At this year’s WordCamp Europe, some members of the WordPress.org support team brainstormed how we might be able to share support skills and strategies with the broader WordPress community. We decided to offer some workshops to share support knowledge, and the first one – by yours truly – has been announced. Details are below.
Hope to see you there!
Update: The recording, slides, and notes are available.
The Developer’s Guide to Supporting Your Themes
Providing support for your themes offers tremendous opportunities to educate WordPress users, from explaining how to make a child theme to offering simple CSS customizations. It also presents challenges, like figuring out how to help people who aren’t tech-savvy or need support beyond the scope of what you can provide. While many developers dread doing support, with some concrete strategies and techniques in hand, helping users doesn’t have to be a chore – and can even be fun! This session looks at how to make your themes’ users happy while feeling a sense of satisfaction from your own support efforts – a winning combination in the world of theme development.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 16:00 UTC. It will last for an hour and include Q&A.
The session will be run via videoconference and will be recorded and posted later for those who can’t make it. Please download the free Zoom app ahead of time. You can run Zoom on most desktop and mobile devices.
A link to the Zoom teleconference will be provided in the #forums WordPress.org Slack channel about 10 minutes before the session begins.
In her role as Theme Whisperer on the Theme Team at Automattic, Kathryn Presner provides support for hundreds of themes. She began helping people as a volunteer in the WordPress.org forums back in 2011 and was immediately hooked.
Featured image by Pixel Fantasy (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Good user experience in WordPress themes can make the difference between frustrated or happy users. Yet, it’s often overlooked. A solid user experience can feel just right, creating sound expectations and delight. If you’re looking to boost your theming skills and learn more about themes and user experience, we recommend these three recent talks by members of the Automattic Theme Team:
Kirk Wight, A Call for Simplicity: As WordPress blazes into its second decade, theming, plugin development, and WordPress core itself are reaching troublesome levels of complexity and confusion, challenging the very essence of what has gotten WordPress to where it is in the first place. Pulling from diverse areas of culture and tech, we’ll tie together our need for simplicity, and issue a call to arms for the next ten years of WordPress.
Tammie Lister, Theme, Don’t Be My Everything: It’s time to stop putting everything including the kitchen sink into themes. A theme shouldn’t be a bloated monster with an options panel that stretches out the horizon. This talk is a call to action to stop making themes that do everything and start making themes that focus.
David Kennedy, Themes are for Users: In this talk, we’ll explore user research, theme setup, theme options and more. By the end, you’ll know what makes up a theme’s user experience, and how to set your users up for success.
And if you’re still getting started with theming, or even WordPress, wondering how you could ever contribute to WordPress and add value – you’re not alone. Check out Kathryn Presner’s The Techie Continuum, and start contributing to WordPress today!
The web industry is always changing. Just when you get settled into a routine, the flow of technological innovations force you start a new one. Can you keep up? It never hurts to set aside some time for learning new skills and sharpening your current ones.
In this post, I’ll outline a few online resources that can help you continue your education in web design and development (or to get started, if you’re just joining us).
Continue reading “Online Resources to Help You Learn All The Things”
Update: It’s live! It’s happening! Go read How To Create a WordPress Theme and learn how to code up something awesome.
Does that title sound familiar? Over 2 years ago the now defunct WPDesigner.com published a series of posts under that banner, teaching beginners how to create WordPress Themes from scratch.
2 years ago is a long time online: Things have changed.
Starting next week, ThemeShaper will publish a series of daily lessons that will teach you how to create your very own modern WordPress Theme—from scratch—using the latest best practices.
And it won’t be just any old WordPress theme you’ll have in your hands. In a lot of ways it will surpass what’s been done with the popular Thematic Theme Framework. Except, it’ll be a little leaner, a little meaner, and it’ll be all yours.
Here’s the laundry list of features your finished theme will be able to boast of.
- Search-engine optimization
- Localization support for translation
- Robust dynamic body and post classes
- Separated Comments and Trackbacks
- Gravatar support
- A valid, logical, semantic XHTML structure you can use to build ANY layout
- Valid CSS
- A strong typographical foundation
- Smart default layouts (that we can adapt for later layout generation)
- 2 widget areas, with NO hard-coded widgets, that “disappear” from the markup when they’re empty.
- Styling for WordPress Image Classes
- And pretty much all the typical WordPress stuff
When you’re done you’ll have a complete—and completely powerful—WordPress Theme that you can edit further or build on with a WordPress Child Theme. The choice is yours.
Are you ready?