WordPress drag and drop base themes

I'm just after trying 2 alternative methods to the now famous visual composer.

  • LayersWP is a base theme that come with an amazing layout builder. It relies on installed widgets, which give a huge flexibility. This featured is common to the Page builder free plugin, that I reviewed last year. LayersWP is really good to use but one drawback I found is that it does not allow you to place a widget over a column : you have the possibility of using columns over content (text / image ) elements but the functionality seems restricted to this very single element
  • Make from ThemeFoundry free layout builder comes with only three elements : text, gallery and slider. not bad for a start but Page Builder plugin does better.

10 minutes to try a wordpress theme option framework

Professional wordpress themes come with so many features and options that it seems impossible to cover them all : how do they do it ? how can you even think of building your own professionnal theme for wordpress if you have to start working on options before you start to code the layout ? here comes options framework plugins that you integrate in your theme, and we do a quick review comparison of them all

  • reddux framework is distributed  as a plugin that you can integrate in your theme. It comes with a full featured working option set and seems to be the most featured plugin for configuring theme options
  • unyson is a bit more difficult to integrate but it comes with several plugins including a layout composer which is similar to the almost universal visual composer.
  • fluent framework helps you add options not only to wordpress / theme but also to any custom post and  / or taxonomy : useful for adding fields to pages and / or posts
  • Titan framework is very well documented
  • VAFPRESS
  • Option Tree
  • Options Framework

Source : http://www.wpsquare.com/wordpress-theme-options-plugins-frameworks/

WordPress Premium themes I’ve used

Having difficulty finding the right codebase for your wordpress design ? fancy trying out premium themes ? check out real live example with this chronological sample of websites I've designed using premium and free wordpress themes. I can't list advantages and drawbacks of them all, the only rule is ... know your stuff, get used to it... and stick to VISUAL COMPOSER for future updates...

and free themes I've used... apart from the twenties series : responsive from cyberchimps for Guilers Auto's website

Removing spam from wordpress gravity form entries

There are many solutions to avoid spam filling your gravity form with unsollicited trash messages. You can use the original gravity forms captcha field  but I would not recommend this basic solution because it requires you to create an account on google's famous recaptcha service. Another drawback of the gravity forms captcha field is that it disables the AJAX option (read on gravityhelp) : if you want to use AJAX option or would like to have you captcha feature hosted on your server, you can use the famous wordpress plugin Really Simple CAPTCHA.

A third solution is to use simple rules on your form like asking the result of a simple mathematic operation like "what does 2+3 make"  and use Min and Max on the number field type. Ok this is for reducing SPAM entries. But once you have caught thousand of bad entries in your form, how do you remove them quickly ?

I encountered the problem with a few thousand of SPAM entries dropped to my favourite contact form in less than an hour. Manual deletion of thousands of messages is easy but tedious when the default 20 entries per page makes you repeat the same operation a few dozen times. Here comes the gform_entry_page_size filter, detailed on gravityforms documentation : simply code the following filter in your thems functions.php file and depending on your server capacity you can substantially increase the number of entries displayed on the messages page, and accelerate the stupid deletion task..

And next time remember to setup antispam strategy..

Export lightroom photos preserving folder structure

Lightroom photography solutions do not allow to export multiple images (to JPG, for instance) while retaining folder structure. There are two plugins that do the job and we strongly advice to choose the frist one because it is maintained as of 2014 / 10

 

  • http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/folder-publisher
  • http://www.photographers-toolbox.com/products/lrtreeexporter.php?sec=change

10 features for a perfect wordpress starter theme

These are very important features we'd like to recommend if you want to develop your own commercial themes. Remember that themes are supposed to be used and reused on many sites, which means various configuration options, either codebased of configuration based

  • Theme customizer :
    • Logo upload for theme customization is now a standard wordpress feature, documented on the codex. The custom header feature allows you to uypload your logo, and possibly cropping of the uploaded image. Interesting when trying it variations of formats and or colors.
    • Layout options :
      • theme customizer should allow you to define layout options like : full width, fixed width with max width specification (1020, 960, you pick). Of crouse any serious theme layout should be full responsive and grid based, and compatible with drag and drop content editors like page builder of visual composer
      • good options should allow to define default behaviour for all custom options within pages or posts 'see second pargraph below)
      • color schema should be easy to customize : ideally you should show off a dozen color schemas with your theme
  • Menus 
    • handling a main menu - with unlimited hierarchy levels and responsivness -  is the minimum for a good theme, but I suggest your prepare other locations for secondary menus : top menu (for social networks), bottom menu (adress, legal ...)
  • Custom post types
  • Handling custom Font
    • it is necessary to provide som e sort of easy font customizing, either in the code via a filter or action, or via backend admin interface
    • icons : the font awesome library provides more than 300 hundred icons, it is quite necessary to provide this iconset within your theme. It is good to provide tinymce integration for quick icon integration within text
  • Custom options for pages :
    • custom box for choice of sidebar display :
      • custom sidebar selection (the free plugin Custom Sidebars is available for this feature if you don't want to implement it in your theme. But it does not allow you to remove a sidebar from a page)
      • sidebar position (right, left, none, both)

WordPress 4.0 ready for long texts

I was working on long texts this morning on wordpress tinuymce, that was in a 3.9 version : a big part of the work was scrolling forth and back from the bottom of my text and the tool bar. Moreover, I was switching from safari to Chrome to find out that Chrome allows resizing while Safari does not : small details, big trouble for writing on wordpress.

A big progress came with my 4.0 update : event though the resizing corner has disapeared on chrome, the editor now adapts to your content, and the toolbar stays on top of the screen instead of scrolling up with the page. For tinuymceadvanced users, make sure you have upgraded your plugin if you want this new content editing feature to work !

 

 

free drag and drop page builders for wordpress

whoever has tried visual composer from code canyon should be enthousiastic about the future of wordpress as a full featured content management system.

while there are many licensed (paid) drag and drop plugins for worpdress page editor, we have found one free alternative that does the job quite well

  • Page Builder by SiteOrigin has the big advantage of relying on widgets, a de facto standard for element contents in wordpress. It also comes with a very efficient column handler which does not limit you to a fixed width ! also comes with default widgets, very efficient :
    • Gallery widget for inserting image galleries, overrides default gallery system
    • Image widget for inserting standard images.
    • Self hosted video widget for embedding your own videos.
    • Post Loop to display a list of posts. 
  • little drawback of page builder is that it does not display the content within the blocks :
    wordpress-drag-drop

Other solutions i have not tested yet

Apart from free plugins, I have also tested commercial plugins like Visual Composer, which now comes with front end editing, have a look at my previous article on this subject

 

Information management with WORDPRESS / PART II : bulk editing

While comparing wordpress woocommerce with magento, I pointed out the very efficient bulk editing feature for products in magento : it's quite amazing to find out that new versions of wordpress bring features you would not even imagine. Version 2.7 of wordpress, brought to the world in december 2008, brought the famous Batch and inline editing, also known as BULK EDITING. Our main interest of bulk editing in wordpress for information management is the bulk editing of tags and categories. Codex mentions fields that can be bulk edited.

Bulk Edit allows the fields, Author, Comments Allowed, Status, Pings Allowed, and Sticky, to be changed for all the selected Posts

Limitations : wordpress codex highlights the fact that Categories and Tags can be ADDED in bulk to a set of Posts, but it is not possible to CHANGE, or DELETE, a Category, or Tag, for those Posts.

the delete category feature is an important issue, as moving products, posts, or other elements does involve adding categories but obviously you'd need to remove categories from posts : this was the subject of a discussion topic on wordpress forum where some piece of code was posted : read Remove Categories with bulk edit to find this piece of code that could be transformed into a plugin or simply added to your theme.

Woocommerce extra bulk edit

woocommerce plugin is a perfect exemple of the extensibility of the bulk editing feature : price information (% increase or decrease), sale information,status, weight and stock information can be bulk edited. developers will find interesting coding information for adding extra fields to the bulk editing feature in woocommerce codebase.

worpress-woocommerce-bulk-edit

 

 

Other extensions and plugins

for coders

for non coders

Information management with wordpress : POSTS

WORDPRESS INFORMATION MANAGEMENT -

PART 1 : POSTS

Basic information structure   in wordpress

All information in wordpress is stored as “post”. Each post shares specific information :

  • id : unique numeric (integer) identifier
  • creation and modification date
  • author
  • title
  • status (publish / draft / private)
  • post name : unique literal identifier
  • post type

POST TYPE

Default types of posts - Codex source http://codex.wordpress.org/Post_Types

  • wordpress articles
    • use for temporary dated  information / blog articles / news or press review
  • wordpress pages
    • use for presentation information, atemporal information, non related to specific time
  • wordpress attachment : images, pdf
  • wordpress menu entry
  • worpdress post revision

Custom post types

  • wordpress custom post type allow creation via code or plugins of specific information blocks : imagine any type of data store, it can be done by custom post types : products, movie database, book database, glossary...

CLASSIFICATION

all posts can be grouped, or classified, via taxonomies : categories or tags by default, custom taxonomies by extensioninformation-management-wp-book1

enhance admin

3 plugins to enhance admin columns in wordpress

  • https://wordpress.org/plugins/codepress-admin-columns/
  • https://wordpress.org/plugins/media-library-assistant/
  • https://wordpress.org/plugins/admin-management-xtended/

Delete taxonomy terms of a specific level or superior

I had produced a code that automatically creates taxonomy terms when visitors visit my web site : i found out that thousands of terms had been created , cloaking my database. only solution was to use the following code to automatically delete terms of level >1

 

 

Woocommerce BACS GATEWAY : display bank account info on order page

default woocommerce order page suffers on major drawback, it does not display bank account info for customers who have chose to pay via BACS  (Bank Account Clearing System), more commonly known as direct bank/wire transfer. This payment method comes integrated within standard woocommerce plugin (more info). The bank account number can be configured in the payment config area of woocommerce, and it is displayed on the confirmation page. But not on the order page that the customer can view any time after the order. Here is a piece of code that displays specific bank transfer information  at the bottom of  the order display page :

 

 

WordPress media library : display image size

I found with great disapointment that my new mac book does not always display image sizes in finder, little goodie that windows does perfectly. Well I don't exactly like the mac/ pc debate and turned to wordpress media library with a little code snippet that displays  a new column with image dimensions, found on the great stackexchange. Good candidate for basic wordpress extension.

 

Magento and WordPress integration : custom connection solution

Wordpress has various mega menu possibilities that we integrated in magento

WordPress has various mega menu possibilities that we integrated in magento

Lately we were comparing   ecommerce solutions that we have experienced in various projects : Magento for big and expensive projects versus woocommerce for smaller projects that are bound to expand. A big advantage of wordpress is that it integrates powerful content management and powerful ecommerce solutions within the same platform. And in some cases, Magento solution for e-commerce integrated with wordpress for content management can be the very good solution that takes the best of both worlds.

Today we review solutions that allow reciprocal integration of data between wordpress and Magento.

Basic wordpress content into magento

installing magento extensions require some expertise but is worth the time spent. Integrating wordpress posts into magento pages is easy with the  Magento WordPress Integration extension that fits worpdress post list and content within magento templates.

 

Global WordPress Magento integration : custom solutions

  • First, you must consider installation on the same server, sharing stylesheets and body elements to have consistency across the whole site : before choosing magento template and wordpress theme, bear in mind that stylesheets and javascript from both themes will be shared.
  • Next step consists of taking wordpress theme elements and sending them to a cache folder for integration in to Magento. We propose to integrate following wordpress elements in Magento
    • Main wordpress menu integration into Magento
    • Widgets elements (footer, sidebar)
    • latest articles

Locomotive CMS

I liked the look and design of a french travel agency website, http://www.doublesens.fr/ : a quick investigation into the inner engine that powers the simple layout , clean drop down menu and wift responsivness led me to LOCOMOTIVE CMS a promising new CMS built on rails and specialized on custom post types. Its website features a nice comparison with best in the world WORDPRESS CMS. One thing is would need though  a good image uploader like wordpress knows !

5 dropbox alternatives.. and wordpress link

Dropbox has made its way as standard way of transferring files to the cloud : we use it extensively and the free package, obviously, has led us to use the paid  extension for extra storage.

For our daily webmasters tasks, linking cloud files to wordpress has never been easier since I discovered a very professional plugin, delivered with a slick interface and full language translations : Out of the box is a dropbox plugin for wordpress : dutch author Floris de LEUUW proved very efficient answering basic coding issues when I tried the sister plugin for google drive "Use Your Drive". I particularly like the gallery feature which allows slick display of images hosted on your dropbox or cloud account.

Exchanging files has become so common that now a lot of alternatives have come up

  • Infinit claims to provide unlimited storage, free : its distinctive feature is a focus on friends and networks
  • Kabuto provides 2gb storage

Paid alternatives for file storage

 

woocommerce order product list

The latest version of woocommerce adds a feature to the order list  :  the Purchased column describes items purchased for that order : the number of items is displayed and a click on the line displays all order products.Interesting behaviour when there are many products per order : if you have one or two product per average order, it might be better to display everything in the column, to get a whole view of various recent orders , like a sales report:

woocommerce-order-sales-reportthe code is very simple, use the manage_shop_order_posts_custom_column action to add some text to the purchased column :

 

 

EURO BIZ IT

A l’heure où internet devient le principal outil pour booster son business, Monsieur Coarasa crée  fin 2011 un site de rencontres entre professionnels IT. Il lance le mois dernier une nouvelle version de sa plateforme, désormais plus simple, plus rapide et plus ergonomique.

« Aujourd’hui, avoir un bon réseau pour s’armer de spécialistes dans son domaine est le meilleur atout pour développer des affaires. D’où l’idée de proposer aux abonnés un libre accès à une base de données de professionnels. Et ceci dans un seul but : Développer leurs affaires au-delà des frontières ».

La société fonde son « Business- Model » sur la création de réseau, qui permet aux acteurs de conclure des affaires directement, sans son intervention et sans la moindre commission. « Le concept d’EurobizIT est simple et entièrement gratuit. Il propose aux inscrits de déposer simplement et rapidement de nouveaux CV et Missions IT. Alors que la concurrence s’affaire à ne couvrir que le marché français, EurobizIT développe une expertise Européenne et couvre ainsi les besoins de ses clients dans toute l’Europe Francophone : France, Belgique, Luxembourg et Suisse ». L’ambition de ce dirigeant est de taille : Devenir une référence Européenne dans les prochains mois. Cependant, cet enjeu est réalisable. Depuis Octobre 2012, le spécialiste des rencontres informatique enregistre une performance croissante sur le marché de la prestation IT. Il compte aujourd’hui parmi ses adhérents 3 5 1 9 Freelances, 1207 SSII et 240 DSI. Fin 2014 – Début 2015, EurobizIT pourrait élargir son intervention à l’ensemble de l’Europe « Les marchés sont demandeurs et friands de la simplicité que leur offre une telle plateforme ».

http://www.eurobizit.com/

managing multiple wordpress installations

In a previous article, we took some time to  describe our own hack to provide multiple wordpress installation on a single web host, with multiple databases instead of multiple prefixes.

In this article we describe how to manage multiple wordpress install

http://infinitewp.com/ : a client/ server installation that requires a webhost for the management software and a plugin on each wordpress installation you want to manage. This plugin is free and comes with a lot of features that simplify multiple wordpress website management :
Additional plugin (50$) allows cloning / duplication of a wordpress site

 

https://managewp.com is a subscription based wordpress management tool