostly but thankfully my husband knows a lot about it and handles all my blogging stuff for me, if he didn’t I would be so screwed! :P It would be nice to learn more on my own though so I didn’t have to bug him whenever something needs changing or goes wrong.
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Blog Tour Book Review: Tunnel Vision by Susan AdrianMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Aw, thank you so much! It’s not that big of a deal, really! Haha.

      Aw, I’m so jealous of your husband! The nearest person who knows an iota of coding around here is… ME. And I basically know almost nothing, so that doesn’t help much. Haha.

    • FayeFaye says

      Awww, I’m so jealous of you guys who have partners that are crazy awesome at coding! I can only wish I’d be as good as you guys someday. I’m definitely going to learn, though. That’s one of my goals this year.

    • FayeFaye says

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Pili! I love it that you love them. I understand the struggle… thankfully, there are countless materials and tutorials on the net to help us.

  2. says

    Hahaha I don’t mind the cat videos appearing on here at all! I self taught myself HTML back in high school when I was playing around with creating layouts. WordPress themes are so much harder though with all its CSS and javascripts etc. I wish it was easier to learn and I definitely want to try and learn it one day! I’m thinking of revamping the blog this year as well! :D
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Monthly Wrap Up – January 2015My Profile

  3. says

    I didn’t know anything at all about coding when I first started blogging either, I remember the first ever layout I went, it was cute, but the main part where the posts went was super small. I have got slightly better through reading online tutorials though, if someone had asked me a few years back about coding HTML I would have been totally baffled. Cool comic strip Faye!
    Jasprit recently posted…Review: I’ll Meet You There by Heather DemetriosMy Profile

  4. Laila BC says

    MEOW! MEOW! Faye i absolutely have no idea about coding and all that techy stuff…hence i don’t have a blog. LOL! as a reader i do think it’s also important to put genuine and careful thoughts about your blog theme. I can easily identify you with it, in a generation were people are more active online, it is pleasing to know the blogger put efforts to their blogs and something that reflects you as a person or as a group. I also love that a blogger put a lot of options in their blog on how i can subscribe/follow their blog like twitter, GFC, FB,IG etc. and i just have to click and click that easy. And since yours is a book blog and etc. it should be as imaginative as the books we’ve read :) don’t you think so? i really find that strip entertaining Faye. LOL! all your comic strip never fails to amuse me ;)

  5. says

    I never ever enrolled/attended any formal HTML/CSS class (we don’t have in my HS). Everything I know about front-end development I learned it through tutorials and constantly doing it. The more I do it, the easier for me to get familiar with it. It takes a while to learn it. It’s basically a language; you need to use it frequently to get a good command of it. :D Well, good luck, you can do it!

  6. says

    Coding is a big part of blogging, especially as you grow, and want to try new things. Hiring a designer every time you need to tweak your theme is costly. I kinda lucked out in that I have a Webmaster certificate; however technology changes so quickly that I’m always learning. I’ve crashed many a site in my time. LOL! Back-up, back-up, back-up before you edit. That’s my #1 tip!
    Carmel @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Fresh Meat: February 1-7th Speculative Fiction ReleasesMy Profile

  7. says

    DID THAT HAPPEN TO YOU FREYR? HUH DID IT? Did your website got hijacked by cats? Maybe that’s why you couldn’t access it.

    Anyways, I do know some CSS and HTML, but I can’t make a whole new layout from scratch, that would be impossible. I just stick to tweaking things here and there with the power of GOOGLE
    Valerie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #42My Profile

  8. says

    Oh good lord Faye, I laughed my ass off. Unless you’re a computer wiz, it’s like learning a whole new language (which it actually is). Making over your blog over is as rewarding as it is headache inducing. I’m so anal about trying to do everything myself, when I really should just pay someone. It’s cheaper than the amount of Panadol you’d go through anyway. Trying to move to WordPress? Nope, not a chance. I have no frigging clue anymore. But considering even 8 years ago I had no idea even how to use a computer, I’m not doing too badly. Love the comic strip Faye, you’re work is absolutely brilliant! <3
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  9. says

    Haha I loved the strip! I’ve had some VERY similar experiences!

    I do know quite a bit about HTML, CSS, and even PHP. I’ve been doing websites on and off for about the past 7 years so I’m pretty lucky. However, I would say that it’s SO true that everyone starts somewhere and not to compare yourself to others. I remember trying to scrape together basic inline CSS and struggling. Now it’s not a big deal at all. Just don’t give up and keep trying to learn!!
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  10. says

    My darling Faye…not only do I think you are beyond talented, I mean, hello….look at this comic strip, I think your blog is super auh-mazing!!! I wish I could do that!! You have no idea my friend! *bows to Faye* And unfortunately, I don’t have any fantastic advice with coding. I wish I could take the credit for what is done on my blog but no, it was all done by a professional. *shrugs*

    PS: did I mention how much I love the comic strip?? ;)
    Cristina recently posted…The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly BlackMy Profile

  11. says

    I love this comic strip! You’ve got some talent, girl. :D I really want to learn theme coding, but I have no idea where to start! I’ve seen some post on coding at blogs like Nose Graze, but I really, really need a tutorial to just explain the basics of how everything works. Why do all these weird letter/ symbol combinations make pictures? Yes, I’ve pretty hopeless.
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  12. says

    I’m a web developer and everything I know was self-taught. :) As long as you’re good at reading tutorials and finding your own resources, it’s possible to find everything you need online and for free. It might be trickier if you prefer to have a person you can turn to for help/answers. Everyone learns differently.

    You can start off by following tutorials and just Googling anything you don’t know. You DEFINITELY want to take baby steps. For example, if you’re not yet an expert at HTML and CSS, you DO NOT want to Google “How to make my own WordPress theme” because you will be lost. You have to take things one step at a time:

    1. Learn HTML basics
    2. Learn CSS basics
    3. Expand on #1 and #2 so you become extremely comfortable building an entire *static* (not WordPress) website.
    4. Then move into coding for WordPress.

    But you can start by just Googling anything you need. Start putting together the pieces that make up a website. For example, here are sample Google searches:

    1. Introduction to HTML
    2. Introduction to CSS
    3. How to code navigation menu with HTML and CSS
    4. How to make columns with HTML and CSS


    Just Google anything that you don’t know how to do and work on a lot of small projects. For example, try learning how to build your own non-WordPress website. You don’t actually have to USE that website anywhere, but it’s a good learning process.
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  13. says

    I love customizing my blog that most of the time, that’s all I do! Seriously, I keep on changing it every week. I learned HTML during high school too but those are just basic stuff and CSS wasn’t invented that time yet. Most of what I know about web developments are through reading tutorials online and practices. I guess this is the reason why I loved blogging too. I used my blog as a practice ground for all web developments.

    Did you have a hard time choosing a blog theme when you first started it? – it was! I started blogging almost a decade ago and it was a lot of work. Take note that WordPress wasn’t even popular yet so we have to do everything manually.
    Do you think that a pleasing blog theme is important for a blogger to consider? – I believe it is. It should be easy to read and catchy. I prefer minimal design.
    Irish recently posted…2015 Book ChallengesMy Profile

  14. says

    THIS IS AH-MAZING! First of all, when I came up with my theme, I tried to make a comic strip for my thumbnails & header, and well . . . it was a bit out of my designing league lmao. When I first started blogging I didn’t know a THING about HTML & CSS. I found a free pre-made template online that soo wasn’t my style, but since I wanted to quickly get started with posting reviews, I used it. Girl I had that damn thing for 2 days before I ditched it and DIY’d my blog from scratch. My recent look is something I did completely on my own, and while it isn’t the BEST, I’m still proud that with the little experience I have with coding, I was able to pull off what I did.

    & puleaseeee tell me that you charge people for comic strip designs because I would sooooooooo pay! Shit I’d ditch my whole header design for a strip especially since that’s the direction I was TRYING to go lmao. Curse you creative people who are the shit with designing! * shakes fist *
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  15. says

    Aaah, I love your comic! The Youtube time-sucking hole is too real. Glad to know there are bloggers out there just like me who piece together bits of coding knowledge gained form the Internet to get by. ;) That’s really awesome that your school required you to learn HTML, I’ve never heard of that here in the U.S.! I went to this 1 week long training session at my college, but if flew by and didn’t teach so much as expect you to follow along. I keep meaning to start Code Academy online this summer (it’s free!) but I’m busy/lazy haha.
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