This week is a Genesis Jaunt with the Agency Pro Child theme. What I am sharing with you in this video is what you can and cannot do with this theme out-of-the-box. This means without having to do code customizations or adding plugins.Continue Reading
One of the biggest challenges with WordPress themes is knowing what you can do with it easily by just looking at the demo. My new series will help you to understand more of what you can and cannot do easily with WooThemes and Genesis Child Themes.Continue Reading
On my blog you will find a few tutorials on some specific Genesis framework plugins and widgets.
But to make it even easier for you to find and access what is available, I have once again used List.ly to create a handy resource for you. As I do more tutorials and/or reviews, I will update this list.
Free Genesis Plugin Tutorials
I have a few tutorials on my blog that will help you choose and set up some of the Genesis plugins and widgets that are out there. Each tutorial has:
A video that will walk you though the settings and features of the plugin.
Added text and screenshots so you don't have to re-watch the video on key points.
Learn about the features for the Genesis User Profile widget, the Genesis Featured Page widget and the Genesis Featured Posts widget
In this tutorial you will learn how to use the plugin Genesis Simple Comments to make your comment section for user-friendly.
Learn how to use this plugin to create a customized 404 page for you Genesis site without having to know code.
This plugin lets you change styles on specific Genesis child theme, like fonts, color, etc, without having to know CSS.
In this tutorial learn how to use this widget with MailChimp, Aweber and Feedblitz to create a newsletter or subscription signup on your site.
You will learn how plugin gives you a lot more options on how you can control the content from a page in a widgetized area.
This tutorial shows you how to use this plugin to create a custom secondary navigation menu for most Genesis child themes.
If you are using a Genesis child theme, this tutorial shows you how you can use the Genesis Simple Sidebars to create custom sidebars.
In this tutorial I will show you how to use the simple plugin Genesis Title Toggle to globally hide your page titles, or on specific pages
In this tutorial you will learn if you should use a slide, how to set up this slider with its features and how to add it to a widget area
Learn how this plugin lets you change specific labels and text in your breadcrumbs without having to know code on your Genesis child theme.
In this tutorial you will use this plugin to change your blogs meta information and customize your footer without knowing code
The plugin that let’s you customize specific Genesis child themes without knowing code just added Agency Pro and The 411 Pro child themes.Continue Reading
I would like to share with you some tools online that I use in a pinch: for those little tasks or gathering some quick info. Some are directly related to WordPress while others are not. But I promise you, they are all very handy.Continue Reading
The Genesis Design Palette Pro plugin gives you control of styling and customizing a variety of StudioPress Pro Child themes without knowing code.Continue Reading
Finding a theme for your WordPress site can be daunting, frustrating, time-consuming…. need I go on? And relying on looking at demos doesn’t always help the matter. Sure, there might be some specific features listed, but for the first time WordPress user, it can still be Greek.
So next time you look at a demo, you might ask these questions:
1. Is what I’m looking at all part of the theme? Often we get taken in by the “it’s all packaged in” factor. What we don’t realize is to actually get it to look like the demo, we will need to add plugins. Now there is a lot of disagreement in the theme world about including all features in the theme vs. adding them via plugins, but that’s another conversation. Just realize that even though it isn’t rocket science, you may need to add some stuff.
2. Is it just plug and play? Although it may be obvious to some, others can only wonder why when they install it, their site doesn’t look anything remotely like what you saw in the demo. Yes, you will need to set it up. It’s that simple, or not. Think of the last time you purchased that elaborate home theater wall of shelves and drawers at IKEA and you walked away with a large box of assorted pieces.
3. Does the church theme really need to be used for a church? When you are looking at dozens of themes, the first thing you typically see is the name and what the demo represents. So, that cool looking church theme, you really like it and it seems to fit your biz. But since you just started one of the first marijuana shops in Arizona, will it really work for that as well? The answer is yes. Some themes might have specific functions for a certain niche, like Real Estate, E-Commerce Stores, etc, but even those might still work for you. So don’t limit yourself by taking the name of the theme literally.
4. Is this what my site will look like? That’s the big question. And to be honest, that depends on the themes. Some themes have totally widgetized home pages. That means each block you see there is simply a widget installed. If you see a slider at the top, you can often use another widget in there, or even some plain text. If you see two columns, well, you can do the same but remember, you need to use them both. That is just one example. Other themes may require you to have the homepage look exactly like the demo (but with your content, of course). A slider may be built in and that’s exactly what you have to use it for. Sometimes it’s an option that you can use or hide, but not replace.
5. Is there a way to use the same theme for a simpler blog and then use its cool homepage later? I get asked this a lot. You find a theme you like. It’s more of a magazine-style theme that you know you want your site to look like in a couple of months. But for now you just want the homepage to be a simple blog of your latest posts. Yes, you can. Often if a front page is widgetized, you can just use one widget area to list recent posts and hide the rest. Or, as with all themes, you have the option of choosing your homepage as a simple archive list of your posts.
6.Is there a way to get the theme exactly how I want it to look? Of course. Basically you have two options. You can learn a drag-and-drop theme like Headway or Divi by Elegant Themes or you can select several other frameworks that allow you to build a site from scratch without knowing code. But be aware: there is a steep learning curve to these themes, I don’t care what others say. And the second is to hire a good designer and developer.
Now choosing a theme isn’t as simple as just reading this post. There are a lot more factors involved, but this should give you some basic guidelines. And if you would like to visually see what I’m talking about, watch my video Choosing a WordPress Theme.
Whether you are doing your own WordPress site, or choosing to have someone to do it for you, chances are you will run across this situation.
You need a specific functionality for your site. If you are doing it yourself, you look at various plugins or Google your needs.
You may find a good plugin, you may not.
Or you might come across a blog post that shares some code or code snippet you can drop into your CSS or function.php file. The developer, God bless his/her soul, says this is much better route than using a plugin. And chances are they could be right.
But as a casual user, just a couple things to think about.
If you choose to follow their directions, make sure you know what you are doing and also have a backup of that file. And, most importantly, realize that if you want to remove this function at some time, you will need to remember what you did.
Also, if you are having a site done by a designer or developer and request specific features, and they reply, sure I can, don’t be afraid to ask them if this is being done with a plugin or custom code. Why? Again, if you want to remove this at some point, or make changes to it, just understand that in most cases you will need to hire someone to do it for you.
So what’s my point? I am not saying one way or another is the best way. And if you are working with a good WordPress developer, they will take care of you. If they are there to help you down the road, and that’s how you want it, good. All I ask is that you are aware of this. I cannot tell you how many times I have had someone come to me, confused on why they cannot remove something in the sidebar. We typically find out it was hardcoded in, for one reason or another. Sometimes I think for a good reason, but for just a small amount of times, unfortunately, I learn the person did it so the client would have to depend on them.
I know that there are times when code is the only solution. And there is no problem with that. Buta lot of people come to WordPress for the mere fact that they can do things themselves, easily. They just want to manage their own site. Let’s make sure we don’t take the basic functionality away from them without them knowing it or for the wrong reason.
WordPress is great. Whether you use WordPress.com or self-host, you have the tools to manage your own site. No designer or developer nickel and diming you to death every time you need a minor fix.
But as intuitive as WordPress is, there are a few things that well, just freakin’ hide themselves. They are highly helpful, but hidden settings.
So hidden that many of my clients—and they are all smart, talented people— have spent hours and days trying to figure them out. Here are the four most common ones. Let’s say you want to:
1. Expose that second row of tools.
Someone you know has been telling you about how you can change the color of a word in your post. Or maybe how to easily insert the copyright symbol. They keep telling you it’s in the second row of your editor. You look at your there. What second row. That is where the elusive Kitchen Sink comes in.
When you push that, you’ll see “add a second row of tools.” Simple if you know. If you don’t you stay stuck.
2. Choose some subheadings for your post or page.
Headings and subheadings are great ways to break up a long post or page. But maybe you haven’t been able to find the choices you have. Simply click that dropdown that says Paragraph in the second row and you will find them there.
Three things to remember here:
- Heading 1 will be the size of your post or page title.
- According to the SEO experts, search engines prioritize these when looking at your page. Heading 1 first, then Heading 2, etc, etc.
- Play around with these, because with most themes the editor window is not WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). The size, font and color of each one is determined by your themes style sheet and how it uses the headings. You may find times that Heading 1 and 2 are the same size and look. Or Heading 3 is actually larger then Heading 2. Preview to see what is what.
3. Make your editor window bigger so you can actually see it without scrolling up and down all the time.
By default, your editor window in WordPress is pretty small. So you spend a lot of time scrolling up and down, editing text, inserting images and all that. You find it cumbersome and frustrating.
How do you make this screen bigger?
You can simply move your mouse to the bottom right edged corner and your mouse should turn into an arrow. Now you can drag your window to whatever size you want.
4. Set your home (landing) page.
And lastly, setting your home or landing page.
By default, when you use any theme in WordPress, your homepage, or landing page, is set as your blog posts. You want to create a second page, a static page, and make that your landing page., but you can’t figure oput how to do it.
Three simple steps:
- Create a homepage in pages and put your content in.
- Create a page called “blog” and leave it blank – note you can also assign it as the blog template.
- Open up settings > reading and you will see this:
Open up Settings > Reading and you will get this screen. Now you can assign the page you want as your landing page and the one you want as your blog.
Sometimes WordPress doesn’t just shout out the solutions. But they are there. You just have to dig a little.
Hope you find these shortcuts helpful.
How about you?
Have you ever had a “ah-ha” moment, where you struggled for hours only to find the solution takes less than a minute or two?
The Prose child theme from StudioPress for WordPress is the premier online publisher’s blog or website solution. Its point-and-click design controls allow you to effortlessly change almost any aspect of your site without touching a single line of code. I have found this to be a perfect theme for someone who is looking for a simple blog or website, but yet wants to be able to change things like font color, style and size, or the color of their navigation bar. These are just a few of the edits you can easily make with this theme.
In this video I walk you through the features of this theme.