Tag Archive for: wordpress

Gutenberg WordPress editor

Today WordPress released version 5.0, a significant update which promises a new and revolutionary way of editing your website.  The goal of its new editor, Gutenberg, is to make it simpler to design posts and pages using “blocks” without the use of a layout builder or advanced editor.  This could be a boon for simple WordPress sites without custom fields or advanced editors but has caused problems for many of the millions of custom sites out there.

IdeaZone has long used custom themes with Advanced Custom Fields and builder themes like Enfold to develop sites for our clients.  We advise all our clients to keep their WordPress core, themes and plugins up-to-date to keep their sites functioning and secure.  Unfortunately, this latest WordPress update simply doesn’t play well with many sites.  Many of our clients have noticed after the update that the back end of their website is no longer simple and intuitive and has rather become a mess of confusing code and blocks.

Enfold and Advanced Custom Fields have responded by releasing versions of their software that are compatible with the new Gutenberg editor; however, in some cases the issues have persisted.

In the case of Enfold, one of their recent releases requires manual update via FTP (File Transfer Protocol).  Some users unfamiliar with this method will need the help of a developer.  IdeaZone can take care of this critical update for you.  Simply fill out a support ticket.

In the meantime, there is a solution to restore your site’s back-end to its former state: the Disable Gutenberg plugin.  Installing and configuring this plugin is simple and can prevent a lot of headaches.

  • Step 1: From your WordPress dashboard, hover over Plugins in the left-hand administration menu and click “Add New”
  • Step 2: Type “Disable Gutenberg” into the search box on the Add New Plugin interface.
  • Step 3: Find Disable Gutenberg by Jeff Starr and click Install Now
  • Step 4: Click “Activate Plugin”
  • Step 5:  From the left-hand administrative menu, choose “Settings” and then “Disable Gutenberg”
  • Step 6: Choose “Disable Gutenberg Everywhere” and save your changes.

 

Your site’s back end should now be restored.  If you need help with the plugin installation, please do not hesitate to contact IdeaZone and ask for help.  We are happy to assist you.

How to do Regular WordPress updates

In the following video, I do a step by step demonstration on how to do regular WordPress Updates that include the WordPress core, plugins and your active theme. You will find a complete transcript bellow the video as well.

If you have any questions regarding this video or any of our services please feel free to email me personally at jon@ideazone.ca. Alternatively you can call us in Victoria at 250 412 5610 or toll free at 1 844 651 9333

 


-Transcription-

Hello, I’m Jon Valade from IdeaZone.ca in Victoria BC.

In today’s video we are going to look at how to do regular WordPress updates from the WordPress management area.

WordPress will regularly recommend updates and it is critically important that these be completed every couple of weeks. Not only do these updates expand WordPress’ capabilities but more importantly, they keep your website safe from hackers and other online threats.

Once you are logged into your WordPress Dashboard you are going to navigate to the Updates Management screen where you will see a display of all the updates currently needed.

The orange circle with the 9 showing beside the Updates links tells us that there is a total of 9 updates needed at this time. All these updates will be spread out across the WordPress core, the plugins and possibly your theme

You can see right at the top of the page a confirmation that your WordPress core is indeed out of date and needs to be updated to version 4.9.8

Scrolling down the same page we see a complete list of the plugins that also need to be updated

Now we scroll to the bottom of the page and see a notification that the theme, in this case Enfold, also needs to be updated to the new version.

Let’s scroll back to the top of the page and start with updating the WordPress core. This literally is as simple as clicking on the Update Now link and then going to get yourself a fresh cup of coffee.

WordPress will fetch, install and configure the new version all by itself.

Once the WordPress core is updated you will be automatically directed to this page that lists all the changes and updated to WordPress since your last version.

Let’s navigate back to the Updates Management page. Notice now that the orange circle shows an 8 instead of a 9. This confirms that one of the updates, in this case the WordPress core, has been completed successfully.

So now that we are back on our Updates Management screen we are going to go ahead and deal with all the out of date plugins.

Start by clicking in the check box beside “Select All” to select all the listed plugins.

With all the outdated plugins selected, click on the “Update Plugins” button at the top of the list.

WordPress will now fetch and install each plugin, one at a time while showing you its progress. You can sit back and follow what is happening on the screen or, you can go and get yourself yet another cup of coffee.

Once all the plugins are updated you will be redirected to the Updates Management screen. Here you can see the confirmation message showing that all the plugins are properly updated.

The last step now is to update your theme. Here you need to be careful.

During the development of your website several design and layout options may have be changed within the CSS code of the theme. To make sure that design code stays separate from the theme files, a professional company will make these edits within a created child theme. Creating a child theme ensures that the parent theme can be updated without reverting the website’s design back to the original setting.

If you are unsure if your site has a child theme, then I highly recommend that you have a professional developer take a look and maybe have them make this final update for you.

If you are comfortable proceeding with this update then click in the check box beside “Select All”, Next, click on “Update Themes” button.

If you look at the font end of your website during any of these updates you will notice that the website has been put into maintenance mode. This is to make sure that visitors to your site are made aware that the site is unavailable for only a short period of time.

Once all the updates are complete, you will get a notification that maintenance mode has been deactivated and your website is accessible on the internet.

Well that is all for this video. IdeaZone does offer these updates within all our maintenance packages along with content edits and additional security measures.

If you have any questions regarding this video or any of our services please feel free to email me personally at jon@ideazone.ca. Alternatively you call us in Victoria at 250 412 5610 or toll free at 1 844 651 9333

WordPress versus WIX

In today’s market, every business needs an online presence to truly be successful. When it comes to website design, there are a myriad of tools available. But, as anyone who’s ever had to comb through 100 lines of HTML to troubleshoot a problem can tell you, web development is a rather complicated and specialized field.

So, what’s the best web development tool on the market today?

Personally, I use WordPress. It’s versatile; and includes an insane number of plugins to do anything I want under the sun. The same goes for the themes, or templates—some of which include different ways to build the site. If the basic editors can’t do what I want them to do, I can always code by hand, which is always a whole lot of fun until I miss one [CREATIVE EXPLETIVE DELETED] bracket.

WordPress is simply bulging with tools and different ways to do any one thing. So, if I want something to look a certain way, it will look that certain way. Hard stop. There’s a reason WordPress is the most utilized web development tool currently available.

However, the glorious collective mind of the free market has put forth several solutions for the layperson, with products such as Squarespace and Wix.

I recently jumped into Wix to get a feel for it. In the process, I managed to make a jumbled mess of a site that would most likely make my father, a man who’s been developing websites since before I can remember, cry. But esthetics wasn’t really the purpose of my experiment. I wanted to find out more about functionality and usability.

At first glance, Wix automatically won 10 points as it had the same pink guide lines while moving things that Adobe Illustrator has. They look the same. They function the same, and Adobe always makes me happy. Beyond this, I scrolled through a few of the templates available and to WIX’s credit, they look nice. Generic, but nice. Templates that create the same sort of site that would fit in just fine with any other site built in the 2010s. (Not that any basic WordPress themes stand out on their own, either.)

The downside of Wix (especially to someone like me, who’s used to the creative freedom of WordPress) became apparent once I started trying to design the site. Wix has a lovely catalog of apps and vectors, but using these alone does not constitute creative freedom or even proper corporate branding. The apps are categorized in a way that makes them easy enough to find, but the vector art and basic shapes are frustratingly limited in their use. I could do some interesting things with them, but it’d be a thousand times easier and more versatile to build the vectors in Adobe.

Wix apps are useful but in a very limited way. The design settings were so limited that at one point, I actually had to stop writing and retreat to the corner of the room for a brief cry (not even kidding). Wix just gives you a lot of stuff to drag and drop into place and call it a day.

It may sound like I’m coming down on Wix. Okay, well I guess I am. The program isn’t without its merits, though. For a small business just starting up, Wix wouldn’t be a terrible solution. Developers come with an expense; Wix does not. One could build a perfectly functional website with Wix. The site probably wouldn’t stand out, but it would work just fine.

The difference between WordPress and Wix is sort of like drawing a picture by hand compared to using a box of rubber stamps. With WordPress you can draw anything you want, exactly how you want. Wix is the box of stamps. Maybe one stamped image doesn’t stand out all that well; maybe even a group of them arranged together isn’t exactly what you’re looking for. But if you can’t draw, those stamps don’t seem half bad.

For myself, though, I do believe I’m going to go make sure my pencil is nice and sharp.