Category Archives: Web Design

Latest Mystery: Tracking Down the Archive

I installed The Events Calendar by Modern Tribe, Inc. on another site the other day so I could keep a community calendar of tech and business events. It seems like a pretty good WordPress plugin which is probably why it has over 700,000 installs.

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It’s not perfect – the free version doesn’t handle recurring events and Gutenberg seems to break the CSS, at least on the theme that I’m using – but Gutenberg can be turned off for this plugin and it creates a very attractive calendar for the site. The events are stored as blog posts with their own specific post type so the plugin makes use of the existing tables within the database. I could write some SQL to copy events with new dates but it’s pretty much just as easy to go through the interface.

The sticking point came when I noticed that it was titling my main calendar page “Events Archive” which is not the title I want Google seeing when it looks at my site. The calendar page is auto-generated by the plugin so it’s not stored in the Pages section of the site and I couldn’t set the title manually.

After searching through Google and with a little bit of guesswork, I finally tracked the problem down to my Yoast SEO plugin. Yoast adds a new Events section under its Search Appearance >> Content Types settings for Event Tribe events and it was using the word Archive for the SEO Title of the generated page. Once I changed this, it fixed the problem on the site.


How To Create a Local WordPress site with XAMPP

XAMPP is one of many AMP software stacks (Apache – MySQL – PHP) that can be used to create a local web development environment for design and testing.  It automatically installs and configures Apache as a web server so that you can view your pages through http://localhost, MySQL as a database server for website data and PHP to render any PHP code within your pages.

Once you have XAMPP installed, you can install WordPress or other content management systems locally so that you can easily develop and test your web content and programming before uploading it to the web or an intranet.  I also use WordPress as a local CMS for organizing my own content.

Setting up XAMPP and WordPress takes as little as 10 minutes and can be done either on your hard drive or a USB flash drive as I show in this video. The flash drive option is a little slower but it is easily portable between systems as XAMPP runs entirely from the directory it’s installed to.

Downloads: XAMPP is developed by ApacheFriends and maintained by Bitnami. The download is available through SourceForge or from ApacheFriends.org: https://sourceforge.net/projects/xampp/ https://www.apachefriends.org/index.html

The latest version of WordPress is available from WordPress.org. https://wordpress.org/download/

 


Using JavaScript with ASP.NET

Why Use JavaScript?

There are a few technologies that you must be comfortable with if you want to do any serious web development. HTML for content, CSS for formatting and JavaScript for dynamic programming are recognized as the three foundation skills that any good web designer needs.

ASP.NET programmers might be tempted to do away with the last item given that .NET code can do virtually anything when combined with HTML and CSS but JavaScript is still very important and the reason lies in the different domains in which each language operates.

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A Complete Guide to Installing MySQL and PHP with IIS

Note:  This article was written in 2015 and is in the process of being updated.  It is still useful as a general guide for issues you might encounter in this type of installation. Please take this into consideration when downloading components.


One of my latest projects was setting up WordPress, the popular content management system, on a client’s web server which was running Windows Server 2008. WordPress requires installations of MySQL for the database back-end and the PHP scripting language in order to serve up the WordPress content. On a local Windows machine, I’d probably just use a pre-configured WAMP (Windows, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack package like XAMPP which is installed quickly and includes all the necessary components. That’s not quite an option in a professional environment, though. I was also working with Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.5 for the web server instead of Apache so the process is a little more involved.

Click here to read more about using XAMPP to create a local installation of WordPress.

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ASP.NET for Beginners

31dfef58-1812-4523-ab35-c8bf20fcfd83If you’ve been wanting to learn how to design websites with ASP.NET, here’s your chance! Check out my latest three-part series on OcalaITPros.com where I explain the basics of Microsoft’s ASP.NET framework and how it’s used to create dynamic websites. This series will guide you through creating and publishing a sample application completely from scratch. The series is based on my speaking notes from a recent meeting of the Ocala I.T. Professionals.

Part I – What is ASP.NET?
Learn about the difference between static and dynamic websites and how ASP.NET is used to serve dynamic content.

Part II – Getting Started with Visual Studio and ASP.NET
Installing Visual Studio 2013 Community and starting your first ASP.NET project.

Part III – Building and Publishing Your ASP.NET Application
Completing your ASP.NET project, testing it on on your local machine and publishing it to a hosting service.

 

Importing Meta Descriptions to Yoast SEO

In a recent post, I talked about using the WordPress plugin Add Meta Tags for adding meta descriptions and titles to posts and pages within my WordPress sites. It’s a simple SEO tool but works well. Nevertheless, I decided to switch my sites over to Yoast SEO for all its extra features and guidance in constructing pages. I was anticipating quite a job as this blog alone has almost 100 posts and all of those descriptions needed to be transferred from the fields created by the old plugin to Yoast’s fields. Yoast does have some import tools of its own but they didn’t include the one I’d been using and my experience with a third-party converter had not been good so I was glad to find that I could do it so simply with one query in phpMyAdmin.

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5 Great WordPress Plugins for Your Site

One of the great things about WordPress is the thousands of plugins available. With a little bit of research and just a few clicks, you can quickly add almost any kind of functionality to your site from SEO features to full eCommerce packages. Since I manage multiple sites of my own and more for clients, I’ve had the opportunity to review a number of WordPress plugins and thought I’d list some of my favorites here.

You can find any of these plugins by searching for the name I’ve provided through your own WordPress site. I’ve reviewed the free versions here and included the names of the authors and their sites for reference.

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Web Design – FREE Online Training!

Visit W3Schools.com.If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to design your own website, W3Schools.com is an excellent online resource that offers instruction in all the technologies you need including HTML, CSS, PHP and Javascript. The site offers easy to use tutorials and complete references for these languages with examples and online demos that you can use to practice your new skills.

Before you spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on classes and specialized materials, check out what’s available online for FREE. Very often, the only investment you need to make now is your time.