All posts by Markel Town

Markel Town is a full-time student studying Web Development at Clark College. She was a massage therapist for 14 years before deciding to further her education. Her interests include gardening, sewing, sustainability, Chinese Medicine, and natural cures.

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 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.

US Internet Competition and Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality is important for small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs . Net Neutrality preserves our right to an open internet. An open internet allows these entrepreneurs to communicate freely on the web.

Protecting Entrepreneurs on the Web

In May 2014, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler released a plan that would give internet service companies control over free speech on the web. This meant that they could block and discriminate against any applications or content that was carried on these networks. Internet service providers could charge websites and companies money in order to have their packets delivered faster. Advertisers with more money would get a higher speed and a student blogger might be slowed down.

Document signed by the President February 26, 2015.
A letter from the President expressing his support for Net Neutrality.

An internet protest was held by Etsy, WordPress, and Netflix to draw attention to the idea. Wheeler’s original proposal was shot down and revised after activists fought back. He based the new proposal of the Net Neutrality rules on Title II of the Communications Act, giving Internet users the strongest protections possible.

The FCC approved Wheeler’s proposal on Feb. 26, 2015. The rules rooted in Title II of the Communications Act ban throttling, blocking and paid prioritization.


WordPress Tutorial: Evernote and WordPress

If you are the type of person who likes to stay organized, than you may want to try Evernote. Just about anything can be attached to a note, including files, images and audio. You can even attach snapshots taken with your phone or computer. Evernote can help writers and artists stay focused on their ideas moving from inspiration to completion.

A screen shot of Evernote's welcome page.
Integrating this Plugin with your WordPress site gives you the option to store and share information to and from your notebooks from just about anywhere. This visual bookmarking service can also help you build a loyal following as users bookmark your site. There are three ways to integrate Evernote with WordPress.
Continue reading WordPress Tutorial: Evernote and WordPress

WordPress Words: Microformats

A microformat (sometimes abbreviated μF) is a web-based approach to semantic markup which seeks to re-use existing HTML/XHTML tags to convey metadata[1] and other attributes in web pages and other contexts that support (X)HTML such as RSS. This approach allows software to process information intended for end-users (such as contact information, geographic coordinates, calendar events, and similar information) automatically.
Definition of Microformat –

Example: In the text “The birds roosted at 52.48, -1.89” is a pair of numbers which may be understood, from their context, to be a set of geographic coordinates. With wrapping in spans (or other HTML elements) with specific class names (in this case geo, latitude and longitude, all part of the geo microformat specification.
An example of a microformat found on

How Microformats Are Used

Using microformats within HTML code provides additional formatting and semantic data that applications can use. The use of microformats can facilitate in exporting a geographical location to maps such as Google Maps.

Advantages of Microformats

Using microformats has advantages. They enable the publishing and sharing of high quality sounds, images, and other information on the Web. You can share your microformat with content providers, ensuring that you’ll get content in the right format and you don’t need to do anything to that content before presenting it to the user.

Microformats and WordPress

WordPress is somewhat microformat enabled. The special code makes your web pages readable by not only people, but computers are able to make sense of your page also. Microformats are extremely useful when applied to themes. You can add them to one place and enable your whole site.

About Microformats

“Designed for humans first and machines second, microformats are a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards. Instead of throwing away what works today, microformats intend to solve simpler problems first by adapting to current behaviors and usage patterns.”

To learn more on various Microformats :