I found this last week over on Smashing Magazine. They have a freebie design resource called the Facebook Fan Page GUI PSD. Basically, it is a layered Photoshop document containing all the Facebook user interface elements that makes it easy for you to design graphics for either Facebook walls or tabs.
What makes this helpful is that you get to design your graphic while seeing right away how it looks on Facebook’s design. What’s more, they are promising that with every change to the Facebook UI, this file will be reproduced 24 hours later.
Quite often companies would like their front page to display blog items but only the ones they specifically choose. There are a few different ways to go about doing this in WordPress which I will touch on first, however one of the best ways is to ask them to make the posts sticky and create a special template for the front page that only shows sticky posts and then another template for the blog that ignores the sticky status.
The BuddyPress team has released the latest version of BuddyPress, version 1.5, adding considerable improvements especially in the integration part. If you don’t know about BuddyPress, it is a major social plugin for WordPress, allowing you to use the user system in the front end of the website, complete with groups, forums and profiles.
New in 1.5 is apart from the usual ton of bug fixes and minor enhancement are a few more major features. First of all, they have reworked the default theme to behave and look better. Additionally, the integration with WordPress core is much tighter. BuddyPress now has support for the built in menu system and the admin bar.
Other news are a brand-new installation and update wizard as well as improved profile field management.
BuddyPress is freely available through the WordPress repository (you can install it from your dashboard like any other plugin). They also have their own plugin website with support and a community which provides both help and plugins for BuddyPress itself.
It feels like I am constantly wading through image slider plugins in search of the most versatile one for me. This time I feel like I have gotten closer to being able to stick with one. Orbit is a neat jQuery plugin that out of the box looks great on your page and uses a very simple markup.
After including the orbit files in the header of your page, all you need is a very simple markup that actually goes very well with the markup you might already have written prior to implementing the slider. Since Orbit is coded in a way that it determines the width and height of your images automatically you don’t need to add any special CSS to your stylesheet (other than including the orbit css).
What I like the most about Orbit so far is that it is simple and doesn’t interfere. I normally write my code first and include the slider later and I hate having to go in and add the necessary slider container CSS myself. With orbit, I don’t need to worry about that as the plugin will do that for me.
Together with our parent company, Bernskiold Media, we are hosting a free WordPress webinar aimed at WordPress beginners on September 14th. The webinar is perfect for you who do not wish to learn how to set up WordPress but just need to use it with a site that is already set up for you.
In this WordPress webinar will learn how categories, tags, posts, pages and media work and how you can add and manage them. Additionally, you will learn what some of the WordPress set up settings do and what happens when you change them.
Here is a nice WordPress theme trick for you. Quite often, pages can be enhanced a lot by using custom fields attached to them and printing the custom fields out to build up complex page templates. They can also be used to hold settings for whether to show something or not, in which case they need to be loaded and used in an if-statement. The standard code to get a custom field however, is quite long and contains just a few variable parts.
To make the including easier, I usually create a simple function and leave in my functions.php for projects when I need to include custom fields, either to print them out or use in an if-statement. In this article, I’d like to show you how that is done.
Any business that provides a tired product or service needs to present this well for their customers. Pricing tables are far from a simple outline of what each product tier offers, but a marketing tool to make customers choose the “right” package that makes you the most money.
In this roundup, we take a look at 15 pricing table designs that all look gorgeous and drill down to what the main features of the tables are before finishing up with a conclusion on the current popular trends in pricing tables and what you should consider doing when in charge of designing such a table.
You can use this post in two ways, either as a source of inspiration for your project, or to learn what techniques are out there or why not combine the two reasons?
There are quite a few plugins available for WordPress that will tweet out new WordPress posts automatically when they are posted. By having your posts automatically tweeted you have one less thing to worry about in the day.
Even though there are auto-tweet plugins aplenty, none that I have found is quite as extensive as WordTwit Pro. This plugin gives you pretty much what you need to share your links more effectively and saving you more time.
Scheduling Multiple Updates
WordTwit Pro will offer you the option of tweeting your post to the world multiple times of the day. You can choose, on a post-per-post basis, how many times you want it to be tweeted out and, if more than one, how long time that should pass in-between. You can also have your tweets delayed from the start.
It would be thoroughly useful if WordTwit Pro allowed you to set a default setting for this in its settings. Currently, you can only set this per post, which is slightly more time consuming than ideal when you usually use the same time settings for posts.
Tweet to Multiple Accounts
While many freely available plugins allow you to tweet to one account, fewer allow you to set-up more than one account to tweet to. By default, all accounts are selected for each post but this can be customized per post in the WordTwit box.
Even though I typically publish to all accounts that I select, I could see a setting similar to what should be there fore multiple updates. This would be a setting that allowed you to change which accounts it tweets to by default. Maybe there is an account you only occasionally use?
Hashtagging, Tweeting and Short URLs
As you would expect any auto-tweeting plugin to do, WordTwit Pro manages hashtags easily and will of course allow you to customize the tweet for each post.
The plugin has settings that lets you add tracking links for Google Analytics, as well as choose a URL shortening service of your choice and also use the APIs of these service providers. This means that if you have a custom URL set up with bit.ly, WordTwit pro would use this in your tweets.
WordTwit Pro is a paid WordPress plugin but at $39 for a single site license, it is very fairly priced. If you are a developer, you may get a 5 site license for $69 or opt directly for a Pro Unlimited version at $99 that gives you installation rights on an unlimited number of sites, including WP MU installations. There is a free version available which provides a much limited feature-set.
If you need to be able to tweet to multiple accounts or want the added comfort of being able to tweet automatically multiple times of the day, WordTwit Pro is a good fit for you. Even though it does lack some default settings that would highly improve the plugin, it still is a very nice plugin as it is that is far superior to other auto-tweet plugins currently available.
This week, the WordPress team released WordPress 3.2, (codenamed Gershwin) available directly from within the updates screen in the dashboard of your WordPress install. Before upgrading (which you should do), make sure you download a working backup of your database.
Given that WordPress 3.2 is a major upgrade, the risk that it breaks certain themes and plugins is more present than smaller upgrades. Be extra careful if you are using plugins that are mission-critical to your website. Check that the plugins that you use are set as compatible with the new version, or try the upgrade on a test installation before upgrading your production website.
What’s new in 3.2?
It is always nice to see what new features are included in a new WordPress version and this one has quite a few news.
I quite fancy the idea of frameworks to help speed up the daunting parts of web development. For some projects I have wished for an easy to use typography framework that gives good basic styles for basic paragraphs, lists, blockquotes, tables and forms. Baseline is a framework that seems to offer this.
What is it and what does it offer?
Baseline is quite an extensive framework, offering styles for most typography tags as well as forms and tables. As an addition it also offers a grid, which to me is not as useful given the extensive 960 grid system that I tend to lean towards using.
This is a quote from their website:
Built with typographic standards in mind, Baseline makes it easy to develop a website with a pleasing grid and good typography. Baseline starts with several files to reset the browser’s default behavior, build a basic typographic layout — including style for HTML forms and new HTML 5 elements — and build a simple grid system. Baseline was born to be a quick way to prototype a website and grew up to become a full typographic framework for the web using “real” baseline grid as its foundation.
Not All Things Golden Are Gold
I have one issue with the Baseline framework. While it offers some excellent styles, specifically the tables which I find excellent, I am not convinced that this framework is all that I want as a base. The reason is not so much the rarely used tags which are mainly good but rather the main headings and paragraph tags. It takes a while to recover from its reset code and the way the paragraphs are set up.
If you like an indent as a paragraph starter, this should fit you perfectly, if you don’t you will have to work around this to be less “old book style” and more modern.
For the right project I will try to use Baseline, at least a few parts of it such as the tables. In the short time I have had playing around with it so far, I am torn between impressed and finding it useful and finding it a pain to use.