Written: March 18, 2017
There are dozens of ways to create your own web site, however WordPress has some 100,000,000 users around the world, making it the number one Content Management System (CMS) where you use a web browser to edit your site. So, how do you go about learning how to use WordPress? Great question. There’s a Portland Meetup group that offers free training on how to use WordPress and their next meeting is on April 3rd. Here’s what you’ll learn at this free Meetup:
Topic: Child Theme Basics & Twenty Seventeen Theme Demo
Time: Monday, April 3, 2017 from 6PM to 8PM
Location: U.S. Bancorp Tower, Conference Rooms, 111 SW 5th Avenue
Have you ever upgraded your theme and had your customizations wiped out? In this presentation, we’ll talk about what a child theme is, why you should use one, how to set one up, and possible alternatives. We’ll use the Twenty Seventeen theme (the default theme that comes with a fresh WordPress install) as an example. We’ll also go through a quick demo of its features. The agenda:
6:00 – 6:15: Introductions. What you do, are you looking to hire, are you looking for work?
6:15 – 6:45: Speaker and topic.
6:45 – 7:00: Questions and answers on the topic.
7:00 – 8:00: Get help with WordPress. Bring your laptop for this part. There’s a wide range of experience levels, and we’re all here to help each other.
8:00: Soft Close. You may hang out a bit longer to talk or finish up a project, but the official Meetup will end.
To find us: The room is on the ground floor. To the right of the elevators, go through the glass doors where it says Conference Center. Then go down the hall to the room labeled Training Room.
Visit the Meetup site to see all of their WordPress events.Meetup, theme, WordPress
I first met Wayne Welch a few years ago, and he is one of the many wonderful volunteers that organize the Tualatin Library Foundation. They needed a web site for several reasons:
We used WordPress to develop a site that Wayne and other volunteers can update themselves using just a web browser and some training. The new web site is responsive, meaning that you can browse it on the Desktop, Tablet or even Mobile devices like your smart phone. Donations and payments are accepted using PayPal, which also accepts regular credit cards. We collect email names using Constant Contact, a popular email management tool.
I got a phone call from Mike Matthews, owner of Measured Marketing Solutions awhile back and he wanted a better way to enter over 1,000 art portfolios into a web site for the Oregon Visual Arts Ecology Project. My first action was to browse the web site and see what it looked like:
It was a WordPress site and they were using a popular commercial Theme called Avada that supported the concept of a Portfolio. Oddly enough there was no way to bulk import a list of Portfolios, so Mike wanted to know if it were possible to use an Excel spreadsheet to define all of the Portfolios, then import them somehow into WordPress. My reply, “Yes, of course that can be coded.”
On the Home page there are several Featured Portfolios on display, so when you click the thumbnail then you get linked to a detailed page like this one:
Notice that on the right-hand side there are clickable links for:
All of this visual, text and link information had to be imported from an Excel file into WordPress and then create a new Portfolio for each line of the spreadsheet. I coded a custom Plugin just for this one task, tested it out, and saved Mike much time from having to manually create over 1,000 portfolios.
WordPress is a very powerful and extendable Content Management System (CMS) that allows organizations to show the world what they are all about using an intuitive visual medium. WordPress may be customized to do something special with off-the-shelf Themes, saving you valuable time and manual typing effort.Tags: Avada, WordPress
I first met Ruth Hardie at a networking event with the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce, and then learned that she was an artist creating watercolor prints. A few months after our introduction she contacted me about creating a brand new web site to showcase her art work. Some of the things that I learned about how she wanted to be portrayed on the web were:
We used WordPress as the Content Management System so that Ruth can update the site herself by using any web browser and logging in. Here’s the Home page layout with a slideshow:
The Gallery page shows seven watercolor prints of dogs, where you click the thumbnail to see the full size image:
Clicking on the Black Lab thumbnail shows me the large version, and I can browse forward and backward through the entire gallery:
Art Prints is a page with links to Fine Art America, which has the e-commerce for visitors to shop and purchase prints.
The Merchandise page is similar to Art Prints, however the links are different:
For visitors to contact Ruthie, we are not showing her personal email address because that would invite spammers to flood her inbox with unwanted email. Instead, we use a contact form:
Another useful feature is a Newsletter Signup and Social Media in the left sidebar of each page, inviting visitors to keep updated on the latest artwork from Ruthie.
When a person subscribes to the newsletter form, they receive an email with a confirmation link, this is called a double opt-in to verify that person’s identity:
Ruth can now send out newsletters to all of the names by logging into WordPress, instead of having a totally separate newsletter system with another username and password, this just makes business easier to run with fewer accounts to remember.
Finally, we knew that smart phones are commonly being used to browse web pages, so we made her site mobile-ready by choosing a responsive theme:
Notice how on a mobile device the menu is activated by clicking the icon with three horizontal lines.
Enjoy viewing Ruthie’s artwork on her new web site at www.ruthhardie.comTags: Ruth Hardie, WordPress
The Tualatin Chamber of Commerce has an annual event called Celebrate Tualatin where there are awards given to members within multiple categories. There are two ways to nominate a person:
For the online form task we decided to use Google Forms, because of how easy it is to visually create a Form and it collects all of the responses made by people nominating. Here’s what the finished form looks like:
To create the form you login to Google Docs and add a new Form, then start to fill in the details:
I gave our form a Title, and the first question was a Multiple Choice with six options, and it’s a required question:
All of the remaining questions were Text fields, and there are many other choices for the type of field that you can have:
It’s easy to rearrange questions by just moving your cursor over the question, then dragging and dropping to a new location:
We wanted to be notified by email whenever a new nomination was made with this form, so we installed an Add-on called “Form Notifications”:
When a form is filled out, then our recipients get an email notification and a Google spreadsheet is updated with the new info:
To get this form into a WordPress page or post, while in Google Docs we choose: File> Embed
I just Copy this HTML code, then in WordPress I edit my Post, view in Text mode, then Paste:
There you have it, how to make a Google Form and embed it inside of your WordPress page or post. Enjoy building your forms and analyzing the results in Google Docs.
Tags: Google Docs, Google Form, WordPress
I’ve been helping the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce for several years now with their membership site, and they need to have web features like:
The Chamber selected WebLink International as a system to handle these features, while the actual web site was built with WordPress. We integrated WordPress with WebLink International two years ago, and let the contract with WebLink expire on Mach 1st, 2015. Why will I never use WebLink International again?
That’s about enough for me right now, but you do get the general picture of why I will never use WebLink again, and why you should really dissuade anyone else from ever signing up with this outfit. Our users in the office had such an adverse experience with WebLink that the nickname became WebStink, now that description is appropriate.
I can say one thing that WebLink excels at, and that is they know how to sell their product and promote their product. You have been warned.Tags: WebLink, WordPress
Most businesses have decided to offer online customer shopping of their products and services, something that we call e-commerce. Today there are literally dozens of ways to get your online shopping up and running. With WordPress having some 70,000,000 users it has become the number one Content Management System (CMS) in the world, so that has attracted top-notch e-commerce vendors to offer many choices for WordPress web sites. I’ve invited a speaker on this topic to present at the November 24th meeting of the Portland WordPress Meetup group.
In this WordPress MeetUp we will explore developing an e-commerce website using the popular and free Woo Commerce plugin. Shipping options, bulk discount and the various Woo Commerce Product settings will be covered along with incorporating the Shopping Cart pages into your website.
As with her previous popular presentation, “Safeguarding Your WordPress Clients,” Mary Ann will make time for questions at each step in the process and include opportunities for group discussion. After the presentation, slides will be available on a link to Prezi, but you will gain much more by attending in person.
Mary Ann Aschenbrenner is the President of Waterlink Web LLC, a Portland-based website design and development company focused on the needs of small and medium sized businesses. In addition to building successful websites, she tends honeybees, volunteers in her community and is always engaged keeping up to date in this every evolving field.
Tags: e-commerce, Meetup, WooCommerce, WordPress
I discovered the Portland WordPress Meetup group a few years ago after filling out a free profile at www.meetup.com. The genius behind Meetup is that it helps connect your personal or business interests with other, like-minded people. Our Portland WordPress Meetup started out with just one meeting per month, and the audience was a wide range of people from first-time bloggers, to start-up business owners, to geeky developers.
Now our group has gotten into a monthly series of User and Developer meetings, so that attendees can fit into the group that fits their skills and interests. This October we’re having a record four meetings instead of the usual two, because another neat feature of Meetup is that any member can suggest adding a new meeting, assuming that they have a topic, speaker and location. So here’s what’s in store in the next two weeks:
Online our Meetup group now has some 1,313 members, although at a physical meeting you can expect up to 50 people attending. The meetings are free, except for your time, so why not learn something new about creating or updating your own blog or web site and attend one of our informative Meetups. There is always time for you to raise questions and get answers, on the spot without using Google.Tags: Meetup, WordPress