WordPress shortcodes are a powerful feature that theme and plugin developers use to give users advanced tools at their disposal, but they continually confuse people. They are infinitely easier than writing actual HTML and CSS but can still freak out the typical user.
Using only the WordPress editor, one’s options for laying out a page or post would be limited to one block of text, perhaps interspersed with an image, video or maybe a photo gallery. What if you want to create a more visually interesting layout? Such as splitting your content area into columns, for example? Or including buttons, highlights and other fancy visual styles?
To write that kind of HTML and CSS would be quite tedious and beyond the abilities of most users. It would also create a lot of messy code in your WordPress editor, muddying the lines between content (which is primarily what you should be editing in WordPress) and code. Read the rest of this entry »
UPDATE: Donna Fontenot is the lucky winner of a Developer account at Elegant Themes!
Looking for a fancy new theme for your WordPress site? Today might be your lucky day. Elegant Themes has been kind enough to let me give away some developer memberships. I have 3 to give away in total and I plan on doing multiple contests. This is part one in which I will give away 1 of the 3 memberships. So if you don’t win this one, you’ll have more chances in the future. Read on for the details. Read the rest of this entry »
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 the rest of this entry »
Seems like podcasts, especially of the video variety, are having revival at the moment. Here’s a few WordPress-related ones worth checking out. They are all feature some very smart developers and other members of the WordPress community so it’s a great way to learn about best practices and generally what the latest trends are within the community.
This weekly WordPress-centric Google Hangout is the brainchild of my friend and WP multimedia expert Jason Tucker. Every Monday at 11am PST, up to 10 WordPress developers, designers and consultants gather on Google Hangout to discuss a WordPress topic. Sometimes they even stay on topic ;) Hilarity and wisdom ensue.The hangout is streamed to YouTube so you can watch live or catch the archived episodes on WPWatercooler.com. If you prefer audio you can subscribe to the audio-only version via iTunes and Stitcher. Read the rest of this entry »
While on the Facebook recently I was targeted with an ad that told me that if a certain 9 year old child can make WordPress websites, I should be able to as well.
It’s not the first time I’ve seen such marketing messages that tout WordPress to be so easy that a kid can do it. Even putting aside (which trust me, was reeeaaally hard for me to do!) the fact that the product seems to have been made by some cheeseball internet-marketing-bandwagon-jumper-type and that it’s all possibly fake anyway, this approach to selling WordPress irritates the bejesus out of me for a couple of reasons.
First, when you tell me I should be able to do something a kid can do, it makes me feel kind of dumb and it also makes me feel like you are being condescending to me.
Way to set the tone. (And I’m someone that does know how to make websites. So imagine how that feels to someone that has found it difficult to learn WordPress!)
Of course, I get the point they are making – WordPress isn’t rocket science so get over yourself and build that site you’ve been talking about. Fair enough. And yes, a child could quite feasibly set up and manage a blog.
Hi! I'm Lucy Beer. I know that WordPress is liberating when you know how to use it, and bewildering when you don’t. I help individuals and businesses learn WordPress for their specific needs. I will accelerate your knowledge and cut your learning curve in half (at least!). Generic tutorials and videos only go so far - when you need specialized knowledge, or a real person to answer your questions, that's where I come in. I help non-techies understand and use the web to empower their personal or business mission.