WPMU DEV's Blog - Everything WordPressWordPress Development - WPMU.org http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog The WPMU DEV WordPress blog provides tutorials, tips, resources and reviews to help out any WP user Mon, 01 Sep 2014 12:30:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 WordPress Developer Plugin: An Essential Tool For Theme and Plugin Development http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-developer-plugin-an-essential-tool-for-theme-and-plugin-development/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-developer-plugin-an-essential-tool-for-theme-and-plugin-development/#comments Thu, 07 Feb 2013 20:49:37 +0000 http://wpmu.org/?p=109209
The WordPress Developer Plugin includes everything you need for an optimized development environment
The Developer plugin is a WordPress developer’s best friend – aside from his dog, of course. It’s a plugin developed collaboratively by Automattic and a number of other talented WordPress developers. Created to help you optimize your development environment, the WordPress Developer plugin gives you quick access to all of the best tools for theme and plugin development.

When you install the plugin, a screen will pop up to ask you what type of project you’re working on so that it can tailor its recommendations for you. You’ll be presented with three options:

  • Plugin for a self-hosted WordPress installation
  • Theme for a self-hosted WordPress installation
  • Theme for a WordPress.com VIP site

For example, if you select a theme project for a self-hosted installation, the Developer plugin will offer the following plugin recommendations to assist in development:

Plugins suggested for working on a theme for a self-hosted WordPress installation

Install and activate any of the plugins listed with just one click.

The Developer plugin also adds a helpful menu under Tools in the dashboard where you can see a list of all recommended plugins. There you will find a few quick tips on enabling constants in your wp-config.php file for debugging and logging database queries.

This plugin is especially useful if you’re new to WordPress development and you want to quickly get access to all of the sweet plugins that experienced WP developers use in their work. Consider it a gateway to everything you need for debugging and creating code that is compliant with WordPress coding standards. Download the Developer plugin for free from the WordPress plugin repository.

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Get More Done in Less Time with WordPress Quick Post Management http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/get-more-done-in-less-time-with-wordpress-quick-post-management/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/get-more-done-in-less-time-with-wordpress-quick-post-management/#comments Mon, 05 Nov 2012 13:47:55 +0000 http://wpmu.org/?p=99826 With Quick Post Management, you can stop wasting time trying to manage your WordPress pages and posts.  This plugin has many uses for managing your blog more efficiently.

Note: Users with WordPress 3.4.2 may find that the plugin does not integrate with their themes and templates or that they need a second user with Editor privileges to view the links once the plugin is installed.

In short, if you can get this plugin to work, it is an excellent way to manage your WordPress posts and pages, with little hassle. You can us it for immediate testing, on-the-spur corrections, and reorganizing of your posts and pages with little hassle and fuss.

Step 1: Installation

Installing Quick Post Management is simple. Click Plugins -> Add New and do a Search for Quick Post Management. Install the plugin and activate it.

Step 2: Configuration

In Settings -> QPM you have the ability to configure Quick Post Management to show the exact links you want displayed. Change the settings to fit your needs. The image below shows the main settings that you will want to work with when configuring the plugin.

Step 3: Using the Plugin

Unfortunately, it is only at this stage that you’ll find out if you have a compatible version of WordPress. If your installation fails or your permissions are incorrectly set, you will not see the links on your live pages.

If you have a compatible version of WordPress, at this point, Quick Post Management will appear as a series of links above or below the posts on the live site, based off of the settings you set in Step 2. Unlike other plugins, which function within the dashboard of WordPress, Quick Post Management is designed to work on the exterior portion of the website.

In order for the plugin to work, a few criteria need to be met:

  • Your site must be running an compatible version of WordPress
  • You must be logged in as a user with Editor privileges
  • Your theme must be compatible with the plugin

Step 4: Troubleshooting the Plugin

If you are having trouble with Quick Post Management, there are a few things you can try to get it working. This won’t guarantee success, but you might have some luck if you try them.

  • Clear the Page Cache after Plugin Installation
  • Reinstall the Plugin
  • Create a user with ‘Editor’ privileges and test the plugin
  • Edit the Plugin to allow Administrators to view the links (Advanced Users Only)

The most common source of failure of this plugin is administrator users attempting to view the links on the live site. This is a bug, but it hasn’t been addressed by the makers of the plugins, so short of correcting the bug yourself with the Plugin Editor, administrative users will need to switch between two different accounts.

That said, there are advantages to having a second account to view the site as a user without administrator privileges, but this workaround prevents this plugin from being as ideal as it could be.

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WordPress Cloud Development with Koding http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-cloud-development-with-koding/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wordpress-cloud-development-with-koding/#comments Wed, 31 Oct 2012 14:00:04 +0000 http://wpmu.org/?p=101729  

Koding (koding.com) is a cool new application that allows coding and development in the cloud. It’s particularly handy as a WordPress development environment; one that is reached even when you are on the road and your computer is safe at home.

Koding Features

Koding is much more than just coding and development; it’s a social network and hub for developers to share code snippets, best practices, and to improve the overall level of coding across the web.

Koding is a full-fledged social network specifically for development professionals

Users can join groups and follow topics, each which have its own activity feeds jammed with status updates and code snippets from member developers. Interests and activity feeds can be filtered by topic, snippet, autor, links, and more.

Need a snippet that helps modify the WordPress loop? Send a note in the activity stream for the WordPress group and get a comment back from any one of the more than 20,000 current members online, or nearly 1,000 members in the WordPress group alone.

Reach out to other members for help and get a handy code snippet for your own programming.

You can even open that code snippet right in your very own editor, and future versions of the app will allow you to save the snippet in your favorites library.

The Koding development environment, called the “Ace” editor, rivals most premium editors on the market with all the major features of a premium code editor including:

  • line numbers
  • code wrapping
  • auto-complete code
  • tabbed file browsing
  • file tree manager
  • syntax modes
  • code folding
  • color management
  • live preview
  • and much, much more
Code editor in preview mode – showing the main html live page

 

Apps within the APP

Koding allows linking to a github repository where you can store extra files for development. They’re also working on adding more functionality to make it a one-stop-shop for everything code and development related.

This includes adding the usage of other third-party apps within Koding’s own windows, including CodeMirror, yMacs, and Pixlr; apps which should make for more efficient file insertion into the development work flow.

Koding Apps extend the programs functionality

WordPress in the Cloud

By now, you’re thinking…”this all sounds nice, but why are we reading about it on WPMU.org?” WordPress in the cloud is nothing new, you’ve been able to do it with server services like Amazon, Rackspace, and others.

But there are a few, not so subtle differences.

  • Currently, Koding is a free service – ALL the others are fee based, and charge not only for storage but for bandwidth as well.
  • Koding gives you a virtual machine with terminal and ftp access, which means you can install myphpAdmin.
  • Koding gives you the ability to install SQL databases.

The 3 of those together mean you can install a working version of WordPress – completely in the cloud, and completely free….for now.

It took me just a few minutes to set up a new WordPress environment, install a few WPMUDEV plugins, and get this Real Estate Based business directory running smoothly. (By the way, that functionality is courtesy of our Directory Plugin, which was recently updated with some cool features.)

 

 

How to Access the Koding Application

Koding is offered as an app through Google Chrome Web store and through a normal web browser.

Up until now, the app had been in private beta with only a select few developers having access. It’s out of private beta now, but access is invite only, much like how Google’s social network started just a few short months ago.

Overall, Koding is much more than just cloud coding. It’s a development network that promises to reshape the way we code and create web applications. I’ve found its members to be supportive and very collaborative.

Visit Koding.com and get on the invite list.

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5 Dropbox Plugins for WordPress that Actually Work http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/5-dropbox-plugins-for-wordpress-that-actually-work/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/5-dropbox-plugins-for-wordpress-that-actually-work/#comments Mon, 29 Oct 2012 12:10:17 +0000 http://wpmu.org/?p=101280 It isn’t often that I can’t find many good things to say about a plugin, but Dropbox Upload Form left me scratching my head and wondering just how this plugin managed to stay in the extended listing in WordPress’s plugin manager.

 

There are many problems with this plugin, but the most notable ones include lack of updates, lack of functionality in the latest updates of WordPress, and old API integration for Dropbox.

Combined, this means that the only way you’re going to get this to work is if you’re extremely lucky and you happen to be running a really old version of WordPress. A version from 2011 might be able to make this plugin work, but I wouldn’t be making any bets that any version newer than that will have the results you’re looking for.

Another plugin that shares similar woes is Drop in Dropbox. Once again, users can expect mixed results in terms of functionality and installation success, all dependent on the version of WordPress being used.

Before I talk about the options that will work in modern forms of WordPress without having to pray for divine intervention, it is important to acknowledge how good of an idea this type of plugin is, even if there are more than a few incarnations of it that don’t work.

Dropbox is a great way to share files with many people. By making use of an API system and shortcodes in WordPress, it is possible to securely use Dropbox on your WordPress site without risking your critical information. It is an excellent way to let your customers send you files without having to use email, and it is an excellent way to keep virtual backups of important data.

There are many ways that you could use Dropbox in conjunction with WordPress to create a unique, flexible tool for your site’s needs.

Since I couldn’t get Dropbox Upload Form or Drop in Dropbox to work, I decided to find a few alternatives that do work.

Gravity Forms Dropbox Addon

Gravity Forms is a favorite with many serious WordPress users and they don’t disappoint with the Dropbox addon. This addon plugs into paid Gravity Form systems to offer easy and secure integration. Like Dropbox Upload Form, this plugin allows you to place a form on your site that visitors can then use to load files into your dropbox account.

Installation is simple, as the plugin is available through Plugins -> Add New, but you will need to have a Gravity Forms license, which can be rather expensive.

Simple Dropbox Upload

It is hard to beat a plugin created and maintained by the folks responsible for Gravity  Forms, but Simple Dropbox Upload rises to the challenge admirably. This plugin offers the same basic functionality as Dropbox Upload Forms with the added benefit of current WordPress compatibility. This is a good alternative for those who can’t afford the Gravity Forms license but still desire the ability to allow site visitors to upload files to your dropbox.

For those who need something a little more than a sync-to-dropbox solution, Post via Dropbox allows users to update WordPress blogs through Dropbox. Through linking Dropbox and WordPress with this plugin, it is possible to update your blog without ever leaving your Dropbox account.

In order to use this plugin, you will need to understand shortcodes and be comfortable with their use. If you’re a more advanced WordPress user, this plugin might be a great tool for updating your WordPress while on the go.

Dropbox Photo Sideloader is a solution for those who want to easily be able to upload photographs and other media from their Dropbox accounts into WordPress. Once installed and configured, it is easy to use and takes out a lot of the headache and wait times associated with uploading media to WordPress.

For businesses that deal with digital media, delivering files to customers can be a major problem and concern. PalDrop Dropbox Shop solves a lot of problems by allowing you to sell digital products hosted on Dropbox. In order to make this plugin work, you will need a Paldrop merchant account. Free users have a limited number of files that can be sold, while paying merchant accounts receive increased limits and additional perks.

This plugin is a must-have for any WordPress-based business that has digital products for sale and needs either a temporary or permanent delivery solution.

A few things of note…

As always, anytime you integrate anything that uses personal account information, you should take a few precautions in order to ensure that your information is protected. Fortunately, dropbox uses an API system which greatly increases your security, but I always recommend that you create an account specifically for the purpose of integrating with your WordPress site.

It keeps business separated from personal, and it will ensure that if you do somehow have your Dropbox compromised, you won’t have personal files and data accessed by unauthorized users.

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WP-Invoice: A Direct Billing and Invoice Solution for WordPress http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wp-invoice-a-direct-billing-and-invoice-solution-for-wordpress/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/wp-invoice-a-direct-billing-and-invoice-solution-for-wordpress/#comments Wed, 24 Oct 2012 17:50:12 +0000 http://wpmu.org/?p=99448 Invoicing in WordPress need not be a nightmare any longer. With WP-Invoice by Usability Dynamics, your business can invoice clients directly from the WordPress dashboard quickly and easily.

There are very few solutions for invoicing in WordPress. Maybe people don’t think to fully monetize their blogs, or they use custom-built platforms, but in either case, the offerings for a solid invoicing solution have been few and far between.

WP-Invoice is a solution that can help your business fully utilize the power and customizing power of WordPress.

Let’s take a quick tour on how to make this plugin work for you, shall we?

Step 1: Installation

Installation is easy. WP-Invoice is available through the WordPress Plugins installer. Just click Plugins->Add New and search for WP Invoice. You want the result made by Usability Dynamics.

Step 2: Basic Setup

In order to start using WP-Invoice, you need to go through a First-Use Setup. This tells WP-Invoice how to interact with WordPress.

The Basic Setup is very simple. Configure it to your needs and select a page that the invoice will display on.

Step 3: Credit Card Configuration

In order to accept direct credit card transactions, you need a merchant account. You will insert the appropriate merchant account data here.

For those of you without a merchant account, your only options are to accept paypal or google checkout payments. You configure these options in Basic Setup. If you do not have a merchant account, uncheck the yes box besides “Accept Credit Card?”

Step 4: Issuing Invoices

Once you have configured WP-Invoice (it will not allow you to proceed without proper configuration) you will have the option to issue invoices. In order to issue an invoice, you add the email address of the client you are invoicing.

Once you have determined who the invoice is going to, you need to fill out the invoice. You are given every field necessary for a legal invoice, including billing information, methods of accepting payment, and customer information.

Your business’s information will be added into the invoice from the Basic Settings you worked with earlier, which is why it isn’t listed in the individual invoice.

Step 5: Invoice Tracking

Issuing invoices isn’t all you need to do when you’re billing clients. You need to track who has paid and who hasn’t. WP-Invoice offers a set of reports that do just this. The Invoice Statistics page includes data on your funds.

The three major reports provided include:

  • Collected and Uncollected Funds
  • Top 10 Most Valuable Clients
  • Top Grossing Line Items

While there are other bits of information that would be good to know, these three are major concerns for the average company.

Invoices->View All is also an excellent way to know what invoices you have issued, when they were issued, and their current status. When used in conjunction with the Reports section, this is an extremely powerful tool for businesses to use. Those are the major features of WP-Invoice. While it could have more depth, it is clean, simple, and easy to setup and use.

Best,

Seth C

 

Thanks to meddygarnet for the photo.

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Create Unique Welcome Screens for Subscribers Using Membership http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/create-unique-welcome-screens-for-subscribers-using-membership/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/create-unique-welcome-screens-for-subscribers-using-membership/#comments Thu, 18 Oct 2012 13:46:51 +0000 http://wpmu.org/?p=100114 Creating custom welcome screens for your subscribers is something that you can do to enhance the feel of your site. By having different text on pages for paying members and non-paying members, you can market to your audience more efficiently and cultivate a higher conversion rate. You can even change the text for the different types of paying members if you use a tiered membership system.

Sites can use this functionality to promote specials, send messages to specific groups of members, and even open access to unique content for users.

This guide is for those who have the Membership plugin installed with active subscriber groups.

Step 1 -> Configuring your Subscription Groups

In order for you to be able to set unique messages in your posts and pages for your users, you need to have groups of people to target. This can be as simple as paying members versus non-paying members. This method of customization can work with any number of subscription groups.

To configure your registration pages and layouts for different member groups, click Membership -> Options -> Membership Pages.

From here, you will need to configure what pages your users land on. There are several options you must have configured before you can customize them with shortcodes to make them unique for your subscription groups.

The main goal of a business is to convert visitors to paying members. Having a registration page tailored to converting visitors is a must-have for any business.

That said, you need to get a non-registered users to create an account with your site. Configure your registration page under Membership -> Options -> Membership Pages.

The other options available are very similar. Configure them to add depth to your site and enhance the experience for your users.

Take note of the pages that you have configured here. You’ll likely want to configure each one with unique text.

Here is a list of what pages you can configure and what those pages do:

Registration Page – This is where users register for your site

Registration Complete – This is your welcome page

Account Page – This is where users view their basic account information

Subscription Page – This is where users view their subscription information

Protected Content Page – This is the default page a user will be routed to if they do not have access to the content they attempted to reach

Step 2: Adjust your Pages

In order to show customized text to your users on your pages, you need to work a little shortcode magic. With one simple shortcode trick, you can show different text on a single page to your different user levels.

For example, you might want a special promotions page that shows different promotions depending on whether or not the person viewing it is a paying member of your site. You might do something like this:

[level-non-paying-members]Please join our site in order to gain access to special offers and promotions![/ level-non-paying-members]

[level-non-premium-paying-members]Buy one month of Premium membership, get one free… click here to find out more![/ level-non-premium-paying-members]

[level-premium-members]Extend your Premium Membership for a year and save 15%![/ level-premium-members]

Remember, everything after level- is what you set when configuring your memberships. If you call it visitors, level 1, and level 2, you would use these labels in the appropriate format of [level-label] Content [/level-label].

Tip: Spaces are always replaced with ‘-‘.

With the above example, only non-paying members would ever see “Please join our site in order to gain access to special offers and promotions!”

The shortcode essentially filters your content so that only the group that is called is able to see the text. This is an extremely powerful tool for those who want to be able to target their content directly to their audience.

Using these shortcodes, you can enhance the functionality of your site and cater to all of your audiences, which can significantly impact your retention and conversion rates.

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How to Set Up Limited Duration Memberships in WordPress http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/how-to-set-up-limited-duration-memberships-in-wordpress/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/how-to-set-up-limited-duration-memberships-in-wordpress/#comments Fri, 12 Oct 2012 17:58:32 +0000 http://wpmu.org/?p=99683 The WPMU DEV Membership plugin is a great tool for selling premium content of your WordPress site. However, there are times where limited duration memberships may be needed. So, what is a limited duration membership, and how can you set it up in WPMU DEV Membership?

A Limited Duration Membership is a membership option that allows for a customized payment plan. For example, a three-month subscription that bills once per month is a limited duration membership; a renewable one-year subscription is not a limited duration membership.

Membership has a lot of options, but in order to set up a limited duration membership, you will first need to work a little WordPress magic. To start with, you need to understand the types of Membership opens that come with the plugin. let’s have a look…

(These settings are found by going to “Subscription Plans” and selecting “edit” for the subscription plan which you want to make into a limited duration membership)

Mode can be switched between Finite, Indefinite, and Serial.

While Serial subscriptions allow you to set a reoccurring subscription, it doesn’t allow administrators to set a limited duration to expire. In other words, Membership either uses a finite non-repetitive payment scheme, a reoccurring subscription, or an indefinite scheme that involves one payment that allows permanent access.

A Limited Duration Membership falls outside of the scope of these three default options.

Here is a guide on how to set up your limited duration membership.

Step 1: Configure Membership

Because you will be creating a unique payment handling for limited duration memberships, you will need to reconfigure membership. As the installing user of the plugin, click Membership -> Options and go to the Advanced tab at the top. You will need to check the box that says ‘Show Membership Wizard.’

Step 2: Configure Dripped Content Site

Click Membership in the left hand menu to return to the front page.  There will be an option to set your site as a Dripped Content Site. Select this option. Now, in order to continue the installation process, you will need to click on Next Step.

Step 3: Configure your Subscription Options

This is where the process gets a little complicated. In order to set limited duration memberships, you must migrate each user through a series of different memberships. Create a dripped content style subscription feed. You do this by dragging and dropping the appropriate subscription types in the order you want the user to migrate through them.

This is the heart and soul of setting up a limited duration membership. The final subscription option in the scheme should be a finite closing subscription. The below image shows an example of how you work with your subscription plans in order to set up your dripped content styled subscription feed.

You will need to adjust each Membership level in order to set up the appropriate subscription plan.

When to Use Limited Duration Memberships

Now that you have a better idea of how to implement limited duration memberships, it is important to discuss why you would set up such an elaborate method of billing a subscription.

While standard subscription types offer a reasonable amount of flexibility, having the ability to run special offers outside of the standard subscription scheme can open many business opportunities. Here is a quick list of ways you might be able to take advantage of the content drip subscription method:

  • Setting up Limited-Time Offers
  • 3 month limited subscriptions with free month trial offers
  • 6 month limited subscriptions with free time trial offers
  • Free trials with automatic subscription renewals

There are many other ways that you can take advantage of the Membership plugin to enhance how your billing works.

There are other ways that Membership can aid your business. For example, if you require monthly billing transactions for tax purposes, a limited duration membership can help you keep a proper receipt tracking of your subscriptions.

While it does take a few extra steps to implement limited duration subscriptions, I like that Membership does have the functionality to do so, which opens a lot of doors for sites seeking new business opportunities and options.

Enjoy!

Seth C

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Add Charts and Diagrams to Your WordPress Posts and Pages with Easy Chart Builder http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/add-charts-and-diagrams-to-your-wordpress-posts-and-pages-with-easy-chart-builder/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/add-charts-and-diagrams-to-your-wordpress-posts-and-pages-with-easy-chart-builder/#comments Thu, 04 Oct 2012 16:00:22 +0000 http://wpmu.org/?p=98912  

Sometimes, the only way to get a point across is to use a diagram, chart, or graph. WordPress doesn’t come with this functionality natively. I don’t know about you, but there are few tasks more difficult than trying to show someone an example or comparison without the use of a good image to back up what you’re trying to prove.

Easy Chart Builder has come to the rescue. This plugin is both easy to use yet complex, and provides you with all of your charting or graphing needs in WordPress.

Join me on a tour of this plugin from start to finish. By the time we’re done, you won’t just know about Easy Chart Builder, but you’ll know how to use it!

Step One: Load in the Plugin

Easy Chart Builder is available through the WordPress Plugin Tool.

  1. Click Plugins -> Add New
  2. Search for Easy Chart Builder for WordPress
  3. Install the plugin

Step Two: Setup the Plugin

Easy Chart Builder has a lot of settings that you need to be aware of. You’ll want to setup the plugin to match your site.

  1. Hover Mouse over Settings
  2. Click Easy Chart Builder

Default Graph/Chart Type

When you setup Easy Chart Builder, you have the option to select the default type of chart. You’ll want to set the chart type each time you use a chart, but it is always a good idea to pick the type of chart you’ll use most frequently.

Here are your choices:

  1. Horizontal Bar Graph (horizbar)
  2. Vertical Bar Graph (vertbar)
  3. Pie Chart (pie)
  4. Line Graph (line)
  5. Horizontal Bar – Stack (horizbarstack)
  6. Vertical Bar – Stack (vertbarstack)
  7. Horizontal Bar – Overlap (horizbaroverlap)
  8. Vertical Bar – Overlap (vertbaroverlap)

Chart Height / Width

These fields set the default height / width. These are primarily used for special calculations. Until you’re used to how Easy Chart Builder works, it is safe to leave these set to the defaults.

Colors

This is where you set the default colors for your Charts and Graphs. Have fun and play with this. Set your colors to anything you want.

The Group colors are extremely important, as these are what the lines, pies, and other elements of the chart will look like when you make it.

We’re going to walk through how the above chart was built. This is a simple horizontal bar graph. It shows imaginary figures for the airspeed of a Laden versus Unladen European Swallow.

(No swallows were harmed in the making of this graph.)

Here is the code to generate the above horizontal bar graph using the default settings:

[easychart type="horizbar" height="100" title="Airspeed Velocity of European Swallows in meters per minute: Laden v.s. Unladen" groupnames="Unladen, Laden" valuenames="Overall,During Storms,Long Distance" group1values="20,5,8" group2values="50,8,24" ]

I’m sure some of you are scratching your head at this point and wondering just how this is ‘Easy’. Don’t worry, it really is. I’m going to walk you through this piece by piece.

  • [easychart

This is the basic shortcode to insert a graph into your post or page. All Easy Chart Builder graphs use this short code.

  • Type=”horizbar”

If you look above, I listed out all of the types of graphs that Easy Chart Builder can make. This is where you insert the type of graph you want to use.

  • height="100"

This is where you would change the height if you aren’t using the default. In this case, I modified it from 200 to 100. If you want to change the width, you would just insert width=”###”.

  • title="Airspeed Velocity of European Swallows in meters per minute: Laden v.s. Unladen"

The title is what shows above the graph. Every time you build a chart, you should give it a title. You will want to explain the purpose of the chart in the title.

  • groupnames="Unladen, Laden"

Charts and Graphs compare things. This is where you list all of the things you are comparing. In this case, we’re listing Unladen vs Laden European Swallows.

  • valuenames="Overall,During Storms,Long Distance"

When you compare multiple types of data, you need value names. Pie Charts do not use value names, since you’re comparing the group values.

  • group1values="20,5,8" group2values="50,8,24"

This is the heart and soul of your graph. Group1values is referring to the Unladen swallows. Group2values refers to the Laden swallows. Insert your numerical data fields here to turn them into your charts.

Once again, pie charts work slightly differently. They only use one value per group.

  • ]

All Easy Chart Builder shortcodes end with ‘]’.

Syntax

When you’re working with Easy Chart Builder, it is important to realize that Syntax is important. Syntax is the way text is presented. Don’t exchange “ for ‘ – your codes won’t work. If it calls for a comma, you must use a comma. Don’t add spaces when a space is not called for.

Easy Chart Builder includes an error messaging system. All you need to do to access the error messages is to preview the post with your Easy Builder Chart shortcode.

An Error Message looks a little something like this:

This gives you a basic idea of what the error is and where to find it. In this case, I purposefully removed the “ after Laden in the group names section of the shortcode.

Now you know the basics to Easy Chart Builder. You can use even more parameters to build sophisticated charts and graphs. Go and have some fun building the perfect graph!

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The Ultimate Site Finalization Checklist for Professional WordPress Websites http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-ultimate-site-finalization-checklist-for-professional-wordpress-websites/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/the-ultimate-site-finalization-checklist-for-professional-wordpress-websites/#comments Thu, 04 Oct 2012 13:00:27 +0000 http://wpmu.org/?p=95987

How often do you do create a new website for yourself or someone else? Do you just dive in and start working your WordPress theme, plugin, and settings magic? I’m guessing most of us do this and could benefit from having a checklist to guide us through the website finalization process. A checklist will remind you of important settings to configure and help you to not forget the little things.

I’ve created a long list of items to be completed after getting the general site design approved by your client (or yourself if the site is for you).

This checklist was created with a new domain and new site design in mind (not inheriting an established site). However, it can still be used for existing sites with some modifications.

I’ve split the list of to-do’s into 5 steps (click each link to scroll down to that step):

All the steps (and their tasks) are listed in order so you can do them all from first to last, but each website creator, website project, and client are a little different and go through a different set of revisions.

Also, you might have some value-added services to perform (integrate BuddyPress, bbPress, display ads, etc.) for a specific project, or you might have some favorite plugins or best practices. Thus, I’ve provided the HTML code for each table so that you can put it in Dreamweaver or some other table editor and hack it up as desired to make your own version.

Hint: You might want to create multiple checklist versions or add additional Steps for common projects like BuddyPress sites, the $500-1,500 package, the $1,500 – $5,000 package, or other variations.

Why Use A Website Finalization Checklist?

I find it helpful to use a checklist like this for two reasons:

  1. To show a prospective client that I’ve got a comprehensive plan for their WordPress website.
  2. To use as an actual checklist (i.e. mark stuff as done) after I think I’ve got all the major items ready to finalize and have the client’s trust enough to where I think they’ll approve everything else going forward.

Checklists help you produce more professional end results in a shorter amount of time. It’s just a logical thing to do.

If you do a considerable number of sites like I do, you might create your own, like I did. But even if you only build 1 website per year (even if for yourself), this checklist is a great starting point (if not all you need an more).

How To Use This Checklist

I suggest copying each table from this page (not the HTML code) and pasting into Excel if you want to keep electronic records (which is probably best). Or you can open the html files in a web browser and print and put in the client’s paper folder.

The first column corresponds to the Step the task is listed in. The second column, “Order”, indicates, “you should do all the lower numbers before proceeding to the higher numbers”; it’s used as a loose way to group tasks within each Step.

The third column specifies one of the following task Areas:

  • Communications – Client interactions
  • Plugins – add, remove, edit
  • Settings – work your magic
  • SEO – tasks with search engine results in mind
  • Themes – add, remove, edit

For the last column, you can either put a checkmark or a date in the last column when completed. If you won’t be completing a task, you might want to put an “X” in the column.

If you want to turn it into something to show your client, you might want to style the checklist and add/remove tasks and put it in your client proposal package. In this case, you’d probably want to add another step before Step 1 to get to the point of starting to finalize a site, which is the intention of this checklist.

The Ultimate WordPress Website Finalization Checklist

I hope you get good usage out of this checklist — for your personal and client WordPress projects — and I invite you to share links to your own checklists or comment with some additional tasks you think might benefit your fellow readers.

Without further ado…

Step 1: Before Going Live

Download HTML code of Step 1

Step 1 – Before Going Live
Step Order Area Task Completed
1 1 Settings Verify all site pages and elements display properly on Chrome, Firefox, IE (multiple versions), Safari, Opera, Mobile Safari, Android, etc. Most importantly, test while logged out. Secondly, test all scenarios while logged in, both the front-end and the back-end. (do this again as the very last step)
1 1 Settings Verify favicon displays on IE (might need .ico version) and non-IE browsers
1 2 Communications Receive Client approval of site design concept, moving forward toward finalizing/publishing. As appropriate, initiate change orders (i.e. charge more for feature-creep)
1 2 Settings Take backup before proceeding to finalize
1 3 SEO Create needed categories and tags, including Description text for each
1 3 Settings Change default category from “Uncategorized” to something else (e.g. “News”)
1 3 SEO Confirm SEO plugin’s settings per tag and category
1 4 SEO Create archive-, tag-, and category-specific layouts/pages
1 5 Settings Change the author of all posts, pages, and CPTs to be authored by the Client’s User(s), not your own Administrator User
1 6 Themes Review items in the WordPress Theme Development Checklist


Step 2: Going Live

Download HTML code of Step 2

Step 2 – Going Live
Step Order Area Task Completed
2 1 Settings Run the WordPress Search and Replace script if needed (if moving from a test site with a different URL), and delete the script
2 1 Themes Theme / Child Theme named appropriately in wp-admin and FTP
2 1 Themes Delete unused themes, except a fallback like Twenty ____
2 1 Plugins Deactivate development plugins, like Action Map / CSS Map; testing code, scripts, and dummy content; and SSL testing plugins
2 2 Plugins Delete unnecessary plugins
2 2 Settings Delete unnecessary / inactive users, as appropriate
2 2 Settings Make sure all users have their profile information as desired — Name, Contact Info, Bio, etc.
2 3 Settings Test site Search functionality: obviously-relevant results (i.e. search not broken), not returning hidden posts/pages/content (if any), returning CPTs, etc. Consider implementing a better-than-WordPress solution
2 3 Settings Make sure all WordPress default posts, pages, and comments are trashed or permanently deleted
2 4 Settings Verify all Widgets are in the right place (and display logic, if applicable) and delete unnecessary Widgets from the Inactive Widgets area
2 4 Settings Verify General Settings are as desired (e.g. www or non-www, new user registration, Timezone, etc.)
2 4 Settings Verify Discussion, Media, and Permalink settings are as desired (e.g. closing comments after 14 days, setting image sizes, and having pretty permalinks). Re-save Permalinks if you didn’t make changes, just to make sure.
2 5 Settings Delete WordPress default links and link categories
2 5 Settings Enable Remote Publishing XML-RPC if Client wants to use the WordPress mobile app, IFTTT, or verify site on Gravatar profile
2 5 Settings Setup WPMU DEV Dashboard to hide branding and only be enabled for your Administrator User account, as desired
2 6 Settings Delete all unused logo, background, and other files from Media Manager via Dashboard and from Theme / Child Theme folder via FTP
2 6 Themes Verify the theme’s (not the server’s) 404 page works and is designed as desired
2 6 Settings Turn on WP_DEBUG and Deprecation Testing before publishing site for one final test. After resolving all errors, if any, turn off WP_DEBUG and Deprecation Testing plugin(s)
2 7 Themes Validate website (HTML/XHTML, CSS, broken links, feeds, etc.).
2 7 Themes Run site through page load testing, like Pingdom, GTmetrix, YSlow, Google PageSpeed Tools, and Google Webmaster Tools’ and Google Analytics’ Site Speed reports. Make improvements as necessary/desired
2 8 Themes Verify all enabled Post Formats have specific styling. If styling won’t be created, disable non-styled Post Formats.
2 8 Themes Verify Featured Images are properly configured for archive pages, single post views, and any sliders / widgets that include Featured Images (i.e. Post Thumbnails).
2 8 Themes Add code that reminds Client of the ideal Featured Image size(s).
2 9 Themes Make sure all images have captions and that they look good
2 9 Themes Make sure video embeds work as desired
2 9 Themes Verify print preview (i.e. print stylesheet) is as desired
2 10 Themes While logged out, use View Source on the front-end of the site for several pages, looking for theme and plugin scripts that are loaded unnecessarily. Rectify as appropriate.
2 10 Settings If site has an SSL certificate, force SSL login/admin and resolve insecurely-loaded assets. If no SSL, consider adding a secure login alternative like Facebook.
2 11 Communications Create/Update the Client’s Gravatar and make sure it’s set to the same email address as used in the Client’s User Profile. Complete Gravatar image, verified services, and other profile info. Create/Login to the Client’s WordPress.com account (to be connected to JetPack)


Step 3: Finish Going Live

Download HTML code of Step 3

Step 3 – Finish Going Live
Step Order Area Task Completed
3 1 Settings Setup RSS feeds as desired. Verify all feeds that should be on are on and those that should be off are off. (e.g. all posts, all comments, comments per post, author, category, tag, CPT ones)
3 2 Communications Verify site Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy are displayed on-site and are approved by Client
3 3 SEO Create a robots.txt file
3 3 SEO Turn on WordPress’ “visible to search engines” setting
3 3 Settings Implement Analytics
3 3 SEO Verify site ownership with Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools.
3 3 SEO Verify sitemap is valid with Google and Bing Webmaster Tools
3 3 SEO Integrate with Facebook and Open Graph (OG) if not already part of your SEO plugin settings
3 4 Plugins Activate needed plugins that aren’t active yet, like Jetpack, activity monitor plugins, spam-blocking plugins, and Email Post Changes
3 4 Settings Add social sharing icons via Jetpack, Digg Digg, Floating Social, or other method
3 4 Settings Setup Comments Plus, Google Plus, and any other social integrations
3 4 Settings Setup Newsletter / MailChimp / Feedburner / Jetpack / other subscription manager settings and put sign up form on front-end
3 5 Settings Consider minifying your code. Enable caching, and CDN


Step 4: Promoting the Site

Download HTML code of Step 4

Step 4 – Promoting the Site
Step Order Area Task Completed
4 1 Settings Setup Admin Help Content and Custom Dashboard Widget to include beneficial links: to your own blog(s), tutorial / how-to videos, wiki or knowledgebase or support chat, the WPMU DEV Manual, the WordPress Codex (or a select few pages), podcast, contact information, Terms and Conditions, “tell others about us” affiliate reward (setup their PayPal email address in their User Profile). Include information about possible upgrades and reminding Client of your other services
4 1 Settings Set Dashboard Feeds settings with your own blog’s feed
4 2 Settings Setup syndication / auto-posting of new posts and CPTs to Client’s social media channels, as desired
4 3 Communications Write a blog post about the new site design, providing yourself a backlink, and tell Client they have their first blog post. Invite them to edit as desired
4 3 Communications Promote Client’s site on their social media channels
4 3 Communications Add Client’s site to your own site’s Portfolio page
4 4 Communications Promote Client’s site on your own social media channels
4 5 Communications Create a screencast video (or collection of screenshots) to walk Client through all the features of their new site (maybe 2 videos if also wanting to demo the back-end). Publish to YouTube as a Private video (or Public if you have Client’s permission) and email to Client, requesting feedback
4 6 SEO Submit site to dmoz open directory and industry-specific site directories
4 7 Communications Provide an email signature for Client, including link to their site
4 8 Settings Finalize Pop-Overs, Social Marketing and Pay with a Like giveaways, Floating Social, lead captures, squeeze pages, etc. as needed
4 9 SEO Make sure your Update Services are as desired (for notifying sites of new posts)
4 10 Communications Subscribe to the site’s feed(s) in your own RSS reader, if you don’t have any other way to keep track of the site’s posting activity
4 11 SEO Update Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Google Maps pages with current domain name and other contact information.



Step 5: Finishing Up

Download HTML code of Step 5

Step 5 – Finishing Up
Step Order Area Task Completed
5 1 Settings Implement a tag-picker metabox (to avoid Client creating multiple variations of the same effective tags)
5 1 Settings Finalize Ultimate Branding settings
5 1 Settings Finalize Easy Blogging settings
5 1 SEO Finalize Infinite SEO or other SEO plugin’s settings
5 2 Themes Consider disabling some of the Write Panel features, as appropriate
5 2 Settings Login as each user to verify they have proper viewing/editing permissions and all Dashboard meta boxes, Post Editor meta boxes, and Admin Bar links are displayed as desired, including in the proper order. Ideally, there should be no dead links (“You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.”)
5 2 Settings Make sure WordPress default email address is as desired (yours or Client’s email address?)
5 2 Settings Verify all form submission notifications are sent to Client’s email, not yours
5 2 Settings Add code to customize WordPress’ send-from email address
5 2 Settings Verify robots.txt and/or SEO plugin’s settings are working as desired by checking webmaster tools indexation
5 2 Settings Verify all site pages and elements display properly on Chrome, Firefox, IE (multiple versions), Safari, Opera, Mobile Safari, Android, etc. Most importantly, test while logged out. Sec ondly, test all scenarios while logged in, both the front-end and the back-end. (same task as in the beginning)
5 3 Settings Add site to ManageWP, WP Remote, or an alternative, if desired and not already done
5 3 Settings Run a database cleanup to remove old revisions (proceed with caution, consider backing up database first)
5 4 Settings Save a .zip backup of the entire site (files and database) to your local computer as proof of what you delivered to the Client on the day of going live.
5 5 Setup Implement auto-backup schedule
5 6 Communications Get your Client started on the right writing path by teaching them how to follow their own Blog Post Writing Checklist
5 6 Communications Consider suggesting Client setup Google Alerts and/or Yahoo Alerts
5 6 Communications Finalize your contract and get Client signature that the work has been completed satisfactorily. Get final payment (maybe before providing login credentials). Get web hosting payment if applicable.
5 7 Communications Provide Client with login, FTP, database, and third-party management utility credentials, as appropriate
5 7 Communications Setup WordPress mobile app and/or other remote publishing tool for Client

Bonus: Download all steps in PDF format

Ultimate WordPress Website Finalization Checklist – All Steps PDF

 

Please share your favorite tasks, thoughts on tasks to add or remove, and other feedback in the comments below. I hope it enhances your WordPress site-building.

Launch Button by Steven Depolo

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Finally, the WordPress Google Analytics Alternative! http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/finally-the-wordpress-google-analytics-alternative/ http://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/finally-the-wordpress-google-analytics-alternative/#comments Tue, 25 Sep 2012 13:00:57 +0000 http://wpmu.org/?p=98310

Tired of logging in to the Google analytics dashboard to see what’s going on with your WordPress site?

Well now you can see exactly what’s going on with your WordPress site, without having to fumble through the complicated settings in the Google analytics dashboard or relearn it very time Google changes the layout.

I’m talking about a FREE, real time analytics WordPress plugin called Wassup.

Okay, so maybe the plugin name is a little “Generation x,” but check out what this plugin does and I think you’ll be ready to download is and see Wassup for yourself.

No Kidding, REAL TIME WordPress Visitor Statistics

The Wassup WordPress plugin does something that the even the great Google hasn’t included in their analytics yet. It gives you real time statistics of what’s happening on your WordPress site.

In fact, if you’re terribly bored with watching the paint dry in your living room, you can literally site at your computer and watch the hits come and go from your site. We’re talking serious James Bond stuff here, you don’t even have to refresh the page to see your visitor statistics change.

Here’s an example of the information which is displayed in the Wassup dashboard:

See how it shows you exactly where the user is on your site and what their IP address is? And in case that’s not enough, you can actually use a Google maps like feature to zero in on their exact geographical location.

Check THIS out:

Notice the upper part of this screenshot where it shows you what types of visitors are coming to your site. As you can see, Wassup is sophisticated enough to show you which of your visitors are spam bots and which are real visitors, which in by opinion makes it far superior to Google analytics.

The stats graphs make it easy for you to track the progress of your traffic strategies, just as you could in the Google analytics screen…only this works directly from your WordPress dashboard.

Also, notice that you get the information about the user’s browser, their operating system AND which search engine they used to find your WordPress site. But that’s not all, let me show you another plugin that works hand in hand with Wassup to tell you everything you need to know to optimize your WordPress keyword strategy…

Real Time Keyword Analytics for Your WordPress Site

The creator of the Wassup plugin added another cool WordPress analytics plugin called Wassup keywords, and it’s also free and made to work hand in hand with the Wassup analytics plugin. As you might have guessed, this WordPress analytics plugin will tell you exactly which keywords your users typed in to arrive at your WordPress site.

The Wassup Keywords plugin also come with data mining features which allow you to organize and display all the visits for a specific keyword. We all know that Google is taking user behaviors very seriously these days when it comes to search engine rankings.

Now you can see exactly what your users are doing when they arrive on your site and determine how well you’re doing when it comes to creating a site that people will love.

That’s exactly the same thing Google is trying to find out about your site, so this plugin helps you stay one step ahead of Google and to tweak your on page SEO accordingly.

It’s an SEO nerds dream come true…but check THIS out.

The Wassup Keywords plugin also allows you to check your Google rankings for any of the keywords with a click of a button. This feature only works, of course if the visitor came from Google. But I’ve seen dozens of paid SEO tools that promise the same feature and fail to deliver.

This one delivers in just one click, and you don’t have to pay a dime to install it on your WordPress site.

Here’s a couple more cool things about these two WordPress analytics plugins:

  1. They work with BuddyPress and WordPress installations
  2. They work with multisite
  3. They require no configuration, just install them and they’re ready to go

That’s enough ranting and raving from me. I’m sure you’re itching to get your hands on these two WordPress gems and try them out for yourself, so here are the links again:

-Enjoy,

Seth C

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