These are my notes from our Oklahoma City WordPress User’s Group tonight. The new OC network intrusion detection system prevented everyone at the meeting except one person from accessing the Internet as a guest-user. Ugh! Very painful. We survived not having Internet access, however, thanks to prepared slides and pre-loaded browser tabs by presenters. MY COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS BELOW.

Network Access Control __ Remediation-2

Larry Stone hosted our meeting tonight.

Tim’s company now builds 95% of client websites with WordPress as a full-blown CMS

There’s a plug-in to integrate a Ning Network into your WordPress blog
– ANYONE KNOW THIS LINK? ALL I COULD FIND WAS THIS 2007 POST FROM THE NING BLOG, and that plugin just lets your WP commenters use Ning authentication

First presentation: Tim Priebetimjpriebe.com

Wanting to use plug-ins that let people simply and easily modify their own site code, but maintain pleasing graphical look

WP sIFR (Scalable Inman Flash Replacement)

With Google Chrome, you can right click / control click a page element and choose INSPECT ELEMENT

With Google Chrome, select page content and INSPECT ELEMENT

We don’t have the right to upload TrueType fonts directly to the web, so we had to look for other options

Use website sIFR Generator (www.sifrgenerator.com)
– install the plug-in
– create your fonts
– you have options to generate subsets of a font, rather than the entire font set

Javascript replaces text headings with Flash text
– for non-flash devices like iPhones, normal font texts are displayed

WP sIFR creates separate instances of SWF files for each time it’s used
– this slows things down and is a problem with this WP plug-in, the native version of sIFR creates 1 version per application

Now hearing from Bruce Jackson: Pitfalls to avoid in a custom WordPress site

– I work on the backend of our websites mostly
– we were sent a WordPress file to install on our servers at one point
– this was a case of the technical guys looking at a WordPress site from the user perspective

creative.mbopartners.com

Don’t hide dynamic code
– we couldn’t use “Contact Form” plug-in, but they were using a custom code method
– those developers had hidden the code in the page template page.php
– this was very problematic because we spent half a day just looking for this code

Don’t reuse obviously
– example of someone using refer-a-friend.php plugin that left code from the Hello Dolly plugin

Don’t leave test data intact
– pages
– posts
– contact forms
– Lorem ipsum

Because this group left lots of test pages on the site, it was sometimes hard to discern what content to keep and delete (the stuff that had been created just for testing)

This was further complicated when we received new versions of the site AGAIN that needed clean-up

We ran the site through websiteoptimization.com to check the page
– several of the pages were 500K total to load, took 13 sec on a T1 line
– we ran the images through PhotoShop for optimization and that reduced total page size to about 35K

Needed to turn Apache Compression on, because larger javascripts were loading
– that is not on the WordPress side of things, but can result in HUGE savings for time

Don’t Hard-code page numbers
– use page descriptors instead
– using hard-code page numbers can make it very difficult for others to change the site

Don’t avoid sidebar widgets
– in the case of our site, a webform was hard-coded in
– we wanted that to be a widget, but it wasn’t created that way!

Don’t customize public plug-ins and leave them as the original plug-ins
– otherwise your users will get the “upgrade automatically” and when they do, they will break your site (or at least the functionality of that custom plugin)

Check out “Contact Form 7″ plug-in

THIS MAKES ME THINK IT WOULD BE GOOD TO SEE A LIST OF REQUIREMENTS FOR A WORDPRESS DEVELOPER, THINGS WHICH ARE BEST-PRACTICES THAT YOU’D LIKE A DEVELOPER TO FOLLOW

Google has a new SEO service as a beta
– I COULDN’T FIND THIS WITH GOOGLE – DID FIND THIS PAGE OF GREAT SEO TIPS FROM GOOGLE, HOWEVER.

I NEED TO INSTALL GOOGLE ANALYTICS

only one person here tonight has managed to get online – Ugh!

Now hearing from Larry Stone

impactok.org – Impact Oklahoma
– 500 women, all donate $1000, donate massive grants to groups
– Larry Stone did a rudimentary website for them 5 years ago

I am so proud of this site now, it does not look like WordPress
– WordPress is beginning to be so prevalent, many sites look very “templatey”

New York Times, Daily Oklahoman, Time Magazine, all are using WordPress now
– many of us are looking for sites that don’t look like others, are unique

I worked with “S Design” from here in Oklahoma City
– Jack Buley was who I worked with

Site has irregularly sized photos
– layout looks very feminine, I am very proud of this

Larry is willing to put together a list of plugins to use on the site
– site is built with a tweaked template

THIS BRINGS UP A GREAT POINT: WE NEED TO APPLY FOR AN IMPACT OKLAHOMA GRANT FOR STORYCHASERS AND CELEBRATE OKLAHOMA VOICES!

Larry’s wife is now on the Board of Impact Oklahoma
– he’s handed off several WordPress websites to users, he shows them how to login and

Larry worked with the group that created the first CD-ROMs, and his group made the first hyperlink

iThemes has good WordPress 101 tutorial
other tutorials on WordPress too

Lynda.com tutorials on WordPress are really good too

The magic eBook for WordPress is called the Codex: it tells you everything you need to know about WordPress

Good rule of thumb: If you can’t find a plug-in that does want you want, then go to the Codex

WP MU Integration is now available with the WP standard release

BuddyPress is like WordPress but for social networking

Next Meeting will be Monday, Feb 22nd
– if you have anything you want to share, let David know!
– Larry is interested in some rudimentary tutorials

FileZilla is a free ftp client for Windows, Mac, and Linux
– might change theme folder permissions to 777 instead of 755 to fix problem reported by one participant tonight, where theme downloader would not work / said not authorized. Permissions on themes folder may be not set to allow write changes.

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