website design

Wordpress guides

Here’s a quick tip to solve a problem you may be having when your WordPress Page and Post title column is narrow when working on the back end of your WordPress site.If you’ve had the problem where your Page and Post titles could not be managed well because the column is narrow in width, or scrunched making it hard to view the title, the issue may have started when you installed a SEO plugin. You can see in the screenshot above that the page titles are scrunched and hard to read.

Source: WordPress Page Title Column narrow

WordPress is easy. If you are comfortable with Microsoft Office or Word you have all the skills you need to manage your own website with WordPress.  Don't be taken in by the hundreds of scam Website Developers who buy or download free WordPress themes, add your graphics and text, and resell them to you as their own.Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 9.54.37 AM, Dec 31, 2015

I recently interfaced with a local web site builder.  I was hoping he could take over some of the sites that I develop for free for start ups and non-profits.  I like to turn them over to professionals once they are established or can afford it. The chief designer of this outfit, who was referred to me by a friend, pointed to his own website as an example of a site he built.

Looking into the site I found it was a stock copy of the Catch Katmandu theme with a few images added. The links he added on the site did not work properly, and the other sites he bragged about on his Facebook page were mostly inactive, or used the same Katmandu theme. Don't get me wrong Catch Katmandu is a beautiful theme and setting it up for someone is fine, but plagiarizing it as an example of a website you built, and selling it to the unaware as your own is not cool.
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WordPress’ new built-in media players make it a powerful platform for streaming video and audio. But you might notice that your WordPress install has a prohibitive maximum file size for uploads. If you want to know what your site’s upload limit is, you can visit Media -> Add New. Below the upload box you will see “Maximum upload file size” with a number next to it, in megabytes. This is how big your uploaded files can be. By default, this number ranges anywhere from 2MB to 128MB and dictates how big an uploaded file can be. If you find yourself on the smaller end of that scale, you may want to increase your upload limit to accommodate larger media files.

Source: Is The WordPress Upload Limit Giving You Trouble? Here’s How To Change It | Elegant Themes Blog

Curly quotes look nice in some instances, but they can break search requests and are an unnecessary ornament in code. At best they tell you whether you are at the beginning or end of a quote so while they are nice for reading they do not do much for search engines and software code that easily keeps track of these without relying on curliness.  I like to keep these simple and turn off curly quotes where possible.

To change WordPress to using straight quotes " from using curly quotes “ or ” you will need to remove the texturizing functions in your theme. Add the following to your functions.php file:

remove_filter ('single_post_title', 'wptexturize');
remove_filter ('bloginfo', 'wptexturize');
remove_filter ('wp_title', 'wptexturize');
remove_filter ('category_description', 'wptexturize');
remove_filter ('list_cats', 'wptexturize');
remove_filter ('comment_author', 'wptexturize');
remove_filter ('comment_text', 'wptexturize');
remove_filter ('the_title', 'wptexturize');
remove_filter ('the_content', 'wptexturize');
remove_filter ('the_excerpt', 'wptexturize');

You may need to turn off curly quotes on your computer also. For MACs go to System Preferences>Keyboard>Text and uncheck Use smart quotes and dashes.

 

w3_total_cache_iconAfter the recent upgrade of a plugin called W3 Total Cache, version 0.9.4, all of our sites using this plugin experienced intermittent 404 page not found errors for the home page.  Intermittent means the Home pages loaded from some browsers occasionally, but on reloading the Home could not be found. The 404 errors disappeared when I deactivated the W3 Total Cache plugin. As an alternative Quickcache is simpler to set up and provides improvement equivalent to W3 Total Cache. Continue reading

With thousand of plugins to choose from how can you tell which ones you need?  You can read reviews, look at demo sites, use trial and error, or read about others' favorites. After testing and using WordPress plugins on various sites for about 6 years  I  seem to favor the ones in this list for their functionality, ease of use, simplicity and overhead. Some of these come with baggage like Jetpack, but include so many useful features in one updated and supported platform that I use it on almost every site. The greatest feature of WordPress is that you can find a free plugin for almost anything you want to do, and you can edit and tailor them for your personal use. My choices for top WordPress plugins depend on how often I use them: Continue reading

This was one of my top plugins for WordPress, and I use to use it on every site to back up my database and files at least once a week to a dropbox folder ( I now use UpdraftPlus). After a recent upgrade I started receiving an error message and the backups failed:

ERROR: Dropbox API: (59) Unknown cipher in list (followed by a list of errors) Continue reading

If the text beside the images does not occupy the same amount of space that the image beside it does then the text wrapping will continue and the images and text that follow will have a staggered appearance.

To prevent the staggered effect what you do is insert the following snippet of code into the Text (HTML) editor after each image/text pair:

<div style="clear:both;"></div>

Sometimes it is necessary to control the vertical spacing in your WordPress blogs, especially around inserted pictures. In the WordPress editor go to the Text (HTML) editor and insert this command:

<div style="margin-bottom:3em;"><span style="display:none;"> </span></div>

You can control the vertical space by changing “3em” to “5em”, “10em”, etc.

Make sure your system does not change straight quotes " to curly quotes “ or ”. If so just replace  with straight quotes.

If you have a godaddy.com hosting plan, or similar, you have almost unlimited potential to host sites.  You can assign a secondary domain to your hosting plan, pick a folder to hold the new site files in, and you are up and running with another site. Of course you need to ad the website functionality and files.  For this you can install, WordPress, Joomla, or another application to the folder for the secondary domain and you have an instant site.  This allows you to host and manage as many sites as you have time for. The new multisite application for WordPress centralizes this, however does have its limitations.   Continue reading
The current version ofWordpress, 3.8, does nothave an option for generating different main menus for different areas of a website. I found some suggestions on how to do this by modifying code, but no adequate plugin, or systematic way of including this in auser friendly way.   Until oneis written I am using an approach that seems to work  well.  I explain how to do this with anArtisteer generated theme, so if youhave a different them you will need to make some adjustments to the code.Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 7.03.15 AM, Jan 17, 2014 Continue reading
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