WordPress is one of the most versatile options when it comes to web design. It is also one of the most popular platforms available. One of the advantages of WordPress is the number of plugins that are available to help with running your website. A plugin is a piece of code or software that you can insert into your website to help you complete a number of tasks.
Pros of Plugins
One of the biggest advantages of plugins is that programming exists that can help you accomplish different goals with your website. Some of the plugins are designed to help with things like measuring your analytics, increasing sign ups to your newsletter or working with your email distribution system to make sure your customers are having a positive experience.
Plugins also make including social media on your site very easy. The plugins can connect your customers to your social media site s and help to build out your brand as your customers share your information with their friends and family. It is essential to harness this potential and plugins make it easy to do.
Cons of Plugins
One of the biggest disadvantages to using plugins is that it can make your website vulnerable to hacking or open to security issues. Generally, this happens with older plugins that are not kept updated by your web designer. These security issues can be quite serious. However, you can avoid them if you take the time to update the plugins on a regular basis. Additionally, if you choose a paid version over a free version, you are less likely to run into security issues since patches can be issued if vulnerabilities are revealed.
Another issue is possibly installing too many plugins. This can lead to a few different issues. For example, plugins from different designers may not interact together well. This can make them less effective or slow down your site. The solution is to choose to use plugins from one creator to have your site run more smoothl. Additionally, if you notice lag after installing a plugin, it may because the coding on that plugin is not written well, and you may want to consider a different option.
Here’s a quick “how to” video showing you the basic concepts (below the video are step by step instructions).
Creating and updating a WordPress menu is an important step in making a website which is easy to navigate. Typically, when you create pages in WordPress they’re not added to the menu automatically, so we need to create the menu which shows how to get to the pages you’ve made. This blog shows you how to create such a navigation menu. Let’s start at the beginning:
Step 1: Login to your website’s dashboard.
Just a quick aside on what may seem like a mundane issue to you. It is important that your username is something OTHER than admin. If it is admin, that means that all a hacker has to do is figure out your password in order to get into your website. You might want to check out some of the important things that Penner Web Design does to make sure that your website is kept secure. We have a web security package which you might be interested. You can explore it here: https://pennerwebdesign.com/wordpress-web-security/
Step 2: Make sure your menu isn’t collapsed
If your menu only shows icons in a vertical row, click on the right arrow at the bottom of it (see it at left) and your menu will appear with words on it. That’s a bit easier to follow.
Step 3: Create your pages
Generally the menu you create will point to pages you have created. If you have already created pages, you can see them by passing the cursor over the ‘Pages’ item in the menu list at the left and selecting ‘All Pages’.
Step 4: Go to the section of WordPress where you control the menus
Now that you know how to create page, create 4 of them. Call them Home, About Us, Contact and Sample Page.
Next, pass your cursor over the word ‘Appearance’ (see left). A ‘flyout’ menu appears. Click on the word ‘Menus’ to go to the menu control area of WordPress.
Step 5: Name your Menu
Type the name that you want to give to your menu in the blank space beside the words “Menu Name“. Then click on the blue ‘Create Menu’ button.
Step 6: Select your Menu Settings
Usually you want the menu you are creating to be the ‘Top Menu’. Click on the little box to the left of the words ‘Top Menu’ and then click on the blue ‘Save Menu’ button.
Note: Some themes will refer to this type of menu as a ‘primary menu’ or ‘header menu’ or some similar term instead of ‘Top Menu’. Some themes will have different places where your menu appears and this is where you determine that.
Step 7: Select the pages you want on your menu
You will see the Most Recent pages that you have added to WordPress by default. If you have a lot of pages added over a period of time, you may have to click on the ‘View All’ tab.
We only have 4 pages in our little website. We want to add all of them to our menu. So click beside each page name to put a check mark there, and then click the ‘Add to Menu’ button as shown on the left.
(A short cut would have been to click ‘Select All’ and then the ‘Add to Menu’ button.)
Step 8: Save your menu
Click on the blue ‘Save Menu’ button on the right side of the page. This is a very important step because if you navigate away from the page without saving, everything is lost!
Step 9: Dragging Menu Items Around: Submenus and Reordering
Sometimes you want a menu item to ‘drop down’ from the main menu items you created above. To create a submenu item click and drag that menu item slightly to the right. In the illustration at the left, I have made ‘Contact’ a submenu underneath ‘Home Page’. Do that.
Similarly, if you want to reorder the menu items so that ‘About Us’ appears first in the menu list, you would click and drag that menu item to the top. Try that now, then click ‘Save’, and refresh your web page to see the result (shown below). Note that ‘contact’ is a drop-down menu item under ‘Home’ and that ‘About Us’ is the first menu item on the list.
Step 10: Editing Menu Items
Let’s suppose you want to change the name of the ‘About Us’ menu item to say only ‘About’.
Go back to the section in WordPress where you control the menus. (See Step 4 above). As shown at the left, click on the little down arrow on the far right side of the ‘About Us’ menu item. This reveals all of the details about this menu item. Now in the Navigation Label area, change About Us to About. (Don’t actually do this.)
NOTE: This window is also handy if you want to remove a menu item. All you do is click on ‘Remove’ at the bottom left.
Step 11 Adding Posts and Links
If you have posts on your website, you can go to the page from which the menus are controlled, click on the little down arrow on the far right of the ‘Posts’ and it will display the most recent posts you have. You can add them to your menu in the same way as you added pages.
In addition, you can add links to pages on other websites. You can do that by clicking on the little down arrow at the end of ‘Custom Links’. This allows you to add links to whatever website you like by typing in the URL. At the left, I’m adding the URL for Google and clicking ‘Add to Menu’.
If you did all of this and changed the ‘Home’ menu item back to the top of the list, your final menu should look like what is shown below:
Enjoy working with WordPress menus and if you have any questions please feel free to reach out to me!
For all you bloggers out there, this is a pretty cool shirt.
With our Chapel Hill neighbor UNC in the final four of this years March Madness finale, I felt it was important that we answer a few questions for those that aren’t familiar with this years tournament, and the teams vying to win the NCAA men’s basketball national championship.
The Final 2 Contenders from the Final Four
Tonight at 9PM EST #1 seed UNC will be taking on #1 seed Gonzaga for the national championship after UNC beat out #3 seed Oregon barely with a final score of 77 to 76, and Gonzaga beat out #7 seed South Carolina with a final score of 77 to 73.
Who Won the 2016 Final Four Championship?
Last year at the 2016 NCAA Final Four championship, #1 seed UNC beat out #10 seed Syracuse 83 to 66, and went on to play #2 seed Villanova who beat out #2 seed Oklahoma 95 to 51. Villanova won the final game and took the 2016 NCAA men’s basketball championship from UNC with a final score of 77 to 74.
What was the Lowest Seed Team to ever Win the NCAA Championship?
In 1985, the #8 seed Villanova Wildcats faced off against #1 seed Georgetown in the final game of the championship, and not only did they make history by being the lowest seed team to ever win the Final Four, but they also set history by hitting 78% of their shots to score the highest field goal percentage by any team within the championship.
I’m a diehard Duke fan, but for real, this year, I’m putting on my lucky socks and cheering for UNC, because, let’s face, who even knows where Gonzaga is anyway?
Although concerns about Zika settled temporarily during the winter months, Mosquito Tek who is one of my clients that’s been focusing his efforts toward mosquito control in Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Durham and the surrounding Triangle has brought it to my attention how important it is that everybody plan ahead this season in preparation for what could be a record year for mosquitoes.
2016-2017: Record Warm Winter in North Carolina
The 2016-2017 winter season in North Carolina saw record high temperatures according to NOAA and even though precipitation was lower than normal, what can be expected is that mosquito season will come sooner than expected. Along with the longer mosquito season comes the potential for an unusually warm spring, summer, and fall that will be perfect breeding for mosquitoes.
Get ahead of the Mosquito Infestation
With mosquito season starting early, Mosquito Tek has already seen a major increase in calls for people trying to prevent their homes and businesses around the Triangle from the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes which carry Zika, and face the potential for Zika since the CDC indicated last year that North Carolina is among the eastern states that are within the estimated range for risk of Zika. The best defense against Zika is a good offense, and that includes spraying the area around your home and business early in the year before mosquitoes can set up for breeding.