DesignM.agWordpress http://designm.ag Articles and Resources for Web Designers Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:10:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Tips & Tricks for Managing Efficient WordPress Websites http://designm.ag/wordpress-2/tips-tricks-for-efficient-wordpress/ http://designm.ag/wordpress-2/tips-tricks-for-efficient-wordpress/#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 15:01:37 +0000 http://designm.ag/?p=84715

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One of the easiest CMS engines to learn is WordPress. They have a free service where newbies can sign up to learn the system without committing to a full domain name. Once you get a personal server there are many additional benefits, however it can become more confusing to manage an entire WordPress website. Thankfully there's a ton of resources online for learning how to utilize WordPress to its fullest potential.

wordpress 3.9.1 update admin panel refresh screenshot

In this guide I want to share a few tips for managing your own efficient & speedy WordPress website. The system may seem confusing at first but it's really easy to learn with a bit of time. Practicing the backend will make everything else a lot easier to grasp, and this includes customizing plugins or theme files.


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One of the easiest CMS engines to learn is WordPress. They have a free service where newbies can sign up to learn the system without committing to a full domain name. Once you get a personal server there are many additional benefits, however it can become more confusing to manage an entire WordPress website. Thankfully there’s a ton of resources online for learning how to utilize WordPress to its fullest potential.

wordpress 3.9.1 update admin panel refresh screenshot

In this guide I want to share a few tips for managing your own efficient & speedy WordPress website. The system may seem confusing at first but it’s really easy to learn with a bit of time. Practicing the backend will make everything else a lot easier to grasp, and this includes customizing plugins or theme files.

Mastering the Admin Panel

Each individual section of the WordPress admin has a lot of features to master. Even just the posts & pages section has a number of boxes which are typically hidden by default. This is the same for almost every part of the WP administration panel. You can toggle these interface boxes from the “Screen Options” tab located in the top right corner of most pages.

wordpress 3.9.1 new post screen options screenshot

But even more important menus to understand are located at the bottom of the navigation list. Appearance, Tools, and Settings have a lot of sub-menus which are essential to use WordPress properly. Some WordPress plugins will append their own menus onto the navigation so it helps to know how the default functionality works.

Because WordPress is constantly releasing newer versions you have to keep yourself up-to-date on the latest changes. There are plenty of websites online which talk about WordPress updates and how you can utilize new features to their fullest potential. All of the various settings & menus will be important whenever installing a new WordPress website.

I would recommend creating a sandbox environment where you can demo these menus to see how they influence the WP installation. Try using a local PHP/MySQL server on your machine or even create a hidden subdomain on your own website to install a generic copy of WordPress. Then you can change settings or install new plugins/themes for a test run without damaging your live site.

Debugging Problems

The more you interact with WordPress the easier it will be to solve complicated problems or error messages. All you really need is Google and some good researching abilities to find a solution. Most problems have already been discussed on the WordPress support forums or similar forums like WordPress Stack Exchange.

wordpress stack exchange wp questions answers

But as you get comfortable with PHP errors you won’t always need to search Google for a solution. Even if you never plan to write your own PHP code it helps to understand what certain errors mean and how to read through existing theme files. Most problems will stem from a small bit of code in your theme or some activated plugin, so there may not always be a solution online.

Another part of debugging is trying to fix problems on the frontend. For example if your page titles are not working properly, or if the sidebar widgets appear empty when you have them setup in the admin panel. These kinds of problems often require checking many solutions to ultimately unearth the culprit.

WordPress News & Blogs

I mentioned earlier how there are so many blogs directly related to WordPress resources. The post content often includes a myriad of topics like premium themes, news updates, tutorials, or even reviews for new updates or plugins. If you want to familiarize yourself with WordPress spend a bit of time reading through any posts that catch your interest.

WordPress has grown into a large CMS with so many different topics. Custom Post Types are one broad area that requires a lot of research to fully comprehend. But working with a large CMS offers great solutions if you know how to use them.

Also since the team is frequently putting out updates you might find yourself falling behind the curve quickly. Spend a bit of time each week or each month just reading through interesting articles. Over time you’ll find certain blogs that you really enjoy and might continually visit for helpful information.

Here’s a small list of WordPress-related blogs to get you started:

Keeping it Clean

It’s easy to get caught up in all the fancy new plugins and features within WordPress that you might end up clogging your website. This is when you’ll notice database queries lagging and overall page loading times increasing. Try to use a minimum number of plugins without too much duplicate functionality. Also keep your theme files orderly and easy to read.

One of the biggest reasons for a slow-loading website is a reliance on too many external files. Plugins often require their own CSS/JS files which get included into each page as a separate HTTP request. This is how so many websites end up bogged down and running very sluggish over time.

An efficient WordPress website just needs to be streamlined. This makes publishing content easier and maintaining the website a lot more straightforward. This doesn’t mean you should avoid complex themes or multiple CPTs for the sake of simplicity.

Just be sure to organize everything so that you can easily understand how it all works and where to locate problems as they occur.

Helpful Resources

I’ve included some helpful articles and online webapps directly related to WordPress management. These tools range from cheatsheets to code generators, along with other nifty content for WP enthusiasts. Be sure to bookmark your favorites so you don’t forget about them!

Generate WP

generate wp wordpress code generator

Themergency WP Generators

online webapp themergency wordpress generator code

WP Recipes

wp wordpress recipes snippets code

WP Snipp

wp snipp wordpress snippets website code freebies

WordPress Cheat Sheet

wordpress cheat sheet free website cheatsheet

WP Plugin Generator

wp wordpress plugin code generator plugins freebie

WordPress Tuts+

wordpress tutsplus website tutorials blog

Closing

Aside from mastering the administration panel WordPress has a lot to offer technical webmasters. If you can learn some basics to PHP coding it’ll be easier to customize themes, write your own plugins, and rebuild your own functions.php file. I hope these tips can provide a solid base for anyone pursuing WordPress as their primary CMS.


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Five Great Wireframe Tools You Might Not Know About http://designm.ag/wordpress-2/five-great-wireframe-tools-you-might-not-know-about/ http://designm.ag/wordpress-2/five-great-wireframe-tools-you-might-not-know-about/#comments Thu, 08 May 2014 05:15:26 +0000 http://designm.ag/?p=84519

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It takes a lot of attention to details and impeccable organizing skills to work as a web designer or as a web developer, because any piece of information that is wrongly applied can lead to catastrophic consequences. Whether you start from a brand new idea or work on an existing product, it’s very important for every component of the project to be out in the open and perfectly understood by all who partake in it. Think of when you develop an iPhone app. Every time a client issues a task for the development team, it usually comes in the shape of an idea, followed by the specification of what that app should do. At this point, the app is all schemes, descriptions, and in the best case scenario – flowcharts (Nota pt. Bogdan: /logical schemes). On first glance, it seems like a pleasant little story about how everything ought to work. Actually developing the app in this stage is quite difficult, impossible even, because there is no visual feedback: where does each component belong in the app? How’s the workflow within the app? What happens or what changes in the app when specific commands are entered by the user? You see, it’s just as if a builder was trying to raise a house without a blueprint. The result would be chaotic.

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It takes a lot of attention to details and impeccable organizing skills to work as a web designer or as a web developer, because any piece of information that is wrongly applied can lead to catastrophic consequences. Whether you start from a brand new idea or work on an existing product, it’s very important for every component of the project to be out in the open and perfectly understood by all who partake in it.

Think of when you develop an iPhone app. Every time a client issues a task for the development team, it usually comes in the shape of an idea, followed by the specification of what that app should do. At this point, the app is all schemes, descriptions, and in the best case scenario – flowcharts (Nota pt. Bogdan: /logical schemes). On first glance, it seems like a pleasant little story about how everything ought to work. Actually developing the app in this stage is quite difficult, impossible even, because there is no visual feedback: where does each component belong in the app? How’s the workflow within the app? What happens or what changes in the app when specific commands are entered by the user? You see, it’s just as if a builder was trying to raise a house without a blueprint. The result would be chaotic.

If you wish to avoid these obstacles altogether, the next step after having received the idea and specifications is for the development team and client to sketch the app using a wireframe tool. It is this wireframe tool that helps you see the bigger picture, and realize how the program works – as well as what the app looks like from a logical perspective.

I am about to reveal a list of five extremely useful wireframe tools that I strongly recommend for web designers and web developers to use in any project, no matter how complex.

(My favorite) PowerMockup

1 powermockup

 

I myself use two wireframing tools: one browser-based for when I don’t have my own laptop with me, and one that is actually a PowerPoint plugin. The second one is called PowerMockup and I simply love it because it’s not just very easy to use, but also because I can save my projects as a PowerPoint file. This is a great advantage, as almost everyone worked at least once in PowerPoint. In other words, my clients will most likely know how to open the wireframe, how to view it, and more than anything, they will know how to modify it. This means that there is no learning curve involved.

Furthermore, you can embed your wireframe into Microsoft Word documents via drag-and-drop, and it’s even possible to modify it afterwards directly from within Word. Besides, PowerMockup has a lot of cool features, such as hundreds of stencils and icons, instant search, or smart categories. Every graphical component is fully editable, and if you don’t want to settle on a pre-made object, you can create one from scratch instead, or simply import it.

Briefs

2. briefs

Briefs is a robust application and can seem daunting when you first get started, but once you’ve mastered it, it will help you create designs that people can interact with. Briefs is used in the process of developing wireframes for iPhone and iPad. It stands apart from classic tools, in the sense that it offers many features that will help you make some very interesting sketches. For instance, the feature called BriefsLive transfers in real time the newest version of your wireframe to all devices where your app is installed. Therefore, you’d no longer have to send dozens of emails to everyone who is involved in the project.

Xiffe

3. xiffe

 

Xiffe is a multipurpose tool for mobile apps prototyping that operates within your internet browser, so you don’t have to install anything on your computer. It can be used to create wireframes for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, which means you are basically covered for any type of mobile project. Xiffe includes different platform-specific user controls, as well as features that are unique to each operating system. It provides a simple interface with drag-and-drop functionality. In addition, a collaborative feature is promised to be added soon.

Armature

4. armature

 

Armature works as an extension for Adobe Illustrator CC and CS5+, and it’s compatible both with Mac and PC – although it doesn’t support Illustrator versions older than CS5. It comes with a large collection of commonly used objects, such as tooltips, placeholders, content blocs, headers, footers, or form elements that are fully editable and resizable. The downside is that, in order to use it, you absolutely need to have Adobe Illustrator. Feel free to download a 15-days trial version, or buy it for $24.

NinjaMock

5. ninjamock

 

NinjaMock has all the typical stencils that you need for creating web and mobile prototypes, as well as a collaboration tool to share your work with team members, and a project management feature that offers a great way to keep things organized. Its wireframe editor and components are designed to look as if they have been hand-drawn, because the team behind NinjaMock believes that this helps users concentrate on the interaction and content in their wireframe rather than on colors, detailed layout, and other high-fidelity aspects.

So, here they are: five awesome wireframe tools that are vital every time you need to put an idea into practice. Do you already use a wireframe tool? If so, which one is your favorite?


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31 Admin Backend Dashboard Templates http://designm.ag/inspiration/31-admin-backend-dashboard-templates/ http://designm.ag/inspiration/31-admin-backend-dashboard-templates/#comments Fri, 10 Jan 2014 15:32:46 +0000 http://designm.ag/?p=80973

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One of the most overlooked aspects of a design project can be the administration dashboard.  Many content management systems such as WordPress offer well designed dashboards that don't require much change to enhance the user experience.  For custom projects however, this is not always the case.  So instead of leaving your dashboard raw and unorganized, I've compiled a list of 31 backend dashboards to help save you time and money on your next project.

1. Archon Flat Responsive Admin Bootstrap 3

01 Demo & Download 

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One of the most overlooked aspects of a design project can be the administration dashboard.  Many content management systems such as WordPress offer well designed dashboards that don’t require much change to enhance the user experience.  For custom projects however, this is not always the case.  So instead of leaving your dashboard raw and unorganized, I’ve compiled a list of 31 backend dashboards to help save you time and money on your next project.

1. Archon Flat Responsive Admin Bootstrap 3

01

Demo & Download 

2. Thin Admin Template

02

Demo & Download 

3.  FreshUI – Premium Web App and Admin Template

03

 Demo & Download

4. Clip-One – Bootstrap 3 Responsive Admin Template

04

 Demo & Download

5. Ebro – Super Clean Responsive Admin Template

05

Demo & Download

6. FlatLab – Bootstrap 3 Responsive Admin Template

06

Demo & Download

7. FLAT – Responsive Admin Template

07

 Demo & Download

8. Social – Premium Responsive Admin Template

08

Demo & Download

9. AdminKIT – Premium Bootstrap 3 Template

09

 Demo & Download

10. FLAT KIT – Premium Bootstrap 3 App Template

10

 Demo & Download

11. Esthetics Admin-Clean Admin Template

11

 Demo & Download

12. Amanda Responsive Admin Template

12

Demo & Download 

13. Dream Works Responsive Admin Template

13

 Demo & Download

14. Adminium – Modern Admin Panel Interface

14

 Demo & Download

15. Cleanizr – Responsive Admin Template

15

 Demo & Download

16. Ergo – Admin UI Template

16

 Demo & Download

17. Hurricane – Responsive Liquid Admin Template

17

 Demo & Download

18. Moon Light Admin

18

 Demo & Download

19. Taurus – Responsive Bootstrap3 Admin Template

19

 Demo & Download

20. Aquincum – Premium Responsive Admin Template

20

Demo & Download 

21. Supr – Responsive Bootstrap 3 Admin Template

21

 Demo & Download

22. Crown – Premium Responsive Admin Theme

22

 Demo & Download

23. ease – Responsive Admin Template

23

 Demo & Download

24. Timex – Bootstrap Admin Theme

24

 Demo & Download

25. Beoro Admin Responsive Template

25

 Demo & Download

26.  Organon Responsive Admin Template

26

 Demo & Download

27. AIR – Responsive Bootstrap Admin Template

27

 Demo & Download

28. Katniss Premium Admin Template

28

 Demo & Download

29. Huraga Responsive Admin Template

29

 Demo & Download

30.  Utopia Responsive Admin Template

30

 Demo & Download

31.  Conquer – Responsive Admin Dashboard Template

31

 Demo & Download


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19 Sport & Fitness Website Themes http://designm.ag/wordpress-2/19-sport-fitness-website-themes/ http://designm.ag/wordpress-2/19-sport-fitness-website-themes/#comments Fri, 03 Jan 2014 16:41:04 +0000 http://designm.ag/?p=81193

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Fitness and wellbeing is an ever expanding market, and in this collection I've compiled a list of 19 sport & fitness themes suitable for any health clubs, gyms, and personal trainers.

1. FIT - Fitness/Gym Responsive WordPress Theme

01

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Fitness and wellbeing is an ever expanding market, and in this collection I’ve compiled a list of 19 sport & fitness themes suitable for any health clubs, gyms, and personal trainers.

1. FIT – Fitness/Gym Responsive WordPress Theme

01

Demo & Download

2. Sport & Fitness Theme for Gyms & Fitness clubs

02

Demo & Download

3. GymBase – Responsive Gym Fitness WordPress Theme

03

Demo & Download

4. Balance – Gym Fitness WordPress HTML 5 Theme

04

Demo & Download

5. Fitness Premium WordPress Theme

05

Demo & Download

6. GetFit – Gym Fitness Multipurpose WordPress Theme

06

Demo & Download

7. Fitness – Sport Center Gym Club Responsive

07

Demo & Download

8. GymBoom – A Responsive Fitness Gym WordPress Theme

08

Demo & Download

9. Fitness: Unique design meets WordPress

09

Demo & Download

10. Gym Extream – Gym and Fitness Template

10

Demo & Download

11. Fitness Club – Responsive Gym Fitness Template

11

Demo & Download

12. Power Gym – Responsive WordPress Theme

12

Demo & Download

13. Lion Fitness Club Website

13

Demo & Download

14. Olimpia Responsive Fullscreen Fitness Center

14

Demo & Download

15. GXM-Responsive Gym Fitness Club HTML Template

15

Demo & Download

16. Fitnex – Responsive HTML Landing Page

16

Demo & Download

17. Musclegym – Minimal HTML5 – CSS3 Fitness Template

17

Demo & Download

18. Gameplan – Event and Gym Fitness WordPress Theme

18

Demo & Download

19. GYM – Sport Retina Responsive Sport Template

19

Demo & Download


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