Demystifying WordPress


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Pick up tips, tricks, and techniques that illuminate how WordPress can become a viable opportunity for you to provide professional web design and maintenance services to your clients. Explore free and premium themes, plugins, and other resources that are available to help jump-start your next project. You’ll also learn step-by-step instructions to customize themes with ease.

Presented at AIGA Minnesota's Design Camp 2011.

Published in: Design, Technology, Business
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Demystifying WordPress

  1. 1. Photo by Dex1138
  2. 2. MyklRoventineDesigner of
  3. 3. AaronSmithSmitty’s
  4. 4. Assumptions
  5. 5. • You want to learn tips, tricks and techniques on how WordPress can become a viable opportunity for to provide professional web design and maintenance services to your clients• You want to learn more about premium and free themes, plugins and other resources to help jump- start your next project
  6. 6. • You want to customize WordPress themes with ease• You want to learn ways to prevent headaches and heart-attacks when deploying a WordPress site• You have great taste in session choice
  7. 7. Overview
  8. 8. History• First released on May 27, 2003, by Matt Mullenweg• Grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day. -
  9. 9. Stats• WordPress is used by over 14.7% of Alexa Internets "top 1 million" websites• Powers 22% of all new websites (As of 8/11)• Wordpress is the most popular CMS on the internet• Version 3.0 has been downloaded over 32.5 million times (As of 2/11) - Wikipedia
  10. 10. Why WordPress? • Open Source • Full Standards Compliance • Free • Flexible • Awesome
  11. 11. .com vs + .com -• Free • Can’t run custom themes• Easy to setup• Everything is taken • Can’t hack PHP code care of: setup, • Can’t upload plugins upgrades, spam, backups, security, etc.
  12. 12. .com vs (a.k.a hosted install)• Can upload themes• Can upload plugins• Complete control to change code• Need to pay for web host
  13. 13. Themes
  14. 14. WP Free Themes Directory • Not very helpful • Hard to determine quality
  15. 15. Get Recommendations
  16. 16. Anatomy of a Great Theme• Customizable - can add your own logo, color scheme, change layout, etc.• Flexible - can handle a variety of different post types• Adaptable - can grow with your needs• Ongoing support and upgrades
  17. 17. Blank Themes• Thematic• WP Framework• Whiteboard – A Lightweight WordPress Framework
  18. 18. Plugins
  19. 19. However...Recent investigation of the current stateof the WordPress plugin repository found:• More than half of the plugins in the repository are not compatible with WordPress 3.x.• Only 32% of those 15,000+ plugins have been updated in 2011! -
  20. 20. The Times They Are A-ChanginPlugins not been updated in past twoyears will be hidden both in the repositoryand in the WP admin plugin search. - Announced by Matt Mullenweg at WordCamp San Francisco in August 2011
  21. 21. Do your homework• Check compatibility, when last updated• Average rating, others’ comments/issues
  22. 22. Customization
  23. 23. Case Study:Adding Sidebars
  24. 24. • Why? Added functionality, can use widgets• How? 1. functions.php <?php if ( function_exists (register_sidebar)) { register_sidebar (custom); } ?> 2. Copy sidebar.php (sidebar2.php) 3. Call where needed <?php include (sidebar-cat.php); ?>
  25. 25. Other Options• Visual Composer for WordPress (paid)• Magic Fields Plugin (free)
  26. 26. Case Study:Mystique Theme
  27. 27. Case Study:Luxury Theme
  28. 28. Case Study:Realtor Search Tool
  29. 29. Case Study:Events Calendar Pro
  30. 30. Typography
  31. 31. Web Fonts/@fontface Allows you to use virtually any font as a true text element. No longer limited by traditional browser-safe fonts (Arial, Verdana, Times, etc.)
  32. 32. Case Study:
  33. 33. @fontface@font-face { font-family: Colaborate; src: url(, url( regular#colabreg) format(svg);}#content h1 { color: #000; font-family: Colaborate, Geneva, Lucida Sans, Lucida Grande, Lucida Sans Unicode, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size:32px;}
  34. 34. Case Study:
  35. 35. Alternative Uses
  36. 36. Landing Page
  37. 37. Pages Only (No Blog)
  38. 38. Case Study:Visitor Kiosk
  39. 39. Case Study:Wireframing
  40. 40. Peace of Mind
  41. 41. Get Help
  42. 42. Thank You!