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Join the developers of digitaltrends.com (Richard Benjamin and Brandon Clark) as we share the trials and tribulations of refactoring one of the web’s largest WordPress sites.
Back in January we started a secret internal project humorously dubbed “Fluffy Bunny”. The goal was to overhaul digitaltrends.com and transform it into something modern that would free us from the chains of a legacy codebase. Six months later we unveiled the Digital Trends 2014 theme (AKA: The Unified Theme) which was a near complete end to end rewrite of not just the theme but also much of the core architecture of the site.
This will be a high level talk about our development process and thoughts on writing maintainable and modular code within the context of a major site refactor. We will touch on theme and plugin development, project organization, and a good amount of what we jokingly refer to as “code punditry”. Afterwards we will be available for extended questions and answers.
Roland Smith is a successful, local author and he writes adventure books that delight middle-school kids and adults. I needed to create a site for him that worked well on the desktop, tablet and mobile. It also had to connect with his social media on Facebook and Twitter, plus have lots of links to actually buy his books at the most popular online stores. Come and learn how I chose a WordPress theme, added plugins and setup everything for him.
Daniel Payne started hand-coding web sites back in 1995, has worked at large corporations, then went freelance in 2004. His company is Tualatin Web.
When he’s not using WordPress, you’ll find Daniel riding his road bike each day and talking to God.
Aaron Hockley presented tonight and you can view his slides here.
WordPress is open, and a web-based business has thousands of options for tools to help get the job done. When it comes to blog posts, podcasts, forums, membership sites, SEO, e-commerce, and the other building blocks of a web business, there are endless options. One new option is Rainmaker, fromCopyblogger Media, that packages a high-quality set of these tools in a premium offering for businesses, without the ability to add new plugins. Learn how wp-photographers.com was recently launched using that platform as well as the thought processes in choosing a somewhat-closed version of WordPress.
Aaron Hockley is a photographer and writer with a background in technology. He frequently writes about various topics around the intersection of the photography industry and tech industry. Having founded WordCamp Portland, he’s also spoken at dozens of other blogging and online business events at the national, regional, and local level.
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.