Tag Archives: how-to

Instructions and guides for creating and making changes to your WordPress site by Clark College WordPress students.

WordPress News: How to use GIT for WordPress Development

Do you like Time Travel? Do you also like saving your work files? Well now you can do both at the same time by using Git to save your files while keeping track of each change, to each file along the way. Once you’ve saved (committed) a file in the project, the old version is saved forever allowing you to travel back through time to make changes or revert back to old files when needed.

Imagine your just uploaded your beautiful new custom theme to your WordPress site and you realize that you forgot to save your old CSS file and you’ve just overwritten the old one on your web server. You now have no way to revert back to your latest version of the old layout in case you have problems with browser compatibility in the new layout.

Git is a very powerful version control system that allows you to keep track of all your files during a project so losing file version along the way will never happen. This requires a few extra steps during your saving process, but it has saved the skins of many programmers from all over the world every day. Now, we should all try to save backups of our projects and files to protect from data loss and keeping old versions. Git takes that idea but saves each version of that file since it was created. It also protects someone from editing a file at the same time someone else is, preventing overwriting of each others new version.

Let’s take a look at the Git structure to get a clear picture of how the system checks out and references each file.

Git file reference structure
Git file reference structure

This table shows us how Git associates each file to the master project. Each time a change is made, a “snapshot” of the entire file structure is made. This allows us to see our project in front of us, while old versions are saved and hidden from view unless we physically use our time travel capability to revert. Additionally, if no changes were made to a file in a new commit, the old version will automatically be referenced instead of uploading the unchanged file into the project commit. These basic features are why Git is so powerful and efficient, that might explain why 42.9% of professional software developers reporting that they use Git as their primary content version control system.

To learn more about Git the features and the benefits, please refer to these links from which this article was sourced.

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WordPress Words: Widgets

Widget is a fancy word for tools or content that you can add, arrange, and remove from the sidebar(s) of your blog. Widgets make it easy to customize the content of your sidebar(s).
WordPress.com Support Page.

Example:

WordPress Widgets
Sample of WordPress Widgets

About Widgets

You can benefit greatly by using widgets in your WordPress blog. To define them further, they are small boxes that contain a specific type of information or application for your users. You can install widgets into any area of your WordPress blog that has widget areas available. Some themes have more widget areas than others. You can add widgets to sidebars, footers, posts, and more. You can also make customized extra widget areas in your blog.

To learn how to install widgets into your WordPress sidebar, start with this video tutorial…

References

Web Accessibility: Lists

Why should we use lists? Why are lists important to web accessibility? How do are lists need to be structured in compliance with web accessibility laws?

Using ul, ol, and dl elements for defining list content ensures users with disabilities can easily distinguish a list from the rest of the content and move between items of a list and between lists themselves. You should write link text that clearly communicates the target of the link making navigation easier for all users. Using link lists also makes it easier to find and update links on web resources.

According to the Web Accessibility Guidelines (WAC), website designers and developers are required to: Continue reading Web Accessibility: Lists

How to Backup and Restore WordPress Theme Options

Read on if you are an advanced WordPress user. 

You set up your WordPress Theme just the way you want with Theme options, all set, now you need to backup or restore. What do you do?

There is a plug-n-play snippet to create if your theme isn’t set up for backup and restore. The snippet called Backup/Restore Theme Options that can be seen in action if you look at the ShapeSpace Theme. Continue reading How to Backup and Restore WordPress Theme Options

ImageInject WordPress Plugin Updates

Previously known as WP inject, ImageInject is a dynamic free WordPress Plugin that allows you to insert images into your WordPress post very easily and quickly. You can by simply searching a huge and free database containing millions of photos with a couple of clicks and have an image added to your post.

The images in ImageInject are sourced from Pixabay and Flickr.  More sources to come in the future. When the images are imported the source information is automatically entered into your post for you. Continue reading ImageInject WordPress Plugin Updates

The Word on WordPress for the Week of October 20, 2014

The Clark College WordPress class students review WordPress news around the world to bring you the latest news and WordPress resources during the academic year.

WordPress Development

Twenty Fifteen Theme in Development: Discussions have begun about the new Twenty Fifteen Theme for WordPress. This is the first chat summary from October 21, 2014. Continue reading The Word on WordPress for the Week of October 20, 2014

WordPress Support Handbook

If you want to teach new WordPress support volunteers on the various WordPress forums such as Installation, WP-Advanced or Multisite, how to troubleshoot the many issues they’re likely to encounter, there’s a new guide available appropriately titled Troubleshooting Handbook. Continue reading WordPress Support Handbook

Installing WordPress on Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services  (AWS) offer a way to host your own WordPress sight with no hardware and little to no expense on a small WP blog site. This is ideal if you want to start working with a self hosted WordPress site for developmental purposes, monetization of your blog, or just good ol’ bragging rights.

In this article I will go into an overview of the EC2 service and the various Virtual Machines (referred to as instances from here on out) that are free and paid. Some may be free to download and initially spin up but may incur an additional cost to the AWS price tier even if you are in the Free Tier. Even though I discuss the free tier exclusively and micro-instances it should be mentioned that the AWS allows for scalability of your WordPress site so it can grow as your site(s) grow.

Bitnami Logo for WP instance.There are various pre-made instances for use with your AWS account that are configured for just about “one touch” configuration. Some are free, others are free to upload to AWS but incur a usage cost, and others cost for upload and usage. A few of the providers are; Bitnami, JumpBox, and Turnkey Linux. If you do choose to go with these “one click” solutions be sure to read all the print to verify if there are any charges for the instance or use of and how the charges are calculated. Continue reading Installing WordPress on Amazon Web Services

Creating a Static Front Page

Creating a Static Front Page isn’t just fun and innovative it also makes your blog look more like a professional website and less like a “blog”. Static front pages give all your readers and visitors the same welcome. Be it an announcement, how to get around or what your site offers, one thing is for sure, it is informative and it is direct. You can have your site be purely static or you can make it a hybrid blog and also include a “blog” page. Both have their own pros and cons. Continue reading Creating a Static Front Page

Write Your About Page in 5 Steps

Congratulations! You have written something that has inspired your reader to say, “Wow! Who is this author? I want to know more!” Now you just need a fantastic biography for your About page so your readers can get to know you.

5 Easy Steps to Biography Awesomeness

Your About page should be an introduction to you. It should tell your reader about who you are and why you are an authority on your specific topic.

Your About page should specify your background, training, and overall proficiency on your subject. It should spell out for the reader why it is that they should listen to you.

If your website is professional in nature, you might want to take some time to consider branding before you write your biography.

Continue reading Write Your About Page in 5 Steps

How to Create and Use Abbreviations in HTML

Our friend the <acronym> tag has been deprecated with the release of HTML5, so how does this affect the use of acronyms generated with HTML? Well, we have a new friend! The <abbr> tag joins the HTML element list with HTML5. Continue reading How to Create and Use Abbreviations in HTML

Rant like a Rock Star

Modern society downplays the importance and legitimacy of a good rant, and they forget that even Shakespeare was a fan of the rant. The first known use of the word rant was in 1601. Today rants are widely seen as annoying, self-indulgent complaining, and are not generally recognized as important or legitimate pieces of writing.

There are 3 types of rants found in web publishing.

Continue reading Rant like a Rock Star

How to Write Post Titles in WordPress

Post titles can be a great way for people to find your post, it can attract people through search engines, that is if they are used properly.

Post Titles and Themes

Most Themes restrict post title length to two lines, however this might not be the case for all WordPress Themes. If you would like to write long post titles, test out multiple WordPress Themes an check the single post pageview as well as the front page as they may look different.

When looking for a Theme for your site it is advised to look at every aspect of the Theme, and not just the home page, there might not be support for some headings, or there may be issues with images. Continue reading How to Write Post Titles in WordPress

How to add Content to RSS Feed Readers

Bloggers need their news, and they need it now. Timeliness is essential. An aggregator for multiple newsfeeds is what an RSS Feed Reader can provide. Pulling in the most recent articles from your favorite news sources and putting them all in one place, organized and easy to locate.

Most Feed readers are free. A few charge a fee, some have a one time cost, while others are available through subscription. The paid apps typically include some degree of tech support, email and blogging tools. Fortunately, for students, there are Feed Reader apps that provide basic services free of charge.

Let’s have a look at the Add Content features found in popular free readers, beginning with the well-known browser-based app, Feedly. Continue reading How to add Content to RSS Feed Readers