My friend Maggie is always asking me great questions about becoming a more proficient web designer.
If you don’t mind, I wanted to get some input from you regarding the interactive/web community in Chicago. As you know, I’ve been interested in brushing up on this aspect of my design skillset and found what I think might be an intensive web design program. It has also been suggested that I look into the Art Institute and IIT Institute of Design. I like the idea of the down and dirty 1-year portfolio school, but I’m looking for inside info about it. I think it is the kind of thing where you get out what you put in, but I would like to know more. Read more
Basecamp boasts millions of users and even more importantly, it’s the software that all other project management applications (both web and desktop) are now judged. In short, it’s the lifeblood of many web workers, this one notwithstanding. I see a real need for formal documentation on Basecamp’s best practices, so I’m going to be publishing a series of posts about properly using the software, starting with how to use to-do lists. I hope you enjoy. Read more
I’ve been struggling to upgrade my WordPress site for some time now.
I couldn’t download plugin updates, let alone install the latest version of WordPress without using a plugin like WordPress Automatic Upgrade. That plugin throws WordPress into a fancy maintenance mode, so you can go about your upgrading business. It works well, but it’s not meant for making quick plugin upgrades.
The final straw came today, though, when after manually updating a handful of plugins, I was unable to reactivate all my recently activated plugins. I tried activating them all at once and when that failed, I went in batches and finally, one by one until almost every one was turned back on. When I finally got most of my plugins going simultaneously, I faced another conundrum—couldn’t see any content on the plugins.php page on my WordPress backend. Read more
On Wednesday, my article “How did ThemeForest become the red headed stepchild of the WordPress community?” was published on WPCandy. Frankly, I think that the article was a success; so far, it’s received over 40 comments, including several from Envato staffers and their CEO, Collis Ta’eed, as well as comments from important WordPress community members like Justin Tadlock and Jason Schuller.
A lot of the feedback I received was positive, but more importantly, I think that I started a great discussion between Envato and many members of the WordPress community–exactly the outcome I was hoping to achieve and exactly the situation that the article noted had been missing in the past. Read more
For the Best Development Experience, Get Your Clients Editing their Content Inside of WordPress as Early as Possible
I like to see clients involved in the content management process early. It’s certainly best if they place their own initial content directly into WordPress, but if that’s not possible, then they should at least be editing their first draft content inside of WordPress. It’s damn-near silly to tell me what needs to be edited when the client can make the changes himself in a fraction of the time. Pushing all the content management on to us also creates very bad habits that don’t benefit anyone.
Most obviously, getting the client involved early on reduces the effort in teaching someone WordPress. I believe that WordPress doesn’t need to be taught; the clients just need to jump right in. If I empower my clients and don’t make excuses for them, I’ll usually end up with a better website and happier clients—all in a shorter time frame.
I’ve worked with both types of clients—hands on and hands off. I’ve enabled the hands-off clients myself, too and you know what happens? Clients that don’t participate early on never participate; their sites die or stagnate and they end up begrudging me for it anyway. These clients hate their websites because they don’t understand how to use them.
The clients that do get involved in WordPress early, though (either through coercion or volunteering) will never treat their sites like a leper. Plus, after they’ve spent the last year looking at their site a couple times a week, they’ll be a lot more likely to pay for a redesign (or new theme) down the road. I consider that a win for the developer, site owner and all the visitors who appreciate the site evolving over time.