The Hartsook Letter has evolved to:
WordPress-Website-Coach.com

Old Site

New Site

Seven questions to improve your website design 1

Seven questions to improve your website design

Q: Why build a website?
A: It’s an extension of your business marketing, reaching new customers and new markets.

Your website design is the key component in your internet marketing ecosystem

Your website and other internet properties are part of your business marketing ecosystem, and an extension of your brand on the internet, and should be viewed in that context and not as isolated objects. You website design should be reinforcing your brand and extending your marketing messages to reach potential customers on their terms.

To help with your website design it’s useful to know what your goals are for having a website and how the website fits with the rest of your marketing.

Here are seven questions that will help you understand what you need for your website:

Read More

Developer Code Snippets

  • All
  • Beaver Builder
  • Beaver Themer
  • CSS
  • Custom Fields
  • Custom Post Types
  • functons.php
  • Layout
  • MetaBox.io
  • Page Headers
  • PHP
  • RSS
  • Shortcodes
Blog 29

Mar 30 2020

A bit of PHP to preserve html formatting in standard WordPress excerpts

If you don’t use the Excerpt field in your posts and rely on WordPress to grab the first few dozen words of your post content what you usually find is the excerpt when displayed on the front end (usually is some sort of archive or post grid display) will have most of the html tags removed leaving you with a single block of plain text.
If I go to the bother of formatting my post content to make it more interesting and easier to read and understand I’d like that formatting to be preserved even in that post’s excerpt.
Blog 30

Mar 27 2020

How to add custom post types to your default RSS feed

RSS readers are somewhat old school in 2020, but the RSS feed that is part of WordPress is used by email services like Mailchimp and Mailerlite to create automated email updates when you add a new post to your website.

If you have custom post types though, they are not included in the default URL:

https://yoursite.com/feed

Blog 31

Mar 21 2020

Storing javascript in a metabox.io Custom Field textarea

For some client projects I needed to embed javascript code in a page (Post). I used a custom field textarea to insert the code when creating the Post. The problem was the default for text fields was to run them through a sanitizer.php to strip out any type of code that might be malicious. This is a good thing. But in this case it defeats the purpose.

So how to disable the sanitizing for just this field without breaking the default?

 

Blog 32

Feb 28 2020

Create a Scrolling Column with trivial CSS

The client wanted to display a list of past events in a scrollable column. This was easy to implement using simple css. The page layout was done with Beaver Builder, but the solution should work for any html container.

Blog 33

Feb 25 2020

Changing a Submenu to a Mega-menu with Beaver Builder

Sometimes you want to present a navigation menu as a horizontal “mega-menu” instead of a hierarchal dropdown menu. This is really simple if you are using Beaver Builder. The mega-menu feature is built in, but is unfortunately hidden. You have to know the secret to turn it on.

Blog 34

Feb 9 2020

Formatting a custom number field to add commas

I needed to format a number field (999,999,999), coming from a custom field number-format (no other characters permitted in the number entry field). No “$” no commas or decimal points, etc. to output as a normal currency format.

Formatting a custom number field to add commas 2

When displaying the number I could add a “$” in front of the number, but couldn’t find a way to format the number since you can’t do that with CSS.

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Blog 35

Mar 28 2020

Mix and Match your RSS feeds

Ever want to provide your readers with email updates to your website? WordPress’ built in RSS feed functionality provides an easy way to provide the content to email newsletter services like Mailchimp or Mailerlite.

But what if you want to create email updates that don’t include all your new posts, just specific post categories? Well that’s pretty easy. According to

Blog 36

Feb 28 2020

Online GIF tools for regular and animated GIF images

Online GIF tools for regular and animated GIF images 6I made an animated gif screenshot recording to demonstrate a code snippet, but I wanted to resize the image and make it loop. I found a useful website that has easy

Blog 37

Jul 23 2018

When should I NOT use WordPress for a website

click the green switch at the top of the screenshots to compare the WordPress vs the Static HTML versions of the same website

the static version is live at: http://halcyonlearning.com/

Blog 38

Apr 4 2018

Using the Right Tools Makes All the Difference

The Start of a New Website Project

Master Roofing Company  is a family-owned and operated Oakland roofing contractor with nearly 40 years experience of servicing residential and commercial clients in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. They had a Yelp page, but they didn’t have their own website.

The Process

After a phone call

Blog 39

Jul 14 2017

The Hartsook Letter has evolved to: WordPress-Website-Coach.com

I've been working on a new website, and rebranding The Hartsook Letter. By the end of July 2017, the Hartsook Letter will forward to:

WordPress-Website-Coach.com

I won't add any new material to the Hartsook Letter site after this post you're reading.

The new site includes all the posts from The Hartsook Letter site, but is focused on the following three areas:

  1. Building new websites
  2. Re-launching older websites
  3. WordPress developer resources & coaching

I hope the new site will be better organized, more up-to-date, more informative, and more useful. Let me know what you think.

Blog 40

Nov 29 2016

WordPress Resources at SiteGround

WordPress is an award-winning web software, used by millions of webmasters worldwide for building their website or blog. SiteGround is proud to host this particular WordPress installation and provide users with multiple resources to facilitate the management of their WP websites:

Expert WordPress Hosting

SiteGround provides superior WordPress hosting focused on speed, security and customer service.

Blog 41

Sep 29 2015

How to embed a viewable pdf in a WordPress post

Normally putting the URL of a pdf on a line by itself doesn’t display the pdf on a Word­Press page, and if you use the add media button and paste the URL for the pdf into the URL field, you get a link that will open the pdf, but the pdf does not display on the page itself,
Blog 42

Sep 14 2015

Trouble moving your site to Godaddy Managed WordPress Hosting Plan? – Here are some pointers

Recently a reader raised a question in a comment to a previous post. He was confused about how to move an existing site to Godaddy Managed WordPress Hosting. Having done this several dozen times now I've developed some "best practices" and work-arounds I can share.
Blog 43

Nov 20 2014

Google filters out websites that are not mobile-friendly from search results – how to check your site

click to go and check your website

Google has started rolling out filtering for Google searches from mobile devices. If you site doesn’t meet the criteria for mobile-friendly, your

Blog 44

Apr 8 2014

WordPress 3.9 is almost here

Release Candidate RC1 has been deployed.I'm trying that out on my Hartsook Letter Staging site. Everything looks good so far, I haven't found my theme or plugins breaking. You can take a look for yourself at https://hartsook.com. (the link will open in a new window so you can compare 3.8.2 and 3.9 if you want to.Here's a link to what wordpress.org has to say about 3.9 RC1
Blog 45

Mar 21 2014

Growing Pains for GoDaddy WordPress Managed Hosting – no easy way to backup your site!

Admittedly it's a new product, but currently there is no elegant way to manually backup your WordPress site at GoDaddy WordPress Managed Hosting. GoDaddy does take a nightly snapshot of the files and database and keeps it around for 30 days. If you want to rollback to a previous version, you have to call customer support and get them to do it. But change is coming...
Blog 46

Mar 13 2014

Is it time to give GoDaddy WordPress hosting another chance?

Hosting your WordPress website on GoDaddy has been strongly discouraged by me and most of the WordPress consultants I know. But GoDaddy has just introduced a new WordPress Managed Hosting plan that may change all that.
Blog 47

Nov 7 2013

WordPress site migration, copying your site and moving it

There are several reasons why you might want to copy your website,you want to make a "sandbox" copy to experiment on, without affecting the public-facing production site you want to change hosting companies to get a better deal, faster performance or more functionality having a complete copy of your website is a great insurance policy should something happen to your host and your site is lost.
Blog 48

Sep 19 2013

Are your website pages loading slowly? This might help…

jetpack_photonJetpack Photon should help

I recommend Jetpack-Photon module (deactivate all the other Jetpack modules you don’t use). Photon is an image-only CDN solution using Automatic’s servers. All your images are uploaded to their servers the

Blog 49

Sep 5 2013

2-column videos test

Using column shortcodes to make 2 columns didn't work for this post. But I was able to do this on a Page (instead of a Post) using the theme's 2-column page template.See the succesful results at: Multi-column video test page
Blog 50

Mar 4 2013

It's OK to go ahead now… WARNING! Don't update BackWPup plugin to version 3.x yet It's OK to go ahead now…

Go Ahead SignBackWPup plugin developer, Daniel Huesken has decided to begin offering a “Pro” version beginning with version 3.0 of the plugin. I

Blog 51

Dec 11 2012

WordPress 3.5 has arrived, I've installed it, and nothing seems to be broken.

WordPress 3.5 Another in a series of painless upgrades from WordPress. Double thumbs up for WordPress.org.

One big advantage of this version of WordPress is that now I can create and

Blog 52

Jul 2 2012

Relevanssi plugin breaks WordPress built-in editor searchs

Relevanssi plugin breaks WordPress built-in editor searchs 8Relevanssi – A Better Search plugin breaks the search function in the “Media Library’, “Insert Media panel”, and also the ‘Insert link to existing content” in the hyperlink panel.

Blog 53

Jun 14 2012

Seven questions to improve your website design

Q: Why build a website? A: It’s an extension of your business marketing, reaching new customers and new markets.

Your website design is the key component in your internet marketing ecosystem

Your website and other internet properties are part of your business marketing ecosystem, and an extension of your brand on the internet, and should be viewed in that context and not as isolated objects. You website design should be reinforcing your brand and extending your marketing messages to reach potential customers on their terms.To help with your website design it's useful to know what your goals are for having a website and how the website fits with the rest of your marketing.Here are seven questions that will help you understand what you need for your website:
Blog 54

Jun 13 2012

Just applied the WordPress Upgrade 3.4 and nothing broke.

Just applied the WordPress Upgrade 3.4 and nothing broke. 10No news is good news! I applied the WordPress Upgrade 3.4 from 3.3.2 and so far I haven’t found any conflicts with my themes of plugins on this site. And I

Blog 55

May 20 2012

Simple Image Map Creation, but there is a caution flag!

Simple Image Map Creation, but there is a caution flag! 11Someone at our recent Weekly WordPress Support Group at TechLiminal in Oakland CA asked about how

Blog 56

May 20 2012

Plugin conflict: Simple Facebook Connect and Grunion Forms

But, if I deactivate Simple Facebook Connect the Grunion forms show up in the post.

Response :

(here’s the current discussion thread on the Simple Facebook Connect support forum that I started)

Pieter Hartsook:

Simple Facebook Connect still disables the display of

Weaver Theme bug

Apr 28 2012

Weaver Theme bug identified & resolved

While I was configuring options in the Weaver theme (Weaver II-Pro) in preparation for my presentation at the Configurable Themes presentation for the Oakland WordPress Meetup the other day when I discovered a strange behavior when selecting one of Weaver theme’s most useful page-specific options: selecting the One column: No sidebar option.

Blog 57

Apr 22 2012

Weaver Theme Demo List – why I like this WordPress theme

 

Weaver Theme Demo List - why I like this WordPress theme 14The website you are looking at right now is using the WeaverII-Pro Theme. In order to show

Blog 58

Apr 3 2012

test slate

https://slate.adobe.com/a/78Z5K
photonic shortcode

Sep 19 2011

Testing a new Picasa and Flicker plugin for WordPress – Photonic

I just pasted the URL of a Picasa album below (http://picasaweb.google.com/107310476656218787840/PieterSUkulele)

Using the raw URL doesn’t does work, but making it a link will take you to the album at Picasa

Using the Photonic “shortcode” will also make it work. The general shortcode format is:

[bracket]gallery type=’picasa’ user_id=’abc’ album=’ablum_name'[closebracket]

So I’m going to use

[bracket]gallery type=’picasa’ user_id=’107310476656218787840′ album=’PieterSUkulele'[closebracket]

And here’s

alert

Sep 8 2011

TimThumb security risk and solution – find out if this affects you!

alertThere is a great post on the background of this problem by Mark Maunder that I recommend you read to understand the severity of the issue:

Technical details and scripts of the WordPress TimThumb.php hack

But even better, Mark

broken plugin

Jul 28 2011

WordPress BackWPup backup plugin is broken fixed

WordPress BackWPup backup plugin is <del>broken</del> fixed 15The best free backup plugin, the one I’ve been using on my site and recommend and install for my clients is BackWPup.  It backs

Guinea Pig

Jun 27 2011

Testing WordPress 3.2 Release Candidates

I thought I’d try out the upcoming version of WordPress since it’s now already rolled out on wordpress.com. I want to see what plugins and themes break before I recommend upgrading to my clients.

So far everything seems to be working with RC2, RC3 3.2 (with one exception….*)

* BackWPup plugin is currently busted, but there is an interim workaround

wordpress logo

Feb 23 2011

I have 56 plugins and just upgraded to WordPress 3.1

I use the Hartsook Letter blog as a testbed for WordPress themes, tools, plugins, and extensions. I need to see how these work and ferret out potential interactions among the various extensions before I recommend them for a client’s site.

wordpress logoSo when WordPress

Blog 59

Dec 10 2010

Prize winning slide show on Social Media for Business

This presenta–tion just won 3rd prize on the "Worlds Best Presentation Contest 2010" at SlideShare. It's worth the look.

no spam

Dec 6 2010

Referrer spam, what is it, should you worry about it, and what can you do about it?

no spamI first became aware of the Referrer Spam problem after installing and using the WordPress plugin Stat Surfer. One of Stat Surfer’s statistics categories is Top Referrers. I noticed on a business-client’s site they were getting referral traffic from porn sites and other unlikely

Blog 60

Dec 6 2010

Review: Eels

Review: Eels 17Eels by James Prosek
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just finished reading “Eels”. This book is on the order of Rachael Carson’s Silent

Scribd wordpress option

Nov 18 2010

Don't use this Scribd plugin for iPaper docs — use Embedly instead

I wanted to display a slide show that was hosted on Scribd.com (see Mary Meeker’s slides on theBrilliant analysis of current internet marketing trends post). There is a lot of good content on Scribd that you may want to share with your audience, and it should be one of your choices in

Blog 61

Nov 16 2010

Brilliant analysis of current internet marketing trends

Brilliant analysis of current internet marketing trends 18
Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley has created a really great presentation for the 2010 Web 2.0 conference here in San

statsurfer

Nov 11 2010

StatSurfer – WordPress Statistics plugin

StatSurfer dashboard widget doesn’t use Google Analytics.

StatSurfer is the evolution of StatPress and StatPress Reloaded, the plugin is therefore consistent with the data of the two StatPress systems.

I like the aggregate display graph and the alternative view of the site traffic that doesn’t run through Google.

statsurfer

Blog 62

Nov 11 2010

Adding photos to your WordPress blog

image

 

So you want to spice up your posts with Flickr, Picasa, or iPhoto, images from your computer? You can just insert one or two using the Upload/Insert button on the post editor. But what if you want to have a dozen photos, or have your

Blog 64

Nov 5 2010

Problems with WebHostingHub.com – the devil is in the details

Time for a change

I’ve been looking for a new hosting vendor. My account at GoDaddy.com is up for renewal and I think I can do  better.

Problems with WebHostingHub.com – the devil is in the details 21

Blog 65

Nov 4 2010

Lightbox Plus plugin demo

July 2017 update: The Lightbox Plus plugin is no longer available. I’ve replaced that on this site with Responsive Lightbox by dFactoryThis plugin has lots of options for lightbox libraries and display. I’m currently using the prettyPhoto library setting,

This is a demonstration of the Lightbox Plus plugin. Click an image below to

Blog 66

Nov 4 2010

Best plugin for backing up your WordPress site

BackWPup is what I’ve been using.

Best plugin for backing up your WordPress site 26

 

 

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Popular Posts


Code Snippets

A bit of PHP to preserve html formatting in standard WordPress excerpts

If you don’t use the Excerpt field in your posts and rely on WordPress to grab the first few dozen

Read More

How to add custom post types to your default RSS feed

RSS readers are somewhat old school in 2020, but the RSS feed that is part of WordPress is used by email

Read More

Storing javascript in a metabox.io Custom Field textarea

For some client projects I needed to embed javascript code in a page (Post). I used a custom field textarea

Read More

Create a Scrolling Column with trivial CSS

The client wanted to display a list of past events in a scrollable column. This was easy to implement using

Read More

Changing a Submenu to a Mega-menu with Beaver Builder

Sometimes you want to present a navigation menu as a horizontal “mega-menu” instead of a hierarchal dropdown menu. This is

Read More

Formatting a custom number field to add commas

I needed to format a number field (999,999,999), coming from a custom field number-format (no other characters permitted in the

Read More

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