How to Choose a WordPress Theme

When it comes to choosing the right WordPress Theme, there is a right way and a wrong way. And both may be right for you.

First, let’s look at what people look for and what influences them in the decision process with a WordPress Theme, and the myths of their reasoning.

Comparing the same 2011 WordPress Theme - the light and the dark version - totally different.

The default WordPress 2011 Theme has two versions, dark and light. By changing the background image, these two sites on the same Theme are completely different.

How much does it cost?

First of all, the majority of WordPress Themes in the WordPress Theme Directory are free. Before you start investing in a WordPress Theme, stick with free Themes so you can test drive them.

If you fall in love with one and lack the web design experience or time to modify it, contact the author and hire them to fix this to your liking.

A paid or premium WordPress Theme is no better or worse than a free Theme. Don’t believe the hype. You are usually paying for support or additional features you may or may not need. Price does not dictate quality. Continue reading

WordPress and PHP

I had the honor of being a guest speaker for the PHP class at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington. The following is the slideshow presentation and references and resources mentioned during the presentation.

WordPress Codex PHP and Programming References

Other WordPress and PHP References and Resources

How to Install WordPress on Your Computer or USB

WordPress code logo thumbnailInstalling WordPress on your computer is a great way to test and explore WordPress features. It’s also an excellent way to work on WordPress Themes and Plugins without exposure to the public view. When your site is set up and ready, it’s easy to move WordPress from your computer to your hosted server.

Why would you want to install and setup a portable version of WordPress?

  • It allows you to design and develop a testing environment protected from public eyes.
  • It allows you a safe, secure space, especially for testing private and security-specific WordPress development.
  • You can take WordPress with you or mail the thumbdrive to anyone. Plug it into any Windows-based machine and fairly instantly have WordPress up and running, ready to show clients what their future site will look like and have them test it fully while not connected to the Internet nor exposed to the public.
  • You can work on WordPress while not connected to the Internet.

There are a variety of tools that will help you install WordPress to your computer dependent upon the operating system. Some are very simple requiring few steps to completion. Others are a little more complex, so read through the documentation carefully before deciding which one to try, or try several to get the feel of how they work and which ones will work for you and your needs.

You have two choices in making WordPress portable. You can install it on a thumbdrive or to your laptop or desktop computer.

For my classes and workshops, unless you are used to bringing in your laptop, I recommend you install it on a Thumbdrive. Most of the computers in the classrooms where I teach are Windows based, so use Instant WordPress and install it to your thumbdrive. Continue reading

How WordPress Boots Up: A Step-by-step Examination of the WordPress Loop has a series of three articles on how WordPress boots up, how it moves through the process as a visitor lands on their first page on your site and a step-by-step look at the WordPress Loop.

  1. WordPress Internals: How WordPress Boots Up
  2. WordPress Internals: How WordPress Boots Up Part 2
  3. WordPress Internals: How WordPress Boots Up Part 3 –

As a visitor lands on a web page on a WordPress site, the browser begins the process of loading the visitor request to view a specific page. On that web page, there are codes that instruct WordPress to pull information from the site design files called WordPress Theme template files, from WordPress Plugins, from the database, and other code requests to literally build a viewable page instantly for the visitor. These articles dig deeply into how WordPress code works with all the various programs and options to generate that page.