Categories
Lynda.com

Installing and Running WordPress: MAMP – New lynda.com course

Hot on the heels of Installing and Running WordPress: WAMP comes my new course Installing and Running WordPress: MAMP in the lynda.com Online Training Library. I think you can see a pattern here. The WAMP and MAMP courses are two of a series of four different courses outlining four different methods for installing and running WordPress on Windows and Mac computers. The courses were created to provide you with options when it comes to creating your own custom development environment.

The course is a detailed walk-through of how to use MAMP to install and run WordPress on any Mac. Topics covered include how to install MAMP and WordPress and make them work together, how to access and work with WordPress and its files while running under MAMP, and how to back up your content from MAMP so you can uninstall it without losing all your work in the process.

Having WordPress installed natively on your computer makes experimenting with and building things for WordPress much easier and is an important tool in your WordPress toolkit. Installing and Running WordPress: MAMP is now available, so go check it out and let me know what you think!

This course is part of the Installing and Running WordPress course series. Other courses available include:

Categories
Lynda.com

Installing and Running WordPress: WAMP – New lynda.com course

It’s been on the books for quite some time and now it’s finally out. We have just released the new course Installing and Running WordPress: WAMP in the lynda.com Online Training Library. The course is a detailed walk-through of how to use WAMPServer to install and run WordPress on any Windows computer. Topics covered include how to install WAMP and WordPress and make them work together, how to access and work with WordPress and its files while running under WAMP, and how to back up your content from WAMP so you can uninstall it without losing all your work in the process.

Having WordPress installed natively on your computer makes experimenting with and building things for WordPress much easier and is an important tool in your WordPress toolkit. Installing and Running WordPress: WAMP is now available, so go check it out and let me know what you think!

This course is part of the Installing and Running WordPress course series. Other courses available include:

Categories
Lynda.com Video Tutorials

Building WordPress Child Themes with Twenty Twelve – new and updated course on lynda.com


If you are following my courses on lynda.com you may have noticed that there is an update for my WordPress 3: Building Child Themes course. But this is more than an update. With all the developments and new features of WordPress, I thought it better to completely revamp the course to incorporate new tips, techniques, functions and features to make your experience building child themes as up to date as possible.

For the all new WordPress 3: Building Child Themes course I also chose to use the new Twenty Twelve theme as the parent theme. Twenty Twelve has been out for a little over a month, but only as an add-on. When WordPress 3.5 comes out in early December however, it will become the new default theme in WordPress. That means if you jump in now, you’ll have a head start on everyone else using Twenty Twelve and building child themes off it.

The course looks at how to build a standard child theme and best practices around how to create new styles, add new functions, and alter the different template files to give the child theme a personal touch and make it do what you want. I’ve also added in some clever new elements towards the end like a dynamic welcome message that only appears on the front page.

The original Building Child Themes course was hugely popular and I am hoping that this new and improved version will be even more so. But don’t take my word for it: Head on over to lynda.com and check WordPress 3: Building Child Themes out for yourself!

If you don’t already have a lynda.com account and you want to try it out, go to lynda.com/trial/mor10 and get a free 7 day trial.

Categories
Lynda.com

No longer ‘just’ an author

For the past 3 years I’ve been moonlighting as an author for online video training library lynda.com making instructional courses about WordPress and web design and development. Working with the staff at lynda.com and interacting with my viewers has given me a whole new understanding of the work I do on the web and also an avenue to help others make sense of the web and use it to take control of their online presence and create great things. So far I’ve created 9 courses and many of these have already seen several updates. And that’s just the beginning.

From ‘Author’ to ‘Staff Author’

As of today, October 1st, 2012, my title changes from lynda.com “Author” to “Staff Author”. What does that mean? First and most importantly it means I will be making more courses on web design, development, WordPress, and other topics so I can share more of my knowledge with you and do my part to educate the users of the web. Secondly it means I will now be able to dedicate my time primarily to the development and production of courses with lynda.com. Though the exact roadmap for the future has yet to be laid out what I can say is there will be more WordPress, more web design and development, and more cool stuff.

What does that mean for Pink & Yellow Media and Design is Philosophy?

This change of title begs one important question about the future of Pink & Yellow Media and this blog. The good news is nothing will change – at least not on the surface. Pink & Yellow Media will continue to take on clients and creating great websites for individuals, small businesses and large corporations. And I will continue blogging about web design, WordPress, and whatever else seems topical right here on Design is Philosophy. In fact I hope I’ll be able to publish more content here. Behind the scenes I will take on more of a consulting role in the company allowing for others to take on some of the more labour intensive challenges. To be able to deliver the best and most up-to-date educational material through lynda.com I still have to have a foot firmly planted in the real-life day to day of web design and development. That is the only way to keep up to snuff of what’s going on. But rather than doing all the work myself my plan is to bring on a select group of designers and developers and grow the company. This will be a huge learning opportunity for me and the new members of the team and will ensure that both present and future Pink & Yellow Media clients get the best the web has to offer from us.

More to come…

These are exciting times for Angela and myself. We are in the process of building the new Pink & Yellow Media studio in Burnaby and my new role at lynda.com opens new opportunities for us as well as our company. And most of all I am very excited about adding my name to the list of amazing people already working for lynda.com and being able to keep making training materials for the users and builders of the web. Exciting times indeed. Stay tuned. More to come…

Categories
Lynda.com

Updated 404 template for Anaximander

One of the templates that is often overlooked when creating a WordPress theme is the 404 template. The 404 template creates the 404 page that appears when a viewer follows a broken link or enters a garbage link in the address field in their browser. You can see an example by following this link which obviously goes nowhere: http://mor10.com/lskdjlfkjowihev

In the rush to release Anaximander and my most recent lynda.com course WordPress: Building Responsive Themes the 404 template in the starter theme got a bit mangled. I was made aware of this by one of my viewers and we are updating the lesson files as we speak. If you’ve already started on the course or are using Anaximander for your site, I’m providing the fixed file here for you to download and install directly.

Click here to download the zip archive with the 404.php file.

To install the new 404 template unzip the archive and place the new 404.php file inside your Anaximander-Static folder replacing the old one.

The new 404 template is similar to the search template: It provides a simple message saying something went wrong and then offers up the 12 most recent posts as an option to the visitor.

Categories
Lynda.com WordPress Themes

Free Responsive WordPress theme Anaximander – now available through lynda.com

The wait is over: The free responsive WordPress theme Anaximander is now available for you to use through my new course WordPress: Building Responsive Themes on lynda.com. If you don’t already have a lynda.com subscription you can follow this link – lynda.com/trial/mor10 – and get a free 7 day trial. As you can probably deduce, this theme release is a bit different, so let me explain how and why. But first, check out the features:

Anaximander features

Anaximander is a fully built out responsive WordPress theme built to use all the latest features in WordPress 3.4.1. Theme features include:

  • Fully commented and explained theme files
  • Flexible height header image functionality
  • Custom background colour
  • Custom header and link colour
  • Full Theme Customizer integration of all theme functions
  • Superfish main menu with advanced flyouts
  • Responsive menu for smaller screens
  • Masonry index front page
  • Automatic video embeds on front page
  • Responsive videos through FitVids
  • Responsive images
  • Featured images
  • Three post formats: Regular, Video, Image
    • Regular displays the post as is
    • Video displays any oEmbed video on the front page
    • Image displays the featured image at the top of the single post
  • Custom social media icons in the super-header
  • Advanced search and 404 pages with latest posts
  • Related posts feature with option to switch to Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)
  • Optional footer widgets
  • and much much more

A theme you understand

Anaximander was built as a learning tool as well as a modern WordPress theme. The idea of Anaximander was always to ship it in such a way that using it was a learning process. This is how it works: To get Anaximander you have to follow the WordPress: Building Responsive Themes course on lynda.com from beginning to end. You start off with a static version of the theme and end up with a fully responsive theme with tons of extra features like jQuery Masonry, Superfish, and Flexslider built in.

The WordPress: Building Responsive Themes course takes the viewer through the process of converting Anaximander to a responsive theme addressing most of the issues raised by working with responsive themes including how to deal with layouts, images, videos, and menus as well as how to make the theme fit all screen sizes and work well for as many visitors as possible. The course also demonstrates how to incorporate JavaScript plugins and tools properly and provides the viewer with best-practice guides on how to make any WordPress theme responsive.

How exactly is this free?

I’m sure your next question is “How is this a free theme when I have to have a subscription to lynda.com to get it?” There is a simple answer. If you don’t already have a lynda.com subscription you can follow this link – lynda.com/trial/mor10 – and get a free 7 day trial. That’s enough time to follow the course and get Anaximander all set up. I know this looks like some sneaky marketing ploy, but it really isn’t. The whole point of Anaximander is for it to help you learn how to build responsive themes and give you a solid understanding of how the theme works. That’s why it’s not being released as a completed theme. To ensure that the theme would be available to anyone I was able to set the course up so that the static version of the theme is available to everyone including free trial subscribers. Bottom line is the theme is free to anyone who wants it.

Categories
Lynda.com

Get WordPress Essential Training for free August 11 to 24

WordPress Essential Training for freeWant to get my WordPress: Essential Training course for free? Look no further. Between August 11 and 24 you can get the entire course for free by liking lynda.com on Facebook. Doesn’t get any easier than that.
Just follow the link and get started: http://on.fb.me/MZjpfY

lynda.com has ongoing promotions like this, so liking them is always a good idea.

Categories
Lynda.com WordPress

New lynda.com course: Start with a Theme: Creative Portfolios in WordPress

Want to get your creative portfolio up on the web right now with minimal hassle? Look no further than my latest lynda.com course Start with a Theme: Creative Portfolios in WordPress. The Start with a Theme (SWAT) course series provides step-by-step guides on how to quickly set up different types of websites using standard WordPress themes.

The three themes covered in this course are all very different, very cool, and responsive so they translate well to smaller screens like smartphones and tablets. You’ll get a walk through of setup and configuration and be able to get up and running in less than an hour (if you have all your content ready that is).

Go check out Start with a Theme: Creative Portfolios in WordPress and let me know what you think.

If you don’t already have a lynda.com subscription you can get a 7 day free trial by following this link: lynda.com/trial/mor10

Categories
Lynda.com Tutorials

A bugfix for WordPress 3: Building Child Themes on lynda.com

With the update of WordPress to version 3.4 came some important feature improvements that changed the way certain key components work. This includes how the header image and background functionality is implemented. This in turn means the old methods of making changes to these elements suddenly don’t work any more.

The Issue

This change has made a previously well functioning component in my WordPress 3: Building Child Themes course on lynda.com non-functional.

In movie 2.3 I instruct the viewer to redefine the height and width of the header image using the following code in a child theme functions.php file:


<?php
define( 'HEADER_IMAGE_WIDTH', apply_filters( 'twentyten_header_image_width', 980 ) );
define( 'HEADER_IMAGE_HEIGHT', apply_filters( 'twentyten_header_image_height', 224 ) );
?>

Unfortunately with the new implementation of the header image function, this no longer works. A new filter function is needed.

The Fix

To get the result you want without messing things up in the process, a modified version of the code above is necessary. So, to resize the header image in a child theme of Twenty Ten you use the following code:


<?php
function tnc_header_width($width) {
	$width = 980;
	return $width;
}

function tnc_header_height($height) {
	$height = 224;
	return $height;
}

add_filter( 'twentyten_header_image_width', 'tnc_header_width' );
add_filter( 'twentyten_header_image_height', 'tnc_header_height' );

?>

An Update is Imminent

We are hard at work rolling out an update to the course to bring it in line with the new version of Twenty Ten. Until then, just use the code above and everything will work fine.

Categories
Lynda.com WordPress

Using the new WordPress 3.4 Theme Customizer – new post on the lynda.com blog

If you’re a WordPress user you need to check out the new Theme Customizer tool. I published an article and video on the Theme Customizer over at the lynda.com blog about a week ago. Here is the video and an excerpt. Head to the lynda.com blog for the whole piece with more info.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amUjCfpIsJ4

Of the many great reasons for using WordPress to create your web site or blog, one of the most important ones is that WordPress is an ever evolving platform. That means with every new version release you can expect to see either security and usability upgrades, or the addition of whole new features. In the case of the latest WordPress evolution–version 3.4, released for WordPress.com and WordPress for self-hosting–we see both regular security hole fixes and code patches, as well as some cool new features for site owners and developers. One feature in particular that is worth special mention is the new Theme Customizer.

Read more at the lynda.com blog.

Categories
Lynda.com

Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques – New Lynda.com course


Want to bring more people to your website, play nice with social media and allow everyone to access your fabulous content, regardless of how they choose to do so? If so you should check out my newest course on lynda.com, Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques. This course grew out of a realization that though SEO and Accessibility seem to be at the opposite ends of the “stuff I code for and care about” spectrum, they are actually two peas in a pod. And they are also sharing that pod with a third pea called “Web Standards”. Or, to put it slightly less cryptically, accessibility, SEO and web standards go hand in hand … in hand. And by applying all three in your web development process you end up with sites that are not only easier to access for people who use keyboard navigation and text-to-speech browsers, but also other non-standard visitors like Google, Bing, Facebook, G+ and so on.

Check out the video above for a primer and go watch the Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques course on lynda.com to get your sites up to snuff and get more visitors in the process.

Categories
Lynda.com Tutorials

WordPress 3: Building Child Themes – new course at Lynda.com

LEGOs used as illustration for the WordPress 3: Building Child Themes course on lynda.comChild Themes are by far the easiest way of creating a new look and introduce new functionality to a WordPress powered site. By creating a WordPress child theme you get all the benefits of the parent theme while gaining the ability to create custom styles, custom layouts and custom functions just for you.

In May 2011 I went to Ventura, California to record my new course WordPress 3: Building Child Themes for lynda.com. The course takes you through the entire child theme building process – from picking a parent theme to creating new styles and layouts, customizing and adding menus, sidebars and footers, integrating the Featured Image (post thumbnail) functionality throughout the theme and even adding custom jQuery functions. Here’s a sneak preview:

The course and its materials were created to make it easy for everyone to get started customizing WordPress sites and comes as a direct extension to my WordPress 3 Essential Training course (also available from lynda.com). Although the course uses the Twenty Ten theme as the parent theme all the code samples and techniques demonstrated can be used to build child themes from any other theme.

I’m very excited to announce this new course and I hope you like it too. If you’re not already a member of lynda.com you can get a 7 day trial membership by visiting lynda.com/trial/rand-hendriksen.

Go forth and start child theming!