I spent the last two days in OKC learning about iThemes products and WordPress from Cory Miller and his team. They were all really passionate about the WordPress products they are developing and just as passionate about sharing what they know with all of us.
Here are seven things I learned.
1. The Builder theme is pretty neat. It offers a ton of flexibility. If you want a theme that provides you lots of control then this is the theme for you. The theme allows you to control the layout of the page (what types of areas are on the page and where they go) as well as the ability to have different layouts for different sections of your site. It also lets you control the style of the pages (colors, fonts, spacing, etc.) Last but not least, it lets you control the aspect of the site that help with SEO (page titles, descriptions, metat tags, etc.) Thanks to Chris Jean for a good demo and detailed development work. (check it out at http://www.ithemes.com)
2. The Backup Buddy plugin is the best backup tool. Problem : You need to back up your site – all of your site: the database, the themes, the plugins, them images, and the version of WordPress you are using. Solution: Backup Buddy. It can restore a backup to the original site or to an empty directory. It can also restore a backup to a new site with a new domain (changes all the references in the database to the domain name) and to a new set of database tables. This is great for developing a site on one server and them moving it to the the production site with the production domain. This is definitely worth paying for. Thanks to Dustin Bolton for making is easy to do backups we needed. (check it out at http://www.pluginbuddy.com)
3. Firefox with addins like Firebug and Colorzilla make a powerful tool set. If you do web development then you need to use these tools provide a powerful way to work with web pages (HTML, CSS, etc.). Yes, I know most of you already know this. but that Colorzilla addon was pretty cool. Thanks to Matt Danner for the demo.
4. Twitter has @anywhere. This is a new development offering from Twitter that makes it possible for visitors to follow and tweet from their Twitter accounts with our leaving your site. This can really make it much easy for you to get visitors to follow and tweet about your site. Thanks to Benjamin Bradley for showing this. Check it out http://dev.twitter.com/anywhere/
5. Widget Logic plugin is great for controlling when widgets show up. This plugin will let you have great control of when individual widgets show up on a page. It uses all the WordPress PHP conditional functions to test to see if a widget is displayed. I really like this plugin and see that it could help you build a site that had lots of flexibility.
6. The Internet is still in it infancy. Things have change a lot in the past 10 years, but it is not over. The Internet has certainly not reached maturity. There are still changes to come and we have to keep learning, trying new things, and using what works. Thanks to Cory Miller for reminding us that there it lots to come.
7.The iThemes team is fun and helpful. They stayed around and talk with anyone that had a question or needed help. You can tell they like doing what they are doing and value having a great relationship with their customers. It is easy to see why iThemes is growing and making a big contribution in the WordPress marketplace.
It was an enjoyable and educational two days. It was fun to hear about what others around the country were doing with WordPress and to meet Lisa Sabin Wilson the author of WordPress for Dummies and BuddyPress for Dummies. She got us started with a great discussion on how WordPress is for more than just blogging.
If you get a chance to attend any of iThemes Bootcamps, I think you will find them time well spent. I did.
- Joy and Despair with Technology
- Getting Twitter Tools to Shorten URLs
- Best Plug-ins for a WordPress Blog
- Part 2: Using WordPress and Artisteer on a new Business website
- Dallas WordCamp: Seven things I learned #WCDFW09
- Making Your Own WordPress Themes with Artisteer
- Part 3: Using WordPress and Artisteer on a new Business website