02.19.2010   |   1comment

This weeks edition features an article about customizing WordPress for beginners, designers who can’t code their own designs and the best way to handle content management systems for sites that matter.

Chad, The Beginner’s Guide to Tricking Out Your WordPress Blogtrickingoutwordpress
I liked this post/entry about WP because it was built and geared for the beginner. Once you installed it now what. I find these type of articles interesting because sometimes they are just so simple that I don’t even think of them. And it helps me to explain or think of other things that I feel our clients may want or need.

Mike, Web Designer’s Who Can’t Codedesignerswhocantcode
Twitter exploded in a debate this week when Elliot Jay Stocks boldly tweeted:

“Honestly, I’m shocked that in 2010 I’m still coming across ‘web designers’ who can’t code their own designs. No excuse.”

The world is full of talented designers trained in a wide array of media, but just like other mediums, the web offers its own constraints and limitations. Knowing how to code definitely gives you an edge, even if you don’t code the site yourself. Image resolution, measurements, typography, and browser discrepancies all play a role in what is possible, and help determine the collective best practices of the web. So does a good architect need to know how to dry wall? Maybe not. What about a fundamental understanding of construction and engineering? Absolutely. How much does a good web designer need to know about their craft in order to build a successful website? What do you think?

Mac, Content Management for Sites that Mattercontentmanagementforsitesthatmatter
I liked this article because it gets right at the core of the cost/benefit trade-off that many people don’t think enough about when building their web site. Either there’s a significant value to the work you’re doing on your site, which justifies spending some money on it and getting it done right, or there isn’t a significant value to your site, so why bother? I don’t 100% agree with them about the WYSIWIG comments, but I’ve never tried to tell a client to assume it would look identical in TinyMCE and on the public site. We’ve generally had to train them to be very careful to keep it simple. Use bold if you want, make some lists, paragraphs, links, and stuff like that, but don’t try and do anything funky or you’ll end up disappointed. Another annoying thing about TinyMCE is that even when you tweak the HTML manually in their HTML view, it often wants to “automatically fix” some of the things you did. I was trying to leave a <br /> or two between a couple of separate lists if I remember right, and it kept either taking it completely out, or turning into a paragraph, constantly leaving too much or too little whitespace, even though the HTML I manually entered would display exactly how I intended.