Should I use a custom theme or a plugin for my WordPress site customizations?

If you’ve ever built a WordPress site from the ground-up, chances are that at some point you needed to do something that your theme and plugins couldn’t or wouldn’t do. You probably already know that you can add code directly to your theme, in a child theme, or in a site-specific plugin. But each approach comes with its pros and cons. Do you know when and why you should choose each one?

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How to add a back-to-top button on your WordPress website

Landing website pages have been all the rage for a while now and although many of them come with a great design they can also come with a caveat: long body heights. This usually means that after users are done going through our awesome content they are forced into a scrolling sprint back to our website’s header in order to examine more navigation options (which also kinda means our landing page should have more interesting calls to action, but that’s a different story).

One way to mitigate this terrible experience and improve our website’s user friendliness would be to make our header sticky (which we’ll cover in another tutorial), but that’s something that’s not always desirable. Another way, one which we’ll cover in this tutorial, is to add a so-called “back to top” button which stays fixed as we scroll down and smoothly transitions us back to the very top when it gets clicked. This kind of “scroll to top” behavior is so necessary in some use-cases that iOS even has it embedded as a feature in pretty much the core of the OS (by tapping the status bar).

Let’s go ahead and see how simple it is to add this kind of functionality to any website with a simple button.

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Quick interview with Augustin Prot (weglot.com)

Hi could you tell us a little about yourself and background?

I’m a non tech guy who graduated from Dauphine, in Economics. Then I started my career in Finance, in merger and acquisition advisory. After 3 years, I thought I was not learning enough anymore, so I decided to try starting a company. But I had no specific and no partners. That’s when I met Rémy Berda (co-founder of Weglot), who had an idea, a first user and a strong background as an engineer and entrepreneur. It was the first step of the Weglot journey :).

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Free SVG & PNG icon pack: Teamwork

Here’s another great free icon pack generously provided by our friends over at freepik.com & flaticon.com

This time the set consists of 50 icons available in 3 different variations (Outlines, flat & linecolor). In the zip file you will find SVG & PNG version for all 3 versions, a total of 600 icons ready to be used in any personal or commercial project! (Well, just make sure to credit the original author, that’s not much to ask I guess). Enjoy!

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Add a site-wide dismissible notice bar to your WordPress website

Global, site-wide website notices are a pattern as old as websites themselves, and although they are being abused all the time they do have valid use-cases and are extremely useful in situations where we absolutely need to notify our visitors of something important, e.g. a great deal (as we do here at CSSIgniter), any kind of maintenance message or even the EU cookie law notice!

When the need rises for such functionality the first thing on anyone’s mind would probably be to have a look at the WordPress plugin repo for any suitable plugins, and, well, although it’s justified (there are a ton of plugins for this kind of thing) there’s no reason not to implement it ourselves since it’s so easy and fun.

Without any further ado, then, let’s see how we’d go about building a simple, global, dismissible site-wide notice bar.

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How to manage redirections from your WordPress dashboard

Changing permalink structure, changing post slugs, deleting posts or pages, moving your WordPress installation to another folder, or even migrating your site to a completely different server will require you to take care of URL redirects. A redirect lets your visitor, or more specifically your visitor’s browser, know that the page they are looking for has moved and directs them to the proper address. Unhandled changes to any of the above circumstances might result to 404 errors which are not that great for your page’s SEO. Let’s take a look at how we can use a plugin to easily handle such redirects. 

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Quick interview with Michael Hebenstreit (mhthemes.com)

Hi could you tell us a little about yourself and background?

I have a background in the banking industry, but since a few years I’m mainly involved in online marketing, SEO and web development. I’m the founder and CEO of Array Internet which is a media company based in Frankfurt am Main (Germany). Our most successful project is MH Themes, which is an established and popular brand providing premium WordPress themes for online magazines, news websites and advanced blogs.

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How to add a custom page template using a child theme

Page templates are a great way to present your content in a way that differs from the rest of your WordPress site. For example, a page template might present a page without a sidebar, or display your blog posts in a categorized fashion, which then you can assign as your website’s front page. Most themes nowadays provide quite a selection of page templates, but yours might not, or it might not quite do what you need it to do. Let’s see when and how you should create a custom page template.

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Let’s make a mobile drawer menu with the jQuery.mmenu plugin

It’s been a few years now where nobody even thinks about making a website that’s not responsive and mobile friendly. Mobile phones and tablets have become the primary means of accessing the web for the majority of people, and providing a great experience for mobile users has become a real responsibility for every website owner.

After the website’s content itself, probably the most crucial component of any website is its main navigation as it is in many cases the only way users can navigate around a website and discover its offerings.

While a navigation menu for desktop views is arguably a solved problem and the best patterns have been concretely established for far more than a decade, we’re still not 100% percent clear on the truly best patterns for our mobile menus types, styles and UX. The most popular patterns emerged a few years back, with the hamburger triggered menu being the most prevalent. On touch it usually reveals either a drawer (which is also the most popular approach and can be placed top, left, bottom or right), a dropdown, or an expanded list.

In this small tutorial we’ll see how easy it is to create a navigation menu which turns into a hamburger drawer mobile menu using the magnificent jQuery.mmenu plugin.

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