I was honored to speak to a group of aspiring web designers at Sacramento City College on April 29, 2021 via zoom. I talked about my career and what I wish I had known when I started out. I also received some really great questions for the students. It was super fun! Here are the slides…
I love fonts almost as much as thrifting, which is a lot. But I do not love the paralyzing ache of searching through fonts and trying to make good pairings until your eyes cross and it looks like you’ve spelled your name wrong and are no longer sure if English is your first language. I like my thrift stores clean and restocked regularly and I like my fonts pre-paired.
If you have taken my class you have likely heard me say that I prefer to learn by doing not from books and I feel like tech books become outdated too quickly in this field . Well, I have read some good books on web design but they are on concepts that are more long-lasting. Since students have asked for recommendations, here goes: Continue reading
I’m teaching WordPress this semester to a group of emerging web professionals. They have a lot of questions about themes and plugins to start with. Here are some themes and plugins we have identified as “good” to try.
- Sela by Automattic. Download Sela for your self-hosted WordPress site. This site uses a child theme of Sela that I modified.
- Gateway is lovely, I used it in the housekeeping demo. Download Gateway for your self-hosted WordPress site.
- Hemingway Rewritten I’ve used on a client site. Download Hemingway Rewritten for your self-hosted WordPress site.
- I have a client running Virtue. I’ve had no trouble working with it.
- I like Storefront for WooCommerce sites
- SKT Full Width has a nice background image slideshow.
- I’ve also used Edin for business sites.
- iThemes Security
- Jetpack for Custom CSS, tiled galleries, social media integration
- Yoast SEO for boosting and configuring SEO
- Duplicator by Life in the Grid for backups and imports into ServerPress
- The Events Calendar by Modern Tribe
- Google Analytics by Yoast
- Some good slideshow plugins include: Photo Gallery, NextGen Slider, Meta Slider
- Add a button for a Call to Action: Buttons Shortcode and Widget
- Create a Child theme with Child Theme Configurator
- Install the Google Fonts Library with Styleguide
- Add a Newsletter Signup via the blog subscription widget in Jetpack or copy and paste your HTML signup form from MailChimp into a Text widget or page.
- Generate a Style Tile from an existing site with Stylify.me. What is a Style Tile you ask?
- When selecting themes and plugins, check WordPress.com, if they use it you know its been peer reviewed by a developer for stability and security. Then check number of users and 4-5 star reviews – there is strength in numbers. Lastly, check how often the developer updates the plugin – you want the code to be compatible with other tools on your site.
What other themes, plugins and tips do you have to offer newbies?