What are WordPress plugins and widgets?

What are WordPress plugins and widgets?

What are WordPress plugins specifically? WordPress plugins and WordPress widgets offer you different ways to customize your site. You can imagine plugins as upgrades to your site allowing you to enhance the default functionality of your website. A great example of this would be Elegant Themes’ Monarch plugin: A brand new WordPress website does not have beautiful social media sharing buttons built in. So when you want to add this functionality, you would need to use a plugin to accomplish this task. The great thing is that there are thousands of plugins available to do all kinds of things from adding sharing buttons, all the way to accepting payments for products. What are WordPress widgets specifically? WordPress widgets are similar to plugins, but they are really intended to be a part of the interface. You can think of widgets as an additional way to display information (usually on the WordPress dashboard or sidebar). They can also add additional content to search bars, menus, and categories. For the scope of this article, we will focus mostly on plugins. Free plugins | What are WordPress Plugins There are so many free plugins out there that it can be overwhelming. There are two ways primarily for finding and adding plugins to your site. First, the easiest way, is to be logged in to your site and navigate to your WordPress Dashboard. Once logged in, hover over “Plugins” on the sidebar to the left and click “Add new”. Here you will see featured plugins available for your site. To find a new plugin, start by typing what you are looking for in the... read more

5 awesome websites to learn HTML and CSS for free

5 awesome websites to learn HTML and CSS for free

You might have already setup your domain, host, and installed WordPress. Congrats, that’s already a great start! WordPress makes it so easy to get a website up and running that you might not even think about learning HTML and CSS. But, knowing the fundamentals goes a long way and will help you enhance your website even further. So, check out these 5 awesome websites to learn the fundamentals and not get bogged down with the burden of building a new site. All the fundamental HTML and CSS concepts you learn can always be applied to any other web project you choose. 5 awesome websites to learn HTML and CSS for free   Codecademy Codecademy was one of the first places I started learning HTML and CSS. Since they launched, they have added even more courses and updated past courses. Their HTML and CSS course will teach you the fundamentals all the way through more advanced topics. If you want to learn more, they also teach Javascript, jQuery, Python, Ruby, and PHP.   Dash Dash, by General Assembly is my favorite of the list. I direct anyone interested in learning HTML and CSS here because of how they are able to teach the fundamentals so easily and how quickly you can start building awesome projects. You begin by building a simple personal website and can advance through building a full on responsive website. Their step by step teaching process is easy to understand and has a good pace.   Udemy Udemy is a little different than Codecademy and Dash, in that the “courses” are a series of videos that you... read more

Creating apps for the Apple Watch

Creating apps for the Apple Watch

Successful entrepreneurs see opportunities before they become mainstream. With Apple about to release the Apple Watch, it will usher in a new market of buyers looking to download Apple Watch apps for their shiny new watches. There will be a lot of money to be made by those who are first to market, so starting now will give you a head start on the competition. How to build apps for the Apple Watch You might be surprised to learn that the Apple Watch doesn’t run apps on the watch itself. The Apple Watch relies on the iPhone, acting more like a smart display for iPhone apps. The Apple Watch really only extends the capabilities and features of existing iPhone apps. So if you want to create Apple Watch applications, you would want to update your existing iPhone apps to work with the Apple Watch or create a new iPhone app altogether. If you have never developed for the iPhone or iPad (or if you never went through the process of hiring a developer- freelancer or in-house), you will want to start by researching and learning what it takes to build a new app for Apple devices to get your feet wet. Instead of immediately diving into the tech, and figuring out how to program applications for the Apple Watch, I highly recommend instead starting with a brainstorming session for your app idea. Solidifying your idea, or couple of solid app ideas, will not only give you the confidence to see the project through to completion, but also allows you to map out what critical concepts you want to learn... read more

How to figure out what WordPress theme a site is using

How to figure out what WordPress theme a site is using

Clients have asked me in the past how they can style their website like another site in their industry. Although I believe themes like Divi can do a great job transforming into any style you are looking to achieve, some highly specialized themes can be a better choice if they have specific functionalists. So how do we figure out what WordPress theme a site is using? First, we want to make sure the site we are looking to emulate is a WordPress site. You can start by scrolling to the bottom of the site and check the footer section. A lot of WordPress sites will mention WordPress and the theme being used:     Another quick and simple way to check is to add “/wp-login.php” after the domain name. For example, if we were checking www.wordpress.org, we would try www.wordpress.org/wp-login.php If we get a page like this:     Than we know it is a WordPress site. If not, you will most likely get a 404 or other error page. Sometimes a double check is in order. There are plugins for WordPress that allow you to customize the login URL, meaning if a site has such a plugin installed, the /wp-login.php trick will not work and you will be redirected to the homepage or another page. We can use a site like www.builtwith.com to dive even deeper into what technologies a site is using. What is great about BuiltWith is if the site you are looking up is not a WordPress site, you can see what other CMS or web technologies power that site.     You might have... read more

Essential plugins for your new WordPress site

Essential plugins for your new WordPress site

One of the great things about WordPress is the tons of free and paid plugins available for your website. I like to keep my WordPress sites simple and light, so when I create a new website, I always start with some of the same plugins. This short list of essential plugins is intended to help get you started on the right foot. If you are new to WordPress or do not know what WordPress plugins are, check out this quick overview I wrote here.   Essential plugins for your new WordPress site: Limit Login Attempts This plugin is a little bit older now, but very important from a security stand point. Limit Login Attempts does what it says and limits the number of times a hacker or robot can try guessing your password on your admin login page. If someone gains admin access to your site, they can do whatever they want to your site and lock you out. It is also crucial to pick a hard to guess password and consider keeping a written copy in a safe place if you have a hard time remembering it. https://wordpress.org/plugins/limit-login-attempts WordPress Duplicator This plugin has saved me on more than one occasion. It allows you to make an exact copy (or backup of your WordPress site) including the database. This is important if you ever want to move your site or something goes wrong and need to restore your site. I recommend backing up your site regularly (save the files to your computer) or every time you make a major change to your site. https://wordpress.org/plugins/duplicator WordPress SEO by Yoast Yoast is well known in... read more

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Become Web Smart essential plugins new wordpress site

Essential plugins for your new Wordpress site

One of the great things about WordPress is the tons of free and paid plugins ... Read More
figure-wordpress-theme-site-using

How to figure out what WordPress theme a site is using

Clients have asked me in the past how they can style their website like another ... Read More
Creating Apple Watch Apps

Creating apps for the Apple Watch

Successful entrepreneurs see opportunities before they become mainstream. With Apple about to release the Apple ... Read More

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