Every year this incredible event raises millions of pounds for children in need throughout the UK and beyond. And of course it is never enough – perhaps one day it will and all children will be safe and well and cared for, but until then the UK will continue to raise the bar and give more, even through more austere times. It swells the heart, and also makes me sob to see the courage of those children. The Team Rickshaw challenge has especially touched me this year and so to do my small part I am giving my time in return for a donation to Children in Need.
To have a task actioned for you, send details to email@example.com and I’ll let you know if I can actually help or not (or advise you). Then you donate what you can. The intention is to keep it simple, and I will work through the weekend if needs be.
My Facebook page has more details and will be updated through the day.
Already I have a couple of tasks and inspired someone else to do something similar; my face may ache by the end of the day from smiling so much.
It is time for us to hop off the fence and share our favourite premium themes with you. Most of the paid-for options include some amazing themes, and it really does depend on what you want your WordPress blog and/or website to do for you. We especially love working with Genesis from StudioPress and with ElegantThemes.
We’ve avoided promoting one particular premium WordPress theme for some time now, but the time has come to change that. And the winner is… well that’s obvious from the title.
PageLines was a favourite for some time due to its complete flexibility, but with the change to the new subscription model and theme it was time to review this and consider the trusty established choices.
I’ve worked with several premium themes, and still do – they often have their place for their simplicity (Thesis) or when a little quirkiness is wanted (Elegant Themes) but Headway, Thesis and iThemes are rarely used by us now – the former because I just don’t quite “get” it and the latter because it’s too expensive to maintain the developer license, and the middle because I always wanted it to do more.
Brian Clark, the founder of Studiopress, is brilliant at marketing and keeping in touch with his customers’ needs. Take a look at any of his sites and the clean layout, the usability, make it a pleasure to visit and makes us want to do the same for our own and for clients. And the Genesis framework is now a treat to work with.
We do put the themes through their paces, tweaking and bending them to what you want and rarely using the design “out of the box” – adding different colours, fonts, images and moving things about.
For the Blogmistress site we’ve taken the Genesis Mocha theme and changed the background images, the font and some colours, but other than that kept it pretty standard as I feel it will work with what we’re bringing you over the next year or so.
We’ll take a closer look at Elegant Themes next week, and for both those and Genesis we’ll be adding blog posts to help you make the most of your themes too. We’re also happy to help with questions, so fire away…
I happened across a retweet of a post written earlier this year by my friend and client, Suze, which considered how we ask for readers’ feedback, questions, thoughts, comments…
For instance, here on the Blogmistress blog, you’re invited to “Leave a Reply” – hardly ideal so that’s added to the site revamp list.
As her site is created using a StudioPress Genesis theme this will not be a terrible task and while I can delve into the Loop and code and things, there is a plugin that will offer a great variety of options for the commenting function in any of the Genesis themes. Wonderful. Indeed while I do like the way Genesis is coded and am not afraid to tweak things to suit, sometimes a plugin is just fine for the task and is unlikely to use up a load of space.
So with such themes I will do a quick search within the Plugins section of the Dashboard, this time for Genesis Comments – and lo, NickTheGeek had created just the tool a few years ago – Genesis Simple Comments. He’s not updated things for a couple of years and this would normally put me off, but in this instance we’re not doing anything particularly difficult and Nick is a full-on Genesis geek, so it’s worth giving it a go (and indeed I may offer to check it out for him).
Anyway – installing this plugin offers the options to change the titles and wording for just about all comment related text. I’ll do a quick video later and add that here for you.
Thanks Nick for the plugin, and Suze for the inspiration.
I wonder how long before she notices 😉
In the Blogmistress Facebook group we were asked about adding a search option to a WordPress website. And while there are plenty of plugins that offer the various search functions you might want, the simplest thing is to add the search option included in your WordPress already, then test that out – if it does the job well, then you’ve no need to add anything further. Here’s how:
- Go to Appearance, Widgets
- Select, drag and drop the Search widget into your sidebar or widget area
It is that simple. Do have a good try at finding things to be sure this search option is good enough for your site. If it’s not up to what you need, that’s the time to have a look at the plugin options and see if what you want is there – as ever, when looking for a plugin, look at the details and go for those that are tended to – kept up-to-date and the support posts on the WordPress plugin page monitored and ideally resolved.
If you get stuck, let me know…