How to Jazz Up Your WordPress Site – without a lick o’ code

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Watch the talk here:

Watch the videos in the presentation here:

Plugins included in the presentation:

Custom Post Widget

Restrict Widgets

Alfie WP Weather

Column Shortcodes

Social Media Tabs

YIKES, Inc. Easy MailChimp Extender

Jetpack by

Post UI Tabs

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  • The            setup            in            the            video            no            longer            works.           
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    I really am glad you are showing people what they can do with the basics. It gets overlooked.
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  • Based in Montreal, Canada
  • You have a good friend – let’s call her Ruby. Ruby loves strawberries and has decided to organize a festival honouring her favourite fruit, in the town in which you both live called Rosyvale Meadows. Ruby’s even managed to get a feature article about this new festival into your local newspaper – to be published just a few days! This article will be fantastic publicity for the event. But there’s a problem. The festival has no website. The festival has no money yet because it’s brand new and doesn’t have any sponsors. And Ruby knows that you can’t seem to stop talking about this WordPress thing, which must have something to do with the web.And so - (you know what’s coming, don’t you - the email from your friend arrives….
  • You’re nice. (Maybe you’re Canadian.)
  • You know you can whip something up fairly quickly and easily. How?
  • 1. Plugins are awesome2.You don’t need to be a coder to make your site do cool things 3. Here are some plugins that are easy to use and do cool things
  • The list of plugins will be made available at the end, so don’t worry about writing them all down
  • Clean default theme, easy to make look like whatever you want, not particularly blogging-foccused
  • How do we get here from there? To get here we’re going to add 8 plugins that add some extra features and visual pizazz
  • Wholikes strawberries? Talk about goals of the website and how some plugins will help us achieve this. Get the word out about the event through social media, keep people interested in the event up to speed with ongoing news, all the provide info about the event in an easy-to-find way that makes people want to come, make it easy for people to find out where the event is happening, etc.
  • Two seemingly small things - but they make a huge difference – Background pattern, free from, strawberry graphic from iStockphoto.comRemember that poster? We used elements from it and laid it out as a header graphic.
  • Different ways to find a plugin – keywords, search, popularity.
  • How many of you have installed plugins? Basic instructions if needed.IMPORTANT: All of the plugins we’re going to look at have alternatives – if one doesn’t work well for you, test another. That’s what the plugin directory is for!
  • How many of you have installed widgets? Basic instructions if needed.
  • CLICK FOR VIDEO Choose our widget- Where do we WANT widget, or where do we want to EXCLUDE widget? Display widget ONLY on blog homepage


  • 1. How To Jazz Up Your WordPress Site Kathryn Presner @zoonini WordCamp San Francisco 2013 #wcsf without a lick o’ code
  • 2. Kathryn Presner NOW Automattic Happiness Engineer BEFORE Web Designer/Developer Support Forum Volunteer
  • 3. “We need a website!” – your friend “Pretty please?”
  • 4. “OK.” – you “You can pay me in strawberries.”
  • 5. Your Secret Weapon = +
  • 6. Code can be fun …but
  • 7. No code was touched <in the making of this website> .no { not even css ! }
  • 8. Twenty Twelve
  • 9. Twenty Twelve Jazzed Up
  • 10. The Adventure Begins
  • 11. Custom header & background
  • 12. Let’s go plugin hunting
  • 13. Plugin selection & installation
  • 14. Widget installation
  • 15. Let’s create custom posts
  • 16. The custom posts are content blocks
  • 17. Anything can go in a content block
  • 18. Add content block widget
  • 19. No control – every page & post
  • 20. Let’s restrict widgets
  • 21. Choose where to show/hide widget
  • 22. Content block widget restricted to blog
  • 23. Restrict by user role
  • 24. Let’s check the weather
  • 25. Configure widget
  • 26. Hot weather ahead
  • 27. Let’s make columns
  • 28. Schedule sans columns
  • 29. Insert columns
  • 30. Generate shortcodes
  • 31. Schedule taking shape
  • 32. Let’s add social media feeds
  • 33. Widget options
  • 34. More widget options
  • 35. Optional configuration
  • 36. Tabbed social media
  • 37. Let’s add a signup form
  • 38. API key
  • 39. List ID
  • 40. Signup shortcode in content block
  • 41. Signup form widget
  • 42. Start collecting signups
  • 43. Let’s add tabs
  • 44. Insert tabs
  • 45. First tab
  • 46. Second tab
  • 47. End tab set
  • 48. Finished tabs
  • 49. Let’s add features
  • 50. Jetpack dashboard
  • 51. Let’s add Jetpack sharing tools
  • 52. Configure sharing options
  • 53. Share this post
  • 54. Let’s enable infinite scroll
  • 55. Infinite scroll settings
  • 56. Scroll, baby, scroll
  • 57. Let’s add a contact form
  • 58. Insert form
  • 59. Configure form
  • 60. Put it all together
  • 61. Form shortcode
  • 62. Finished form
  • 63. OK, I lied let’s look at a teensy bit of CSS
  • 64. Let’s activate Jetpack Custom CSS
  • 65. New h2 colour
  • 66. You did it!
  • 67. Take the next step do something for the plugin developer
  • 68. Rate Vote Thank Donate
  • 69. Plugins Used Custom Post Widget widget/ Restrict Widgets Alfie WP Weather Column Shortcodes shortcodes/installation/ Social Media Tabs tabs/ YIKES, Inc. Easy MailChimp Extender mailchimp-extender/ Jetpack by Post UI Tabs
  • 70. Credits Big thanks to everyone who suggested plugins for this presentation! Special thanks to Valerie K. for everything Background pattern: Japanese Art 1 by Tzadkiel & Northern Dancer | Dick & Jane lorem ipsum by Duck Island Greeking Machine All other images: Fonts: Lobster Two & Archivo Narrow
  • 71. Where to Find Presentation Screencasts Kathryn Presner Twitter: @zoonini