Get a bear

I am adding a link behind this image at the bottom of new sites. Admin’s can click on it to go to a special admin page.

This is especially for Divi based websites. I have revised my training for new websites, and am now running the training for Divi based sites within the template environment. My tutorial is based on an ordinary post or page layout. 

If you think it will be helpful, I can add a special private page and post to your website. These can only be seen by an administrator who is logged into the site, the general visitor cannot see them. 

The Admin page has a general description on the relevance of Sections, Rows and Columns; these are elements within the Divi Template. It also talks about the differences between pages and posts.  There is a section with links back to my training videos and other education resources. 

I also include a Template Post which has guidance built into it to help you to remember what to do. It is explained at a very detailed level, and I would anticipate it would help to ensure you cover every step.  I also include a guide built into the website as well. The guide includes screenshots. You can see a copy here. 

Access to this area is through a small bear in the footer of your website. Or for those of you with more adult rather than family content I can use a different icon. The point being you click on it when you are logged in and it takes you to the Admin page with all of the tips on. 

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Featured Image Posts in Divi

If you have a Divi website there have been quite a few changes to the template and organisational structure. On new sites I have created a template which can be loaded by the editor. The template contains the instructions and tips on what you need to do to create your news item. 

The guidance is all built in for you. You delete the guidance before publishing. 

It makes it all a bit easier, and will help you to achieve consistency, because you don’t do the editing on the site all of the time. I have also created a cheat sheet which contains the steps in more detail and screen shots. You can download it here:

If you want a template added to your Divi based site to help you, drop me a line, and I will make some additional changes to the way the blog or news sections work to make them more interesting to view. 

Other Divi Resources

The downloadable link below is for a PPT presentation in PDF format which explains how the layout features in Divi work. You may find this useful as well. 


Gutenberg is coming

WordPress version 5 is due out over the next couple of months, probably within a month. You may be unaware that when WordPress updates it often introduces new functionality.

New editor is coming

We are currently on version 4.9, and the move to version 5 is likely to cause a stir in the community. For the past year the WordPress users community has been complaining about a new proposed editor called Gutenberg. It has been under test for around 1yr, possibly longer.

The current editor in use in WordPress is very simple, and has been around for years. It is called TinyMCE. Gutenberg offers the possibility of taking greater control over the layout space with the ability to create blocks, and add in specific types of media. This level of complexity is possibly a step closer to what the Elegant Themes Divi template does now. Continue reading Gutenberg is comingFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Check your contact forms

Some time ago I mentioned that my preferred form manager of choice had been withdrawn from the WordPress plugin library. This plugin was called FS Contact Form. At the time I had not found a suitable replacement that did everything that the FS Contact Form manager did. I have resolved that now. If you have it in your installation you can check in the plugins page, or check under Settings. If you can see FS Contact Form you have it on your website.  If you can see Contact Manager in your plugins list that is even older. Also should be replaced.

There has been one instance where the FS Contact Manager plugin had stopped working. I am not sure why, it could have been related to another plugin conflicting with it. I want to encourage all of you to test your forms once per month by sending a message to yourself.  That way you can be sure it is working. Continue reading Check your contact formsFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Low cost site upgrades are still available

Offer Expires in 30 days.

It is the season of goodwill, and I am providing site upgrades to Home-Start and NACCC child contact sites for the next 30 days at a very low cost, so please be quick if you are thinking about this.

To qualify, your site needs to already be in my hosting. If it is based on the original Home-start Lite or Child Contact Centre Lite sites comprising 13 pages the cost is £120. If there are some additional customisations in your site with additional pages then the costs are slightly higher. 14-18 pages £160, 19-23 pages £200.

This is particularly important to users of sites that are not mobile friendly. Google can reduce your rating in searches if you are not considered to be a mobile friendly site. Continue reading Low cost site upgrades are still availableFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

New “off the shelf” template for Child Contact Centres (NACCC groups)

I continue to be impressed by the Elegant Themes Divi template which has made many sites that use it a lot more interesting to use, and they all look very professional. Many commercial web development agencies are now basing sites on Divi, I am seeing it all of the time.

I am developing a new “off the shelf” package for NACCC groups that run Child Contact Centres throughout the UK.  Continue reading New “off the shelf” template for Child Contact Centres (NACCC groups)Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Introducing Forums

In July I built a site where one of the requirements was to include a forum. I have not done this before, but I  have come across them and use them on a regular basis.

I have just added the functionality to this website. If you are one of my clients you can join this area, it is managed through a registration form. I receive the form and review it. If I recognise you as one of my clients I grant you access to the system.

There are three forums set up. One is a general forum, the other two are specific to satellite website owners from Home-Start and the NACCC’s Child Contact Centres. I have built a lot of websites for these two groups, and it seems to be a good idea to offer the opportunity for an online community to share ideas and have a place to test concepts. Being specific to a group is useful, because everyone in that group will have the same clients, the same services, and the same problems to deal with.

Do you need a forum?

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New Home-Start Lite Design

Click on the image to open up a full screen version in a new browser window.

A new design for Home-Start sites is available in the “Lite” off the shelf versions that I make available to new clients. This offers a website in a box. I take the content and localise it for any Home-Start organisation.

The new design is based on Divi. I have built quite a few Divi sites now and am getting quicker, and learning short cuts which can radically reduce development time. Continue reading New Home-Start Lite DesignFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Group Calendar

I have been asked on a number of occasions is it possible to have a group or office shared calendar. The problem is generally those people who are used to using Outlook in a business context have used an Exchange Server which managed all of the calendaring functions for you. In a charity situation, particularly a small regional one, it is not very likely that your charity uses a Microsoft Exchange server. The calendar management needs to be handled at a central point such as a server.

I received a request about a group calendar a few days ago and did some digging and have come up with a solution. So if you are interested in having an office calendaring system that is online, that your volunteers and office staff can log into then this may be for you. Continue reading Group CalendarFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail