Build your website before you install wordpress.

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2013 Reno-Tahoe WordCamp Presentation by Russell Aaron

2013 Reno-Tahoe WordCamp Presentation by Russell Aaron

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  • 1. BuildYourSite Before you INSTALL……
  • 2. I ApologizeTo EveryoneI was not in the Navy, But I could have been.For those you attending the live speaking of this presentation,Or reading the slideshow version, I have a tendency to swearin the process. It’s because I am so passionate aboutWordPress, and what I do for a living.Everything in this Presentation is of my Own Opinion and Iapologize for offending anyone, or making the assumptionthat some people are just…..YOU HAVEBEENWARNED!BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP
  • 3. If there is onepoint here…It’s this. WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN.That is the main focusof this presentation!BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP
  • 4. How theProcess WorksThese items will help you explain to the client, some things are not possible.2 of 13Outline/ PlanDevelopment Function SuccessThere are very simple formulas to every great website. All you need is an idea. That’sthe easy part. From building a couponing site to a mirror image of Facebook. That hardpart is understanding how everything works. I have four processes that I alwayscomplete before I even think about installing WordPress.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP
  • 5. Having APlan of AttackIts like building a….well… Website.. Or a house!When a person has an idea for a website, they can see thewebsite in their head. But do they have it written down?Having anything written down is a huge step of the buildingprocess. That’s because it also creates the project syllabus or“Outline”.If someone were to walk into a developers office and say“This is what I want, now build it”, a few things couldhappen. Well two actually. It’s either going to be their dreamwebsite, or the website works perfectly, but it’s a websitethat does not capture the imagination of the person fundingthe project. The second item is usually the outcome, as mostdevelopers know.After I sit down with the client, I take their idea’s and writethem down on a post it notes and stick them to a wall. Oneprocess to a post it note. Meaning the home page is note one.From there, the user can either be logged in or out. Those are2A and 2B. From there I start building out the steps each usercan make.When you build the site out on a wall, or a board,you can see the website take some kind of shape.From there, you can fill the gaps that the clientmight of forgot to include. Or you can correct yourmistakes before installing 45 different plugins.After all the notes are up, I create the projectsoutline. WAY COOL RIGHT?BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP3 of13Outline/ Plan
  • 6. Educate theClient. AlwaysYou do not need to give away your tricks… You just have to inform the client.Clients tend to see websites on the internet, and want toduplicate them. Basically they just want to add their own flareto someone else’s work, calling it original. As developers, weknow that we can just submit a patch, or create a plugin tomodify that site. We don’t need to rebuild a copy.Your clients on the other hand, think that this is a great idea.Not only is their version of Facebook going to kick major ass,but because the site is already built, the timeline should bewith in a month.What clients do not know is that there are probably1000000’s of lines of code that need to be written to get thejob done.So when you hand over the project outline to a client, you needto be sure that you inform them of the plugins and themesyou might be using on this project, and list their roles /capabilities. Once the client knows what is possible, they canask the right questions.Of course, some clients are going to ask everyquestion under the sun. But it’s better to be clear onthings now, instead of later when they mightbecome super confused.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP4 of13Outline/ Plan
  • 7. Before you pickout some thingsSome themes or plugins do some awesome stuff. But what does your site need?If a client is told that WordPress is the best solution to theirsite needs, someone is probably going to tell them that thereare things called Themes and Plugins. Holy Eff, does this turninto a nightmare.I personally had a client’s nephew tell me that, under nocircumstances, will the site have this theme installed orthese (15) plugins running on the site. I asked why. It wasbecause the kid watched a YOUTUBE video once, explainingthat these plugins slow down the site. Sometimes that is afair enough assumption.It just so happened, that the plugins and theme mentioned,were literally the exact ones that need to be used. I found outthat the kid tried to build the site, and was very unsuccessfulin producing the finished site. He was convinced that theseplugins were rubbish. Yes, I said RUBBISH!I’ll take it a step farther. Since the plugins did notwork for him, he wanted this site to not use anyplugins at all. Yep, he wanted me to insert GravityForms into the theme, and have no plugins running.My point is this, before you research themes andplugins, have a plan. Then you know what you arelooking for. Got it champ? That’s the email Iresponded back with. True Story.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP5 of13Outline/ Plan
  • 8. You get whatyou get.We are specialists but things still need to be built.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP6 of 13DevelopmentChances are that the nephew went right to Themeforest,started researching things and hoped for the best. In reality, ifyou do not have a plan, how do you know what sounds rightfor your project. With out that plan, they all sound like highlypossible candidates.There are some themes and plugins that will get thejob done for you. Like Gravity forms. Then there arethemes and plugins that only accomplish 33-54% ofthe job. So if you have a plan of attack, you can pickout the right one, the first time.
  • 9. Let’s notforget the ruleAnything is possible. But the smaller details matter more sometimes.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP7 of 13DevelopmentClients usually run to you with their idea’s, logos and colorschemes for the site. And that’s great. But in the beginning,those things do not matter. Let me explain:Websites need to have that AUTOMATTIC…(seewhat I did there?) approval from the audience. Butmore is said about your website from thefunctionality, than the sex appeal. Nothing goesunseen. Your site might scream AMAZING, but theway people interact with the site whispers SUBPAR, and a whisper is louder than a scream.
  • 10. Let’s use this inan example.There is this theme, and it does this cool thing. But I’m not sure how it works.Themeforest is a very popular place for new users to researchthemes and plugin candidates for their up and comingprojects. But as developers know, sometimes the theme turnsout to be complete BS!WooCommerce is a great example of what I am talkingabout here. There are many themes on Themeforest that areusing this plugin to accomplish the over all function of thesite. There is a simple log in and log out feature wrapped insome jQuery that creates a pop up box. That’s really cool.But if you are not planning on selling items online, why areyou using the E-Commerce plugin?Demonstrations, or examples, of WordPress themes can bemisleading. We have no idea if the home page is beingpopulated by post types, or manually entering in theinformation inside a page template. Clients tend to choosethings off looks, and not function.So now the client is basing their website off of thecapabilities of their themes or plugins they havechosen. While this is not a 100% horrible idea, thereis a current trend going around with new users.They want a Brochure website, while using aMagazine theme and E-Commerce Plugins. WHY?Because they were mislead by something,somewhere.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP8 of13Outline/ Plan
  • 11. I call this move….Whiskey Di-K.Can some one say….. EPIC FAILURE? SHIT, I’ll SAY IT. I’ll SAY IT LOUDER!!BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP9of 13FunctionMany times, when I am building a clients site or providingsupport, I’ll start seeing patterns in their flaws. Man do I enjoytelling people how wrong they are. Seriously.Think about this for a minute. New websites are somuch easier to build vs. already existing sites thatwere built on WP 2.3 and using plugins that havenever been updated. There are some amazingplugins that are being built right now as we speak.Memberships plugins come to mind here. S2Member was the Holy Grail when it came toMembership Plugins. It was the only option at onepoint. While it is an amazing plugin, there are moreefficient plugins out there that will allow you to domore. So it’s important to pick themes and pluginsthat are going to be compatible. Like Gravity Formsand Jet Pack. Let them do the heavy lifting.
  • 12. Functions Rule InOur WorldWhen someone does this…. I want that to happen.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP10 of 13FunctionSo you have a client, and their grand idea is all about makingsomething work more efficiently. That’s awesome by the way.But they have little to no clue on how they are to get it fromstep one to step 329.You might be able to re-write a function, or changesome css really easy. But sometimes clients lack thevocabulary, or terms we use, so they really meant tosay register form instead of sign up to my newsletterform. It’s important to know what needs to happenwhen buttons are clicked. That’s why we have post itnotes on the wall. They explain the story of howthings are going to work.
  • 13. Functioning is asfunctioning does.Some ideas are so amazing, that they have not been thought up. SARCASM HERE11 of 13FunctionGetting back to the post it notes on the wall Idea. Lets thinkabout the process in general. How do we get from A to Z? 1 to329? Well there are steps involved. These steps might need tobe worked out several times before something else can bedone. Even then, we might need to go back for correctionsThat’s why I put everything on the wall. I can breakthings down to the client. I can show them whatmight take some time vs. using a plugin like GravityForms to handle the task. Depending on theirrequests, and stuborness, sometimes the bestplugins are scrapped because they do not like theLOOK of something. My theory is that: If itfunctions, style can be corrected.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP
  • 14. What is Really Happening.What are the main components of the site.12 of 13WordPress 1Theme 2Plugins 3U I 4BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP
  • 15. Accomplishing yourclients dreamsIt’s harder than it seems. That’s what she said. SARCASM HERE13 of 13SuccessNow that you know that writing everything down is soimportant, you can start using this process in your owndesigns or company. Success is measured differently by eachindividual. On a serious note, this is a fact.All of your clients who are building their firstwebsite have the priorities out of whack. The thingsthat are important to them, are not important toyou. When you educate the client, they can see howyou do work and adapt. Maybe it’s your creativegenius that will help them improve the outcome oftheir project.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP
  • 16. PartTWOClient, Developer Relations….
  • 17. Tools I Use EveryFreaking DayI can have my own separate account, but I can share information with clients.1 of 5ASANA TRACKYBASECAMPWordPressIt’s very important to break things down, or separate things from others. At the sametime, it totally sucks having to remember what site I need to visit to update somethingas simple as a milestone or project details. So I have some awesome tools to share witheveryone. These all offer some great features.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP
  • 18. Asana is theAwful Awful.Well worth the money, This app keeps me focused.Asana is a Web Based Application that handles more than justtask management. From simple to-do lists to complexprojects, Asana is one tool for many purposes. What’s more,you can adapt your own workflow to Asana. Until now, I wastruly lost.I use Asana to keep all of my employees inline, andinformed. With this app, I can keep track of my whole team.Each team member can only see what I have assigned tothem, or what they have added. Each member can writesomething up, and share it with who ever. This is greatbecause it keeps a detailed log of all dialogs we have.Members can check their work online, or via mobile device.That really came in handy for us, since we are all living indifferent cities.It’s important for me to inform you that I only use Asana withmy team members. This is how we communicate daily. Thisway, we can keep our own notes on a separate service, off ourserver. Talk about saving some space. Plus, its so UI friendly,why would we use anything else.I used to think that I had to do everything inside ofone platform, or what was the point of paying formultiple things? I love WordPress, but evenmultisite networks can become complicated andstressed on band width.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP2 of5
  • 19. Tracky.Enough said.A Las Vegas Startup, That is saving time, everywhere.Tracky is an online enterprise social collaboration platformthat encompasses to-do lists, live chat, calendars, taskmanagement, people and project discovery, socialaccountability, cloud-based storage and more.I use Tracky for several things. Mostly because they aresuper involved with every single person and company thatuses their platform. They have numerous integrations withWordPress and provide code for you to use if you are usingany kind of programming language. The coolest part aboutTracky for me personally is the simple fact, that anytime Ineed help, their staff is online and ready to help. Talk abouta cool Las Vegas Start Up.Tracky allows us to keep a journal of projects we are currentlyworking on, and share them with Social Networks. So Most ofour Press Releases are done using a Track on Tracky. We alsouse Tracky with out Meet Up Groups and Developer groups wecommunicate with. I have met some awesome developers, justby adding them on Tracky.It’s totally free, a start up ran by the same peoplesince day one, and taking over social collaborationday by day. The team members can even Skype withus if we need help using their system, or even just tobounce some idea’s off of. We do have to schedulethat time with them though.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP2 of5
  • 20. Tracky.Enough said.A Las Vegas Startup, That is saving time, everywhere.Tracky is an online enterprise social collaboration platformthat encompasses to-do lists, live chat, calendars, taskmanagement, people and project discovery, socialaccountability, cloud-based storage and more.I use Tracky for several things. Mostly because they aresuper involved with every single person and company thatuses their platform. They have numerous integrations withWordPress and provide code for you to use if you are usingany kind of programming language. The coolest part aboutTracky for me personally is the simple fact, that anytime Ineed help, their staff is online and ready to help. Talk abouta cool Las Vegas Start Up.Tracky allows us to keep a journal of projects we are currentlyworking on, and share them with Social Networks. So Most ofour Press Releases are done using a Track on Tracky. We alsouse Tracky with out Meet Up Groups and Developer groups wecommunicate with. I have met some awesome developers, justby adding them on Tracky.It’s totally free, a start up ran by the same peoplesince day one, and taking over social collaborationday by day. The team members can even Skype withus if we need help using their system, or even just tobounce some idea’s off of. We do have to schedulethat time with them though.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP2 of5
  • 21. Base Camp,You’re Drunk.There will always be love for the original.Everyone uses Base Camp, or has used Base Camp if they havedecided to get serious about project management. This tool isa really amazing starting point, if you need somethingaffordable (Cheap), and easy to use after reading instructions.There are so many apps, and plugins for Base Camp, it’s noteven funny. Since it is one of the most popular projectmanagement tools out there, many developers build apps offof their API tools. Bonfire, is a Campfire application forAndroid that doesnt suck.How many people have heard of CLOUD SNAP? Yeah, a lot ofpeople here in RENO know COLIN LORETZ, the CEO ANDFOUNDER. His software is super compatible with Basecamp,Sales Force and even EVERNOTE. So While Base Camp is verybasic to most developers, It’s truly impressive.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP3 of 5
  • 22. WP ProjectManagement UnlimitedSimply, the Best We’ve Seen.GeekStreetWP.com is the service that I founded in October2012. It doubles as a Support Service for new and advancedusers who own a WordPress site, and as a design shop that canhelp you create something new for your site.We have two very ways we handle business. One side is theSupport. We use a theme from WooThemes called SupportPress. It allows us to create a knowledge base, while lettingclients create support tickets to get the help that they need.Now when we have clients who use our services for Designonly, we create a subdomain for that client on our multisitenetwork, we use the Support Press theme, and we use WPProject Management Unlimited.When we build out a site for a client, they get their ownsupport subdomain where they can view their ownknowledgebase articles that we specifically write for them.They can create tickets as well. With the Projects Plugin, wealso keep a communication going with the clients on a custompost type called Projects. Here, we can assign specific users toa project. They can see the outline of the project, as well ascomment and upload files as they like.The only way this plugin gets any better, is if it had some kindof invoicing options. But that’s what other plugins are for.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP4 of 5
  • 23. In Conclusion,or THE END!Remember what the point of this presentation was?Writing information down is super awesome. It helps allparties involved, keeps a proper timeline and logs all of thecommunications between users and developers alike.We write everything down on post it notes. Then we stickthem to the wall in order of how the site will work. Then wecreate the outline. We begin development and install thefunctionality of the site. From there, our team stays incontact with each other, and our clients using some reallycool apps, software and plugins.I really hoped that you enjoyed the presentation.Building your site before you install WordPress is more thanlikely not for everyone. But I hope that it helps at least somedevelopers and clients understand that figuring out what yoursite will do on paper is far more important that wasting timeinstalling plugins and themes, and ripping them downScreaming “I HATE YOU…..” really loudly from a roof top thatyou want to jump off.BYSBYIWPGeek Street WP5 of 5
  • 24. ANY QUESTIONS?Now is the F*CKING TIME, As Lucy LU says in Kill Bill Vol. 1Come On Down, You’re the next contestant on the Price IsRight.URL: GEEKSTREETWP.COMEmail: SALES@GEEKSTREETWP.COMBYSBYIWPGeek Street WP
  • 25. THANKS FORWATCHINGSEACREST, OUT!