Last week we decided to finally get it together and set up a press kit. Naturally our first thought was of dopresskit by Rami Ismail. We installed it, and while we really liked the idea of a democratized press kit creation tool, we found that this wasn’t the one for us.
We noticed right away that there were some sections that didn’t apply to us, like awards (we’ll get one some day), or article quotes. But when we deleted these sections, we found there were artifacts left behind, and we couldn’t immediately figure out how to solve this without modifying the php file. We also wanted to be able to change the order of our images, rename sections, and some other minor details, and the path to do these things was not obvious to us.
For what we wanted to do, if editing the source was the solution to our problem, it seemed better to just roll our own. So we did! We preserved the formatting and structure of Rami’s kit, which we liked, but our kit is actually written completely differently, and the process for installing and editing is totally different. So that’s what we called it – differently.
Necrosoft developer Shane Marks spend a couple days putting this together – here’s what he has to say about it.
Once I started writing our own press kit, I decided to do a number of things differently.
Instead of using XML to generate the html page I decided to use markdown. Markdown for me is easier to use, and isn’t as brittle as xml. The page doesn’t explode if you forget to close a tag! I also made it so you can remove, rename, or add entire sections and add new sections without artifacts.
I also decided to simplify the process by using client side rendering instead of php. This means you don’t need to know if your hosting supports php, or what that even means! You can also do neat things like host your press kit on github for free.
The biggest downside to our press kit is you have to manually link your projects and images because it renders client side, whereas dopresskit auto-populates these things from folders. I actually rather prefer this though, because I can now easily arrange our projects and images as I like. I can’t really imagine this being a dealbreaker for anyone since it’s not like you’ll have more than a few projects or images to link to.
Want to use differently?
If you like the idea of this and would like to use it yourself (or tell us we’re terrible for making it), you can check out differently here. We’ve decided to license it as public domain so that everyone can benefit from it.
Tips for using differently
Here’s some information that might be useful if you want to use our press kit!
- Use pngcrush on your images. Doing this should make your images load faster!
- Use smaller images and link to the originals if you’re using high quality images.
- Host your press kit on Github Pages using SparkleShare. This can save you paying for hosting, or understanding how to use FTP and a bunch of other junk!
- Use atom.io to update your index.md files. I do this myself because it lets me live-preview pages while I’m editing.
</ End Shane>
So that’s our press kit! You can see our own results right here, or the generic page here. You’ll note that it looks pretty similar to dopresskit, because we did like the structure of it all, but most of the difference is in the back end, and how you use it. We’ve created a landing page for everything here, but everything is stored on github for your convenience.
If you have comments or suggestions, do let us know! We hope this will be useful for all the devs out there who hate making press kits (that’s everyone, I think).