Seacoast NH WordPress Dev Meetup – An Open Forum

wordpress-developmentA Seacoast NH WordPress Developers Meetup took place on June 3, 2014 and, due to a last minute schedule change, we had no presentation.  This gave us the opportunity to switch to an open forum, because there’s nothing easier for us than to talk about WordPress development for 2 hours.  Thanks to Alpha Loft on Green Street in Portsmouth, NH for providing our venue.

Custom Templates for Custom Post Types

We started off talking about an issue David Long was having with creating custom templates for custom post types. David found himself generating a bunch of templates to query a custom post type for different meta values on a meta key.   David wanted to re-use WordPress Loop code and not repeat the code in the templates (DRY).  One solution (of a few) was to pass in the desired query meta value in the page URL and use the HTML/PHP $_GET[ ‘value_name’] variable .  Code was then written to grab the value of this variable (with error checking) and pass it to the Loop query.  Now David could write one template to handle all the queries.


Seacoast NH WordPress Meetup – Amp Up Your Admin

wordpress-developmentA Seacoast NH WordPress Developers Meetup took place on May 7, 2014 and Amanda Giles gave a presentation on some simple tricks to customize and improve the WordPress Admin pages.  Thanks to Alpha Loft in Portsmouth, NH for providing our venue.

The meeting was well attended with 10 WordPress developers.  Brief introductions from around the table spurred a conversation about the best WordPress plugin to use for backups.  BackupBuddy and UpdraftPlus were recommended, but we all agreed the wide variety of client  server configurations made consistency a challenge for backup plugins.

Tonight’s presentation was very PHP code-based and Amanda dove right in with some working demos.  The functions.php file and other data can be found on our Meetup page.

Amanda covered the following topics


WordPress is Not Just For Blogging

wordpress-developmentIn the Beginning WordPress Was For Bloggers

WordPress has a reputation for being blogging software based on it’s history, and the current 60 Million+ bloggers on

The open-source version of WordPress comes from  The widely used blog engine is found on  Confusing?  Read vs to understand the difference.  We’re discussing the open-source version.  This version has evolved into a flexible content management system (CMS) that is widely tested, supported, and secure.

Pages, Not Blog Posts

95% of my clients use WordPress to display static pages about their businesses or organizations.  There are no blog posts on these sites.  I encourage clients to have a business blog, showing their expertise, but blogging is not for everyone.


Why Use WordPress Shortcodes?

wordpress-shortcodeWordPress shortcodes are a way of creating code macros within WordPress post and page content.  These simple codes, surrounded by square brackets, can be dropped into text within the WordPress Dashboard editor.  Shortcodes provide 2 solutions for web developers:

  1. DRY (don’t repeat yourself), i.e. write code once and re-use it in WordPress posts and pages. Future updates are in one spot.
  2. Shield non-tecnhical clients from arcane PHP/HTML code.

Here’s a talk that was created for the Seacoast NH WordPress Developers Meetup that took place on April 2, 2014.

WordPress Shortcodes PowerPoint

We always like to see working, live code, so here are the examples used in the talk:




25% of all Websites Run on WordPress

WordPress CMS Market Share

Update: Now it’s 25% and rising …

Did you know that WordPress is currently being used by 21.8% of all websites, by far the most commonly used content management system (CMS)? This is due to its flexibility in the hands of a good website designer or web developer, and its ease-of-use for clients, the vast majority of which are not technical.

Usage statistics and market share of WordPress for websites

Problem: Your website is difficult to update, and your customers aren’t seeing new information. You need a content management system (CMS).


wordpress-content-managment-systemUsing a content management system (CMS), like WordPress, allows you to make updates to your website.  WordPress is a free, open-source system that is widely supported on the Internet.  If you can use a program like Microsoft Word, you’ll be able to update your site using WordPress, without needing to learn HTML.  It’s easy to use, secure, and allows for future growth of your website.  WordPress separates the content of your site from the technology.  This makes it easy to update without breaking your website.  Let me help you get a new site or an existing site on the Internet using the WordPress CMS.

Problem: Your customers aren’t finding you because your website needs to rank higher on search results pages. You need search engine optimization (SEO).


search-engine-resultsSearch engines, like Google, use equations to arrive at a page ranking score for search page results.   There are 2 basic tasks to getting better search page results.  The first is your website: the internal HTML tag fields of your website needs to reflect your content, and you need to have content containing the keywords for your business.  The second part is to have other sites on the Internet refer to your website because of the great content!  I’ve helped clients do this very thing.  Let me make the technical changes required and show you how to improve the content of your website and get your website linked on the Internet using proven, accepted techniques.  All of this is known as search engine optimization or SEO.