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Designing A Website in WordPress with Divi

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At 1:45pm on 3/22/2018, I attended Designing A Website in WordPress with Divi, presented by Jonathan Ross, at the 2018 North Carolina Computer Instruction Association Conference in At Asheville-Buncomb Technical Community College in Asheville, NC.

First, we downloaded some instructions and resources from: http://goo.gl/5QLeH3

It was also suggested that Flywheel Local could be a nice asset to consider in future. We will be using Elementor, a free user item, which is nice, because its free, and free is a price we can afford in this training. We installed through pantheonsite.io. The instructions are available.

We began discussing the basics of wordpress- pages and posts, and downloaded “Elementor” plugin. I also downloaded “Addons for Elementor” because it was on the same page and had additional elements for portfolios using masonry.

We adjusted the .htaccess file that the URLs should change within the permalink area. By adjusting the permalinks to /%category%/%postname%/. This was actually pretty cool, but its really only for adjusting and making adjustments for non-blog sites.

With the Elementor plugins, I was able to build these items out in a drag-and-drop environment. This would be an interesting addition to the material. This has a lot of cool information in here, although its a large group of items that you’ll have to learn how to make it happen. I particularly enjoyed the use of typography and its integration with google fonts, as well as the ability to work with portfolio items. So, I’ll be looking into that. I thought the animation options could be fairly cool to work, and I hope our students don’t get too crazy.

Integration with CSS IDs, CSS Classes, seemed nice. However, it looks like it might be just as nice to tag items with content, and then revisit later and adjust those CSS items. CSS background items and gradient overlays seem like they have some great options in here though.

Once layout items are fully built, that seems like the best time to adjust the CSS and look/feel options. This stuff looks really fantastic. On the one hand, lots of students will be real excited to see that. On the other hand, probably a bunch of angry portfolio students. So, take the good with the bad.

Within the builder, there are items that allow you to begin with templates. This was very cool, and allowed you to install those items and view your way through them. Gathering the assets, planning out what to do, and then creating the pieces you want to see and how to ensure that they’re going to work in the way you wish. This is very neat, and allows us to learn along the way into how they’ve been built and how to emulate it.

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Frameworks Springboard: Build Better Sites in WAYYY Less Time

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At 4:30pm on 4/22/2017, I attended Frameworks Springboard: Build Better Sites in WAYYY Less Time, presented by Shelly Peacock, at the 2017 Wordcamp Conference in Raleigh, NC

Frameworks Springboard: Build Better Sites in WAYYY Less Time

Here’s whatI expect: After this talk, I won’t have to pick a random theme again. I’ll learn quick customization tips, and won’t fear the functions.php file any more. Also, I’ll incorporate Page Builders for even more speed and flexibility.

Takeaways: Tons of resources, basic functionality of child themes and page builders, all built on a framework.

Most designers will find the free themes that they like and they move forward, choosing more specialized theme. Canvas was a drag and drop first toe into frameworks- using them to build different things.

what’s a framework

a frameworks builds the basics of the house, but its your job to change out the design. Frameworks are used for speed, easily changing theme and designs. We’ll talk about 3 that start with a base framework and 3 child themes. You should use them because they are well-coded and have continuity. it is always the same and the theme is always the same and laid out in the same order. We’ll use Genesis.

Why use a framework? It has a giant community to help and support and a ton of resources available for frameworks. they are 10,000 time more available, in-depth, and fantastic.

Which frameworks?

A framework must have: accessibility, responsivity, and ease of use. Accessibility is the first smackdown from google. A non-responsive site gets a 60% smackdown from google. and of course easy to use.

There are premium and free frameworks. Genesis framework is her go-to framework. In her case, it was a 2-day setup for a new site. its $60 for the framework and the “sample Themes”. Child theme are plug and play.

Divi is the number 2 choice. Its easy with options. It has a drag and drop plugin. its $89 for all plugins.

Builder is a another theme option. Its unique in that its almost a pagebuilder by itself. You can have 5 different pages with 5 different looks and lay them out page by page.Its $197 for all items and all themes.

There are also some free options. Beans. Speedy, easy to set up, but a few child theme. You can build your own child themes.

Gantry is a plugin/framework hybrid. Mainly its a customizer.

So… how?

Install Parent Theme
Install Child Theme (renamed if you like)
Install plugins

wpcore.com is a free system. Sign up for an account and you can create a collection of plugins. These plugins save time!

Checklist

This checklist is a start to finish plugin ideas, ecommerce system plan.

Beaver Builder

Using a sample theme as our example.
1) Set header (style sheet line 1041)
2) Set nav (style sheet line 1110
3) set footer (style sheet line 1449)

Beaver builder fills in everything in between. You must have a full-width page template. (link in notes) save as beaver-builder-page.php and drop into the css folder

For visual designers, you’re well-situated to bring them in early as opposed to later. Set aside a 2-hour period of time, changing fonts, colors, etc.

Then she moved through several examples. I liked this sessions, but will be a little LESS likely to use these framework systems. The examples shown of the work she had done were not good. I would never do this kind of work for my customers. She was very excited to say she was able to build out a fully templated website for $1500 in only a few hours. Frankly, the website looked like it was created in a few hours. A system like ENFOLD or BRIDGE seems like it could have a much better return on investment, a much better look and feel, and much more approachable backend service.

I found some of this material to be very helpful, but the examples did not back up the level of expectation I had. Perhaps I was overshooting the desires of the presenter.