Why so quiet?

You may have noticed we haven’t posted to this blog in a while. Why? Well, we’ve been a little busy launching a subsidiary that focuses exclusively on website services for conservation and land trusts. It is called Trail Websites and it has come a long way in a few months. You can learn a lot about it at http://trailwebsites.com

The short story is that Trail Websites designs, builds and operates websites that help conservation and land trusts raise more funds, be more friendly to mobile devices and get people outdoors. We offer a complete solution where we manage the technology and the trust can focus on their content.

We’re creating a lot of innovation because we can spread the cost over all customers. The business is very efficient due to its niche focus.

Less to more, more to less or separate?

When it comes to serving content to users of multiple devices, there isn’t one clear path. Progressive enhancement (less to more) defaults to a simple view and adds enhancements where it can. Graceful degradation (more to less), starts with the most complete experience and takes things away when it has to. And sometimes separate sites / pages or dedicated Apps for tablets and smartphones works best.  Continue reading “Less to more, more to less or separate?”

WordPress Themes: Free, Fee or Custom?

When it comes to modern Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress, there are many themes to choose from. Themes are packaged sets of styling and scripting that present your content in various layouts and with various functionality. Some themes, like the ones that comes with WordPress, are free. Others cost money and often come in free and “Pro” versions where more capability is unlocked in the paid version. Or you can pay a lot of time and or money and get a custom developed theme. Continue reading “WordPress Themes: Free, Fee or Custom?”

What Google forgot to tell you about Analytics Setup

Perhaps they don’t consider it much of a problem, perhaps they want you to look at all sources of traffic and decide how to interpret it for yourself, or, perhaps, they want you to think you get more traffic than you really do for some other reason. Whatever the reason, your Google Analytics data is full of non-traffic and non-legitimate traffic sooner or later. There are steps you can take to clean up the data and the views but since you can’t edit the stored data after it is collected, it would be nice to know these steps in the beginning!

There are three major sources of bad traffic data (not all bad traffic data is actually even traffic!):

  • Ghost referrers
  • Bad crawlers and fake referrals
  • Perfectly good crawlers and spiders that, nonetheless, cloud your view

Continue reading “What Google forgot to tell you about Analytics Setup”

Nested WordPress Shortcodes

Have you tried calling a shortcode within another shortcode and discovered it doesn’t work?

WordPress makes nested shortcodes possible but requires each shortcode to actively participate by calling do_shortcode() when exiting.

For a recent client’s needs, I created a simple shortcode in the child theme’s functions.php that allowed to them to display different content to logged-in and non-logged-in users. I needed to wrap that around Events Manager‘s event_list shortcode to display different calendars in the same widget based on the user’s logged-in status.

Because the “outer” shortcode was my own, I could modify it without fear that a plugin update would overwrite the change.

Here’s the modification in the non-logged-in user’s version. Note the use of do_shortcode wrapped around the $content in the return line.
Continue reading “Nested WordPress Shortcodes”