Speaking at WordCamp Columbus

SPEAKERS_BADGESo what is WordCamp? Last year, I went to my very first MeetUp. It was for my local WordPress ‘club.’ I learned so much from other WordPress users that I have only missed one meeting since then. I also found out about WordCamp and I went to my very first one. WordCamp is kind of like a a mini convention. But it’s put on by local WordPress users to help other users. The price was so good, I was hooked. The first day is a beginners’ camp crash course. And the next day is the keynote and breakout sessions. This year, there are three days of yummy WordPress sessions, all for $40.

Since I have come so far in one year with WordPress, I decided to volunteer to present. I have been a newspaper designer for more than 16 years, so I thought I would take a designer topic and discuss that. Most of the people I have met are either coders or people who just discovered WordPress, but have no practical experience in design. But I have lots of designer friends who have yet to dip their toes into Web Design because it was so hard when Web Design first got started. So my session is about fonts.

How do you choose a font for your web site? Most people don’t know how to choose a font or why it makes a difference.

In my session, I’ll show some examples of sites that use fonts well and sites that don’t. You learn what the difference is between fonts and how to mix and match them.

Then we will discuss some good tools, plug-ins and sites to go to learn more.

General development tools

  • Askimet
  • Jetpack
  • WordPress Social Ring
  • WP Editor
  • WP Fast Cache
  • WordPress SEO
  • Velvet Blues Update URLs
  • Ultimate Coming Soon
  • Email address encoder
  • Contact form plugin
  • Social media icons widget
  • Stop spammer registrations
  • WordPress 960 Grid System Nasty Shortcodes!
  • WP Google maps
  • WP password generator
  • Sticky custom post types
  • Vimeomaster
  • Advanced lazy load
  • Better WP security
  • BJ lazy load
  • Displet pop
  • Easiest gallery
  • Facebook
  • Follow
  • Follow me
  • Force regenerate thumbnails
  • Image watermark
  • My wordpress login logo
  • NuCapatcha
  • No right click images plugin
  • Print-o-matic
  • Responsive page tester
  • Secure image
  • SEO extended
  • Testimonial basics
  • WP splash image
  • WordPress SEO
  • WP-Cufón


Customizing login page

Recently, I did a website where we had to set up membership. I found a plugin so I could customize a login page with their logo. WP-Customize was easy to use and did the trick. You can see the login page if you try to register at the site: http://www.testycopyeditors.org.

I also learned a lot about setting up membership, user roles and managing members. Lots of good plugins for these types of sites. Here is the before and after:

Some good plugins to consider:

  • Custom roles for author
  • User Switching
  • Replace Howdy with Welcome
  • Email users
  • Add multiple users
  • WP Hide Dashboard

So what’s a framework?

If you’ve been exploring different ways to do web design lately, you’ve no doubt come across discussions of frameworks. A framework is kind of like coding templates to make your design go faster. There are many benefits to using a framework system and there are many (many, many, many) frameworks to choose from. And there are front-end frameworks and back-end frameworks. It seems like there is a different framework for nearly everything. So what to choose.

Each framework is based on a grid system. They are generally created by someone who has been doing web design for a while and decided to share out their own personal cheat sheets. So they set up a whole system based on a stylesheet. Just like you would link to your own stylesheet, you like to theirs.

And they have set up coding to apply to the stylesheet. So you can benefit from all the coding and structure that was set up by someone else. It’s a good place to start if you haven’t done any web design before. But, it also means, in order for your site design to work, you are relying on someone else’s code. It’s great if they did a good job, but not so great if you want more control over your design. Shortcuts are always good when you’re trying to do something labor intensive, but I still believe you need to know what you are doing. Just as with anything in the design world, you should know at least a little code, so you can customize your designs.

Instead of going into different framework systems, I’m going to link to articles about frameworks instead. I have dabbled in some frameworks systems, but I’m do independent of a designer to rely on that entirely. But educate yourself and make an educated choice when you start because choosing a framework is a commitment. Once you commit to it, it will probably be your choice for a long time.

Good luck!