WordPress has rapidly become one of the most popular content management systems on the web. This has a number of advantages for users – the main one being rapid development of both the core platform and additional themes and plugins – but also means many sites end up looking the same. Customizing a WordPress theme can be an easy way to make your site stand out. There are a number of methods for theme customization, with some requiring little or no knowledge of programming. Here are four of the most popular methods. Read More
Posts Tagged ‘CSS’
Dear Potential Blogger,
First off, congratulations on your likely decision to start up a blog. If you go through with it, you’ll embark on a mission that is both deeply personal and extremely public, a chance to speak your mind and give voice to your thoughts on this, the most public sphere, the Internet.
However, I’m not going to lie to you. Starting a blog, maintaining it and growing it is not easy. Blogging has been around for over ten years and it’s a very crowded sphere. There are currently more bloggers than ever and audience size has not kept pace with the growth in the number of bloggers. The result, tougher than ever competition for readers and subscribers.
To make matters worse, the blog you want to do has probably already been done and better by someone else. That person (or company) is established in the niche, has a built in audience and the trust that comes with its longevity. Breaking into your market will be difficult, if not impossible.
The odds are definitely against you and the numbers make that very clear. Within a year of starting a blog, some 90% of bloggers have given up, leaving their blogs idle. Even most successful bloggers have more misses than hits, meaning they’ve walked ay from from more blogs than they’ve maintained.
So, there’s no guarantee of success, much less fame and fortune. In fact, nothing you can do will make your chance at success above 50%. As a new blogger with no reputation, you have an uphill battle regardless of how good you are and how well you do everything.
Still, there are things you can do to make your chances better. So, before you start thinking about your site name or what platform you’re going to use, here are a few things I think every blogger should be able to do and do reasonably well in order to succeed. Read More
Last month I found myself with my back against the wall: My theme was falling apart.
In June of 2011 I had switched my site to the Headway Theme Framework, version 2.X. The changeover, initially, went very well. The theme was wonderful on the test site and, despite a hiccup or two in transferring it to the new main site, things were up and running quickly.
But problems slowly began to arise. The theme would occasionally have errors where the settings would change or elements would be added, causing sections of my pages to be repeated many times over. Most of the time the problems were minor and easily fixed, but they were annoying. However, over time the problems began to escalate.
After setting up the theme, I was at a major plagiarism conference in the UK when my site broke completely and became unreadable. The smaller errors started to become more common and it began to feel as if I was doing patch jobs on the theme weekly or more regularly.
I tried addressing the issue with both my host and with Headway’s support but none of the changes, including increasing the memory in my VPS, seemed to help. The people at Headway encouraged me to upgrade to the 3.X branch, saying it was much more stable and resource-friendly. However, there’s no upgrade path to go from 2.X to 3.X, meaning that doing so would require starting from scratch. In my mind, I didn’t have the time to set up a new theme and the patches, while annoying, were not time-consuming.
But then things went from bad to worse. In one day the theme went down three times and, the last time, temporarily took the entire database with you. Though I have good backups of my database, nothing causes a moment of panic quite like realizing that 8 years of hard work may have just been erased.
Fortunately it wasn’t, but with errors now as frequent as coffee breaks, I knew something had to be done quickly. So, that evening, I set out on one of my most ambitious WordPress-related tasks, creating an entire new theme in one night. Read More
Here’s a scary thought for most bloggers. At some point, most likely, you’re going to screw up your site in a very bad way.
Computers are finicky things and your site is no different. With one wrong move you are more than liable to blow your site up, making it either extremely ugly or entirely unusable to your visitors.
This can be a very frightening and embarrassing thing. Not only is it a failure that creates a tremendous panic when it happens, it’s a very public blunder that, quite literally, the entire world can see.
But while there’s no shame in making a mistake with your site and borking it for all to see, it’s a pitfall that is still well worth avoiding if you can. Fortunately, there are several steps that you can take to ensure that you don’t fall into this trap and that, if you do, you can get out of it easily. Read More
It wasn’t that long ago that starting up a website required a great deal of expertise, time and commitment. There was a reason that those who created sites in the early days of the Web were stereotyped as “dorks” and “nerds”, it was because you had to know HTML, the ins and outs of site construction and at least a decent amount about how the Web worked just to get a basic site off the ground.
However, for Web development, the march of technology has been toward simplicity and ease of use. Blogging and Web publishing in general are both more approachable than ever. Not only can one set up a Facebook account in minutes but they can do the same with a WordPress.com account or a Tumblr blog as well.
In short, anyone who wants to publish a blog can easily do so and almost no experience is required, just the ability to fill in a short form and write some new content.
But this doesn’t mean we’ve gotten away from HTML and CSS being a requirement for creating a successful site. Not knowing these languages can be very detrimental to your site and not only keeps great content from finding the audience it deserves, but can actually cripple your site in ways you can’t predict.
Simply put, if you don’t know HTML and CSS, at least to a minimal extent, you are holding your blog back and gambling with its future.
A few years ago, the bubble effect that I’m about to show you to create could only be executed using flash animation but thanks to some CSS innovation, the limitations and boundaries to simple yet elegant design are crumbling. For any blogger or website owner, its very important to learn a little HTML and CSS; you will find that you have more control over your blog’s design and will be able to implement simple changes that can make your blog’s design stand out.
Here is a short and simple tutorial to give your buttons a nice bubble up effect that is sure to catch your readers’ attention, using the image swap method in CSS. Read More