Programming is getting more complex than ever. Stacks upon stacks, bible-length style guides, and compilers that turn human readable code into robot code. As the programming world around me gets more complex, I find my own code becoming more basic than ever.Continue reading →
An archive of my articles on WordPress design and development.
We all want more comments on our blog posts.
More comments means more popularity and a quality community of commenters adds immense value to our writing.
A way to reward readers for leaving a comment (and encourage them to keep coming back) is to let them link back to their own blog.
This pushes a little traffic back to their own blog in exchange for a quality comment on yours. It’s a win-win.
But a community isn’t built on a few comments here and there.
It’s built on connection, on familiar faces… and even a little competition.
My thoughts delivered
Just last night I rolled out my new freelance service plans and a great automated system behind it that sells those services as products and directs my customers to an order form to complete the process.
I’ve also added different layers of customization services where the value of my skills as a web designer + developer can make my clients blog stand out further once it’s up and running.
In this post, I want to show you the tools I used to create this system and the mindset that lead me to its creation.
If you ask me, there’s never been a more exciting time to get into the premium WordPress theme business than right now.
As WordPress grows closer and closer as a collaborative community and more plugin shops open with exciting new business models, the demand for simple themes that integrate with these plugins will skyrocket.
Here’s my thought process…
The world is a much techier place, and has sparked a gold rush in the online business world.
As I’m sitting here in a coffee shop writing this post, I can’t help but notice the amount of people writing code or drafting new blog posts on their laptops.
I live in Austin, Texas, which is a huge tech city, so this is a pretty common sight anyway.
Yet I can’t stop thinking back to even just a few years ago when it was more of a surprise to run into somebody else coding or blogging. Now it’s just business as usual.
I’ve been in online business for about 6 years and have watched my numbers on social media, my email list and total amount of customers grow.
But being in this coffee shop today and actually witnessing this small group of people working on their laptops gave me a new kind of perspective about just how many people are trying to make a name for themselves out there. It was a much more impactful visual than seeing some of my own numbers.
I saw real people who do what I do.
As I sat back, all I could think is “how the hell am I supposed to stand out?”
Big news! I submitted my first free plugin to the WordPress plugins directory. I’ve been working with WordPress for about 6 years, and have made tons of stuff with it… but I’ve never released a plugin.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent hours digging through the plugins directory in amazement at how many free plugins there are to choose from.
…You’ve also probably left it a few times frustrated, wishing you could have found what you were looking for.
In a nutshell, that’s why I learned how to develop for WordPress: so when I couldn’t find what I needed elsewhere, I could just build it myself.
But it never crossed my mind that I could actually contribute to the plugins directory myself, and give back to the community a little bit. So I made a simple plugin and got it approved! I learned a few valuable lessons along the way, too.
Since 2012, Kolakube has been known as a leading provider of skins for the Thesis framework (back when you could still call it that). In Marketers Delight, I had created arguably the most popular and powerful premium Thesis skin ever.
Alongside Marketers Delight, I created a few other popular skins that helped get my name out there, and helped a lot of people build amazing websites. When Thesis 2 came out, I raced to rebuild Marketers Delight and release it. It was another huge success.
But something just didn’t feel right about the direction I was headed…
In the convoluted world of WordPress themes that are built to stretch to infinity, and offer “all the options you’ll ever need”, its become easy to forget what delivering focused solutions to a client or customer’s problem entails.
Problem solving: it’s the reason we build. It’s the reason we scratch our heads and yell obscenities when we can’t get our precious code to work. The urge to solve problems is ultimately what drives us as creators to keep on creating.
Take Note: I just need to add a little bit of text here to see what this caption looks like!
Responsive web design is probably the hottest topic in the design community right now. And no, I’m not just realizing this.
For the past couple of weeks, I have been reading all there is to read on the subject and been experimenting with a lot of different techniques.
People who use my skins are always asking when I will make them responsive, and why it’s taking me so long to do it.
My answer? It’s simple: