Tag Archives: wordpress tips

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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How To Embed Storify In WordPress

For those who know about or are familiar to Storify, the social media tool that allows users to create timelines using social sites from gathering and customizing information in a way they want it to look on social media. There are now options to get it for WordPress.

On a self-hosted blog (WordPress.org), there are a couple options to get Storify. Those options are:

  • Storify’s embed codes that are designed to work anywhere supporting HTML codes: copy and pasting the code of your
    published story onto your blog post.An example of a Storify embed code.
  • If that doesn’t work, install the Storify plugin . It would make posting Storify stories much easier. A WordPress plugin for Storify.
  • If a WordPress theme doesn’t allow some of the Storify embed codes, find a WordPress plugin like User Role Editor that allows “unfiltered” HTML code.
    A WordPress plugin for user role editor that allows "unfiltered" HTML code.

How to Embed Storify in WordPress.com or WordPress Sites Without a Plugin

On a hosted site like WordPress.com, Storify embed codes or HTML by default aren’t allowed, however, you can still link to Storify posts and content with Twitter embeds, blockquotes, and screen captures, such as this example from a Storify story on WordPress security news during a major security incident a few years ago.

The screenshot example would be shown below, with a custom link around the image or before or after it to the actual news story:

Screenshot example of a Storify Article image embedded in WordPress about a WordPress Security Issue.

Using Twitter embeds in WordPress.com, or linking manually from a self-hosted version or WordPress (or one using the Jetpack WordPress Plugin), you can simple paste in the links to the tweets, often the source of the material used on Storify such as these on the same news story.

The effect is very similar to Storify, as shown in this screenshot from the original Storify story, what an embed might look like:

Storify example of the WordPress Security News Story.

Be creative and you can emulate the Storify effect.

How to Embed Storify on a Self-hosted Version of WordPress

If using the self-hosted version of WordPress, you can seamlessly embed or create Storify stories into your post using Storify plugin for WordPress VIP for WordPress.com VIP members, Storify WordPress Plugins, or use some of the other Storify WordPress Plugins.

Storify is an easy way to find, collect, and share stories to friends and family and these were options in getting it for WordPress.

For More Information on Embedding Storify in WordPress

Tutorial: How to Auto Update WordPress

WordPress has two ways to update. There is a three-step process through the WP-Admin screen, while WordPress.org has a tutorial for updating for multiple versions, as well as package you can download. There is a warning: The updates can affect your files and folders including the main WordPress installation, so backing up WordPress is highly recommended.

It’s important to update; updating WordPress applies fixes and patches. WordPress does automatic updates for security and maintenance that is done in the background.

In WordPress, you can easily update your application directly from the Admin screen. When a version is available, you will see a notification in the WP Admin area. You can choose to update the newest version from this screen. There will be an important message that provides you with a button “Update Now.”

Automatic Updates

Screen shot of update notification in the WordPress WP Admin area

The following are step-by-step instructions on using the automatic WordPress update method.

  1. From the WP-Admin screen, select Updates. If there are updates that need to be installed, there will be notifications.
  2. Under WordPress Updates from the WP-Admin screen, there will be a blue button entitled “Update Now.”
  3. Select the blue button and WordPress will update. Your notification will change to “Update WordPress.”Screen shot of WordPress updating
  4. After the update has completed, you will receive a “Welcome to WordPress” notification.

Screen shot in the WP-Amin area, welcoming the new update

For More Information

WordPress Resources – Who’s Talking?

As WordPress users, we are often stuck looking for help outside of the WordPress owned forums and support options. Going to an outside source can help you gather an outside opinion, talk to advanced users and get guaranteed-honest feedback.

There are many sites all over the internet for this purpose, however, it is important to make sure the sites you are using are professional and have active users and moderators to get you the best answers fast with minimal or no spam. Continue reading WordPress Resources – Who’s Talking?

WordPress.com Site Stats Help You Track Visitors to Your Site

They love you. They really love you! Or do they? How do you know? Site Stats.

Site Stats is a feature of WordPress.com and Jetpack WordPress Plugin that gives you information about your WordPress site visitors and statistics.

WordPress.com Site Stats tells you how many visits your site is getting, where in the world those visitors are located, which posts are the most popular, who is referring your site, tags and category data, top authors, and more. Continue reading WordPress.com Site Stats Help You Track Visitors to Your Site

How To Create A UseFul Contact Page

Contact pages are sometimes the last thing website owners pay attention to. Interesting – considering that contact pages are where site visitors, i.e. potential partners and clients, go to get in touch with you.

Creating your own website has become easier over time, which gives you additional time to pay closer attention to details and communicate more effectively with your contact page.

robert fukioka contact page

Your might consider your contact page including 3 simple, but important elements: Continue reading How To Create A UseFul Contact Page

WP News: Adding SVG’s with CSS, Security Releases, and Vancouver Meetup

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

Styling And Adding SVG’s With CSS: This is an informative article on how to add SVG’s using CSS, written by Sara Soueidan a freelance front-end web developer. This article shows you how to export SVG’s from Adobe Illustrator, and gives you links to other articles and instructional material to optimize your SVG’s.

“CSS can be used to style and animate scalable vector graphics, much like it is used to style and animate HTML elements.”

Short Title: Summary with link of a second WordPress Development news item. Continue reading WP News: Adding SVG’s with CSS, Security Releases, and Vancouver Meetup

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

Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

Domain Name Services (DNS) is a service which exist to help us humanize the addresses of networked resources. Humans remember words as a whole easier than numbers representing octal based Internet Protocol addresses of those same networked resources be them across the Wide World Web or just an arms length away on our local network.

That was a mouth full. Essentially through DNS you can type in a URL into your favorite web browser and through the process of name resolution your system contacts a server acting in your behalf to find the correct IP address that matches the human oriented address you type in.

Sounds simple but a lot of chatter between various servers near and far may happen just to pull up that favorite site that you wish to view. First your own system will see if it has the particular IP/URL pairing locally in it’s own tables. On your computer this information will be kept in a host.txt file and depending on the operating system the location varies. Continue reading Domain Name Services: Postman of the Internet

Disclosure: It’s Your Responsibility

A disclosure policy helps to inform visitors how the site content corresponds with and affects the user. The policy should be carefully endorsed in a clear and concise way that cannot be manipulated.

If your website is compensated for content by advertisers in the form of: endorsements, cash, or merchandise, or if you have hired staff to test and blog about a product, then your company should specifically disclose this information in the disclosure policy.

Continue reading Disclosure: It’s Your Responsibility

The SEO of the HTML Anchor Text

You finally finished your website and uploaded it to the Internet. Maybe it is a blog, a personal website, or an e-commerce website that sells products. In all of these cases, you now wait to see how many visitors come to the website or read your blog article.

Continue reading The SEO of the HTML Anchor Text

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

5 Cool Things To Do With WordPress

Christopher Ratcliff of Econsultancy posted an article on the five cool things you can do with WordPress based upon a presentation by Patrick Hathaway of HitReach at BrightonSEO 2014, a search engine optimization conference. He describes each tip thoroughly with impressive detailed examples. The tips are not just “cool,” they’re very helpful when using WordPress. Continue reading 5 Cool Things To Do With WordPress

Traversing the Forums : WordPress.org Support Forums and WordPress.com

To use the WordPress Forums you need some basic computer skills and a reasonable idea of what you are looking for. If you don’t, you may get stuck in a forum loop and just keep clicking things for hours till you don’t remember what you were doing….or you could break your computer out of frustration.

There are two different forums WordPress.org Support Forums and WordPress.com each with two main sections. The Forums list and a Tag Cloud of whats important at the moment. WordPress.com has a latest discussion as well as some important notices. Whereas, the Support forums only have the search and some helpful tips for getting started.  Let’s see if we can just dive on into this. Continue reading Traversing the Forums : WordPress.org Support Forums and WordPress.com