Lesson learnt today? - It's good to have a visual mock-up of what you are heading towards.
I'm writing this entry early today, not because I'd like the afternoon off (chance would be a fine thing) but because I've got an early representation of what a main screen may look like on the site. I already had sketches that I am working to, but a screen mock-up can show us all how the display can look. Already it has indicated to me certain validation restrictions that I will have to include in the coding of the site.
Now, although I'm happy to be described as a programmer or even a web developer, I am not a web designer. Yes, I can change layouts, introduce drop down menus or change the appearance of text. But to make a site overall look professional, it's essential to get layout from a good web designer included - something to consider if you want a website building.
However I stated in my initial post that I'm trying to run this as a lean startup ie not spending money where possible. So I have made use of a css free templates site and chosen this layout http://www.csstemplatesfree.org/preview/Nautica/ It's been written by Luka Cvrk, and if you like his designs (you can find them at Luka's site ) then please patronise his work - he has both free and decently-priced premium templates. I'm not going to stick to everything in that layout - much will have to change as my site develops. But it's good, I feel, to get a glimpse of how the site may look.
CakePhp code tip: To specify which css file and layout to use for a screen, use this line in the function code (for example for index or view) in the controller
$this->layout='yournew_layout';You can then specify the css file you require from that layout file.