Word perfect

You don’t need to know anything about computers to run a website using WordPress, says Paul Allen.

There was a time when three letters filled me with dread. Those letters were “C–M–S”, the shorthand for content management system.

For anyone unfamiliar with a CMS, it’s very simple. A content management system is (if you’re lucky) the thing you use to add words, images, video – basically, any kind of content – to a website. Continue reading Word perfect

Press Releases from 23rd May

Much later than planned, here’s a short write up of the sites that were presented on the 23rd May’s meet up. For those that don’t know, the concept is that each person has up to four minutes to present a piece of WordPress related work, inspiring awe and praise from the rest of the group. Everybody gets the opportunity to ask questions and then (starting from this month) it gets recorded in a blog post so anyone can have another look at the work they liked and promote it on their blogs, twitter, Facebook etc.

Hazlitt Eastman kicked off proceedings, by walking us through the site he built for Microzone, a company producing molecular biology products, the details of which go way over my head! However, I do like the animated GIF in the top right, and the site’s design brings a fun element to what could otherwise be fairly dry content. Hazlitt explained the site used custom post types, some jQuery for hiding and displaying tables of product information and the WP-Blocks plugin to create editable sections of content on the pages in a similar way to Drupal or Joomla.

David Pomfret presented the impressive looking site for Simple as Milk, a graphic design agency David founded. Although James (Simple as Milk’s web  designer) admitted to preferring to use Ruby on Rails for client sites, he’s done a great job of developing this bespoke theme. Sporting a number of satisfying little features, the theme includes a navigation bar appearing when the user scrolls down the page, custom web fonts and CSS3 techniques like text shadow and animations when rolling over a member of the team’s profile picture.

We had a last minute cancellation, so after giving his presentation for the first half of the meeting, our guest speaker John O’Nolan stepped in to show us all around the redesign of his site. Based on the Show Off theme, available from a project that John is involved with called Bio Themes, it uses custom post types for the various pieces of content and he gave us a look at the heavily tailored admin area used for selecting layouts etc.

If you like this work, please promote it in any way you can. If you’re blogging, it’s best that you link to people’s sites directly rather than client work, just so they get the credit from the search engines. Feel free to tweet about it, post a link on Facebook, chat down the pub, or write a letter to an old school friend. It’s important that people realise the great work you are all doing with WordPress, and that you hopefully get a little recognition for it!

Also, if you’ve read this and think you would like the opportunity to present some work at the next meeting, then we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch and we’ll discuss the details.

Word Up – 23rd May

This is the third Word Up Brighton meeting, a WordPress user group for people in and around the Brighton area.

We’re excited to have John O’Nolan as our guest speaker. John is one third of the Explicit Web podcast team, and is also a member of the WordPress Core UI team, so who better to pick up some tips about designing and developing WordPress sites from than someone who is helping create WordPress itself?

We also thought we’d try something new with the Press Release feature. We’d still like a few of you to volunteer to show off something WordPress related that you’re proud of, using the usual format of a maximum of four minutes, but we’ll have the other presenters at the front with you for a bit of moral support. We’re also going to write up what’s presented and get the group to choose which one to have as our Lead Story. This gives you a little extra incentive to show something off, as you’ll receive a bit of free promotion. So send me an email or tweet us (@wordupbrighton) with what you’d like to present.

Doors open at 6:30pm and we’ll get started at 7pm after everyone’s had time to have a chat over a drink.

As usual the event is free, so grab your ticket on Eventbrite, let the world know you’re coming along on Lanyrd, and we’ll see you there.

WordUp Google Group

During the first meeting it was fairly unanimously decided (apart from a vote for Facebook) to keep in touch using a mailing list. While I was taking ages to set one up, Barry got it going, and has kindly let us hijack it.

So, introducing the new WordUp Brighton Google Group. The web address is:


and the all important email address:

[email protected]

Do get involved and discuss all things WordPress. We’ll be using it to organise and announce future events too.

Word Up – Press Releases

At Monday’s first Word Up we’re going to trial a feature called ‘Press Releases’. The idea is you get to show off by presenting a favourite piece of WordPress related work, or wowing everyone with how much you have your finger on the WordPress pulse by showing a groundbreaking plugin, theme or resource that you’ve found.

To continue the publishing theme we’re going to apply an editorial limit, but as a word count would be tricky to implement, you’ll have 200 seconds or less. We’ll then have a short time for the group to shower you with praise and ask awe inspired questions.

We’d like to do as many as we can fit in, so if you’ve got something you think you’d like to show, we’d love to hear about it. Comment below or tweet us @wordupbrighton and we can have a chat.