WordPress Plugin: Express It

Express It WordPress Plugin adds like/dislike button to your post. It lets your reader like/dislike your post, to let you know how they feel about your post and it will save the ratings to the database. When the plugin is activated, a like and dislike button appears under each post and also shows the number of each rating.

Image of Express It WorPress plugin

A picture of the plugin installed.

The Express It WordPress Plugin goes beyond the typical social media “like” to allow voting up and down of site content, giving your readers a wider range of opinion. For a site that thrives on community-building and social emphasis, this would be an interesting WordPress Plugin to choose.

Interview with Jennifer Daly

Jennifer Daly
Jennifer Daly

Jennifer Daly is an art instructor at Shasta College in Redding, CA. She uses WordPress as a content management system for her classes, a way to communicate with her students, and a means to support the art department and school events.

My students love using WordPress. I had a faculty review last semester and the department chair met with my students. They told him about the site and that they all appreciated being able to access the information outside of class.

– Jennifer Daly

When did you decide to start using WordPress and why?

I started using WordPress in 2007. I had been using Blackboard and WebCT to provide students information online for a couple of years. Neither one was really designed for art students. They are very rigid in the layout and format and not very visually appealing. While in grad school, one of my professors, Byron Wolfe, was using Typepad and a blog format for communicating with his students. I really liked the simplicity and elegance of the system, but being in grad school, I couldn’t afford to pay for a Typepad blog, and found WordPress. I have used it every semester since then. I started out with a WordPress.com site and then migrated to a self-hosted site about 4 years ago.

Continue reading Interview with Jennifer Daly

Interview with Andrew Telegin

Andrew Telegin is an online editor for the Independent, the Clark College student newspaper.

Q: Do you like WordPress?

A: Yes, I really do enjoy WordPress. I think it is easy to use and fun to figure out with cool features. It has been an adventure, too.

Q: The Good and the Bad about WordPress?

A: To me, the good is how is it easy for someone new to catch on, learn, and use. I’m using WordPress.com in class and the bad is that you there is less customization of the back end and dashboard. All you can change is the colors and I would like to switch around some of the functions so they are not on the side bar and I cannot do that on WordPress.com but I can with the self-hosted version of WordPress, and we are using that on the college site.

While most of WordPress is easy-to-use and semi-intuitive, I really want to learn HTML and some basic web code to know more about how all these things work. While I’m not ready to dive fully into web programming, I know the brush with the code will help me in the future. We are into the web forever and I’m riding the wave.

Screenshot of front page of Clark College Independent.

Q: Have you worked with any other Content Management Software? What’s different?

A: I have briefly worked with SquareSpace and I do not recommend it. The menu’s are very confusing. I may have problems with learning WordPress, but it was worse there. Still, it is important to experiment with the variety of options we have out there. Continue reading Interview with Andrew Telegin

WordPress Plugins: NextGEN Gallery

Logo for NextGen Gallery.The NextGEN Gallery Plugin is the most popular gallery plugin in WordPress. Its a powerful engine for uploading and managing galleries of images, as well as batch upload, import meta data, add/delete, rearrange, and sort images.. you can edit thumbnails and group galleries into albums

This is what our Gallery page looks like before the WordPress Plugin.

Before NextGen Gallery WordPress Plugin installed.

After activating the WordPress Plugin, the gallery button is added on posts and Pages. Click it to add images from the gallery Plugin.

Screenshot after next gen gallery WordPress Plugin installed

Click to add files then drag and highlight all the images you want to put into the gallery, then click upload.

Screenshot of upload gallery

After you have uploaded the images for the gallery there are many other options for managing your galleries and your albums that can be found in 3 places shown in the images below.

Uploading and arranging images using the NextGen Gallery WordPress Plugin screenshot.

finished gallery using the WordPress Plugin

Nomad World Map: Blog Your Travels

Create your own custom travel map. Link locations on the map to blog posts and share your travel plans. WordPress.org Plugins

Nomad World Map plugin in use on a WordPress site. From wordpress.org/plugins/nomad-world-map/
A screenshot of Nomad World Map plugin in use on a WordPress site. Retrieved from wordpress.org on June 13th, 2015

Would you like to…

  • Blog about travel
  • Review locations or destinations
  • Share trip plans with routs
  • Link to almost anything related to specific spot?

Nomad World Map is a plugin that lets you go beyond simpler map hacks to do all that in style. Continue reading Nomad World Map: Blog Your Travels

WordPress News: Emoji Coming to Jetpack

“Emoji” is a Japanese term meaning “picture character.” It’s a standard for showing smileys and other little symbols inside text. But unlike traditional smileys that are made up of a sequence of letters like :), every emoji has its own letter.
Marcus Kazmierczak

According to Sarah Gooding’s post, Twitter has “open sourced Twemoji,” meaning the emoji characters/symbols we all know and love to use on our phones are now accessible on twitter and can be seen all alike on mobile devices and desktops.Examples of emoji's used universally

In even more interesting news, Twitter also partnered up with Automattic to help WordPress do the same. Sarah also briefly explains how it may be easy to use emoji’s on a mobile device, but could prove slightly more challenging to desktop users. So to help she shared a small cheat sheet to use emoji on desktop.  She also says, “Mac users type Command + Control + Space while in a text editor. Windows… users can make use of the touch keyboard, which includes emoji support” (Sarah Gooding).

This is a great step for emoji users and it eraser a very annoying problem that’s been around for quite some time.

For More Information

Tutorial: How To Delete Your WordPress Site

There may be a day when you realize that the WordPress.com blog address that you signed up with, may not be the one you want to stay with. If that is the case, you have a few options.  You can:

  • Change your domain name and keep all your current content.
  • Take out all of your posts, or at least the ones you don’t want, but keep the same name.
  • You can make your site completely private so that no one can see it.
  • You can transfer your site to someone else.

If you really want to completely delete your WordPress.com site, there is a way. You need to understand though that
it will be permanent!
Continue reading Tutorial: How To Delete Your WordPress Site

WordPress Plugin: Instagram Journal

Instagram Journal WordPress Plugin that allows you to host Instagram API content on your WordPress.org blog. The plugin comes with many features and special effects that can be applied to your photo journals. This lends itself to a dynamic user/viewer experience.

Instagram Journal screenshot

Instagram Journal Plugin is not currently available on the WordPress Plugin Directory, so take care when using it. You can find more information at Envato Market at codecanyon.

WordPress Plugins: WPtouch

The WPtouch Mobile Plugin on WordPress adds a simple and elegant mobile theme for visitor to the WP website. This plugin enables a mobile-friendly version for Android and iOS.

WPtouch Marketing Images.

WPTouch mobile screenshots of usage on cellphone.

If you experience issues you can download a user manual from WPtouch and it will contain Information on how to configure it and how to perform additional steps.

When visiting the Admin View, this area allows you to customize many aspects to its appearance and to deliver a user-friendly Stylish version.

WPTouch Backend interface screenshot.

Interview With Daniel Portis-Cathers: Composer/Producer

A picture of Daniel Portis-Cathers.
Daniel Portis-Cathers, composer/producer and founder of Deep Sea Music, Inc., was born in Newport, Oregon, raised in Italy, and has traveled extensively studying music. He is very passionate about writing and producing. His world travels have influenced his writing and business immensely. Daniel enjoys collaborating with other instrumentalists whenever possible. Deep Sea Music, unlike other agencies, serves as a conduit for musicians from a wide range of cultures and musical traditions. Daniel has been transitioning more toward web development as music scoring and original composition work has dwindled over the last several years. A picture of David's Deep Sea Music site.

When I collaborate, I track down the best musicians I can find for the project. They are usually great people – interesting thinkers and fantastic musicians. They bring the level of my work up because of what they add. And it’s usually lots of fun. When I was starting out, I tried to perform all the parts myself. I soon realized that even if I could do that, I was losing the benefit derived from having other creative minds in the room. Now I bring people in whenever I can. ~ Daniel Portis-Cathers

Daniel’s Experience With WordPress

Daniel has been creating sites for himself as well as others and they are mostly done in WordPress. He was introduced to web development about six years ago when he received a grant to build an online production music library in WordPress. He felt like the site was fairly user friendly. He likes that it offers good solutions for small businesses, but disliked how quickly it would slow down unless he worked through the many details to keep it running fast.

Development gets pretty deep, but the online and local support communities were great and have continued to get stronger. You can use WordPress as a novice, but take it really far as a professional. ~Daniel Portis-Cathers

A screenshot of David's web development website.

Choosing the Right WordPress Theme

The choice is not as daunting as it might seem. The ability to keep in mind what the blog is trying to get across is paramount in selecting a theme. This is important, and can showcase the effectiveness of themes in regard to blog content, and layout.

The next thing to keep in mind is what the budget is for creating the blog because if you aren’t going with free then you will need to consider domain names and hosting costs.

Be mindful of the time it will take for research and development, as well as the cost. Many themes come with support or without support, and this should be considered when selecting a theme. When it comes to cost keep in mind the themes ability to be used again and again this will lend itself to versatility and functionality.

A very important decision to make for a blog is what it will look like. With WordPress there is a vast array of choices for the theme of a blog to take on.

Some things to consider when choosing a theme

  • Theme cost
  • Theme versatility
  • Theme supported/unsupported
  • Theme functionality
  • Theme layout
  • Theme effectiveness

These links have the information that this article was influenced by, and how I came to the conclusions about how to choose the right WordPress theme.

WordPress Word: Subversion

Subversion, often shortened to SVN, is a system that is widely used in the free software community to manage projects, and is also utilized by Google Code. Subversion was developed by the Apache Software Foundation.
How Apache Software Foundation defines “Subversion”.

Example: Subversion is used by VIPs along with a Git clone in order to have a better SVN-repository/Git interaction.

About The Word

The WordPress project uses Subversion for code version control. Most WordPress users will never want to use Subversion, because they will only install the released versions of WordPress. However, developers of plugins and themes may want to test their software against the latest development version of WordPress, and people interested in Contributing to WordPress by testing or fixing bugs will need to have access to the code that is under development. More on this can be found here.

For a more thorough understanding of how Subversion is used.

For More Information

Automattic Acquires WooCommerce

In May 19th 2015 it was announced that Automattic would acquire WooCommerce . The article states that with most people have their sites built on open source software like WordPress. So when Automattic (what powers WordPress and a lot of Plugins) acquired WooCommererce it made it easier for people with businesses to sell their products. Continue reading Automattic Acquires WooCommerce

WordPress Tutorial: Categories/Tags

The following tutorial will teach you about categories and tags.

What are the categories and tags?Think of the categories as a table of contents in a book. Categories are important because they help organize, and group content so it’s easy for users to find. Tags are a lot like the index of a book.  Tags are keywords designated to an article, or a post that when a search is done, and a keyword matches a designated tag the content attached to the tag will show up. Tags can either be specific to one piece of content or multiple pieces of content.

Where to find the categories and tags?

When creating a post categories, and tags can be found to the right of the screen.

A picture of the category and tags option in post editing

Where to find categories and tags on the front side of a website?

Tags can be found at the bottom of a post.  Categories can also be found at the bottom of the post.

Web Accessibility: How Screen Readers Read a Website

Screen readers are assisting eyes of a screen that uses verbal translation. Screen Readers work by translating screen text into computerized speech so that a person can listen to the screen content. Currently these audio devices read content is a linear format.

Experienced screen interface users have concocted a few methods as ways to “skim” the web content. Some methods include: Using the links to parachute from link to link. Using Headings to bungee jump to other Headings- where Headings available.

When Web developers conveniently define these element, visitors can use ARIA Landmarks and HTML5 sectioning tags to navigate through a site. Continue reading Web Accessibility: How Screen Readers Read a Website

Students Serving Up WordPress Tips and Techniques for Clark College Students and the World

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