How To Collect User-Submitted Testimonials On Your WordPress Site

Gravity Forms, Testimonials Widget

Just recently I’ve worked on two sites that needed a way to display testimonials and a way to collect them from clients via the website itself. With WordPress there are several ways you could achieve this, this is just the method I happened to come up with recently.

Most of the time, for testimonials I end up using the Testimonials Widget plugin. Mostly I like the widget that comes with it which rotates individual testimonials. It’s pretty user friendly to get up and running with as well.

Since I use Gravity Forms (cupcake, AKA affiliate link ) on pretty much all my client sites, it made sense to put the two plugins together to create the submission system. Gravity Forms comes built-in with the ability to have a user submit a form which gets saved in your WordPress site as a post. The Testimonials Widget plugin uses Custom Post Types to create a customized edit screen for adding new Testimonials. Fortunately there is a free plugin for Gravity Forms which extends that capability of saving form entries as posts,  to custom post types as well. It’s appropriately named Gravity Forms + Custom Post Types. Once the plugin is activated it integrates seamlessly with the usual Gravity Forms creation process. 

Read More

What Happens If I Change My WordPress Theme?

What happens when you change your WordPress theme

When the same question crops up again and again, it’s time for a blog post!

Changing your WordPress theme can be a scary prospect if you’ve already invested a lot of time and effort building your site – what if you click the button and ‘poof!’ your site becomes dust?!

So here’s a guide to what will and won’t change about your site when you switch themes. Depending on the specific themes you are switching between your experience may be more or less tricky.

The overarching rule is that anything that is a core WordPress feature will remain, and all plugins and their features will remain, but anything that is theme-specific will no longer be available to you.

So let’s dig a little deeper into what this means.

Read More

How To Back Up Your WordPress Site To DropBox

Backup Your WordPress Site To DropBox

Backing up your WordPress site is a necessity, but it can be hard to find an affordable, easy-to-implement solution that covers all the bases. I’m always on the hunt for the best solution, and the method presented here is just one of several possible solutions.

Here are some of my ideal criteria for a backup solution:

  1. Ability to back up both database and files
  2. Ability to schedule these backups separately – I haven’t found too many situations where a full file backup is needed as frequently as the database backup
  3. Offers backup to an off-site 3rd party. You don’t want to keep backups on your server because if something goes wrong with the server, your backups could be screwed.Backups sent via email are usually only realistic for the database, full site backups tend to get too large to email.

One of my newest favorite solutions is to backup to a free DropBox account. With Dropbox you can get 2GB of storage for free which will keep you going for a while, and should you run out, you can easily delete old backups.

I’ve been using a free plugin called Back WP Up  to accomplish this. It meets all three of my criteria above. The options panel may look a bit overwhelming to newbies so here’s a brief walk through it.

Read More

Easy Ways To Create Columns, Grids and Cool Layouts in Your WordPress Post

easy grid and column layouts in wordpress

LAST UPDATED: August 2016

Have you had one of these fights with the WordPress post editor? Have you tried creating neatly aligned rows and columns of images? Or perhaps attempted to place 2 videos next to each other? Such tasks can seem simple in concept, but can be maddening to attempt.

Basically the WordPress editor by default is just not good with allowing you to do anything column or grid-based, unless you hand-code the HTML, which defeats the purpose of using WordPress, amirite?

Fortunately, by installing one simple plugin you can quickly and easily attain more flexibility with your page and post layouts.

Read More