a verse of code

Episode 3 : 5 WordPress Things

1.) How to create documentation for users inside of WordPress

If you’re building a WordPress site for a client, it’s quite often that your client will have questions about many things. Here’s a simple plugin that allows you to create hierarchical documentation about their WordPress installation. This is a great way to provide your client with detailed instructions on how to use their site. The name of the plugin is WP Help.

2.) Create a service for users to receive an email for new posts

Using Mailchimp with WordPress makes it really easy for you to create a beautiful email service that allows your readers to subscribe to your site and receive emails of your new blog articles. There’s two things you need to do. The first is add a email form on your site. The second is to create a RSS driven campaign in Mailchimp. Here’s how to do this…

Creating a email form on your site

  1. If you don’t have a Mailchimp account yet, you can signup here.
  2. Next create a new list in Mailchimp and call it something like “Post Subscribers”.
  3. Install the Mailchimp Widget plugin to your site. Make sure to add your Mailchimp API key.
  4. Add the widget to your site’s sidebar and select the name of the list you create in Mailchimp, “Post Subscribers”.

At this point you’ve now made it easy for users to subscribe to your list. Now we just need to setup a way to email them your new post.

Setting up an RSS driven campaign with Mailchimp

  1. Within Mailchimp create a new RSS-driven campaign.
  2. Copy and paste your site’s RSS feed into the RSS Feed URL box in Mailchimp. If you don’t know your site’s feed just type feed after your sites URL, yoursite.com/feed. At this point just follow the step-by-step instructions of Mailchimp and save your new campaign.

That’s it! Now every time someone signs up on your sidebar, they’ll be added to an email list in Mailchimp and now when you add write new posts, they’ll get email of your new content!

3.) Make your site iPad friendly

Here’s a simple plugin that creates and iPad styled display of your blog with swipe gestures. Just install the Onswipe plugin.

4.) Use WordPress as an interactive resume

Printed resumes are old, interactive resumes really give you the opportunity to show your expertise. WordPress is an excellent publishing platform for your interactive resume. WordPress is known for its SEO capabilities which makes it much easier for you to be found through search engines. And once you’re found having an interactive display of what you’re capable of will truly enlighten potential employers. I stumbled upon this great collection of WordPress themes tailored to resumes and portfolios. Hopefully after browsing this collection you’ll be inspired to build/update your online resume/portfolio with WordPress.\

5.) Dramatically improve page loads and reader’s experience

Here’s a great way to speed up your site and make your reader’s happy all at the same time. This is a combination of 2 plugins that uses two techniques, infinite scrolling and lazy loading. Both of these plugins optimize the reading experience by only loading the content when the user expects it. Infinite scrolling will automatically load more posts when the reader scrolls to the bottom. This is great because the user can continue to scroll down through your posts without having to click on any links to get to the next set of posts. Make sure to set your WordPress reading settings to display only 1 post per page. This can be done under Settings > Reading. Lazy load is a plugin that only loads images when the user scrolls to them. In the case where you have a long post of many images, using this plugin will only load the images that are actually visible to the user. By loading only the content the reader can actually sees speeds up the page load dramatically making the experience a happy one.

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