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  • tualatinweb 9:37 am on June 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Lorelle VanFossen   

    Slides: Organizing Your WordPress Site 

    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.

     
  • tualatinweb 9:39 am on May 20, 2014 Permalink  

    Notes from – User: Ask Us Any WordPress Question 

    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?)

    Seems that when there is a theme that loads its own JavaScript library, there is something interfering. TinyMCE is part of WordPress. Seems like lots of big updates cause problems with TinyMCE. Turn off all plug-ins and see if it’s still broken. If so, revert to one of the basic themes to see.

    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.

    Theme choice

    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.)

    SEO

    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 demo?

    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

    Seamless Donations

    Etsy-type site

    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.

    Caching plug-ins?

    W3 Total cache and WP SuperCache

    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.

    WordPress deployment survey results.

    WordPress state of the Word.

    Annual WordPress survey.

    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.

    WordPress lightbox

    Thickbox

    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.

    Slider question

    Basically anything you want to do you can make happen.

    Themeforest

    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.

     
  • tualatinweb 1:25 pm on April 20, 2014 Permalink
    Tags:   

    User: Membership Site Lessons – Challenges and Insights 

    Bob DunnBob 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.

     
  • tualatinweb 12:24 pm on March 24, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: Maria Erb, University of Portland   

    Is WordPress Getting Too Complex? 

    Maria Erb, M.Ed. is an instructional designer at the University of Portland and she will talk about how they install WordPress, and how to keep life simple by using JetPack as the only plugin.

    She will also share her experience with the Genesis frameworkand using custom themes. There is also a minimalist platform called Ghost that will be discussed.

    Bio

    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!

     
  • tualatinweb 6:22 pm on February 17, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: content marketing, Plum Deluxe Productions, search engines, website optimization   

    How to Optimize Your WordPress Site for Content Marketing Conversions 

    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.

    Author Bio

    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!).

    Andy Hayes

    Presentation Slides:

     
  • tualatinweb 6:30 pm on January 20, 2014 Permalink  

    Planning a Successful WordPress Site 

     

    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.

     

    Speaker Bio

     

    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

    Planning a Successful WordPress Site from Karvel Digital

     
  • tualatinweb 5:54 pm on December 17, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: development   

    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
    • Grunt – the Javascript task runner
    • Bedrock – WordPress development stack from Roots
     
    • Randy Kilwag 9:20 pm on December 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      That’s like a “before” picture for the packed room. It filled up pretty well a little bit later.

  • tualatinweb 10:50 am on December 9, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: Revolution Code Blue   

    Developing a non-profit web site 

    I’m a member of the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars, Men’s Auxiliary in Tualatin, Oregon and volunteered to migrate their hand-coded web site over to WordPress. In the process I chose a 3 column theme called Revolution Code Blue to help display the info-rich web site:

    Tualatin VFW

    The site is at: http://www.tualatinvfw.com

    Plugins

    They needed to have events and a calendar, so I selected the Events Manager plugin. I placed an Events Widget in the left sidebar:

    events events sidebar

    Also in the left sidebar is an area for monthly meetings, and I wanted the content to use a WYSIWYG editor. The plugin called Black Studio TinyMCE Widget worked well.

    Black Studio TinyMCE  monthly meetings

    In the right sidebar we ask for visitors to join a newsletter using the Newsletter plugin.

    newsletter widget newsletter

    We use several different Post categories in this web site, and then display the categories either in a sidebar or page:

    categories

    In the right sidebar we have Recent VFW News, and they are Posts with a category of news:

    newsnews widget

    To keep the spam down, I used the popular Akismet plugin.

    To show the Facebook badge in the right sidebar I could’ve used a plugin, but it was easier to just copy/paste the one line iframe code using a Text widget:facebook widgetfacebook

    On the Home page we have a photo gallery as thumbnails  using the plugin NextGEN Gallery:

    NextGEN

    NextGEN thumbnails

    Page Templates

    There’s a member Bios page that uses a custom page template showing only Posts with a category of Bio:

    bio pagebios

    Summary

    I’ve developed a web site for a non-profit using a Theme and Plugins to get up and running quickly. It’s take me more effort to train other volunteers to use WordPress than it did to create the web site, but now I have volunteers that are in control of their own message and they don’t need to contact a webmaster to update content.

     
  • tualatinweb 11:30 am on August 1, 2013 Permalink  

    Recap: Expert Q&A 

    Here are some of the major questions raised and answered at our July User meeting. Many more questions were raised as well.
     
    Q: I have a youtube video that I am trying to put up on my home page but cannot get it to play. I have successfully done this in the past and have video sidebar plug-ins, but am still striking out.   Kathleen
     
     
    Q: Is there a way to disable Comments from all New Pages as a default setting?
    Doug
     
    A: Yes, in WordPress click on: Settings> Discussion> Default Article Settings. Un-check the box for, “Allow people to Post comments on new articles.”
     
    Q: Why are some styling buried in core files?
     
    A: For WordPress themes all of the styling is contained in the style.css theme file. There is nothing in the WordPress core that will effect styling, except when you login to WordPress.
     
    Q: Can email be collected directly into my site and then resent with a newsletter?
     
    A: Yes, with a plugin like Newsletter you can capture email names, and send out email newsletters. You can also use plugins for popular newsletter tools like: MailChimp, Emma, Constant Contact, eRoi, etc.
     
    Q: I have issues with fb and twitter on my client site.
     
    A: You can Copy/Paste code from Facebook for badges: Profile, Like, Photo, Page. There are also dozens of plugins for Facebook. Twitter recently stopped support for old integrations, so you need to find a WordPress plugin that supports their new format. This Twitter plugin works well.
     
    Q: A client site isn’t showing it’s comments or the comment box even though all settings are correct. What might be the problem?
     
    A: That sounds like an issue with the Theme. Try switching themes to see if comments come back to life. Or, it could be a conflict with jQuery or Javascript caused by a plugin.
     
    Q: My burning question is, I have a publisher WordPress site, I need to be able to have each of my authors have their own blog. How can I have more than one blog on one WordPress site?
     
    A: In WordPress you will add a New User, then for each user there will be a page with just their blogs like: http://www.my-site.com/author/bob/, http://www.my-site.com/author/sue/, http://www.my-site.com/author/jane/
     
    Q: Can you say anything about the difference between wordpress.org and the other wordpress?
     
    Q: For a free WordPress site use the WordPress.com site, which will allow an address like my-new-site.wordpress.com. Later on you can buy your own domain name and then continue to use the my-new-site.wordpress.com to login and make updates. For a self-hosted site like http://www.my-new-site.com you can download and install WordPress from the http://www.wordpress.org web site. From a branding viewpoint it is more impressive to clients when you use http://www.my-new-site.com because that conveys that you are serious about your business.
     
    Q: Regarding inserting images into a post – I understand loading images onto “Insert Images” however I am logging a lot of images.
     
    A: For photo-heavy web sites we recommend using photo gallery plugins like NextGen.
     
    Q: How can my slideshow also play music?
     
    A: There are many plugins for slideshow with music, oQey Qallery is one of them.
     
    Q: What is RSS?
     
    A: RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and it’s a way to share content from one web site on another. For example a WordPress site will automatically create an RSS feed at the address http://www.my-web-site.com/feed/ . You can use WordPress plugins to read an RSS feed from another web site and then display that content on your web site. Craigslist is also a popular web site that will create an RSS feed based on your searches, so you can look for something like “MacBook Pro 17″ once and then add that RSS feed to your reader that will then alert you the very moment that a new “MacBook Pro 17″ appears, saving you the time of having to visit Craigslist 10 times per day search for the same thing over and over again.
     
    • Robert Lilly 12:36 pm on August 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Re: “Is there a way to disable Comments from all New Pages as a default setting?” I wasn’t able to attend the Meetup, so I’m not sure if the answer covered this already, but a clarification of terms is called for here. Did the user want to disable comments period, or just for Pages (as opposed to Posts). If the former, then the answer given applies. If just for Pages, but leave on for Posts, then the theme file for rendering a Page (usually page.php) needs to be edited to remove the comments function.

    • Barbara 2:39 pm on August 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      I had the same thought, Robert. But there is an easier way to remove comments on a Page. You can go into “Quick Edit” as opposed to “Edit” for a Page. There is a box there called “Allow Comments” that you can UNCHECK.

      I don’t know why this isn’t available in “Edit.” Usually something “quick” has LESS functionality, not more. But anyway, this much easier than fussing with code.

      • Barbara 2:44 pm on August 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Edit: This IS much easier than fussing with code.

      • Robert Lilly 4:09 pm on August 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for sharing that tip! I did not know that.

        That’s what I love about the WordPress community, I’m always learning because people are willing to share what they know.

        • Barbara 5:08 pm on August 1, 2013 Permalink

          You’re welcome! I’m always willing to share what LITTLE I know! :-)

          This does beg the question, though…. Will new versions of WordPress acknowledge that being able to remove comments from a Page is a fundamental, basic necessity for most people, and it should be EASY to figure out how to do this? It should be a check box right there on the page as you’re editing it. Before I knew what I told you above, I had to search through tons of forum discussions after thoroughly exhausting my own efforts to figure it out! And I even had to do that same search again when the issue came up a second time, because I had not remembered the solution. I remembered that it was “easy,” but I didn’t actually remember what to do. It is such an EASY, SIMPLE solution, and yet it is hidden deep down where you would least expect to find it.

          Not only that, it must be done manually for each page where you don’t want comments. As the original answer stated, there is a way to disable comments from ALL new “articles.” But that includes blog Posts, not just Pages. There should be two options: 1) Allow / Don’t Allow comments on new Posts, and 2) Allow / Don’t Allow comments on new Pages.

          Until the developers see fit to make that happen, we’ll have to go into “Quick Edit” and uncheck that box for Pages. Because more than likely we ARE going to want to automatically allow comments for Posts.

          What bugs me most about this is that I see inexperienced WordPress users putting up websites that have comments enabled on all their pages. It looks trashy. They just don’t realize there’s an easy fix, because WordPress isn’t making it easy for them to FIND the easy fix!

        • Robert Lilly 6:54 am on August 2, 2013 Permalink

          I believe this is one of the places where WordPress’ roots as a blogging platform only are still taking precedence over its use as a CMS, or even as an application platform. Some of this is inevitable, but this particular situation shouldn’t be too hard to fix. I agree that if would be great if comments were off by default for Pages and on by default for Posts, with a checkbox in the settings to toggle either one, as well as the ability to override on a per Page or Post basis. I’ll see if there’s a ticket for this this already and if not I’ll submit one.

          Although removing, or commenting out, the get comments functionality in page.php (or its equivalents in the hierarchy) is a little more work up front, it only has to be done once and then comments are off permanently for all Pages from that point on. That’s assuming, of course, that one is using either a bespoke theme that they update themselves, or is using a child theme in conjunction with a parent theme. Otherwise a theme update could possibly return that unwanted functionality.

    • tualatinweb 9:42 am on August 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      There’s a plugin to turn OFF page comments by default, http://wordpress.org/plugins/disable-comments/changelog/

      • Barbara 4:08 pm on August 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Cool, thanks! However, I see that there are also some precautions with it. I’m not an expert on WP history, but I imagine a lot of functionality originally started out as plug-ins. Then, they were so popular that their functions became standard and built-in. I still think that this could be achieved very simply by having standard checkboxes in the Settings, one for Posts and one for Pages, toggling comments off or on. Robert, if you submit the suggestion, I’d like to see it. And if they don’t do that, they should at least get a checkbox onto the main “Edit” page!

    • Jeff Smith 1:11 pm on September 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Hi. If you’re still fielding questions, is there a way to order old (archived) posts alphabetically (first letter of title)? What about numerically (chapter #)? And/or by date (not date posted by date first published elsewhere, found just below the title/header of the article)? Thanks.

      • tualatinweb 1:47 pm on September 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        Jeff, Good questions. We could add a widget in the right sidebar to list the latest blog posts. I’ll ask the Admin to add that.

  • Daniel Bachhuber 5:09 am on July 9, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , general meetup,   

    Two Meetups for July: XML-RPC and RESTful APIs and Expert Q&A 

    We have two awesome meetups scheduled for July.

    But first, an important announcement! We’re running a member survey and want to hear your voice.

    It’s short and sweet, and will help us as we plan for the upcoming year. Take the member survey.

    And now, back to our regularly scheduled content…

    Developer: XML-RPC and RESTful APIs – Breaking Down the WordPress Silo

    Date & Time: Monday, July 15th at 6:30 pm

    Is your WordPress site a data vacuum–information going in but never coming back out?

    For our next developer meetup, Max Cutler will teach you how to use XML-RPC and RESTful APIs to integrate WordPress with other systems: mobile clients, backups, site-to-site replication, CMS interoperability, back-office integration, and more.

    With WordPress’ increasing use as an app platform, it’s more important than ever for developers to be familiar with the APIs that it offers to deal with these exciting new opportunities.

    Note: Due to limited space, we’re capping signups to 70. If you RSVP and realize later you can’t make the meetup, please change your status so someone else can attend.

    User: Expert Q&A

    Date & Time: Monday, July 29th at 6:30 pm

    WordPress is great for making it easy to publish your work. But sometimes, you have a question that, once answered, will make your life that much easier.

    Join us this month as we have an Experts Q&A session. Submit your questions ahead of time and we will have a panel of experts ready to help you find the answers you need. This will be a session you don’t want to miss.

    Note: Due to limited space, we’re capping signups to 70. If you RSVP and realize later you can’t make the meetup, please change your status so someone else can attend.

    Hope to see you there!

     
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