Category Archives: Wordpress

Gutenberg Incoming — What You Need to Know

Here at Solamar, we build our sites with WordPress. There are tons of reasons we choose WordPress over other systems, many of which we’ve talked about before. It’s free, it’s got a robust community and is easy for our clients to use.

That last point is of particular importance, because WordPress is about to undergo a major change to its editor, all in the name of making it easier for the end-user to create.

I’m talking about Gutenberg, the code name for a brand new editor that will be debuting when WordPress 5.0 releases. Gutenberg has been in the works for a while now, and while it’s not quite finished yet, it’ll soon become the default editing experience for any WordPress site using 5.0 or later. Continue reading

The Latest & Greatest — WordPress 4.9 “Tipton”

One of the great things about WordPress is that it is constantly in development, and each new release brings a slew of new features and updates that make using our favorite CMS even more enjoyable. That’s why, as each new “named” release becomes available, we’re going to take some time here to go through the new bells and whistles for you.

If you have an existing WordPress site, you won’t see these new items automatically, you’ll need to upgrade your WordPress installation to 4.9 in order to see them. However, you shouldn’t update your install without backing up your entire site first and then double-checking everything is still working afterwards. If that isn’t something you are comfortable with, DON’T update. Instead, get a team with WordPress experience, like Solamar, to do it for you.

That said, we still want you to know what the new hotness is, so you’re up-to-date on what WordPress is capable of. So without further ado, here’s the good stuff that was added in WordPress 4.9 “Tipton”, named for jazz musician and band leader Billy Tipton. Continue reading

What’s Involved in Starting a Podcast?

So you want to start a podcast, eh? Well, good on you! We wrote earlier this year about how podcasts can help spice up your content, and since then podcasts have shown no sign of slowing down in popularity.

The problem is, though lots of people are ready to jump on the podcast bandwagon, not everyone knows what is entailed in doing so, at least in terms of producing a professional quality podcast that has a chance to succeed in a crowded marketplace.

The fact is, anyone can podcast! It involves a relatively small financial commitment, and technology that can be learned with a little bit of elbow grease and a basic understanding of computers and the internet. So let’s dig into what’s involved in starting a podcast, and by the end, you should have pretty good idea of what’s involved and whether it’s for you. Continue reading

Take WordPress Live Smoothly — A Launch-Day Checklist

You’re so close you can taste it. The design process went smashingly, the development team translated it beautifully into a working site and all the content is in place. It’s time to take your new WordPress site live!

When you’re so close to the finish line, it can be tempting to sprint the final distance, but in the web world, it’s critically important to make sure you have all your ducks in a row as you introduce your new site to the world.

The last thing you want is for your first impression to go sour because some little detail got overlooked. Instead, follow this launch day checklist to make sure that you have your bases covered, and you can debut your new online home with confidence. Continue reading

WordPress Plugins We Love: Gravity Forms

One of the reasons we love WordPress so much is the vast number of plugins it has available to extend the built-in functionality. But since there are over 40,000 plugins available in the repository, we thought it would be fun to help you sort through the pile by recommending a few of our favorites. These will be plugins we use all the time, have thoroughly tested and highly suggest using if you are looking for what they offer.

Websites need forms. It’s a fact, whether it’s a contact form, and opt-in form, a quiz, an on-boarding questionairre, or a million other things. Sure, you could build those forms manually, or use the embed code from a multitude of third-party services, customizing each so that they look harmonious when used together. But why do that when a high-caliber plugin like Gravity Forms exists?

Gravity Forms is hands down our favorite form management solution for WordPress, and has been for a very long time. Constantly updated, improved and expanded upon, it can easily handle anything form-related we throw at it. Stick around, and we’ll go through some of its best features. Continue reading

How to Pick the Best WordPress Plugins

We’ve been building WordPress websites here at Solamar for a long time now, and as such, we’ve curated our own internal list of the best WordPress plugins to use for a variety of functions we need our sites to have. There’s BackupBuddy for site backups and migrations, iThemes Security to protect against intrusions, Yoast SEO for Search Engine Optimization, and so on.

But what about after we hand a website over to the client? What happens when they discover a need for a functionality and have to implement it themselves? WordPress plugins are the easiest way to do this, but you can’t just go about installing any old plugin you find on the web. A poorly coded plugin can open you up to vulnerability, break your site, slow it down or just be a pain to use.

So how do you know which plugins are the best to pick? Stick around, and I’ll drop some knowledge on you. Continue reading

4 Ways to Reduce WordPress Spam

spamIn the beginning the online universe was formless and void. Then lo, the internet was created and it was good. But as the digital gods rested after their glorious endeavor, sneaky little spammers crept into every shadow and crevice they could find and began inflicting us all with a constant stream of garbage.

Honestly, fighting spam can feel like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. You block off one path, and they immediately find another. But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying to block them, right? Constant vigilance!

Luckily, WordPress has a number of good ways to make life difficult for spammers, so let’s go through a few, and hopefully we can stop those discount Viagra emails you’ve been getting. Continue reading