[WEBSITE | UPDATES] TrainerKelly’s Network is BACK IN BUSINESS!

Massive homepage update. Rambles tweaked. Online shop reopened. Patreon reopened. Ko-Fi officially ready for business.

TrainerKelly’s Network is officially BACK IN BUSINESS!

It’s been so long since I’ve actually done anything on here. I mean, okay, maybe not on Rambles – I’ve still periodically posted. However, on TrainerKelly’s Network as a whole, not so much. I’ll be speaking on exactly why in future posts. This post is specifically for updates to the website and my platforms.

The Updates

Homepage Update:

  • New & returning sections: Original works updates, recent artwork, online shop, The Kelly Mulry Corner, Support Me, Newsletter, Extended Network
  • Updated sections: Site Updates, Rambles, Social Media
  • Added a privacy policy

The number one thing you probably noticed on the homepage is that there is A LOT more going on now. I’ve been wanting to create various feeds for Rambles for a long time. I was never satisfied with the one feed that was on my homepage…a feed I made on a 3rd party website that eventually broke:

The broken Rambles feed…

I’ve been learning more about web development and programming slowly over the past two years and learned of something called APIs. The best way to describe them is that APIs let you pull information from one site onto another. LOTS of places use APIs and TrainerKelly’s Network is no exception.

It took me a bit, since there are no straightforward tutorials for building a WordPress Feed using APIs and (vanilla) Javascript (if that makes no sense, I’m just saying I couldn’t find anything to help me program the feed like I wanted to), I used an API tutorial that used a Studio Ghibli data set. I just modified the tutorial to suit my needs. I had to guess a few things. Surprisingly, most of them worked out in my favour! I had a bit of trouble figuring out how to generate a link around an image, but I eventually got it…I was making it too complicated before.

Now, I don’t think that the way I wrote these feeds are necessarily the best. I think they could be refined later on down the road. However, the ways I could potentially modify it isn’t something I can do right now: I’m still learning Javascript. I’m still very new to working with it, to the point where I don’t even know how to formulate my questions to get answers. Ah well. They do their job, so they’re great for right now!

I am super annoyed though because as I was updating Rambles last time, Rambles went completely down. I didn’t realize until later, that my website itself went completely down. I still don’t know why. It’s still down, in fact. The catch seems to be on my local internet. I can view it fine with my cellphone’s data, but not on my Wi-Fi. I don’t really get it…but okay. (As of writing this, with the previous homepage still up, it barely loads.)

There’s a lot more navigation links because of all the new sections. I don’t think they look all that good as they are now, but I think it’s fine for right now.

Recent Artwork is straightforward: it displays my most recent illustrations. I’ve decided to display it prominently on the page simply because it’s where I am starting with posting content. Well, that and Rambles in general.

The Kelly Mulry corner is a mixture of an “about me” and the other things that I’m interested in that might get drowned out otherwise. For you guys, it’s a way to get to know me better. For me, it’s just another form of expression of my interests. I’ll admit: I’m not happy with the Rambles feeds all that much. Namely, I need to push the “See More Posts” buttons down so they all align, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that and gave up. They still do their job, so they’re fine for now.

All the social network sections (yes, there’s two of them: under the Kelly Mulry Corner and the Connect with Me section) now have graphical icons. They don’t look 100% great since all the icons have different looks to them. I would have made my own set, but that’s not legal to do (despite many, many, MANY websites do them). Maybe I’ll reach out to these different companies in the future and see if I can I modify the colours to make them more consistent. I had plans to make everything more consistent, but *shakes fists* DARN YOU, TWITTEEEEEEEER!! They don’t have a black & white version of their logo, only a white and a blue version.

Support me is just a list of all the cool ways you guys can support me.

The newsletter section is…well, the newsletter. No-duh. Sign up, if you haven’t already! You must be at least 13 years old due to reasons known as COPPA.

Extended Network is a collection of websites & side gigs I’m in charge of and people who I work with on a regular basis. I do not consider them as a part of TrainerKelly’s Network, but rather affiliates. Currently, it’s just my web developer website and my husband’s YouTube channel. When I launch anything else or if I extensively work with someone on a regular basis, they will go here as well.

I’m REALLY happy overall with this update! I feel like my website is actually DOING something. It’s part of me getting back to my work. I now have a platform that I’m more than happy to display my work on.

The updated layout at different screen sizes.

Online Shop Update:

  • Changed platform from Woocommerce to Shopify
  • Less selection (for now)
The Official Online Shop’s homepage.

The Official Online Shop is OFFICIALLY open now. I limited the product artwork to my anime personas (Queen and Creator) and Kelly in two different forms (Dreamer and Winged). My thought process behind it honestly was that there’s no point in posting up any of my characters other than Kelly at the moment because I’m not posting their stories just yet. However, I’ll be posting MY story, so my anime personas made complete sense to me. Kelly the Dreamer also made sense to me because she’s 1.) my longest active character and 2.) she’s like my mascot character. I feel like I can get away with her on merchandise as opposed to my other characters.

Go check out it out now: https://tknonlineshop.com/

What’s Next?

I don’t expect to do another majour site update until next year when I go to post my stories. There may be sub-site updates for my side hustles (I’m looking at you, art commissions!), but that’s about it.

Instead, I’m going to focus on producing content: illustrations and stories.

Illustrations are coming first simply because they take less time than stories to create and put out. I often finish them within 3 to 5 hours, as opposed to story writing which takes me significantly more time. All new illustrations will be posted via Rambles. You may also see them on other platforms as well, but only after they’ve been posted to Rambles.

Rambles in general are coming along with the illustrations. The rambles are going to be about whatever I want. I’m going to be a lot more honest and blunt like I’ve been in the past. Every time I’ve skimmed through my older entries, I really appreciate seeing my old struggles and how much I’ve changed from then. For instance, I have quite a few posts about how much I hate doing artwork. I don’t feel that way now. Do I have frustrations with artwork? Yes. But I don’t hate it anymore. (This is going to be a Rambles subject in the future.) I figure that if I can’t get to posting my character stories right away for a variety of reasons, I might as well start posting about me.

Stories – like, my fictional stories – are coming April 2021. I’ve started tackling writing my stories, starting with detailed summaries. I’m still deciding on their exact format (I have a pretty good idea on what I want, but I’m open). If I can post them up earlier, I will. If not…that’s okay. April 2021 is the date. I’ll admit, I’m still fighting my way out of some thorny bits in my mind regarding story writing. I’ve been so insistent over the past few years to “start at the beginning” or “start at this particular point”, but I don’t believe that’s the best way for me to start. I actually think it’s to just make whatever I feel like to start with and I’ll eventually find my footing. That’s kind of how I work in other aspects of my life anyway, so why would story writing be any different? I’ll probably write more about these issues in the future.

I’m VERY excited!

Coming Back Inspiration

I would say three things ultimately motivated me to come back:

  1. Realizing I’m a failure
  2. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
  3. #BlackLivesMatter

Sure, there were other things before that, but those three ultimately pushed me to stop waiting.

But I’ll tell you more about that next time. ;]

I’ll see you later, trainees! (Can I call you guys that?)

Recommended Reading

[BLOG | UPDATE] Rambles Has Been Updated!

[RANTS] Artwork, Artwork, ARTWORK, ARTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH

[RANT] Artwork is No Fun

Artwork is the Worst

Support Me

Online Shop: https://tknonlineshop.com/

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/trainerkelly

Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/trainerkelly