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WordPress sites are all about communicating messages. But sometimes, among design and technical considerations, our messages get a little lost. This Meetup is all about putting the focus back on content. What are the tricks of the trade for making sure your web content is effective and compelling? We’ll discuss what you need to think about when creating copy, simple ways to make sure your content gets read and why writing for the web is different than the writing you did in high school.
Bring your questions, thoughts and ideas!
Bio: Meredith Floyd is a teacher, writer, mother, knitter, ukulele-player, web designer and digital communications specialist with her own business, Six Swans Studios She’s passionate about clear language, clean design and good beer.
Doing the right thing for your client means more than just producing a lovely website. It includes teaching them the importance of updating plugins and themes, how to post on their blog and add categories and tags, installing Search Engine Optimization and back-up plugins and teaching them how to use these and more. We will go over all these at the MeetUp as well as the techniques of teaching clients so they can fly on their own.
Bonus: If we have time, I will include how to submit their site to Google and Bing and adding their website to your Google Analytics profile. (We may have to save this for another MeetUp.)
Mary Ann Aschenbrenner is the President of Waterlink Web, an interactive website design and development firm. At Waterlink Web we offer our clients Google Analytics, Search Engine Optimization, WordPress Websites, WordPress Training and Website Maintenance.
Slides are here from the June 23, 2014 presentation.
WordPress Pages, posts, categories, and tags often feel like lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! Where do you put what in a WordPress site? This is the challenge faced by web designers and developers since the beginning of the web. When is content appropriate for a post or Page? How do you handle the user experience to minimize clicks, meet web standards, and structure a site for the most efficient use of navigation and information?
Lorelle VanFossen will take you on a journey through the creation of a WordPress site from concept to build, answering the key questions about where to put what where. All your questions about WordPress Pages, posts, categories, tags, and content organization will be answered in this highly interactive evening workshop. Whether you are new to WordPress or an experienced user, this workshop will test your understanding of basic content structure and organization in WordPress.
Lorelle VanFossen is a keynote, trainer, writer, and consultant on web writing, web design, and blogging, especially working with WordPress. Called a blog evangelist, on Lorelle on WordPress she writes about everything WordPress, blogging, and social media, covering more than you may want to know about how all this blogging business and social stuff works.
Our User meeting was a solid two hours of Q&A last night, with another full room of WordPress enthusiasts. Thanks to Meredith Floyd-Preston for volunteering to type up the follow notes, enjoy. Our panelists were:
Who has run into problems with the auto-update? (specifically with TinyMCE?)
Is it possible to use different designs on different pages, different templates?
Yes. Some themes have the templates. Others don’t have them. If your theme doesn’t have a template you can get someone to code it for you. Basis is a theme that allows you to create that yourself (drag and drop). Made by Theme Foundry. There is also a plug-in called Velocity Page that allows you to create templates with any theme.
Basis – easy, well-done, drag and drop flexibility.
Thesis – some don’t like, takes wordpress a bit out of wordpress way of working; if you go with the flow of WordPress it is easy to do custom stuff. Thesis has its own way. WordPress people aren’t happy with Thesis guy. Violating open-source.
Genesis – good, seems to work in the WordPress way. WordPress endorses Genesis. Nice whole package.
Akismet? Other free spam filter?
Akismet is still free. You just have to put the slider all the way down to zero (only for personal accounts.)
WordPress SEO by Yoast is a great plug-in. All-in-one SEO is good too, but it does have some history with problems with compatibility. Yoast has a nice red, yellow, green that trains you to write good SEO content.
WooCommerce bookings has just come out if you have an appointment based business. Kronda showed an example of a WooCommerce site.
Suggestions for teaching clients?
Bobwp.com; others suggested; learn.wordpress.com; videousermanuals.com – adds video tutorials within the dashboard of WordPress, comes in different languages and accents (pay for yearly license). You can also send a client the video.
Karvel.me/wpsitehelp – Kronda is starting to do webinars, etc; go to her site to get on mailing list
Great donation plug-in
Possible, create category for different artists.
Should I switch to a well-known theme from the one I found?
I’m using Atomic, should I switch themes? If it works, then keep using it.
Web Site Hosting?
Site 5 is Great! 3 php calls at once only? Not possible.
1and1 also recommended.
How do you figure out how much to charge as a developer or designer?
One example $75/hour. Agreement. Bid projects based on hourly rate. Good article on hubspot.com about different kinds of developers and what they charge. People are more open to pricing per project. They are used to hiring admin assistants for $15/hour. Hard to swallow $35-50 rate. Great to charge by project as long as the specs don’t change. Make sure the price applies to certain parameters.
Description of particular need. Quizlet.
How would I go about hiring someone to do this? Pdxwp.com – the site for this group, there is a list of developers.
What is a shortcode?
It’s a shortcut to expanded functionality (rather than typing in the whole code.) It’s something in brackets.
Here’s a list of all shortcodes used at WordPress.com
What is a plug-in?
It’s a new feature that wasn’t there before. Comparison to an app on a phone.
What is a theme?
The appearance of your site. Plug-ins are features and functionality.
Basically anything you want to do you can make happen.
Themes tend to have everything in them but lots of developers don’t like this because things don’t play together well. Better to add things as you need them.
Bob Dunn, a WordPress designer and trainer since 2008, recently launched his third membership site, BobWP.com. Through the first and second ones, he refined his model and strategies, and experienced some valuable lessons. He is going to tell you what he learned through that: what worked—and what bombed, so you can avoid making the same mistakes. He will share what you should prepare for, as well as thought process that led him to choose WooThemes and WooCommerce, for his new site. He will also talk a bit about other options he considered before making the final decision. Lastly, he will puncture the it’s-easy-to make-money-while-you-sleep bubble and replace it with advice that will put you on solid ground to succeed—if you make the effort.
Bob has trained thousands of beginners and users in WordPress, both online and through in-person workshops and conferences, video tutorial training, one-to-one virtual training and his frequently updated blog content. He and his wife Judy owned a marketing, design and copywriting business for more than 20 years. He lives on a small island in south Puget Sound and consider Portland one of his favorite Northwest cities. You can find him at bobwp.com or just google bobwp.
I’m an Instructional Designer with the Academic Technology Services department at the University of Portland. Although I’m a recent transplant to the beautiful NorthWest, I pass the “Portland test” with flying colors — vegan, bikey, greener-than-green…you get the picture. I hold a Master’s Degree in Instructional Design from the University of Massachusetts in Boston and a B.S. in Technical Writing from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. I have 15 years of experience in building online programs. I have been involved with all aspects of online learning including LMS server administration, faculty training and development, teaching online, learning online (my M.Ed. was done mostly online), multimedia creation, web development, and more!
One of the biggest marketing topics of the past year has been content marketing. Regardless of how you feel about the concept, it’s no secret that customers – and search engines – love a website with fresh, engaging content. But how to you keep your site frequently updated without overwhelming customers, not to overlook that you need fresh sales coming in too!
In this session, we’ll focus on covering the basic foundations for website optimization when it comes to a marketing perspective. We’ll talk about the customer lifecyle and share important questions you should answer to better understand your own customers and clients. We’ll close with recommendations on plugins and resources to help you take action and work on improving your website.
Andy is the founder of Plum Deluxe Productions, a Portland-based content marketing agency for lifestyle brands. They publish the Plum Deluxe online lifestyle magazine, a WordPress-based site featuring content and commerce in a variety of topic areas, from food to wine to travel and home.
Andy Hayes has been tinkering and tweaking websites for over 15 years. He started out working at a large software company where he was given the inside scoop of how websites are built from the ground up. He moved on to work in a $1 million website testing lab (because, believe it or not, testing and optimizing websites really used to cost that much!).
It always saddens me when people come to me near the end of a project, deadline looming, with a site that has clearly gone off the rails and ask if it can be fixed. The answer is usually ‘not without starting over’.
In this session, I’ll provide a blueprint for investing your time and money wisely to end up with a site you love that is also useful, effective and easy to manage. I’ll talk about finding a good developer, asking the right questions, and what you as the site owner should be prepared to contribute.
Kronda Adair is an independent WordPress developer who loves helping people make their sites better. She’s spoken at Open Source Bridge, Wordcamp Portland, and recently gave an Ignite talk titled, Stop Making Senseless websites.
The Presentation Slides
Tonight we had a panel discussion on how three different companies take their Code (Theme, Plugin, etc.) and get into production. Tools and web sites mentioned include:
- git – distributed version control system
- MAMP – a local web server for Mac with Apache, MySQL and PHP
- WPengine – web hosting and more for WordPress sites
- Asana – enables teamwork without email
- WP-CLI – a command line interface for WordPress
- Subversion – enterprise class centralized version control for the masses
- Vagrant – development environments made easy
- vmware – virtualization of operating systems
- Capistrano – remote multi-server automation tool
- bash – a scripting language
- Sass – CSS with superpowers
- Bedrock – WordPress development stack from Roots