Tutorials

Using WordPress For Project Management

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At WordUp Minneapolis 2014 I gave a talk on using WordPress for project management.

In this session I talked about building a simple project management app with WordPress using the P2 theme and a handful of plugins. With this app you can create to do lists, check off those tasks, and mark posts as unresolved or resolved.

The base of this tool is the P2 theme, which allows you to easily make new project posts from the frontend of the site. This theme is extended with P2 Resolved Posts, P2 New Post Categories, and a custom plugin of mine called P2 Projects. I also use the Members plugin to make the site private.

With the P2 Resolved Posts plugin posts can be marked as resolved or unresolved, P2 Projects marks new posts as “unresolved” automatically and adds a category widget for filtering unresolved or resolved project posts. The P2 New Post Categories plugin adds a dropdown to the front end post editor for selecting a category for the project posts.

Setup Video Tutorial

Watch this screencast and learn how to build this app step-by-step.

I have used many different tools for project management over the years: a legal pad and a pen, ancient FileMaker programs, and pretty much every web app out there from Basecamp to Trello. Ultimately these are all, aside from a pad and pen, overkill for my own use as a freelancer.

By using WordPress I was able to cut out another monthly expense and build something that was tailored specifically to my needs. This solution might not be right for you, but the beauty of WordPress is that it doesn’t have to be, you can get in there and build your own perfect app!

Inspecting WordPress With Firebug

I have been using WordPress for about six years. Different themes, plugins, and code editors have come and gone through this huge learning process as I have developed hundreds of websites, but the one constant for me has been the Firefox add-on Firebug.

It’s the only tool that I have stuck with throughout those years because I have been able to learn so much with Firebug and build projects so much faster by using it.

If you have never used a web inspector like Firebug before, what it does is allow you to bridge the gap between the source code and the rendered out page in your browser. You can look at each bit of code interactively and see how it fits into the page, adjusting the code in the inspector and seeing the updates live in your browser.

This is as close as you can realistically get to a WYSIWYG experience like Dreamweaver when you are building something as complex as a WordPress theme.

Firebug Video Tutorial

In this Firebug screencast I talk about Firebug and other inspectors, show you how to use Firebug to inspect a site, tweak CSS, fix JavaScript bugs, and build faster sites. Watch the video below or read on for more info.

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Using the Members plugin with Meteor Slides

One of the new features in Meteor Slide 1.4 that needs covering in more detail is support for the Members plugin. Using Members, you can control which roles can create and edit slides and slideshows, and which can change the slides settings.

By default slide posts use the same capabilities as blog posts and only admins can change the slide settings. So admins, editors, and authors can create new slides, and contributors can create slide post drafts. This is straightforward, but not exactly ideal.

Most of the time I only want the admin and editor to create and edit slides. And what if you want to give an editor access to the settings? This is where Members comes in handy. Read the rest of this entry »

Creating your own Page Templates

On many WordPress powered sites, the primary focus is static pages rather than blog posts. I have built some sites that only use pages and don’t even have a blog. For these types of sites that are using WordPress “as a CMS” rather than a blogging platform, the theme file that generates the pages becomes that much more important.

Using this same page template file on each page could make a site very homogeneous and be a headache to customize. But it is easy to create your own page templates and apply them to specific pages on a site. Read the rest of this entry »

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