WORDPRESS 4.6 “PEPPER” RELEASED – AUG 16, 2016

Multisite, now faster than ever!
Cached and comprehensive site queries improve your network admin experience. The addition of WP_Site_Query and WP_Network_Query help craft advanced queries with less effort.

Theme add and activation work flow changes to one screen

Editor improvements – shows broken link

Lost Internet connection – drafts saved locally to browser

WordPress Dashboard uses native fonts from Operating System resulting in loading improvements (speed up)

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JavaScript Library Updates
Masonry 3.3.2, imagesLoaded 3.2.0, MediaElement.js 2.22.0, TinyMCE 4.4.1, and Backbone.js 1.3.3 are bundled.

This release was led by Dominik Schilling with the help of 272 Contributors.  Read the official release page for WordPress 4.6

Become a WordPress for Android Power User

There’s been a ton of progress lately with WordPress for Android and the new version 2.1.2.  Mobile themes have been available for awhile as well as user agent detection setups to either serve a smartphone version of a WordPress site.  Some application developers have been working on the backend as well with some really wonderful applications.  WordPress has gotten in the game and has been aggressively adapting to changes in technology and pushing several updates of the Official WordPress for Android App.

Being a Power WordPress Android User is Now Easy

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See Above Screencaps to Get an Idea of the Function, then keep reading below…

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Up up and away, uploading a photo, that was easy with WordPress for Android!  So now that we’ve uploaded the first awesome photo right from the phone, let’s do another, then explore the features more closely. (uploading multiple photos works great)

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These photos were created and edited on a smartphone and inserted into WordPress for Android.  The base post was then uploaded as a draft with minimal finishing touches placed (header tags, bullet list, image descriptions, etc.).  You can very easily create a nice post with just the features of WordPress for Android and publish it once you’re done (from the smartphone or tablet) or save it and put some finishing touches on it later.  You no longer have to be in front of a desktop or laptop when a writing idea is fresh.

Who Needs to be Using WordPress for Android?

  • Photo Bloggers
  • Business Bloggers
  • Personal Bloggers
  • Site Administrators

Productive Features, Android WordPress App

  • Add Quick Photos and Video
  • Conveniently Add or Start Posts
  • Posts Now Auto Save
  • Edit Page Content
  • Administrate Comments
  • Set Photo Sizes per WP Site
  • Link URLs
  • Bold, Italic, Underline, Strikethrough
  • Insert More  Tags for Content  Breaks
  • Proofread Draft Posts on the Go
  • Add Multiple .org Sites
  • Add Multiple .com Sites
  • Add a Combination of .org and .com
  • Start a New WordPress.com Account

Get it in Google Play

Visit the WordPress for Android Site

Watch the Video on Version 2.0

Tablet Friendly

The tablet display makes publishing and administration even easier with the ui taking advantage of the extra space to work with content.

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Other Mobile Operating System Disributions

A lot of people have the need for WordPress on iPhone or another mobile browser.  The preceding link covers IOS, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7, Nokia and WebOS. (this is the official link for WordPress Mobile)

Summary

A large percentage of WP users have smartphones (or tablets) and the ability to capture content with them is powerful.  No longer is a website or blog a static type property, mainly due to readers wanting fresh content.  It gets no fresher than when it comes from “in the field.”  WordPress can now be an extension of you…where you are…what you’re doing…how you’re doing it and when!  This degree of a “live” factor can separate you from the rest and place users in a position that they feel like they’re right there with you, living the experience.  Less formality and a more real experience!

Go Get It Now!

Posted from WordPress for Android

Execute a Shortcode in a WordPress Widget, Post, Page

Welcome to our online store, your number one sports store, which is an online retailer of cheap jerseys and other sports merchandise and provides the ultimate shopping experience to sports fans.

Execute Shortcode in Widget and Post

Super Widget Power

This is just a quick run through on how to execute a shortcode from within a WordPress Widget and place it in your sidebar…OR…call the widget into a post and display it on the post (using a shortcode in the post itself).

This is VERY POWERFUL as it extends the ability to use plugins that run off shortcodes in your posts easily.  You can really run shortcodes within shortcodes quite easily too if you are really hardcore…and even use an executable php or code widget quite easily right in an post…but let’s keep it simple to start…

Running a Shortcode in a Widget

This involves a minor edit to your functions file…which you can see on this post about using shortcodes from WordPress Widgets.  They have also posted a method to call a widget from a post…but the other functions coding they referenced wasn’t working quickly for some reason, so knowing there was a plugin for this…I chose the plugin method instead…so use the plugin method below to call a widget from the post itself as it is an ace to administrate. (below is the code they reference)

Place This Code Inside Your functions.php widget

<code>add_filter(‘widget_text’, ‘do_shortcode’);</code>

Without the <code></code> bits

  • You can place this right in your functions file after sidebar declarations without php tags
  • There is probably a plugin that does the same thing, but this procedure is pretty simple

Now On To The Awesomeness…

Call a WordPress Widget From a Post

The Widgets on Pages Plugin uses shortcodes to call a widget zone into the page or post.  You can setup as many widgets as you need…and have multiple different widgets and zones I believe, but I only have tried one so far.

Update: Have tried many instances on same page and it works great.

The article I was reading in the WordPress Codex referenced another plugin called Page Blocks which sounded pretty neat…although, it wasn’t tested due to not being listed as current on versions…but one unique feature was displaying a message upon a visitor returning from PayPal…I may end up giving this a try too even though it doesn’t seem to be supported anymore from the developer site for page blocks.

Some cool things you can do with these (and these combined)

  • Call a Plugin Function to be Used in a Post (with Shortcodes) from a Sidebar Widget
  • Execute PHP Within a Post (with a PHP Exec Widget)
  • Call Shortcodes from Within Shortcodes (Inside a Post) (Multi-Level)
  • Display Existing Widgets from Plugins or WP in the Page/Post

You can Also…

Easily Grid Out CSS Zones in the Page or Post with the Easy Columns Plugin

Also read this post for how to insert jQuery tabs, toggles and accordians into a post with really nice theming.

(this is awesome as it runs on shortcodes…and then you can put other shortcodes within the grid codes and pretty much create small widget zones in the post (or full magazine style layouts for general use)

Tested with WordPress 3.2.1 and 3.3.1 (check for updated status on plugin repository as other versions come out for compatibility)

Photo Credit to greggoconnell for Ghetto Superman

WordPress jQuery Tabs, Accordian, Toggles Plugin (Rocks Free)

jQuery Tabs Accordian Toggle WordPress Plugin

Be More Exciting!

As an alternative to templating jQuery into your theme, you might be looking for a WordPress plugin that handles tabs, accordian or toggles that can work out of the box

thethe-Tabs and Accordians

With the ability to theme the boxes with different colors, you’ll have your tabs, accordian menus and toggles popping with jQuery in no time flat!  Driven by easy to use shortcodes…with a little magic…you can have sidebars with jQuery pizazz…

jQuery Tab, Accordian and Toggle Options for this WordPress Plugin

Tabs provide the traditional tabbed browsing experience, fitting into your css content area with the number of tab boxes you specify.

  • Accordians expand one box and close the other.
  • Toggles keep one box open and let you further expand the others.
  • Accordians open vertically or horizontally (downwards/crosswise)
  • Styles are based on jQuery UI ThemeRoller
  • You can set which box in the lineup opens first!
  • Present content areas with tiers of information in a friendly fashion

Downsides

  • No theme color browser.  You have look at the ThemeRoller site link above or try.
  • No inherent widget support.  Creativity required to place in sidebars. (easy to put in post)

Another Plugin (Works w/Above as Well)

jQuery Collapse o Matic handles vertical toggles with a basic styling set and easy to use shortcodes.  It works nicely along side the above plugin…Use it in a nice 3 column…with Collapse o Matic on the left and thethe-Tabs and Accordians on the right…this will give a nice multiple style jQuery pop…with the right column sort of flying out…

There you go…you are now ready to “Throw Some G’s on That Site…”

Downloads on the Plugin Repository

Also Find Supporting Info on the Developer Pages

 

jQuery WordPress

Put it in Use!

Screencaps and Shortcodes

Here is a quick reference for the shortcodes that were used to create these.

So now we’ve sort of covered what it is…most familiar with jQuery and WordPress Plugins will understand the power.

Let’s check out how to use it!

SHORTCODE SYNTAX -MUST- BE CORRECT

 

IMPORTANT NOTE TO USE THE CODE IN THE WP PANEL PLUGIN SETTINGS AND MAKE SURE TO COPY IT, THEN CHECK THE SHORTCODE SYNTAX TWICE, A SMALL ERROR IN THE SHORTCODE WILL CAUSE DISPLAY ISSUES – You’ll see in the examples below, when stacking all these widgets atop one another, confused syntax can cause confused display.

 

THE EXAMPLES

Traditional Tabs and Horizontal Slider

The below screencap shows two separate effects, Tabs and the Horizontal Accordian

WordPress jQuery Tab Accordian

The Traditional Tabs

<code>[tabs title=”” active=1 event=”click”][tab title=”First tab title”]HERE IS WHERE THE CONTENT GOES[/tab] [tab title=”Second tab title”]Second tab content[/tab][/tabs]</code>

The Horizontal Accordian

<code>[haccordions title=”” width=500 height=320 hwidth=28 speed=200 active=1] [haccordion title=”Fist title”]First accordion content[/haccordion] [haccordion title=”Second title”]Second accordion content[/haccordion][haccordion title=”Third title”]Third accordion content[/haccordion][/haccordions]</code>


Accordian Set to Open Panel 3

The below example shows sized for a smaller sidebar, but you can use it with a greater width for your design.

WordPress Vertical Accordian Plugin

<code>[accordions title=”” active=1 event=”click” disabled=false autoheight=true] [accordion title=”Accordion 1 Title”]First accordion section content[/accordion] [accordion title=”Accordion 2 Title”]Second accordion section content[/accordion][accordion title=”Accordion 3 Title”]Third accordion section content[/accordion][/accordions]</code>

 

Toggle Set to Open on Panel 1

This example is set to two panels.  You can have as many as you need.

jQuery Toggle

<code>[toggles title=”” active=1 speed=500] [toggle title=”Pane 1″]First toggle text[/toggle] [toggle title=”Pane 2″]Second toggle text[/toggle] [/toggles]</code>

 

Collapse o Matic

This shows 3 expandable panels, each entered separately.  You can use as many or as few as you want.

Collapsing jQuery Toggle WordPress

<code>[expand title=”Displayed Title Goes Here”]Hidden content goes here[/expand][expand title=”Displayed Title Goes Here”]Hidden content goes here[/expand][expand title=”Displayed Title Goes Here”]Hidden content goes here[/expand]</code>

 

Make Things More Exciting for Everyone!

Being able to navigation content in a more effective fashion saves everyone time…rather than having to bounce between multiple pages to absorb content…some sites can’t avoid this…but for some nice effects or explanations…here you go!

Tested with 3.2.1, Both versions in repository as compatible. Photo credit to Sabrina’s Stash for Blue Flash

 


Hiring a Web Designer

Hiring a Web Designer

Hiring a Web Designer

Since many are often confused at exactly what to look at or what to ask when hiring a web designer, I’ve prepared a grouping of important things you should consider. Hiring a web designer requires the understanding of your organization and business more than anything else.

 

Define a 1 Sentence Business Description

What are You Doing? What are You About?

This is sort of a description and mission statement hybrid and will help everyone involved understand what you are about and looking to target as your objective and ultimately help all parties be on the same page when hiring a web designer. A user should be able to look at any page of your site and determine what they can do on the site and specifically what you do and how it can apply to them.  Hiring a web designer that can take this mission statement and implement this into the presence is essential.

 

Determine Goals

What Do Your Want Out of Your Site?

This is one of the items that many clients overlook…you might have 1 goal or you might have several that you are trying to accomplish. For marketing, we always suggest establishing 1 main goal and center the design around contributing to this…examples of this are below

  • Gaining Newsletter Signups
  • Selling products (or a particular product)
  • Getting Members for Your Facebook Page, Twitter or Other Social Network
  • Having Content Shared

This is really easier said than done…and continually making changes to contribute to your goal(s) is/are essential.

Provide Samples of Site Look and Feel from Other Sites

What Do You Like?

Websites

While the project is being setup…take some time to check out other websites and find what you like about them both visually and function wise…some suggestions on where to start:

  • Check Your Competitor(s) Websites
  • Check Your Client Websites
  • Look Through Your Web Designer’s Website

 

This is also a good opportunity to see how they are accomplishing contributing to their goal(s) (or possibly how they could be and determining areas they could improve…which will help you establish your base).

Draw it Out

How Does it Look on Paper?

Once you have a design, actually draw out the elements on a sheet of paper (yes, even in today’s day and age, we still have to use a pen and paper sometimes…)

 

Create a Flowchart/Wireframe

How Easy Will it be to Use?

Mind Mapping Software is great for this. There are several online services that can be used…essentially, what you can do is create a chart and collaborate with others by sharing it…this really helps both the web designer and yourself to understand which components will be necessary, It also allows an understanding of how traffic will flow through the site…and make such traffic flow less cumbersome.

 

Create a Content Gem

Do They Need Your Site?

Web Content

If you are in a niche market (or for any business really), there should be a level of content that you can provide to your customers via your online presence which will provide your visitors with the desire to return to utilize the content. Examples of such are below:

  • Restaurant Menu
  • Downloadable Forms Specific to Industry
  • Updated “How To” Information

 

Specification

Exactly What is Being Done?

Website Specification

This is a must have. It is so important that you may even consider paying a professional web developer just for this element. Each designer you contact is going to have different methods and ways they implement the design and components based on your plan, so getting a price and then comparing them is not always like comparing apples to apples. If you have a very specific syllabus of the platform, design necessities and function, you will be better able to determine what you are getting for the money you spend.

 

Choose a Platform

What Are the Benefits of Your Platform? Are There Any Negatives?

We use WordPress or Magento eCommerce to create websites as experience has proven that this provides for a wide range of design choices, structures and the ability to edit content by the client. You must be happy with the platform and usability for accomplishing your objectives or serving your users.

 

Expect to Pay a Fair Price

“If It Sounds too Good to be True…”

Web Design Cost

This is very true in the realm of internet development. There is a massive amount of low budget marketing campaigns trying to sell you something that is supposed to have great function for a bargain basement price…if you are looking for results, it just doesn’t happen this way. If you end up bargaining the price down so far that the developer is under pressure based on the money involved vs. the time that he/she has to work on the site, this typically produces negative results and project stalls.

 

Determine What Might be Different About the Users You Desire/Current Users

Understand User Behavior Specific to Your Industry

Internet Users

Every industry has quirks…or things that influence user behavior (your clients may not behave like clients in other industries…they may or may not do certain things)…still further, there may be a difference in behavior between the people coming from the web search engines vs. clients you send directly to the site…or from your social networking base.

 

Make a List of Things You Don’t Want to Happen on the Site.

What Could Go Wrong and How Important is it?

You’ve established your goals…its time to look away from the pros of a website and think about the cons. Can your implementation have negative consequences. If you determine that some negatives can come out of your offering, you need to also look at whether or not there is some kind of tradeoff. A classic example of this is providing links to other websites. You provide good resources and people may follow them and forget about you. The alternative is obviously not to do this, bu then you suffer negative consequences in regards to search indexing on Google and the other search engines…so looking at the tradeoff and understanding that part of something is better than all of nothing seems like simple logic…but the built in need to singularly dominate is part of human nature…following what we feel as humans based on inherent desires is not always wise!

 

Make Sure there is an Advanced Communication Medium Between the Developer and Yourself

How Will You Communicate and Keep Organization on the Project?

If your designer doesn’t use an online project management system…quite simply, pass them up. Ask! It is just not possible in today’s day and age to manage anything of a complex nature with alot of associated communication via email. It is one thing if it is a small tech item, but for a full project or more lengthy list of tech items, you will need a repository that is easy to use for communication and related files.

 

Establish a Reasonable Timeline

How Long Will This Take?

Web Project Timeline

Understand that working through the many items on the site and making some adjustments through the process is a necessity. Don’t try and establish a timeline that is so swift that you can’t have flexibility to make these changes.

 

Social Networking

Can Social Networking Help You Achieve Your Goals?

A Great Way to Start is by Choosing One Network Such as Facebook or Twitter and Immersing Yourself into Using it Well, Rather Than Trying to Take on Too Much. Not all industries choose to participate…mostly due to the complication of using the networks or the time involved. Still further, you may feel like there is no way to adapt your business or organization to social networking…the way to better understand how you might do this is to specifically review how your competitors are accomplishing this.

Who are Your Competitors

What Are Other People Doing?

Competition on the Web

It is essential to understand your competitors both in the online arena, on search engine top results and in the real World. Check them out, see what they are doing and get ideas for how you can compete or provide information in a similar fashion to satisfy your own customers, make your website a valuable resource for them and bring in new customers and contacts.

 

Ask Your Customers

Nobody Knows it All…

Internet Customers

This sounds very simple…but ask your customers what they would like to see on your site…or what they could get from your site that would make them want to return. It seems like we should be able to just understand this…but there is an inherent block sometimes between the operator and client, no matter how much we think we know our customers. I just did this recently when looking at establishing a price structure for mobile website development. It was really surprising the variety of answers received. Basically, I was just after what would seem to be a fair price and what would be construed as just too much to even consider. Most of the answers were surprisingly similar, while there were still those looking for something for nothing, but overall, I was able to establish a structure that was fair and would cover the time involved while still providing a couple flexible options for different budgets…covering delivering a quality product.

 

USERS

What Browser do They Use?

More advanced users will use a browser such as Opera, Google Chrome or Firefox. Still further, some opt for the more classic feel of the Internet Explorer browser they are used to. Others will be using Safari for Macintosh (or a derivative of it with a smart phone). There are always variations of display between browsers, sometimes these are small, and sometimes more serious. If you know your users will primarily be using a certain browser with certain features, you can place your emphasis towards a particular browser or perhaps focus your content implementation towards some of the bundled features of the browser or more popularly utilized plugins to enhance the browser function.

 

Updates and Content

What Will You Be Adding to the Site, Who Will Do it, How and When.

Web Content Updates

Understanding how you will update content is essential…and your platform must support this. You might end up getting a really neat looking website that seems to accomplish your objectives, but upon trying to supply your users with updates and change pages as your business and industry changes, you might find out that this is too complicated. Will someone in your organization be handling this?

 

What is Your Planned Source of Internet Traffic?

Build it and They Will Come?

Internet Traffic

The Structure of Your Site Adapted to Where Your Traffic Comes From Will Increase Your Conversion Rates… Will you be sending traffic referrals directly to the site from a business card? Advertising campaign? Are you going to be attempting to gain traffic from the search engines? You may need certain elements to satisfy requirements to be listed on search engines, whereas if you are sending traffic directly to the site, this may not be a requirement and you may be able to better layout the site to contribute to your goals.

 

Establish a Budget

Are You too Broke to do it Right?

Website Budget

I always ask a client if they have a budget, and if so, what it is. Sometimes people will just provide a figure. Often times, they just don’t know, and still further, some just want to try to be the power negotiator. This question is asked just to understand whether we are all playing in the same ballpark. If not, there really is no benefit for either of us spending time on something that may not come together.

 

Does Location Matter?

The World is Wired!

Today not so much. There are not really that many benefits to choosing someone in your region unless you are super computer challenged and just need a ton of time for hand holding. I very rarely target recruiting for local clients as I know there is a time factor involved that would become non-compensatable. Quite honestly, I love talking with people, so I would end up in a time management nightmare. It is difficult in itself to manage this sometimes with all of the communication mediums offered on the net. There may be some cases that you might need someone locally, only you can determine the actual importance of this, but to me, it is not a key factor.

 

Portfolio

What Have You Done?

Web Design Portfolio

There should be some samples available for you to look at. I try to keep mine updated simply based upon some of the more recent projects…and provide a wide array of variations with as few samples as possible…so clients can get an understanding overall of what I am capable of. A developer’s own site should also reflect some of their abilities. It is surprising sometimes though that a busy developer may not have time to update their own site. This may not be a good sign…or the ability to do so may be too complex…which can be a warning sign that you might experience the same when updating.

 

References

Talk to People if You Can…

There are always going to be happy clients and there will always be the situation where things might not have gone as planned. If somebody is conveying that they have only had happy customers, they likely don’t have enough experience, because such a situation is just not real World. The hope is that they have more of a happy customer base than a negative one. This will be telling both of skill, organization and how the established relationships work out personality wise.

 

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