Expert Woocommerce Book

I am currently writing a book for advanced / expert users who need to go far with WOOCOMMERCE. It will be PDF only and will feature

Foreword

  • Woocommerce vs magento  vs prestashop
  • Basic plugins we use for wordpress
  • Advanced plugins we use for Woocommerce
  • how we code woocommerce

Woocommerce functions you'll find on the net

  • Multiple site config without wordpress multi user
  • Orders management
    • customer product order display
    • PDF order display

Exclusive woocommerce functions you won't find on the net (yet)

  • Buy incentive to get free shipping

Conclusion 

Easy wp guide PDF for your wordpress customers

we do WordPress developement for developers but also for our final customer, the web site owner. And even with a platform easy to use like WordPress, it can be good to provide basic instructions and written notes for content management. Usually I write specific tutorials for my customers but I have to admit that the Easy WP GUIDE is a good example of what I could give to all my customers. It is written and distributed in pdf version for free by Anthony Hortin, web developer from Melbourne Australia

Theme of the year : modernize by good layers

It's a rare occurence that I find a perfect wordpress theme that fits more than a single project : Modernize, sold by goodlayers  on themeforest, is one exceptionnal piece of code that does not just deal with front end layout : a powerful administration panel comes within the page / article administration system to help you configure complex layouts. Compatible not only with Internet Explorer (except old IE6), it also provides very efficient smartphone responsivness, and offers many more than just page management : slider integration, ajax portfolio management, testimonials, price table plus a great diversity of shortcodes that even your customer can use if they're familiar with wordpress system... Big thank you for support that answers quickly and correctly when you encounter customization issues, small drawback is the complexity of stylesheets and a few hours work to get your site up to speed by removing extra stylesheet and javascript goodies that you might not need. Good work Good Layers! 

Jquery image wall

We're working on an innovative  front end for our popular Eyelash image gallery management tool. Here are a few examples of what we are trying to achieve, one objective would be to build a dynamic 3D image wall . first example is the amazing snowstack jquery 3D wall which creates an impressive 3D rendering of the image wall from youtube video screenshots. other nice scripts include

HTML / Jquery based

  • Photomosaic is a wordpress plugin that creates a 2D image wall from image gallery files
  • The wall has three possible iamge layouts, creates a wall of images within a div, or full page

Flash based

Free wordpress full screen background effect

Integrating full size images in a wordpress post is quite easy if you know how to integrate a plugin AND can use FTP.

The plugin wp-supersized does all the jquery wiork for you and all you have to do after activating the plugin is read the options page carefully to properly configure the page or post where the images background appear. If your theme style does'nt render the imazge background as expected, then you can use a page or post model  (for post model use the style replacement plugin) and rewrite the header and footers to only load the apporpriate style and js files.

http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-supersized/

demo on http://www.ruedesiam.com/info/expo-jean-noel-duchemin

WordPress as an application platform

WordPress is getting increasingly popular as backend functions move away from the single blog features that made its success in the early years. Custom types management and widget tools allow many various implementations, such as classifed websites, job listings, etc...

  • Appthemes is a commercial list of specific wordpress themes that do more thatn just layout content : classipress comes with many classifed advertising features such as featured ads , job roller is a job listing wordpress theme. Both come at the easy price of 69$. never underestimate the time required to customize a template  : a dedicated forum is available for each of the themes and they are regularly followed and look like there's good activity out there.
  • DirectoryPress is more specialized in directory listing

Run multiple sites : case study with wordpress

I am  currently running 4 blogs, hosted on the same server with different installations of WordPress. On the other side, I have started running multiple site on a single installation of Silvesrtripe, my favourite Content Management System. The conclusion is evident : running multiple sites on a single installation is a technical challenge but saves a lot of hours  on regular tasks of securing, maintaining and developping on a specific platform. Of course, this kind of exercise comes with its own risks  : you can get all your sites down in a single error or successful hack attack. But on the other hand, restoring backups would be a single click affair. With WordPress, the MU version enables the devlopment of multiple sites, and we have a full case study, published by WordPressPublisher, inspired by work from Tierra Innovation and WNET.ORG (Channel Thirteen in New York) , who achieved  multiple site development  WordPress MU as a CMS for WNET.ORG’s. The two companies also publish a white paper : How a Non-Profit Media Company Profits from Building Open Source Online Publishing Platform (PDF). Magento, the new and revolutionnary opensource  ecommerce soft, also allows some level of multiple site building : again, we have a technical challenge here but the few days learning curve is worth the effort.

Magento / wordpress showcase : Rue de Siam

screenshot1

I've finally released my first Magento website, and it proves to be a  real SEO winner (100% increase in visits after 2 weeks). RuedeSiam is a furniture importer based in Brittany. Now you know why I bothered comparing commercial and opensource Flash based zoomers : Rue de Siam's website site features an implementation of image  a flash based zoom within a prototype lightbox gallery  (check out this one) . Interesting too is the specific template for the "At your home" showcase category that uses products with  specific layout. Magento is really great for customising layouts, I suppose that's partly a big feature of Zend Framework expressed at its best. One technique I used a lot is the css based text over image transparency effect that I detailed a while ago for WordPress on this blog. Works fine with Magento images categories except that the background image really has to be adjusted perfectly so I used phpthumbs instead of Magento's resizing helpers that seemed to complicated to understand at first.   I've also covered  various development challenges that I shared on this blog during the development :

And a few tips :

One advice : once you're running a Magento production web site, be careful with upgrades. The Sales extension did not work with 1.3.0 on my development server and I'm sticking to 1.2.x for the moment.

Automatic Toc building

ausoleilbreton

Remember Wikipedia's table of content, that creates anchors and links automatically from page titles : we've enjoyed the feature on MODX CMS, an old but still efficient opensource content management system for PHP / Mysql. Two plugins are available for this software, free of course :  The Automatic Page TOC Generator plugin and the  Automatic TOC and Navbar work the same way, via a simple process that parses H1 .. H6 tags, takes HTML within, builds the table of content, and  inserts the generated table of contents anywhere in your template. Many options are available that can specify explicitly the area to be indexed or put a navbar before the heading to get bazck up to the top of the page. The result can be as shown above on the ausoleilbreton.com web site (work in progress).

Jquery modal prompt

If you've tried the impromptu jquery plugin, you're probably left with some frustrating feeling, finding that  such an easy solution for javascript alert, confirm and prompt replacement, could be enhanced by a nicer graphic design. Replacing the "X'" letter by a now standard close button, just like can be found on facebox, could do the job. But then why not benefit default facebook style layout and use the whole facebox plugin, or go for another stylish modal jquery plugin, such as jModal... A few lines of javascript code will easily replace the prompt function, just like the lines of code from the example below.
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A corporate site with WordPress

Ever thought of using WordPress as a CMS ? Today's showcase features a perfect example of wordpress implentation for corporate advertising. Served by efficient graphic design, 4 seasons entertainment implements an event page, a list of artists via wp-page-numbers plugin, and of course the usual suspect CFORMS.

Showcase your site on webmasterbulletin

If you're in the business of creating stunning websites powered by efficient opensource or commercial CMS, let the world know : submit your work for review at webmasterbulletin showcase !!

Today's showcase : 4 seasons

4 Seasons Entertainment & Events has been bringing life to many major events in Dubai, U.A.E for over a decade. 4 Seasons delivers results, time and again. We pride ourselves to be one of the few agencies that renders 360 solutions for any type of event. All our resources are in-house, giving us the flexibility to support any event from small internal meetings to large conference and awards dinners or product launches with efficiency and precision.

Link : 4 Seasons Entertainment

Press Release: WordPress for Business Bloggers book

Packt is pleased to announce the release of a new book for business bloggers. Written by Paul Thewlis, WordPress for Business Bloggers teaches users to build an attractive and professional blog with advanced plug-ins, analytics, advertising, and SEO.

WordPress allows users to easily create dynamic blogs with many outstanding features. Its versatility and ease of use has attracted a large, enthusiastic, and helpful community of users, who have created a large and diverse collection of plug-ins.

The book starts by looking at the important features that make a successful business blog: adding value to products and services, providing proper customer service and support, driving traffic to a website, and so on. It then shows how to implement these features in WordPress.

This book will teach users to deal with using WordPress and third-party tools to manage and optimize their blog, focusing on the business aspects of blogging. Bloggers will learn to mange the content including images and videos, which will make their blog more appealing. They will also learn how to market and measure the success of their blog using Google web applications and other popular tools.

Anyone interested in running or starting a business blog using WordPress will find this book useful. The book is out now and is available from Packt. For more information, please visit http://www.packtpub.com/wordpress-for-business-bloggers/book

Blog design showcase : Foozoo

The Foozoo design studio blog does not display images on its front page : black and white is the color of sobriety. Inside pages will feature, obviously, images, plus a nice soft blue font that highlights margins and  Based on the very simple Hemingway-19 theme for wordpress, Foozoo adds a few very interesting plugins. Most interesting is the WP-cumulus plugin that transforms the original tag cloud to a real Flash based sphere with mouse 3D effect.

Laying text over title image in wordpress

Used by many news portals, the technique above is a great example of how to optimize layout of breaking news. We have gone the simple way with the image above, using a combination of Photoshop layers over a background image. The way it is implemented for WordPress platform by Derek Punsalan illustrates the power of wordpress custom fields, and also the limits of this input system. We would like to have image custom input fields, such as file browser or color selector. The popular custom field GUI plugin handles select, checkboxes and radio buttons but would require extensions to handle more advanced input types. There is hack on WordPress forums for that plugin  that handles Wysiwyg fields, but I would not expect it to be maintained over future versions of WordPress. The "More Fields" Plugin is a bit more flexible and is worth having a look at too.

3 columns layout css, moderated

The famous 3 column layout is used all round the place : from default wordpress blog template to most advanced daily news paper edition such as iht.com (International Herald Tribune) or lemonde.fr, multiple columns allow difficult content hierarchy choices to be made . While it's a great idea to reproduce such a nice and extensible layout, playing with multiple columns is a dangerous game. Column heights, font size, paragraph justification, and last but not least images display are difficult parameters to harmonize when allowed width is fixed and limited.

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