All posts by Matt Lehr

I am currently returning to college to learn new skills to bring back to the workforce. Professionally speaking I have close to two decades retail experience, over a decade in management, and six years experience running my own store. I enjoy art, photography, music, movies, and all kinds of food. Most recently I have been working the Portland Saturday Market selling original art and photography prints. Last year I spent most of the year traveling the country and prior to that I was living in Pennsylvania. I also try to golf as much as I can and one day hope to live in a beach town.

Interview: Lisa Presely, Web Master at The Independent

This is a screen shot of the banner for the website The Independent at Clark College.Lisa Presely is the current Web Master for The Independent and one time student of WordPress here at Clark College. Lisa in fact, decided to attend Clark College to learn more about WordPress.

Ever since I discovered WordPress, just a couple of years ago, I quickly fell in love with the fact that I could have a website almost instantly by choosing a theme and entering my information, and…bam! A website!

Since then, especially since I took the WordPress class at Clark College, I have also fallen in love with the way I can completely make a WordPress Theme my own by customizing almost any aspect of a Theme into the specific details that I need.

Matt:

Did you have a defining moment that ignitied you to continue your education?

Lisa:

I have been a stay at home mom for 16 years. In that time, I only worked part time outside of our home for a few months. My kids are all in school full-time now, and even though I still keep busy with the demands of my home life, I felt a strong desire to continue my education.

I knew I had skills that could help others, and I wanted to learn more about web design in order to build beautiful things for other people…and web design gives me an opportunity to hopefully be able to do it mostly from home so I can still be available for my kids.

It was important for me to teach my kids that we can do hard things. I knew adding school to my already busy life wouldn’t be easy, but I felt like it was the right time, and my kids have been nothing short of amazing in helping me achieve this goal.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to change careers, start a first career or just improve their job skills by learning WordPress?

Exactly one year ago, I knew I needed a new career field, and I wanted to make sure that if I was going to take the time and money to go to school for it, that it needed to be something I loved! For me, it was web design, and more specifically, to learn about WordPress in depth. I saw potential in that field, and I continue to see it.

If you love a career that you constantly need to stay on your toes about what you’re learning (I LOVE to learn!), then web design is for you! Especially if you love to create and design beautiful things that make other people happy. That is my joy in life, and with WordPress, I can do that.

Does your five year plan include continuing your WordPress mastery?

Absolutely!

Given any content management system to work with, I will always choose WordPress.

I have done my research, and I am very impressed with the way WordPress stays on top of the changes in technology and builds them into their users’ experiences.

They have the best, most generous group of users, who continue to give up their own time to help other people learn about the benefits and joys of WordPress. The WP community is so helpful! It doesn’t matter if you are working with WordPress.com or WordPress.org, you will always find the answer to your questions out there.

If you are interested in WordPress, you should really try to go to a WordCamp. I went to my first one this year in Portland, Oregon, and I met so many wonderful people there who just wanted to share what they had learned with people like me who are trying to make a living out of this.

What has been the biggest challenge of running The Independent?

There really haven’t been a lot of challenges with The Independent. The people I worked with to build the site were fantastic, and very supportive. Any of the challenges that have come about have been because I am still a student of web design, and really need to learn a lot more about what I’m doing! But that is the great part of working for a student run newspaper…we are all students here, and we are loving what we are learning.

As a web designer one of them is wrapping my brain around the complexity and constant changes of coding.

I can do it, and I’m continuing to build my weakness into a strength, but with WordPress in my tool box, I can build a gorgeous site without much coding involved.

It is a beautiful thing that has given me the chance to start building sites for other people before I had the ability to code much at all.

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” William Morris, a 19th century British textile artist and poet.

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WordPress News: CDN Enabler – WordPress CDN Plugin

CDN is short for Content Delivery Network which is a network of servers that deliver cached static content from websites to users based on the geographic location of the user. A CDN will not take the place of your web hosting account but simply improve website speeds.

Advantages of Using a CDN

When a website has a high volume of traffic then the site can overload the server, which leads to a slow loading site or even server crash. This is where a CDN comes in handy because it is a network of servers, but most importantly these servers are spread throughout the world.

When a CDN is being used, the static content is cached and stored on all of these servers. Static content includes images, stylesheets (css files), javascripts, Flash, etc. When a user visits the site (original server), the CDN technology redirects them to the closest server to their location.

If your website is receiving heavy traffic and you have not yet enabled an CDN here are some good reasons to get started today:

Choosing a CDN That’s Right For You

According to Brian Jackson, most people will configure their CDN with a caching Plugin such as WordPress Cache EnablerWP Rocket, WP Super Cache, or W3 Total Cache.

However, if you are running on a managed WordPress host such as Kinsta, WP Engine, or Pagely you might not want a full blown caching plugin just to enable your CDN. This is where the free lightweight CDN Enabler WordPress plugin from KeyCDN comes into play. Note: You don’t have to be using KeyCDN to take advantage of this plugin. It will work with any CDN provider.

Installing CDN Enabler – WordPress CDN Plugin

To install your CDN Plugin follow the simple five step process with screenshots. Once the Plugin is installed you will find the following features:

  • Ability to set up CDN URL. By default it will already have the “wp-content” and “wp-includes” folders setup.
  • By default it will have “.php” setup.
  • Relative paths are enabled by default.
  • Ability to enable HTTPS.

This is a screenshot of the CDN Enabler Settings in WordPress

 

For More Information on CDNs

Web Accessibility: Seizure Prevention on the Web

When designing websites it is imperative to follow the necessary standards to design a site that is safe for those who suffer from photosensitive epilepsy or other seizures.

Photosensitive epilepsy is a form of epilepsy in which seizures are triggered by visual stimuli that form patterns in time or space, such as flashing lights, bold, regular patterns, or regular moving patterns.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines state that web pages should not contain anything that flashes more than three times in any one second period, or the flash is below the general flash and red flash thresholds. Continue reading Web Accessibility: Seizure Prevention on the Web

WordPress Words: WordPress Roles – Editor

Has access to all posts, pages, comments, categories, tags, and links.
WordPress Support

Example: WordPress has six pre-defined roles: Super Admin, Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor, and Subscriber. Each role is allowed to perform a set of tasks called Capabilities. An Editor will have the third highest set of capabilities that includes the ability to: delete, edit, manage, publish, read, and upload.

About the Word

An Editor can create, edit, publish, and delete any post or page (not just their own), as well as moderate comments and manage categories, tags, and links. It is the Site Administrators job to monitor and add roles accordingly.  Be mindful of the roles that you give users on your blog. For example, if you add a user as an Editor and then they delete all the posts on your blog, they have not “hacked” your site or done anything they were not permitted to do. For this reason, it is recommend to only adding users whom you trust to your site.

When you have decided it is time to add more Users to your site you can access this form via the Users button and Invite New on the drop down menu as site Administrator. Once a new User has been you added, you will also have the ability to edit a User’s role via the All Users button seen in the drop down menu below.

This is a screen shot of the Users button being highlighted in the wp-admin role.

You may also wish to try out different User Role Editor Plugins in order to maximize the efficiency when managing a site’s pages, posts, comments and more.

For More Information

Tutorial: How to Change Your WordPress Slug

Slugs are used in the permalink structure and are created by default in WordPress. If you do not choose to define the slug, it will be automatically generated using the title of the post or page, separating each word using hyphens. While the auto-generated permalink may contain some key words, WordPress has given the user the ability to set the slug to contain the most optimized key words. The following tutorial will show you how to edit your slug in WordPress.

Go to Site Backend

Click All Posts or Pages as seen in the new interface or run your mouse over the Page or Post icon and click All Posts or All Pages as seen as the WP–Admin. All images in this tutorial will feature these two examples in the same order.

Screen shot of WordPress backpage highlighting the icon

Screen shot of WordPress backpage highlighting the icon

Select the Post or Page You Want to Edit

Here you will simply click Edit as seen in the first image or click Edit from the drop down box as seen in the second image.

This is a screenshot of selecting

 This is a screenshot of selecting

Edit the Slug

In the new WordPress interface you can simply edit the slug or click edit as seen in the second screenshot.

This is a screenshot of the slug closeup on your backpage.

This is a screenshot of where to edit your slug.

Slug Maximized

After you have edited your slug don’t forget to click on Update for your entire Post or Page.

This is a screenshot of the Update button on your Page or Post editor.

For More Information on WordPress Slugs

WordPress Words: Slug

A slug is a few words that describe a post or a page.
WordPress Codex.

Example: When a user is looking to increase their overall site traffic, they will customize their individual slugs to contain precise keywords to increase search engine optimization.

About the Word

Slugs are used in the permalink structure and are created by default in WordPress. If you do not choose to define the slug, it will be automatically generated using the title of the page or post, separating each word using hyphens. While the auto-generated permalink may contain some key words, WordPress has given the user the ability to set the slug to contain the most optimized key words.

You can edit the slug when you are editing a page or post as seen in the highlighted area below.

This is a screenshot from WordPress featuring where to change the slug.

For More Information