CSSIgniter https://www.cssigniter.com Premium WordPress themes Mon, 26 Jun 2017 11:00:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 New features added to Olsen, our most popular WordPress theme for fashion / lifestyle bloggers https://www.cssigniter.com/new-features-added-to-olsen/ https://www.cssigniter.com/new-features-added-to-olsen/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 11:00:49 +0000 https://www.cssigniter.com/?p=9383 Our extremely popular fashion blogging theme Olsen has just been updated with exciting new features. We have added a widgetized area below the frontpage slider. Place one or more widgets in to the sidebar to create a featured section on the frontpage. The sidebar automatically adapts the columns depending on the widgets you add. If […]

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Our extremely popular fashion blogging theme Olsen has just been updated with exciting new features.

We have added a widgetized area below the frontpage slider. Place one or more widgets in to the sidebar to create a featured section on the frontpage. The sidebar automatically adapts the columns depending on the widgets you add. If you only add one it will be fullwidth, adding two will create a two column layout, up to three columns.

Along with the sidebar we have added a Callout widget which you can use to create the layout displayed on the theme’s demo, just add a title, an image and the URL you want the Callout box to lead to and you are done!

Check Olsen out below:
Learn MoreView Demo

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Herringbone – Our WooCommerce theme receives a brand new demo site https://www.cssigniter.com/herringbone-woocommerce-theme-receives-brand-new-demo-site/ https://www.cssigniter.com/herringbone-woocommerce-theme-receives-brand-new-demo-site/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:54:51 +0000 https://www.cssigniter.com/?p=9287 Looking for a WooCommerce compatible WordPress theme for your retail business? Make sure you check out Herringbone’s all new demo page, it has been updated to meet modern design trends. Changes are not all cosmetic though. We have updated the theme to be compatible with WooCommerce’s latest version (3.0.x), updated FontAwesome to its latest version, […]

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Looking for a WooCommerce compatible WordPress theme for your retail business? Make sure you check out Herringbone’s all new demo page, it has been updated to meet modern design trends.

Changes are not all cosmetic though. We have updated the theme to be compatible with WooCommerce’s latest version (3.0.x), updated FontAwesome to its latest version, added styling for the WP Instagram widget and the native WP galleries, modernized the theme’s color schemes and fixed various minor bugs.

Learn MoreView Demo

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Here’s the new demo of our popular WooCommerce theme – UltraSeven https://www.cssigniter.com/heres-new-demo-popular-woocommerce-theme-ultraseven/ https://www.cssigniter.com/heres-new-demo-popular-woocommerce-theme-ultraseven/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 17:00:34 +0000 https://www.cssigniter.com/?p=9278 One of our most popular WooCommerce themes UltraSeven has got a new demo page. This refreshed demo showcases perfectly the theme’s enduring design and versatility. The changes are not only cosmetic though. Under the hood we have updated the theme to support the latest version of WooCommerce (3.0+), updated the bundled Slider Revolution plugin to […]

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One of our most popular WooCommerce themes UltraSeven has got a new demo page. This refreshed demo showcases perfectly the theme’s enduring design and versatility.

The changes are not only cosmetic though. Under the hood we have updated the theme to support the latest version of WooCommerce (3.0+), updated the bundled Slider Revolution plugin to its latest version and fixed some minor bugs.

Learn MoreView Demo

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Should I use WordPress for my photography website? https://www.cssigniter.com/should-i-use-wordpress-for-my-photography-website/ https://www.cssigniter.com/should-i-use-wordpress-for-my-photography-website/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 10:18:15 +0000 https://www.cssigniter.com/?p=9308 It this article we’ll try to find out if WordPress is a good match for websites aimed at photography professionals. But first, let’s start from the basics. Do I need a website in the first place? Many photographers think that a website is not necessary in their line of work. They tend to think that […]

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It this article we’ll try to find out if WordPress is a good match for websites aimed at photography professionals. But first, let’s start from the basics.

Do I need a website in the first place?

Many photographers think that a website is not necessary in their line of work. They tend to think that displaying their work on platforms like 500px, flickr or instagram, and having a Facebook page for their business is enough. Is it though?

The answer is simply no, sometimes it’s even bad relying on social media platforms alone to help you expand your business. A website can help you display your work in any manner you prefer, allowing you to cherry pick what gets shown where and what is hidden. Sure enough you can create portfolio sections in the networks mentioned above, but these have a great caveat, they tend to “suggest” similar pictures to the visitor, this is a distraction you might not want, a potential customer might wander off to another photographer’s profile which might in turn result into losing a sale, this can’t happen if you control what the potential client sees.

Similarly, Facebook might start showing ads to people searching for photographers, again an unnecessary distraction. Additionally, Facebook will sacrifice good content in favor of new content, your best work might be 3 minutes of scrolling away, no one will go that far. Along with potential new clients, a photography website for your business can help you with existing ones, if they are interested in a new project you can easily point them to previous similar works that are already up on your site, no need to go digging in hard drives to email them samples. Furthermore, you can manage all your interactions with the client after the photo-shooting, through the site. Create a private area for each client so they can take care of the proofing process, and when everything is done handle payment and delivery just with a few clicks.

Things to consider when creating a photography website

Choose the photos that go up very carefully

Build a showcase for the intended target audience. If you are a portrait photographer for example, focus on that, you don’t have to display nature, landscape or urban photography on your site, even if they are excellent specimens. If you specialize in more than one discipline, make sure they are clearly separated with distinct categories and proper filtering, a potential client looking for a wedding photographer for the most important day of their life, won’t like shifting through photos of old buildings, bridges, or trains to find samples of your work.

Speed is essential

Your site needs to be as fast and as agile as possible. Photography websites tend to be heavy and slow because not enough attention is given in image sizing when creating them. The uploaded photos need to have the perfect balance between small size and visual clarity. You should strive to create photos just small enough for your client to understand that you know your trade, they do not need 5000x3000px images to help them decide, just a beautifully captured moment. So go as down as you feel comfortable with, and then perhaps a little more, people that are not professional photographers themselves won’t notice.  This might sound like a lot of work, and it most likely is, but it will help you keep people browsing your site. Do you think someone browsing on their phone during their commute will wait 15 seconds for your site to finish loading? That’s right, they won’t, so don’t make them wait.

Always keep up to date

Make sure you update your website often. Add new projects to your portfolio so recurring visitors don’t see the same stuff over and over, keep it fresh. Also, make sure you blog consistently and often, discuss current trends regarding your profession, give out tips to amateurs, upload sneak previews of running projects, etc.

Be within reach

People should be able to contact you instantly as soon as they decide to. Always have a contact option on your menu which will lead to a contact form, and have any other contact info, such as phone numbers, emails, social media pages etc readily available in widgets on all pages.

Optimize your site’s browsing experience

All the above mean very little if your site isn’t easy to use. If navigating through your galleries is a fuss for your visitors they won’t be there long. Organize your portfolio in categories and, at the very minimum, create menu and sub-menu items for each one so people can jump between them quickly.

Is WordPress a good choice for a photographer’s website?

Yes. The project itself is under active development, it is constantly evolving to be compatible with the latest net trends, and it’s the most popular CMS on the web today, so you’re not basing your business site on something that’s not battle proven. It has a huge community supporting it, which means that you will be able to find skilled developers to help you build it and troubleshoot any issues you might have. Additionally, there is an abundance of themes and plugins available which you can use to get the optimal outcome. WordPress comes with a very simple, but capable media management system ideal to handle your needs. Blogging is a cornerstone for WordPress, it will make sure that you can easily publish content for your readers and clients. Finally, due to the project’s popularity, reliable and relatively cheap WordPress hosting is widely available.

FAQs

How can I protect my work?

The best way to protect your work is to watermark your photos and upload low resolution samples instead of your original work. This will also help with site speed as discussed above, it’s a win win situation. If you don’t watermark your images through your editing software, there are plugins that can take of it for you. Also, make sure that you display the proper licensing information for each image so you are legally covered in case someone replicates your work without permission.

Can I sell my work through my WordPress site?

Of course. There are many plugins you can use to sell your photographs. Below are some of them:

  • Envira Gallery + WooCommerce: Envira Gallery is an all around gallery plugin aimed at photographers which offers, among others, WooCommerce integration to help you sell your work. WooCommerce is currently the #1 eCommerce plugin for WordPress.
  • EDD – Easy Digital Downloads: EDD is a complete eCommerce solution for WordPress, custom built to handle digital content it’s an ideal solution for the modern photographer.
  • Sunshine Photo Cart: A free and easy to use proofing gallery & photo cart plugin, which offers premium add-ons for extended functionality.
  • NextGEN Pro: This is a very large bundle of plugins for the popular NextGEN Gallery, which offers eCommerce functionality, along with many other useful features.

Can I take care of proofing via WordPress?

Absolutely! The simplest way is to create a new password protected page and upload all the images there. Then email your client the page’s URL and the password. The client can take a look at the images and using WordPress’ commenting system let you know which ones they like. Furthermore, most of the plugins mentioned above have proofing functionality along with the eCommerce one.

What about Lightroom integration?

There are plugins that can help you with that, Envira Gallery mentioned above, and WP/LR Sync are a couple of them.

Can I import galleries from Dropbox?

Yes. Envira Gallery offers a Dropbox importer add-on through their Plus, Pro and Ultimate licenses.

What if I want to change the theme?

You certainly can. However how easily this can be done depends on how your portfolio/galleries were handled. If you created portfolio pages and used a gallery plugin to create and manage your images, you should be able to switch themes at will at any time. If you have used a custom post type (such as portfolio or gallery) provided by the theme, you will have to either make sure the new theme supports an identical custom post type (tricky) or take care of the migration before switching. This is something that needs to be examined per case and will be better handled by a WordPress developer. Luckily as mentioned above, the community is very large and there is no shortage of capable developers out there.

OK, WordPress sounds good, can I see sites based on it?

Yup, check these out!

Dave Hill

Cocoon Studio

Christina Marie Photography

Herring & Herring

Toby Burrows

Gabriel Jeffrey

Ozirith

Eric Canto

Pierre Hennequin

Roberto Vinci

Giampaolo Sgura

Andrea Livieri

Shun Sasaki Photography

Michel Cloutier

Yves Bottalico

Pierre Sage

Nikolaj Georgiew

Nicola Zanichelli

Yoan Chevojon

JDC Photography

Ceasar Lima

Burciaga & Co.

Andrea Gaspar Klein

Txema Yeste

Fabiano Oefner

Does CSSIgniter have any themes that are suitable for photographers?

You bet. We have a bespoke section for Portfolio/Photography themes, you can check them all out here.

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Our brand new hotel theme for WordPress – Milos https://www.cssigniter.com/our-brand-new-hotel-theme-for-wordpress-milos/ https://www.cssigniter.com/our-brand-new-hotel-theme-for-wordpress-milos/#respond Sat, 10 Jun 2017 09:12:28 +0000 https://www.cssigniter.com/?p=9162 Our latest premium WordPress theme is out. Milos is a modern, stylish theme suitable for hotels, hostels, apartment rentals or any other accommodation related business. Let’s have a quick look at its main features. Frontpage Slider   The theme features a fullwidth slider to make your home page stand out. Choose between a single image, a […]

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Our latest premium WordPress theme is out. Milos is a modern, stylish theme suitable for hotels, hostels, apartment rentals or any other accommodation related business. Let’s have a quick look at its main features.

Frontpage Slider

 

The theme features a fullwidth slider to make your home page stand out. Choose between a single image, a standard slider or a fullwidth video to make a lasting first impression.

Deep Jetpack Integration

Jetpack by Automattic is one of the most popular WordPress plugins. We have integrated its menu and testimonial custom content types to Milos. Use them to display your establishment’s menu and showcase your clients’ testimonials.

Clever Room Listings

Display your rooms very easily by using standard WordPress pages. No need for complicated custom post types, create a room listing page and then add your room pages as children to that page, that’s it.

Full Customizer Support

All of the theme’s options are integrated into WordPress’ customizer making your life easier when it comes to customizing Milos. Create unique color schemes to match your specific needs, customize the theme’s typography, set menus, widgets and many more.

Bottom Line

Summer is here, grab Milos now and give your hotel’s site a much deserved makeover. Join now to get the best out of the season!

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Exclude words while searching in WordPress https://www.cssigniter.com/exclude-words-searching-wordpress/ https://www.cssigniter.com/exclude-words-searching-wordpress/#respond Mon, 08 May 2017 16:48:01 +0000 https://www.cssigniter.com/ignite/?p=8545 Did you know that when you’re using the search boxes on your WordPress site, you can narrow down the results by providing words that you don’t want included? That’s right! This method works both on the front end (theme-provided search bar, search widget, etc), as well as on the back end (post listing screens, etc), […]

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Did you know that when you’re using the search boxes on your WordPress site, you can narrow down the results by providing words that you don’t want included? That’s right! This method works both on the front end (theme-provided search bar, search widget, etc), as well as on the back end (post listing screens, etc), and is available since WordPress v4.4

All you need to do is prefix the words you don’t want included with a simple hyphen/dash “-“!

For example, if you are searching on a WordPress website for chicken recipes, you’ll most probably type in the search box:

chicken

However, you get an overwhelming number of chicken soup recipes. Soup is definitely not what you’re looking for, so all you need to do is type:

chicken -soup

Great, but now you’re flooded by fried chicken recipes, and again, it isn’t what you’re looking for. Now sweat:

chicken -soup -fried

That’s all there is to it really!

Just remember that WordPress searches the title, the content and the excerpt of each post, so if you exclude a word that exists in any of those places, the post will not be included in the results.

Customizing the exclusion character

WordPress v4.7.0 introduced a new filter that allows us to change the hyphen/dash to any character we want. Why we might want that? Because we might have content that contains dashes and we need to search for them!

This is how you can change the hyphen to, say, an exclamation mark:

function example_change_search_exclusion_prefix( $prefix ) {
	return '!';
}
add_filter( 'wp_query_search_exclusion_prefix', 'example_change_search_exclusion_prefix' );

All you need to do is hook to the wp_query_search_exclusion_prefix filter and return the character you want as the prefix. Note that it must be a single character, as only the first characters of each word are checked against the prefix.

Turning it off

You might have your reasons for turning this search exclusion feature off.  We don’t and we won’t judge. It’s your installation after all, and you are the administrator!

While there’s no native filter for turning this feature off, we can simply exploit the aforementioned wp_query_search_exclusion_prefix filter to our advantage. We can just return an empty string! As mentioned, the prefix is checked against the first character of each search term. Setting the prefix as an empty string, it will always fail to recognise it as an exclusion, effectively turning it off.

function example_disable_search_exclusion( $prefix ) {
	return '';
}
add_filter( 'wp_query_search_exclusion_prefix', 'example_disable_search_exclusion' );

That’s all

Did you know the search exclusion feature existed? Do you employ it in your daily routine? Do you have any related tips you wanna share? Let us know in the comments below.

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A quick interview with Ionut Neagu (Themeisle) https://www.cssigniter.com/a-quick-interview-with-ionut-neagu-themeisle/ https://www.cssigniter.com/a-quick-interview-with-ionut-neagu-themeisle/#respond Wed, 12 Apr 2017 09:11:10 +0000 https://www.cssigniter.com/ignite/?p=8357 Hi could you tell us a little about yourself and background? I have a software engineer background, however a bad one, I have learned along the way that I have other passions and skills, so I have used my freelancing income as a developer to build what is today Codeinwp.com and ThemeIsle.com, where I am leading […]

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

I have a software engineer background, however a bad one, I have learned along the way that I have other passions and skills, so I have used my freelancing income as a developer to build what is today Codeinwp.com and ThemeIsle.com, where I am leading a team of 15+ people.

When did you first stumble upon WordPress?

I think it was on my first encounter with entrepreneurship as well, I have used WordPress to launch a poker blog. Later on I got more serious into it and started Codeinwp, from keyword research, I thought “psd to WordPress” is a specific and not hard to rank for keyword, so this how Codeinwp was born :).

What product / website of yours are you most proud of and why?

I rarely feel proud and when I do it is very short, there are always better things to do. I feel most proud about the company/culture and the team that we have built, because I would not have imagined before that it would be possible, product wise I am most proud about our free themes, both because they are great and that we can offer them for free.

Have you had any epic fails so far that you’d like to share with us?

I had a lot, my working process is quite chaotic and one of the things that I do sometimes are impulse purchases, I hope I am doing this less and less nowadays, however it still happens, it started few years back with a $80 tweet which brought 0 clicks or so, while $80 was what I would have make in few days, then continued with others that I would better not remind myself about :).

In your opinion, is the premium themes / plugins market saturated? Are there any opportunities out there?

It depends a lot on what you understand by saturated, for the theme market probably is, there is way more power in the hands of “affiliates” than of “product creators”, for plugins due to the much bigger and complex eco-system there are still lots of opportunities as product developer as well. I see however both themes/plugins as a good starting point in your entrepreneurship career or as your first product, however if you are serious about your business I won’t focus just on that, I would go either into content, SaaS, website builders etc.

What’s your advice to new theme / plugin authors?

The most basic one is to build something that is much better than everything that currently exists in the market, if you cannot do it, better look for something else. Thinking about this further, I cannot see how you can easily do this with themes, due to different constrains, so I would rather recommend better start off with a plugin, if you got skills.

If you had the chance to add a single feature in WordPress core, what would it be?

Business sites are nowadays what people build the most with WordPress, so I would add some sort of standard components in the new editor, it should change a lot what themes will be, they would be able to act more as a “theme” rather than a solution.

Is the inclusion of the REST API a decision in the right direction and why?

I think it was, the adoption takes time, however it forced the community to look for opportunities to challenge themselves and learn JS.

What’s your current hardware / software setup. Any apps you can’t live without?

I am using a MacBook since I am moving a lot, however recently I got an iMac, since I plan to work more from home, otherwise nothing fancy, I worked a lot in coffee shops, so I got used to work with what I can :). For apps I am trying to keep things really simple, I use Notes & Reminders from OSX and teamclerk.com for idea management.

What’s your typical day like?

There is no typical day for me, most of the time knowing that I have a fixed schedule makes me extremely stressed, I’ve managed to build some routines, but they last around 2-3 months maximum. No early morning rise, no medication, nothing zen :).

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Free Vector Travel Icon Collection https://www.cssigniter.com/free-vector-travel-icon-collection/ https://www.cssigniter.com/free-vector-travel-icon-collection/#comments Wed, 05 Apr 2017 17:30:04 +0000 https://www.cssigniter.com/ignite/?p=8302 For those of you longing for different landscapes and more plane flights, we have this amazing icon set. It features +70 icons with everything from anchors to tents and luggage. The fine folks over at vexels.com designed it exclusively for CSSIgniter. Don’t forget to check out their Kickstarter too, it’s pretty great! Download Now

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For those of you longing for different landscapes and more plane flights, we have this amazing icon set. It features +70 icons with everything from anchors to tents and luggage. The fine folks over at vexels.com designed it exclusively for CSSIgniter.

Don’t forget to check out their Kickstarter too, it’s pretty great!

Download Now

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WooCommerce 3.0 is out https://www.cssigniter.com/woocommerce-3-0/ https://www.cssigniter.com/woocommerce-3-0/#comments Tue, 04 Apr 2017 14:07:27 +0000 https://www.cssigniter.com/ignite/?p=8295 WooCommerce 3.0 is officially live. This version started out as WooCommerce 2.7 but along the way a critical bug in the way the system handled time-stamps was discovered and pushed back the release. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of this new version of WooCommerce. New CRUD Classes The WC team has put […]

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WooCommerce 3.0 is officially live. This version started out as WooCommerce 2.7 but along the way a critical bug in the way the system handled time-stamps was discovered and pushed back the release.

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights of this new version of WooCommerce.

New CRUD Classes

The WC team has put a plan in motion to handle scalability for growing eCommerce sites. The first step of this plan is abstracting data storage. Right now developers have multiple ways of storing and retrieving data, this fragmentation makes life difficult for developers who need very specific information in order to retrieve stored data. This is about to change with the introduction of CRUD classes and hopefully make things much simpler. Read more here.

New WC-CLI

The new version introduces a new CLI for WooCommerce powered by the REST API. This provides more commands and more power to the user while reducing the code that needs maintenance. If you want to learn more, check out this article.

New product galleries

A new single product image gallery has been implemented to add user requested features. Now visitors can both magnify and zoom images, touch gestures have been greatly improved and the mo bile lightbox now displays the image’s true size. More about the gallery can be found here, also implementation instructions for developers can be found here.

Performance improvements

Taxonomies are now used more in product filtering. Specifically product visibility will be converted to a taxonomy (previously post meta) and will be used when displaying featured products or hiding out of stock items. This will improve performance on larger product catalog filtering. More here.

WP_Queries have been removed from the related and up-sell templates and replaced by a PHP foreach loop since IDs where already available, this removes a large query from product and cart pages.

Miscellaneous improvements

The store-wide notice is now user dismiss-able, making it less of a problem when it overlaps with other elements, especially on mobile devices.

Tax rates are now sorted automatically.

Structured data are now output in a JSON-LD format which makes templates cleaner and ensures data remain intact even if the templates are modified.

Template changes

It is expected that with a major release such as this one, there will be some template changes. Here is a list of the templates that have been updated to version 3.0.0

cart/cart.php
cart/cross-sells.php
checkout/thankyou.php
emails/email-order-items.php
emails/plain/email-order-items.php
myaccount/downloads.php
order/order-details-customer.php
order/order-details-item.php
order/order-details.php
single-product/add-to-cart/grouped.php
single-product/add-to-cart/simple.php
single-product/add-to-cart/variation-add-to-cart-button.php
single-product/meta.php
single-product/photoswipe.php
single-product/price.php
single-product/product-attributes.php
single-product/product-image.php
single-product/product-thumbnails.php
single-product/related.php
single-product/review-meta.php
single-product/review-rating.php
single-product/stock.php
single-product/tabs/additional-information.php

If your theme overrides any of the above templates you should check out the changes and updated the templates to avoid shop breaking situations.

Deprecations

There was quite a lot of deprecation done in WooCommerce 3.0.0, mainly due to the introduction of the new CRUD system. If you are using deprecated functions you will most likely get a notice informing you of the situation. This does not mean that your store is broken, but you will have to take action at some point and update your store, before the deprecated functions are removed from WooCommerce, at which point your store will stop working. More about deprecation here.

WooCommerce 3.0.1

WooCommerce has released a minor update versioned 3.0.1 which fixes some bugs, you can learn more about the bugs fixed here.

WooCommerce 3.0.x and CSSIgniter

We currently have close to 20 WooCommerce compatible themes in our portfolio. We have updated the templates on each one to make sure they work with WooCommerce 3.0.1 and that users will not get annoying out of date notifications in the dashboard. All updates are currently live, if you haven’t already updated you will get a notice to do so in your dashboard. You can find info on how to update your theme here. Please note that due to the major changes made to some of the templates you should avoid updating the theme until you have updated WooCommerce itself.

As usual if you encounter any issues with your theme and WooCommerce 3.0.x you can seek help at our support forum here.

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A quick interview with Shawn Hesketh (WP101) https://www.cssigniter.com/quick-interview-shawn-hesketh-wp101/ https://www.cssigniter.com/quick-interview-shawn-hesketh-wp101/#respond Wed, 22 Mar 2017 16:00:49 +0000 https://www.cssigniter.com/ignite/?p=8199 Hi could you tell us a little about yourself and background? My name is Shawn Hesketh, and I’m the creator of the WordPress 101 video tutorial series for beginners. Before I launched WP101.com, I was a freelance designer for 26 years, creating identity systems and branding strategies for my clients in and around the Houston […]

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

My name is Shawn Hesketh, and I’m the creator of the WordPress 101 video tutorial series for beginners. Before I launched WP101.com, I was a freelance designer for 26 years, creating identity systems and branding strategies for my clients in and around the Houston area.

When did you first stumble upon WordPress?

I started designing websites in 1994, using designer-friendly tools like Adobe PageMill. As my skills and the complexity of my clients’ sites increased, I began using Dreamweaver and coding sites in PHP. But by the mid-2000s, clients began to request the ability to edit their own content without hiring a ‘webmaster’ for every tiny change. I explored all the popular content management solutions at the time, but they were clunky and quite difficult to use. So I was overjoyed when I finally discovered WordPress 2.0 in June 2006. Compared to Joomla, Drupal, and Expression Engine, I found the WordPress UI to be super-intuitive, and thankfully, so did my clients. So I began recommending WordPress for nearly all my web design projects, and have never looked back.

What product / website of yours are you most proud of and why?

When I recorded my first series of WordPress 101 tutorial videos in 2008, I had no idea that they would go on to help more than a million beginners learn how to create their own website using WordPress. And I’m extremely proud of our partnerships with GoDaddy, Media Temple, and more than 300 other WordPress companies that have put our WordPress tutorial videos to work for their customers. That speaks volumes about the quality of our videos and the training we provide. Since that first set of videos, I’ve updated and re-recorded the WordPress 101 video series with every major release — a total of 21 times!

If you begin with a people-first approach, asking questions and learning what pain points your audience struggles with on a daily basis, you’ll be in the best place to create meaningful solutions to those problems.

Have you had any epic fails so far that you’d like to share with us?

My biggest fail to date continues to haunt me to this day. When we released the WP101 Plugin in 2011, we integrated it with Cart66 Pro to handle the subscription payments. Sadly, that product only supports subscriptions via PayPal. Fast forward to present day, and we’re stuck using PayPal, since all of our recurring subscriptions are tied to the original PayPal IPN. Replacing the underlying subscription platform without affecting our current customer base will be a tricky, drawn-out process. So, learn from my mistake, and carefully consider your payment gateway before launching your product. If I were rebuilding it today, we’d integrate with Stripe instead of PayPal.

In your opinion, is the premium themes / plugins market saturated? Are there any opportunities out there?

If you’re just getting started building a WordPress site today, you could find yourself shopping thousands of plugins and themes. How do you know which ones are reputable? Which ones will continue to offer support a couple of years down the road? And one of the most popular questions we receive is, “How do I make my WordPress site look like the gorgeous theme demo I was shown when I bought the theme?” It’s a confusing mess. And that’s why I believe the biggest opportunity might be found not in themes — but in ‘site builder’ solutions that enable the site owner to create their own website from the ground up via a simple and intuitive GUI. I love the work being done by the Beaver Builder team, and I think they’re uniquely positioned to serve this growing need.

Check out the entire library of 98 WordPress tutorials to start learning WordPress today

What’s your advice to new theme / plugin authors?

Stop answering questions that aren’t being asked. Every day, I receive emails from new plugin or theme authors, asking me to give feedback on their hot new product. That’s the exact opposite approach they should be taking. “Build it and they will come,” only works in the movies. If you begin with a people-first approach, asking questions and learning what pain points your audience struggles with on a daily basis, you’ll be in the best place to create meaningful solutions to those problems. Remember, “Advertising is the price companies pay for being unoriginal.” Create a solution that solves real-world problems, and you won’t have to work hard at all to spread the word.

If you had the chance to add a single feature in WordPress core, what would it be?

One of the first concepts we have to teach new WordPress users is this idea that you have to edit your content in one place, then preview those changes in another. The Customizer has gone a long way toward minimizing this confusion, but it doesn’t work for everything a site owners sees in the Preview. So now we highlight the items they can edit in the Customizer, leaving them to figure out when and how to edit the rest. Front-end, in-place editing (like Squarespace) would offer a more intuitive, WYSIWYG approach that would all but eliminate the biggest area of confusion for new WordPress users.

Is the inclusion of the REST API a decision in the right direction and why?

Sure. The REST API could pave the way for more intuitive interfaces for site owners like custom dashboards and more. It seems to be very much in its infancy, so I’m excited to see where it goes in the coming months and years.

What’s your current hardware / software setup. Any apps you can’t live without?

I use a 27-inch iMac with a 5k Retina display, with a second 27-inch display, which is invaluable for recording screencasts. Audio quality is one of the biggest differentiators when creating high-quality training videos. So I’m currently using a Rode Procaster XLR mic, a Grace Design M101 pre-amp, ART Voice Channel vocal pre-processor, and a Duet D/A converter by Apogee. This chain helps me record very clean voiceovers. And of course, I couldn’t live without ScreenFlow for recording screencasts. Love that app!

What’s your typical day like?

I start most days with a 30-minute ‘Zen run,’ which really helps set the tone for the rest of my day. I spend most of my day answering WordPress questions and planning new courses for WP101 members. I participate in several mastermind groups, which really helps me stay connected to others in our community and overcome that sense of isolation that can easily happen when you work as a ‘solopreneur.’ When I’m not in front of the computer, you can usually find me playing with our three kids and our new beagle puppy. Or on the back porch, enjoying a nice cigar and a glass of whiskey. Slàinte!

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