Category Archives: WordPress 201

WordPress Workshop Series at High Tech Maui in February 2013

WordPress WorkshopsMore and more professional websites belonging to large brands are moving to WordPress all the time. Why? Because WordPress websites are easier to build, easier to maintain and easier to use. Many people know WordPress as a popular blogging tool, but it’s much more than that. WordPress is a powerful Content Management System (CMS) that can be used as the technology for an entire website.

As of March 2012, WordPress was on 72.4 million different websites around the globe, making it the most widely used and popular CMS in existence. Businesses on the web in this day and age need websites that are beautiful, customizable and nimble at the same time, that can be updated quickly and directly by the people closest to the information, not third-hand through “webmasters” or IT departments. The messaging for your business needs to be under your control, easily indexed by search engines and easily shared on social networks.

Want to get started? High Tech Maui is encoring the popular WordPress workshop series team-taught by Jon Brown, Erik Blair and Peter Liu in February 2013. Mark your calendars!

These workshops are divided into three parts, addressing the needs of three distinct groups of people who work in WordPress on a regular basis. Each workshop is a complete unit, but they’re designed to go together in a series for people who need to do it all.

WordPress for Users

What’s Covered:
● WordPress Dashboard tour.
● Adding and editing content.
● Some basic SEO best practices for users.
● Resizing images so that they load quickly and exactly where you want them.
● Managing media.
● Managing comments.
● Sharing content on social networks.

Who Should Go?
● Artists.
● Marketing and PR professionals.
● Other professionals.
● Bloggers.
● Anyone who creates and manages website content.

Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Location: Malcolm Center, 1305 Holopono St., Suite 5, Kihei
Cost: $40

Register for WordPress for Users. (Seating limited to 30.)

WordPress for Administrators

What’s Covered:
● 1-button installation.
● Manual installation.
● Administrator Dashboard and Settings.
● Choosing, installing and managing themes.
● Finding and installing plugins.
● Managing users.
● Managing widgets.
● Managing menus.
● Backups.
● Security.
● Analytics.
● Performance.
● Basic SEO.

Who Should Go?
● Anyone who needs to do more than manage website content – or who manages and maintains websites so other people can manage content.
● Anyone who needs to install WordPress, install themes and set up a functioning website

Date: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Location: Malcolm Center, 1305 Holopono St., Suite 5, Kihei
Cost: $40

Register for WordPress for Administrators. (Seating limited to 30.)

Customizing WordPress

What’s Covered:
● WordPress template hierarchy.
● Frameworks.
● Child themes.
● More plugins, widgets and shortcodes.
● Useful plugins to save time and effort in content or website maintenance.
● Hooks, actions and filters.
● Inspect HTML/CSS with FireBug/WebKit Developer Tools, and carry the changes into your child theme.

Who Should Go?
● Anyone who needs to modify websites beyond what’s covered in the WordPress for Administrators workshop above.
● Basic knowledge of HTML and CSS will be helpful. (Do you know what a selector is?)
● Superficial knowledge of PHP will be helpful but not required. (Do you know what a function is?)

Date: Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Location: Malcolm Center, 1305 Holopono St., Suite 5, Kihei
Cost: $40

Register for Customizing WordPress. (Seating limited to 30.)

 

Eric Blair’s Bio:
Erik is a social media and WordPress blog consultant, content producer and event promoter. He has been designing webpages in HTML and PHP since 1995, but now exclusively uses WordPress to build websites. A self-described lifehacker and tech tinkerer, Erik finds his way in and around the widgets, plugins and themes in WordPress like a kid in a candy store. When he’s not spending time with his social media friends, Erik can be found exploring the back roads and off-the-beaten-path places that make Maui so special.

Jon Brown’s Bio:
Jon’s first experience with WordPress was in 2006 when he started a travel blog to document his life-changing journey exiting the corporate world and traveling the world. He quickly realized however that he was far more passionate about writing code than writing blog posts. Drawing on 25 years of computer experience, Jon relearned the programming skills now necessary for modern web development. Returning from his travels, Jon learned of an amazing WordPress support community in Southern California. Active involvement in that community helped him further develop his expertise with WordPress and lead to opening j.Brown Studios, a WordPress focused web development shop. After moving to Maui full time and finding no existing analog to the support community he enjoyed in SoCal, Jon founded the Maui WordPress Meetup which meets monthly and has grown to more than 100 members.

Peter Liu’s Bio:
Peter Liu is a digital and social media strategist, professional photographer and veteran of more than 30 years in the computer industry, starting his career in the late 70′s as a part-time assembler language systems programmer during his freshman year in college. After graduation, he spent several years in technical support and IT within mainframe companies before making the transition to Unix systems administration, where he was introduced to the Internet and the World Wide Web. He later joined Netscape, the company that brought browsers to the world, where he managed a worldwide, high-touch, advanced technical group responsible for supporting their web server software implementations in Fortune 500 companies. When Netscape was acquired by AOL, Peter joined Sun Microsystems as a Sustaining Engineering Escalation Manager to help support those same companies. After moving to Maui, Peter began partnering with High Tech Maui to equip local businesses with social media expertise, eventually co-founding the Maui Social Media Users Group (MauiSMUG), an organized forum for people on Maui to meet regularly and talk about social media.

WP101June2011

Upcoming WordPress Workshops on Maui

I’ve got two new WordPress workshops coming up in the next couple of months. Next Tuesday will be another round of the WordPress 101 workshop, and then on July 26, I’ll follow that up with another WordPress 201 workshop.

WordPress 101 Workshop: An Introduction to the WordPress Web Publishing Platform and WordPress.com

Join me, at the Malcolm Center, 1305 Holopono St., Suite 1, Kihei, Tuesday, June 7, 2011, from 3:00pm to 6:00pm for an informative introduction to the WordPress publishing platform. This workshop will focus on the free, hosted version of WordPress available at WordPress.com.

Topics to be covered include; signing up and activating a WordPress.com account, defining the look of your site with themes, basic settings, creating posts and pages and adding text, photos and videos to those pages, adding additional functionality to your sidebars with widgets and more.

Note: This is an introductory course focused on creating free websites hosted at WordPress.com. A separate workshop, WordPress 201, will focus on self-hosted WordPress websites covering additional functionality. The WordPress 101 workshop or equivalent experience is a prerequisite for the more advanced WordPress 201 workshop to be held in July.

Register Online for WordPress 101 Workshop!

WordPress 201 Workshop

There is a lot more power and flexibility available for WordPress using what’s known as the self-hosted version of WordPress, or WordPress.org. If you have attended the WordPress 101 workshop or you already have a WordPress blog or site and you’re comfortable with creating posts and pages in WordPress and you want to advance to the next level that WordPress has to offer, the WordPress 201 workshop is for you.

Join me at the Malcolm Center, 1305 Holopono St., Suite 1, Kihei, on July 26 from 3:00pm to 6:00pm  for an intermediate level look at WordPress. If you got a lot out of the WordPress 101 workshop and want to learn more, this workshop is for you. Topics to be covered include:

  • What is WordPress.org – self-hosted WordPress
  • Finding a web host
  • Simple installation of WordPress with BlueHost
  • Review of dashboard, posts, pages and menus
  • Themes – lots more and their customizable
  • Plugins – need some additional functionality? There’s a plugin for that!
  • Security
  • Backups
  • Migrating from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
  • Transferring from one WordPress.org site to another WordPress.org site

 

Register Online for WordPress 201 Workshop!

 


How to Move Your WordPress Site to a New Web Host

How to Move Your WordPress Site to a New Web Host

If you’ve got a WordPress.org, self-hosted website or blog, the computer, aka web server, where the files for your website “live” belongs to a company that specializes in housing or “hosting” websites by maintaining hundreds of web servers and renting space on them out to companies like yours. These companies are commonly known as web hosting companies or web hosts.

There are hundreds of web hosts out there offering varying features, levels of service and price plans. And, like anything else in the business world, the quality of service can vary wildly among web hosts. As a website owner, there may come a time when you may want to move your site from one web host to another. Why would you want to do this? Several possible reasons:

  • You’re not satisfied with your current host – maybe your site is down a lot, the server has frequent issues or the host network is slow
  • You’ve outgrown your current host – they can’t accommodate the amount of traffic you get or the amount of disk space you need
  • You’ve developed a site on a testing platform and it’s time to move it to a production server elsewhere

I’ve run into each one of these issues at one time or another over the past ten years and chances are very good that you will too. The prospect of moving your website to a new host can be intimidating. Fear of your site being down or losing some of your content is enough to keep many people from making a move. Moving a WordPress website is not a pleasant task, but if you follow some basic guidelines you can minimize the down time and the risk of losing your precious content. In this article I’m going to outline the basic steps I’ve taken to move my WordPress websites.

I’m not going to discuss how to find a web host. I have yet to find a perfect host*. There’s all kinds of conflicting information about web hosts. The nature of web hosting makes it a very competitive industry and the task of keeping web servers safe and secure from black hat hackers, viruses, bots, spammers and other Internet baddies is a daunting one. Different people will have different experiences at the same host. With the ever-changing and varying levels of service available from web hosts out there, I think the best weapon a website owner can have is the knowledge of how to pick up and move if you’re not satisfied with where you’re at.

Do make sure that the new host where you plan to move supports the minimum WordPress requirments for PHP and MySQL. You can get the latest requirements on WordPress.org. In looking at a new web host, you should consider whether your server will use a Linux Apache server or Windows IIS server. My experience is that WordPress can be more difficult to manage on Windows IIS servers.

*The motivation for doing this article is that the web server where my Digital Splash Media website used to be, kept crashing and having issues, resulting in sporadic and intermittent down time. I had other websites at that same host (Blue Host) and had no problems with those because they were on a different server. I asked the Blue Host multiple times if they could move my site to a different server. But they always had an excuse for not accommodating me. After the most recent bout of this, I got fed up and moved the site to its new host, HostGator. So far, so good. I should mention that I’ve still kept my other sites at Blue Host and they’re still running fine. So, it’s not that the whole Blue Host experience was bad, just that I had the bad luck to have my site on a lemon of a server and they wouldn’t accommodate a reasonable request to move my site for me. So, I had to take things into my own hands and leave them.

Preparing to Move Your WordPress Website

The first thing you want to do is make sure you have all the content for your website. With WordPress, that means you need to have a backup of the database, as well as backups of certain files. You’re going to need to have some FTP software to download these files from the current web host as well as uploading them to the new web host.

Download Files

Using your FTP software, download all your files from the /wp-content/uploads/ folder. A WordPress export should get these, but I like to err on the safe side and get these just in case.

If you have any plugins that have installed new folders, download the contents of that too. For example, the NextGen gallery plugin has a /gallery/ folder in /wp-content/. Get that folder. If you’ve made any customizations to your theme make sure you have those downloaded to your own computer as well. In fact, if you want to play it ultra safe and conservative, just download the whole /wp-content/ folder with all of its subfolders.

If you’re really paranoid and your current WordPress version is older than what you’ll be moving to, you might consider downloading the whole WordPress installation from your current website. I’ve run into issues just updating WordPress versions on one host where I needed to reinstall the old version in order to get in and troubleshoot. Better safe than sorry.

Database Backup

Back-up and export your database. For a lot of simple WordPress sites, using the Tools > Export command in the WordPress dashboard will get you the database content. But some plugins add additional tables to the database and the WordPress exporter doesn’t get those. To get those additional tables I usually export the whole database using a plugin called phpMyAdmin. To learn more about backups of your WordPress database using phpmyadmin, check out my video tutorial article on backing up your WordPress database.

Document Your WordPress Configuration

Downloading your files and exporting your database won’t keep all the information you’re going to need to set up shop on a new web host. Most of your settings in the Settings menu and widget configuration won’t get saved, so you’ll have to reset those when you set up the new installation of WordPress. So, you need to take note of these settings and configurations. Take note of how you have everything configured in your Settings menus as well as any theme-specific configurations like background color or header images. I take screenshots of my widget settings and when I have custom text widgets, I copy all of the text or code in those and paste them into a document so I can easily copy and paste them in when setting up the new site.

Take note of all of your plugins. I take screenshot of my plugins page so I can easily see what plugins I have installed. I likewise take screenshots of plugin configuration pages to document plugin settings and make it quicker and easier to re-establish how everything was on the new site.

Once you think you have everything backed up and documented take a break – for a few hours or preferably a day. Come back and go through everything again after your break to make sure you didn’t forget something.

Ok, now you should have “boxed up” everything and you’re ready to make the move. Now it’s time to start prepping the new place for your site.

Prepping the New Place

Ok, you’ve found a WordPress web host that you think will be good. Sign up for an account with the new web host. You’ll be asked if you need a domain name or if you already have one. You already have one, it’s just currently pointing to your current web host. So, select the option that you already have your own domain name and you’ll be asked to enter that domain name. Make sure you enter it correctly.

Once you’ve signed up you should be given instructions on how to log into your web hosts admin panel. This is a different admin panel than your WordPress admin panel. Many WordPress webhosts use what’s called CPanel to administer various tools and services for your web hosting plan, such as email accounts and software like WordPress.

You’ll want to install WordPress. Hopefully the web host will have a quick and simple automated WordPress installation. If not, you’ll have to install it manually.

Installing WordPress is about as far as you’ll be able to go until you redirect your domain name to the new web host. To redirect your domain name to your new web host, you’ll need to log into where you registered your domain name** and find the option to change the nameservers. Your new web host should provide you with its namservers, something like ns1.newwebhost.com and ns2.newwebhost.com. Enter in these new nameservers.

Now comes the hard part, waiting. The process of re-directing your domain name by changing the nameservers, can take 24 – 72 hours to propagate across the Internet, so that when someone types in your domain name it goes to your new site on your new web host. In practice, I’ve found lately that the change becomes effective within a few hours.

(**Note: if you registered your domain name where you’re site is currently hosted, it would be a good idea to transfer that domain name registration to a neutral domain name registration service. For ease and flexibility in moving web sites from one web host to another, I recommend registering your domain names with a domain name registration service, not a web host. Personally, I like DomainDiscover.com).

Once the nameserver change has taken hold you’ll be able to log in to WordPress and starting moving your site into the new place.

Moving In

Once you have FTP access to your new web host and can log into your new WordPress installation it’s time to move in. The sequence of some of the following steps can be varied, but you’ll need to do all of these steps to get your site looking the way it was.

If you have a customized theme you’ll want to first FTP that theme to your new site into the /wp-content/themes/ folder. By uploading the theme first it will be ready and waiting for you when you log into WordPress.

Log into your new WordPress admin panel. Delete the default post and page that WordPress creates when it installs. Then, import your database export by going to Tools > Import and when prompted select the xml file you exported from your old site. WordPress will then install the WordPress Importer plugin and then lead you through some steps to import your site. Make sure you select to download the attachments.

Activate your theme by going to Appearance > Themes and activating the theme you uploaded.

Configure any theme-specific settings that you may have had on your old site like banner or header images, page background images or colors, etc.

Configure the general settings the way you had them on your old host

Find your notes of all the plugins you had installed and go to Plugins > Add New and install and activate each of those plugins and then go through and configure the settings for each of them to match what you had on your old site.

I usually configure my widgets last after I’ve installed and activated my plugins since some plugins include widgets. Go to Appearance > Widgets and with your notes about your old widget settings, go through and set up your widgets the way you had them on your old site.

Lastly, go through all the pages of your site and a good sampling of your posts and check everything out to make sure everything looks and works as it should. If something doesn’t look right you may have to re-check configuration settings and you may even have to go in and edit some posts and pages, but in my experience that has been rare.

And there you have it. Those are the basic guidelines and steps I’ve used numerous times to migrate WordPress sites from one host to another. Don’t forget that once you’ve changed hosts you’ll need to set up email accounts on the new host to match what you had at the old host as well. Good luck, and if you’ve moved a WordPress site and have any additional tips or guidelines you’d like to share, please feel free to comment.

 

201workshop

WordPress 201: WordPress.org Workshop

WordPress is a powerful online publishing tool capable of building entire websites. The WordPress 101 workshop provided an introduction to WordPress, focusing on the version of WordPress available at WordPress.com. But, there is a lot more power and flexibility available for WordPress using what’s known as the self-hosted version of WordPress, or WordPress.org. If you attended the WordPress 101 workshop or you already have a WordPress blog or site and you’re comfortable with creating posts and pages in WordPress and you want to advance to the next level that WordPress has to offer, the WordPress 201 workshop is for you.

Join web and multimedia developer, Jeff Bennett, at the Malcolm Center, 1305 Holopono St., Suite 1, Kihei, on March 23 for an intermediate level look at WordPress. If you got a lot out of the WordPress 101 workshop and want to learn more, this workshop is for you. Topics to be covered include:

  • What is WordPress.org – self-hosted WordPress
  • Finding a web host
  • Simple installation of WordPress with BlueHost
  • Review of dashboard, posts, pages and menus
  • Themes – lots more and their customizable
  • Plugins – need some additional functionality? There’s a plugin for that!
  • Security
  • Backups
  • Migrating from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
  • Transferring from one WordPress.org site to another WordPress.org site

Register Online!

Laptops are welcome, but not required.

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Time: 9:00am – 12:00pm

Location: Malcolm Center, 1305 Holopono St., Suite 1, Kihei

Cost: $35

Seating limited to 20

Register Online!

About Jeff Bennett

Jeff Bennett teaching in a recent workshop

Jeff Bennett teaching in a recent workshop

Jeff Bennett is a web and multimedia developer with over fifteen years of web and software development experience and owner of Digital Splash Media.

Learn more about Jeff

201workshop

WordPress 201 Workshop

Helping out a student in the WordPress 201 workshop

Helping out a student in the WordPress 201 workshop

Yesterday I presented a 6 hour workshop on some advanced WordPress topics. In all, about 12 people showed up to learn how to go beyond the basics in WordPress. The goal of the workshop was rather ambitious – to teach students, many with no prior experience with HTML, CSS or PHP, how to customize a WordPress theme. The experience level of the students in the workshop ran the spectrum from those with absolutely no experience with coding to a few that had some HTML and CSS experience but had never dove into WordPress code.

The workshop started out with an extremely brief overview of HTML, CSS and PHP since the majority of students had no prior experience with these. After this crash course, and some glitches getting everybody connected to the test web servers, we launched into the website makeover portion of the workshop – an exercise in customizing a WordPress theme by creating a WordPress child theme. The details of this exercise were described ahead of time in this post I wrote on the High Tech Maui website.

For me, this was a challenging workshop to teach. The broad range of experience level and the fact that we had the students working on a live makeover exercise kept me hopping around the room to troubleshoot and help students out. Some students clearly had a tough time, while others seemed to catch on more quickly and seemed to pick up some new knowledge and confidence. I want to thank  all the students for your patience and perseverance as well as Peter Liu and my wife Karen for helping when needed.

I provided each of the students ahead of time with a copy of the slides as well as a detailed 62 page tutorial to guide them through the exercise. I think I was overly ambitious with how much I thought I could go through in a one day workshop, but I’m hoping that each of the students will take advantage of the tutorial and work through it on their own.

For others who were unable to attend and might be interested in the tutorial, I’m considering making it available to the general public. I’m still debating whether to provide it free of charge or sell it for a nominal fee as an eBook. Regardless of which route I go, I’d like to make some minor revisions and updates before making it available. So, if you’re interested in learning how to customize and tweak WordPress’s TwentyTen theme, let me know in the comments below.

So, what’s next for WordPres workshops on Maui? Looking at the feedback from the workshop, here’s what folks are asking for:

  • More WordPress coding
  • More about HTML, CSS and PHP
  • Something in between WordPress 101 and WordPress 201
  • Backups
  • Exporting from WordPress.com to WordPress.org
  • A class on the Thesis theme

All of these are great suggestions. I’ll definitely take these suggestions into consideration in coming up with any new WordPress workshop content. In the meantime, what I will likely do is some blog articles and instructional videos on some of these topics. Backups, importing and exporting are probably the most common WordPress topics that people ask me, so I think some blog articles and videos on those topics will likely be what I focus on next as far as teaching WordPress to people.

Another common request is for a WordPress user group here on Maui. Several of us that are involved with the High Tech Maui workshops have discussed that several times and we’re moving it up in our priority list, along with a broader social media users group here on Maui. Hopefully we’ll be able to announce something on that very soon.

I’ve also had a couple of inquiries about repeating the WordPress 101 workshop. We need a minimum of 10 people to hold the workshops in MEDB’s Malcolm Center (which is a really nice venue for these workshops). So, if you’re interested in an introduction to WordPress workshop, drop a comment in the form below and I’ll add you to the list.

Once again, thanks to everyone who participated and helped out in yesterday’s workshop!

WordPress Plugins Page

Finding the perfect plugin

WordPress Plugins Page

WordPress Plugins Page

With over 10,000 plugins available on WordPress.org, how do you find one that does what you need without spending a whole day (or week!) on the problem?

The good news about the abundance of plugins means there’s a good chance someone else needed to do the same thing you want to, and has already contributed a plugin. The bad news is that you’ll have to sift through a possibly long list of candidates to find the one for you. Investing some time in thoughtfully defining your needs, and then using a little common sense to shrink the list, can prevent you from getting overwhelmed or bogged down in an endless chore. Here are some specific tips to help you find the perfect plugin.

1. Define the functionality you need

What must the plugin do?  Think about how you want to use it, and how your readers will use it. What optional features would be nice, if several provide the minimum functionality? Write down your requirements to really help you stay focused.

2. Search the plugins page

Use the Search box on the WordPress Plugins page with one or two keywords from your functionality definition. Use variations on your search terms if you get too many or too few results. By default, search results are returned in order of “relevance”, but try one of the other options if you think a different order might be more helpful for your search.

3. Narrow the options and collect a “short list” of candidates

Look for plugins that have been recently updated – in the last 6 months or so – because they’re most likely to work with recent/current WP versions, most likely to include the latest functionality you may need, and most likely to still have a developer paying attention to fixing bugs or answering questions! In a recent search I did, I noticed that a lot have been updated in the last month and tested with WP 3.0, which is a good sign.

For a plugin that looks promising, open its WP plugin page in a new browser tab. Check the user feedback to see whether the plugin seems to work, or if people are having a lot of trouble with it. Check the FAQ and Screenshots tabs to get an impression of the interface and functionality. Sometimes you might be directed to the developer’s website for documentation, screenshots, and support. If a developer has taken the time to do some documentation, I know they’re serious about wanting to provide a useful plugin, and haven’t just thrown together something for their own use and then submitted it to WordPress. Does it sound like this plugin meets the requirements you defined in step 1? Close the browser tab for any plugin that doesn’t pass your inspection.

4. Install one or more candidates

Install and activate one or a few of the candidates you’ve found. (It’s easy to deactivate and delete them later if you find they don’t suit you.) Play around with it, to see whether it does what you want, and how easy it is to use. Some plugins have configuration options – look for a link in the plugin’s description on your Plugins admin page, or for a new menu in your admin navigation panel, or in the Settings menu in your navigation panel (plugin administration isn’t standardized at the moment).

Hopefully, if you follow these steps, you’ll find a useful plugin to enhance the functionality of your WordPress site with a minimum of hassle!

Plugins will be a major topic in the upcoming WordPress 201 class. Sign up to learn more, and share your experiences in a relaxed workshop atmosphere.

Now it’s your turn: How have you found your best plugins? What tips would you add?

Customizing WordPress Themes: Maui WordPress 201 Workshop

Customizing WordPress Themes

Tweaking a basic WordPress theme to your own custom theme will be the focus on an upcoming WordPress workshop on Maui

One of the reasons WordPress is such a popular website publishing tool is that it makes it easy for people to create a website without having to know how to code. People can create basic websites without having to know a single bit of html, CSS or PHP code. But what if you want to customize a theme or create a custom home page or add a featured content slider on the home page? To really maximize the power of WordPress and customize things you’ll find that you need to dig in and get your hands dirty with some code. Going beyond the basics in WordPress; learning how to customize and tweak themes and template files will be the topic of an upcoming WordPress workshop here on Maui later this summer.

WordPress 201 Workshop: Going Beyond the Basics in WordPress

Workshop Objectives

Learn how to customize and tweak a theme

Get comfortable finding and configuring plugins

Topics

How WordPress works – basic overview of database, directory structure and files

Tools – text editors, FTP software, Firebug

FTP access to WordPress install

Using a good text editor

Manual/FTP installation of WordPress

Manual/FTP installation of plugins – cformsII

Very basic HTML, CSS and PHP

Tweaking themes by editing the stylesheet and the php files

Child themes – what is a child theme, relationship to parent theme

Essential Plugins for extra functionality, security and optimization

Custom home page

Page Templates

Format: Website Makeover

To cover these topics, I’m going to lead an exercise in making over a fictitious website, starting with the standard WordPress 3.0 theme, Twenty Ten and customizing it using a child theme. We’ll go from this:

Before customization

And we’ll customize and tweak the theme to:

  • Widen it
  • Change colors
  • Create custom home.php file and use for home page
  • Add Featured Content Slider on home page
  • Style custom home page
  • Widen sidebar
  • If home page, put something at the top of the sidebar, else not
  • Create custom wide page template with no sidebar for photo gallery
  • Customize main menu
  • Add a photo gallery
  • Add a detailed contact form
  • Install & Configure SEO Plugins
  • Set up a WP eCommerce store to sell products – if time available

And the end result will look something like this:

After customization

Does this look like something you’d be interested in learning? The workshop date has been set for August 11. View the official workshop page or register online.

MauiWordPress.com

DigitalSplashMedia.com

Twitter.com/MauiWordPress

Twitter.com/DigitalSplash

Maui WordPress on Facebook

Digital Splash Media on Facebook

WordCampTV Video: Theme Workshop

I’ll be doing a new WordPress workshop later this summer, WordPress 201, or Going Beyond the Basics in WordPress. A major part of this workshop will be devoted to customizing and tweaking themes. At a recent WordCamp held in Orange County, Drew Strojny from The Theme Foundry led a workshop-style session on customizing WordPress themes, from basic best practices to the beginnings of more advanced customizations. If you’re interested in learning how to customize themes and can’t wait until later this summer for the WordPress 201 workshop, check out this video from WordPress.tv.