Better Call Slack is now available

We love Slack. It’s the place where every single discussion takes place around here. New theme/plugin features, bugs, roadmaps, tasks, the works. We also have to keep an eye on 2 WordPress multisites (our demos) for plugin or WordPress core updates and we thought it’d be cool to let WordPress call Slack whenever something important happens in these site. Better Call Slack, a free WordPress plugin was born.

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Creating a simple WordPress blogging layout with CSS Grid and Flexbox

CSS has come a long, long way and throughout the very recent years has steadily matured to become more than a simple styling specification which required hacks for many complex (or simple) things. With constant improvements like the introduction of e.g. flexbox, custom properties, and more, the design developer’s life has become dramatically easier. One of the most recent additions into the language’s specification is CSS Grid, which aims to remove any layout limitations the language had before (even by flexbox).

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Add Facebook Comments to your WordPress site

Facebook is by far the most popular social network on the planet, almost everyone you know is on it. You can capitalize on this by adding Facebook comments to your WordPress site.

Adding Facebook comments to your WordPress site allows everyone with an account to join in the discussion below your posts, or to start one if none is going on. People won’t have to go through the process of creating yet another account on another site just to leave a comment, they’ll be using an account they already have.

It’s not just the ease of your readers though, there are some major benefits for the site owner. First, there’s less spam because anonymity is scarce on Facebook, and second it has  a potential of reaching a great audience because users can choose to post their comment on their Facebook feed just by checking a box, so the comment will be seen by their friends and followers as well, instead of just by your site’s reader, it’s a pretty sweet deal.

Today we’ll take a look at a plugin that replaces WordPress’ default commenting system with Facebook comments, and on top of that it only loads Facebook comments when a user clicks a button so it won’t impact the site’s performance much.

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How to add a custom user field in WordPress

WordPress stores user information out of the box, and it cares for the user’s name, email, and some more basic info, it leaves a lot to be desired. For example, social network links are pretty-much required these days, but since social networks come and go on a daily basis, WordPress itself can’t commit to supporting any single one as it may not exist tomorrow. A user’s date of birth is quite important for some websites as well (for example, with age-restricted content), however since a user’s date of birth may be considered confidential or identifying information, it may be illegal (or require special permits) in some countries. Again, WordPress won’t collect this information by itself in order to give us (its users) the freedom to use it no matter of our location. It therefore provides the means to build support for this extra information ourselves.

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Quick interview with Ben Gillbanks (Pro Theme Design)

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

Hi! I am a wannabe game developer who fell into web design. I studied digital art at university, specialising in game art, but the course was broad and covered web design (and sound design, special effects, all sorts). After graduating I got a job at Miniclip.com as a game artist, but the company was small, and when they found out I knew more about web design than they did I moved over to doing more of that. Eventually I was promoted to director of web development. In 2005 I started using WordPress, in 2007 I partnered with Darren Hoyt to create a premium theme shop; ProThemeDesign.com. In 2015 I left Miniclip to set out on my own, working exclusively with WordPress.

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Keyboard shortcuts for WordPress content editors

Keyboard shortcuts, as their name suggests, are a great way of streamlining your work process when dealing with computers. WordPress comes with its own set of shortcuts to help content publishers be faster when writing, or editing content.

Useful shortcuts for the text editor

Most of you are familiar with the text editor toolbar sitting right there, above the text entry box. The toolbar hosts a number of very useful text formatting options like changing font weight, text alignment and more, you’ve seen them and most likely clicked them, right? Well, if you want to become quicker you don’t have to, just utilize the shortcuts listed below and you’re on your way to more efficient publishing.
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Using the WordPress transients API

Your website’s speed matters a lot, because when your site is slow, your visitors will quickly go away and look for a competitors site that doesn’t waste their time. But computers are fast. Very fast. Yet, there are operations that are computationally intensive, network latency that increases access times, or complex database queries that can bring a even a powerful server to its knees. In such cases, a level of caching should be implemented where possible, so that a stored, pre-computed result is served to your visitors. When will this cache get refreshed is a matter of use-case, but as a general rule of thumb, it should be updated as rarely as possible.

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How to create a custom color scheme for your WordPress theme using the customizer

Ever since WordPress version 3.4 it’s been extremely simple to add site settings to our websites with the Theme Customization API. Here at CSSIgniter it’s actually been a couple of years now where we’ve completely abandoned custom Theme Options pages in lieu of the Customizer, since the benefits are too many to pass: ease of use, consistent API, native look and feel, and live previews to name a few.

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Quick interview with Ana & Marko – Anariel Design

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

Ana: Hi, thanks a lot for inviting us for the interview, it is a pleasure. Before we started with Anariel Design I had just finished Civil Engineering studies and moved to Germany. As I couldn’t find myself in Civil Engineering and wasn’t happy with the studies I finally decided to try something for myself, something I always wanted but didn’t have the opportunity to try, web design. Having Marko’s enormous support (I couldn’t manage this without him) I started to learn to HTML and CSS and then building WordPress themes.

Marko: Hi there, thank you for inviting us to do the interview. To put it short, in my case it is a typical story of a musician that discovered WordPress :). I don’t know if you noticed that connection, but I met so many people in the WordPress community that are or were musicians. It looks like a pattern :). Before that, I studied management, but didn’t find myself in it and wanted to try to make a living being a musician. So I quit the study just a few exams before the end and moved to Germany. Thirteen years later I’m still in Germany, but music is more like a hobby these days and WordPress themes are my main source of income. Let’s see what the future brings.

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