Twenty Seventeen ships as the new default theme with WordPress 4.7. This business-oriented theme marks a noteworthy departure from the blog-centric default themes of the past and reflects WordPress’ broader transition from a blogging platform into a platform well-suited to creating all sorts of websites. If you plan to try out Twenty Seventeen you’ll figure something out quickly: this theme is nothing like its predecessors. Past default themes have required only minimal setup and were designed to be functional blog themes right out of the box. This is not the case with Twenty Seventeen.
The usual way to verify a website with Google Webmaster tools (now known as Google Search Console) is to download a small file from Google and then upload it to your website, or to make a change to the DNS records.
As FTP is becoming less and less used these days, and often the DNS management is done by someone different to the person responsible for the website, there are better ways!
Here’s a quick guide on how to verify your WordPress site with Google Webmaster Tools using just your web browser, no FTP or DNS, and a free plugin.
Add the site in Google Webmaster tools, and select the Alternate methods and then HTML tag (Add a meta tag to your site’s home page) option.
Then in WordPress, install and activate the plugin, go to Settings -> Google Webmaster Tools and paste in the HTML tag that Google is showing you. Save Changes and go back to Google and click Verify.
What is Google Webmaster tools?
Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) is a no-charge web service by Google for webmasters. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites. As of May 20, 2015, Google rebranded Google Webmaster Tools as Google Search Console.
Wordcamps are a chance for everyone to learn, share knowledge and celebrate WordPress together.
Typically there a bunch of talks by WordPress users, experts, contributors and developers, and you pick the ones you’re most interested in. 2020Media has both sponsored and attended the London WordCamp for the last 2 years.
WordCamp Brighton 2016 will run over two days. You can attend one or both of the days. Cost for the entire conference is just £20 per person. Tickets are on sale now.
Saturday 23rd July 2016
Saturday is the main conference day. It’ll be a full day of informative talks on diverse topics related to WordPress. Food and refreshments are provided throughout the day.
Saturday night is the afterparty. This is a relaxed social event where you can meet others and network with the WordPress community.
Sunday 24th July 2016
Sunday is contributor day. There’ll be talks, workshops and you’ll get the chance to help make WordPress even better.
You can contribute to many different areas of WordPress, depending on your interests. It’s an opportunity to collaborate with people in a similar field to you. Or you might discover an entirely new area of interest. Find out about the different contributor groups here.
In a guest post, 2020Media director Rex explains how he created a WordPress website to help with managing committee meetings for a school governing board.
Rex says: “I recently became a school governor, and at the first governing board meeting it became apparent that there was an awful lot of paperwork! I’d been emailed various documents before the meeting, but these were spread over several batches, and there were also items that the documentation was not available until close to the last minute. I felt a web-based service for keeping track of a meeting agenda with links to the associated reports would be very useful.”
I decided to build the site using the free WordPress software. Not only does WordPress have a well-deserved reputation for ease of use, which was important as non technical people would be uploading documents to the site, but there are also plugins available for every conceivale use, and I knew the some of the functions needed were not going to work “out of the box”.
Easy to Use.
Reduce, not Add to Workload.
Show upcoming and historical meeting agendas.
Cater for school governing board committee structure.
Format agenda to display items in a familiar way.
I started with a standard WordPress install using 2020Media’s zero-click WordPress hosting. A SSL certificate was added to make all communications with the site secure. I then started to build out the system using a very flexibile WordPress theme called GeneratePress. One premium add-on to this theme was used – Blog – which simply allows some of the meta-data in a post to be hidden. Cost of this add-on was $10.
WordPress Plugins Used
Admin Menu Editor
Nested Ordered Lists
White Label CMS
WP Scheduled Posts
Rather then go through a recipe style guide on replicating the site, I’m just going to explain what I did differently, please ask if anything isn’t clear.
Each meeting is a blog post (in WordPress terms). The agenda items are a simple ordered list created in the WordPress editor, with reports added using the “Add Media” or simply dragged across from the user’s computer. Post categories are used for the different committees. The theme used has sidebar widgets showing clickable Categories as well as Archives, Calendar and Custom Meta (showing a simplied login menu). Password Protected is used to block access to the site to the public.
In WordPress future dated posts are not shown until they are scheduled so to the WP Scheduled Posts plugin allowed us to publish post immediately but with future date-time. This meant the publish date could be set as the date of committee meeting, rather than the date it was written. This in turn meant the calendar and archives had meaningful dates on them.
Other plugins used were mainly to simplify operations for the users of the site. Each user was given the “Editor” role, which allows them to create and manage any post. Menu items were renamed or hidden from view to make the administration as straightforward as possible. I chose to use plugins rather than a custom theme as I believe it will be easier to maintain the site over the long term.
The system has not yet been adopted so I anticipate making changes based on feedback from the committee members. So far feedback from the Chair and Clerk (who will be the ones using the administration side primarily) has been very positive.
Prior to a meeting the agenda can be built up, and reports added.
A link to the meeting post can be circulated to the board by the clerk, rather than sending several emails with attachments.
During a meeting colleagues will be able to use tablets and laptops to pull up reports as needed, and fewer piles of paper will be generated.
Some possible future changes.
A notifications system – The system could notify all members when a post is published, or updated, or a week prior to the meeting.
If you are choosing a CMS system, WordPress is now a very popular choice.
If you want to use the open-source CRM system CiviCRM, WordPress has been an option as a front-end for a few years. But how integrated are they?
Once installed, CiviCRM keeps your WordPress Users synchronized with corresponding CiviCRM contact records. The ‘rule’ is that there will be a matched contact record for each WordPress user record. Conversely, only contacts who are authenticated users of your site will have corresponding WordPress user records.
When CiviCRM is installed on top of an existing WordPress site, a special CiviCRM Administrative feature allows you to automatically create CiviCRM contacts for all existing WordPress users.
Keep WordPress users in sync with CiviCRM memberships by granting either a role or capabilities to users with that membership. This enables you to have, among other things, members-only content on your website that is only accessible to current members as defined by the membership types and status rules that you set up in CiviCRM.
Displays contribution page widgets from CiviContribute as native WordPress widgets. This plugin makes it easy to include one or more contribution page “widgets” as actual WordPress widgets on your sidebar.
Display widgets for CiviCRM events: the next public event or a whole list. You can include the widgets in the sidebar like normal, or you can include them via shortcodes in the body of your posts.
Because of the huge number and ever-changing nature of community contributed WordPress plugins, CiviCRM cannot guarantee compatibility with contributed plugins. A list of know incompatibilities can be found at WordPress plugins incompatible with CiviCRM.