, Complete Study Guide for WordPress Website Building, Building Wrestling

The complete guide to learning WordPress

Learning WordPress can be a very long road for an inexperienced programmer. This guide can help you go from programming illiterate to freelancing programming quadrillionaire. It is meant as a overview of the steps needed to become a competent WordPress developer. This guide can help both the experienced and inexperienced wrap their heads around WordPress.

Don’t believe the myths

When learning any field in programming (yes you will need to learn), there are a ton of myths that come attached. A lot of it is hype from click bait articles preying on the ignorant. So I’m just going to lay out the three most persistent myths I see today:

  • No you CANNOT learn programming in 24 hours. Or a week. Or a month. To learn the entirety of programming world you will need to first become immortal being with a clear schedule. You can learn some of the basics int 24 hours, but you will never actually be done learning new programming skills (unless you are lazy).
  • On the opposite end of the scale is a myth saying you’ll need to be a genius bestowed with the incredible powers of math. There is nothing further from the truth. You would be surprised the amount of potato heads one must deal with in the field, and how little actual math you will be using.
  • Maybe my favorite: There’s no point to learning programming when there are tools to make websites. This is the most aggravating because its the hardest to explain. But put shortly, the question “why do I need to learn to code, if I have a WordPress theme?” can be answered with the following question “where would the themes come from if there were no programmers”. Same with web development tools. There are no tools on planet earth that can write more tools, except programmers. Also any tool that has or will exist comes with severe limitations. But that’s a longer topic.

Yes, you have to learn the basics of programming

Once again, you cry “Why do I need to learn programming? Its WordPress!”. I think the more you’ll learn about WordPress, the more you will learn how limited it is.

Here is the secret. WordPress is a platform, not a web development tool. Meaning, that a lot of the heavy work still requires you to flex your brain a bit and program. Here are some issues you might run into if you don’t learn how to program beforehand:

  • My theme is awesome! But I hate the styling of the widgets in the footer.
  • I want to build a membership site and I need x functionality, but no plugin exists.
  • I want to build a membership site, but my plugins conflict.
  • Turns out the theme I bought has a big fat whopping problem and I honestly think the theme developer is dead.

What would you do in these situations if you didn’t know how to program?

Now, please learn the basics of programming

Before you start off on your path to learn HTML and CSS, you should take a moment and relax, so I can throw a study syllabus at your head.

The things you will need to learn, before coming back are the following:

  • HTML: The building blocks of the front end of your website (the display). Personal recommendation: Common mistakes can be cured with a firm grasp on inline, inline – block and block level elements, as well as a firm grasp on relative vs absolute positioning.
  • CSS: This is the secret sauce to your website. Imagine that your HTML is a paint by numbers grid, and CSS is the paint. Every website uses CSS.
  • PHP: This is the black box of the website. Nobody sees it but you. It is what actually creates all of the functionality, does all the thinking, and delivers the content of your website. This is what real “programming” is. Learn it.
  • MySQL: Databases are where everything on your website is stored. You will need to learn how to safely interact with the database with PHP. Look up parameterized queries.

Once you get back from all of that. we can begin diving into the basics of WordPress. Something optional to learn is javascript. It is something that is great for animations or even delivering content to a user without them having to refresh a page. Also there might be a time where you need to fix or update some javascript created by another developer.

Setting up WordPress

There are a couple of ways to install WordPress on your website. The absolute easiest is through your cPanel account. There is usually a program on your cPanel that will install WordPress for you. For example, QuickInstall has a one click installation for WordPress. Another way is to download the WordPress source files, and upload them to your server via FTP.

After installing WordPress, you will want to sign in to your WordPress site to set things up. There are many guides on setting up your WordPress site through the backend, but the basics you will need to learn are the following:

  • Installing your site theme: Even if you are planning on making your own theme, it advisable to set up someone else’s theme to base your work on. This will serve as a great jumping off point for your website.
  • Get familiar with plugins: they are easy to install and will provide most of the functionality of your website.
  • Menus: learn where these are and how to set them up. You can create menus that are useable on any part of your website.
  • Widgets: widgets are not to be confused with plugins. Widgets are user interface elements (like a Twitter feed), while plugins are groups of files that can potentially make sweeping changes to your sites functionality.
  • Learn the difference between pages and posts. These things have very distinct and separate purposes.

This will give you enough ammunition to set up a basic website. However if you want something a bit less basic, you will have to continue on.

How does content get delivered to the user?

It is helpful to know how WordPress takes your content and presents it to the end user.

If you learned php, you will probably know how a website is presented to the user. If not, and you have gotten this far, you are a shameful human being and deserve a death of a thousand cuts. It sounds silly, but its very helpful to know how the browser interprets data, and what PHP’s purpose is in filling in content, how the website is compiled etc.

Themes define the way that WordPress presents content to a user. They do this with php files that serve as templates to display certain parts of your website, like a blog post page or the header. They also include CSS and php files and can even provide functionality to a website.

I highly suggest learning what you’ll have to provide in your themes. There is also certain rules that you need to follow if WordPress is going to recognize your theme. However, the main parts will be: the header, the index page, the sidebar, the footer, functions.php and the stylesheet.

One more thing you might run across are page templates. Page templates are simply different ways to display any single site page. If you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about, look up “page template”, in fact, do that anyway.

Also learn about post types. Everything on your website is a post type, whether they are pages, posts or attachments. A page template is a template for a certain post type. Learning about post types might clear a lot of confusion down to road.

There are lists of all the global variables that WordPress provides, that range from the content you provide to users, to information on the visitors themselves. Don’t bother memorizing these, just reference them as you go and be familiar with what type of global variables that WordPress provides you. If you don’t find them you might have to add the functionality in yourself, either in the form of a plugin, or simply in the function.php file. Global variables are essential in WordPress development.

Plugins

Plugins allow you to add functionality to your website or others. There is actually a huge plugin market for WordPress. Its a great way to earn some fat stacks of cocaine and gain some rep in the programming community.

Essentially plugins are groups of files that alter or add functionality to websites. There are certain rules however, to setting up your files so that WordPress reads them.

It is also important to learn when to add things to functions.php vs creating a plugin.

Hooks: Actions and Filters

Hooks will allow you to “hook” one of your functions into WordPress, so that it is run at a specific time. If you don’t use hooks, many types of functionality would not be possible. Trust me when I say learning what these are and how to use them will save your life, and free up a world of possibilities.

Make sure to learn the difference between the two, and how to use them. This knowledge will allow you to heavily alter the functionality of WordPress, and will greatly open doors for your site functionality.

Actions are hooks that allow you to run a function when a certain WordPress event occurs. For example when you create a post, you might want to update a value in your database.

Filters allow you to modify data at certain times. When you set up a filter, WordPress will pass data through it before completing a task. If WordPress is about to display a login error, you can choose to change or modify that error message before it is presented to the user. Perhaps something like “Stay back scammer this is my grandmothers heirloom!” or “I don’t want your dirty eyes peering into my website, filthy hillbilly hacker!”.

Practice

Naturally, for everything to sink in, you have to practice. However, if you want to be like me starting off, you can find a small job online, and jump in head first. The pressure should help keep you trying to learn. If you screw someone over, you can always direct them over to me.

However, if you want to take the more safe route, I would suggest you do the following:

Rent out a small shared hosting package (you can blow a few bucks a month), grab a theme, and create a small blog website. (Make it something you’d want to use! In fact use it!).

You can also use a local server on your computer, if you don’t feel like spending any money, and don’t really want to share your work with anyone.

When you have learned your way around WordPress, start another little site. However, this time be a bit more ambitious, and this time, try your hand at putting in all the functionality yourself. If your confused on something, you can always rip off someone else’s work and learn from them.

Congratulations!

If that seems like a lot. It is. WordPress is a much larger topic than many people assume at first. However, if you take it one bite at a time, you will eventually learn everything you need to, when it comes to creating WordPress websites. Its a skill that is highly in demand, and doesn’t require a degree. Keep plugging away, and you will find that it was very worth it!

Hopefully, this guide will help you in becoming a solid WordPress developer.

, Concrete & Foundation Requirements For Steel Building Kits, Building Wrestling

Steel building kits are becoming a very popular option in regard to new building construction. Typically, you can construct a steel building kit much faster, and much cheaper than you could a traditional wood frame building. They are virtually maintenance-free and for the smaller buildings, you don’t always need a contractor to build it.

One detail that will need to be worked out before you build, and before you purchase, is onto what will the building be erected? Bare dirt? Concrete? Concrete foundations increase the overall cost of the project, but may be required for a larger building, or a structure that will be permanent. The primary type of steel structures that are on dirt foundations are carports. But, depending on local requirements, steel buildings can sometimes be built on bare ground. The following information will illustrate some details on ground foundations and concrete foundations.

You will find that steel building kits can be anchored on the ground (without a concrete floor) or on concrete. Before getting into particulars, if you are in an area that has a frost line, you will need to be approximately 12″ under that frost line for your perimeter footings. This depth requirement for colder areas applies to ground anchoring as well.

The below described concrete applications do not account for frost line requirements.

Ground Mount (no concrete pad):

  1. When mounting your steel building kit to the ground, you will be required to dig a post hole approximately 10″ in diameter and 30″ deep every five feet or every four feet depending upon whether you have purchased a 5′ on-center system or a 4′ on-center system.
  2. Assemble your base rails** and lay them in place, marking where your holes should be dug. (A 16 D nail poked into the ground through the pre-drilled hole in the base rails works very accurately for this.)
  3. Next, use a post hole digger or auger and drill your holes 30″ deep. Clean out the holes.
  4. You would now lay out your steel building kit base rails according to the instructions and drop the ground anchors into the pre-drilled holes. Use a 2500psi concrete (pre-mixed bags or mix your own) and, using a shovel, fill the holes.

You should wait at least seven days for the concrete to properly set before moving on with the assembly of your steel building.

Concrete Mount:

  1. Size the slab. You should make your slab 4″ wider than the width of your steel building and 6″ longer. This is so you don’t break or crack the edge of the slab when affixing the concrete anchor expansion bolts into your slab.
  2. Concrete Floor: Your floor should be a minimum of 4″ thick. Make it 6″ thick if you are intending large vehicles such as trucks or larger RVs to be parked on it. The concrete should be a minimum of 2500 psi concrete with fiber mesh reinforcement added at the batch plant OR #3 rebar on 24″ centers. You should also consider going with a concrete mixture of 4000psi along with the extra two inches of concrete if you are intending more than a normal amount of weight.
  3. Be sure to saw cut expansion joints within an appropriate time after the pour is finished or trowel in the expansion joints while the finishing is occurring.

Footing Requirements: (International Building Code 2000 or “IBC 2000” requirements)

At the same time you pour the floor, you are going to pour the perimeter footings. This is called a monolithic pour or monolithic slab. Perimeter footings need to be 12″ deep (you can include the 4″ of floor as part of the 12″) and 16″ wide. The footings will have to have two #4 rebar lengths top and bottom, continuous run around the complete perimeter.

In our local area (Tempe, AZ), the footings would cost approximately $11.50 per lineal (running) foot.

That’s it. If your building department is still using UBC 1997 (Uniform Building Code), which many of them are, your footing only needs to be 12″ wide. That should knock about $1.00 per lineal foot off the above footing price estimate. For more information on concrete requirements for steel buildings, visit Absolute Steel and Storage. You can find many pages of technical help information there.

** = See pictures on putting together your base rails here: Assemble your base rails

, Tips for Choosing a Good Custom Home Building Service, Building Wrestling

There are many advantages to choosing to build a custom designed home rather than buying an existing property; these include the possibility to create a space that caters to all your unique needs and wants. This does not have to be an exceptionally expensive option either – another benefit is that you will have complete control over your budget.

To make sure that you get the best experience out of your home building experience it is very important to find a good custom home builder to help bring your dreams to life. Here are a few important guidelines to follow to find the best professional to entrust with creating your new home.

Firstly, do not underestimate the power of recommendations; the best way to choose between a selections of custom home builders in your local area is to find out which ones have the happiest clients.

As with any service, people are always keen to share their positive and negative experiences, so seek out independent reviews websites which may provide useful information to help you make your decision on the best building service.

It is also worth looking on the company websites of the custom home builders you are considering. These best ones will not be backwards in coming forwards with the testimonials they have received from satisfied clients who have created their dream home with the help of the company.

It is also a good idea to ask the builders directly if they can put you in touch with their former clients. You may even in some cases be able to visit one of the properties that the custom home builder has created and speak to the owner. This will provide you with a valuable insight into the experience that you can expect if you work with them.

After you have found a few highly rated and reputable services, the next thing to do is to have a look through the portfolio of properties that they have designed and built. This will give you an idea of the types of property that they are used to constructing and designing.

You may be looking for a very modern, energy efficient and eco friendly home, and there are many custom home builders that deal often with this kind of building project, so you will benefit from all of their experience in this field if you choose to hire them.

On the other hand, you may like a more traditional looking home, in which case it is a good idea to find a custom build service that is experienced in creating this particular type of home. Either way, look carefully through portfolios to find a service whose previous projects appeal to you and are similar to what you have in mind for your own home.

Another thing that you absolutely must be aware of when you are looking for custom home builders to help you create your dream property is that there are many different aspects to such an enormous project. As you are taking care of every single large and tiny detail of the project you will need to find a service that can assist you with this.

The best service for those who are likely to find themselves overwhelmed by the enormity of such a project is one that guides its clients from start to finish of the build. This includes finding a good architect, creating an accurate budget, installing home video and audio systems, installing security systems, choosing finishes for both the home interior and exterior and much, much more.

The best way to make this kind of project a success is to find a professional that can help you every step of the way and one who is experienced enough to offer excellent advice on every single aspect of your project. Bear all of the above points in mind and you will be well on your way to finding the best custom home building service for you.

, What Are the Goals and Objectives of a Team Building Workshop?, Building Wrestling

In any Organisation, and at any level, a facilitated Team Building workshop can be a possible route to improve the Team and to foster high performance. A Team is a powerful entity, as we know from sport. A high performing Team not only achieves success, but also has dynamism and an energy that nurtures individual high achievement and a high degree of job satisfaction.

The Overall Objective

The overall objective of any Team Building Workshop should be that your Team is further down the road towards achieving the status of a high performing Team. This is a useful theme for the workshop, as it keeps the Team thinking forward to where we want to be, and planning how we can get from where we are now to the forward vision.

This fundamental objective gives us a framework that should be part of any Team Building Workshop –

1. Where are we now?

2. Where do we want to be?

3. How will we get there?

This framework can be used on a Team Build Workshop to address either or both of the 2 separate branches of the Team’s goals and objectives –

1. The Team’s objectives regarding our Team purpose, our Team goals and performance targets

2. The Team’s objectives regarding our Teamwork, how we effectively we work together to achieve our Team purpose and objectives

Both strands will come together at the end of the Team Building workshop, in the form of strategies, plans and actions to take us forward.

Team Purpose Objectives and Goals

When addressing our Team Goals and achievements in a Team Building Workshop, it is useful to begin with a fresh look at your Team purpose and where it fits in the Organisation purpose. It is also important to identify the Organisation’ strategic goals and the goals the Organisation has given the Team, as this is our context.

The objective in a Team Building Workshop then is to ask ourselves –

1. How well placed are we to achieve our Team Goals?

2. What are our strengths as a Team? What have we got to achieve these goals?

3. What is blocking, or preventing us from achieving?

4. What do we need to improve or develop to achieve success?

Our Goals in terms of Teamwork

Teamwork is the way we work together to achieve our goals. It includes our values, attitudes, relationships, and Team processes. The key to removing blocks and moving forward in a Team is to identify what PROCESS can we use to improve on this issue? There will always be a Team process that will improve relationship issues, effective work practices or blocks to high performance.

To move forward as a Team, it is useful to think in terms of Tuckman’s Stages of Team Development. This will give us a good objective framework to identify where we are, and where we want to be.

In the Team Building Workshop, the Team can –

1. Review and assess their current Stage of Team Development

2. Identify their future vision, where we want to be as a Team. This involves both a vision and clearly identified goals.

3. Identify clear short term goals, the next steps we must achieve to move them to the next level

4. Plan how we will do this, strategies and actions to achieve those next steps.

Planning the Team’s Way Forward

Taking the 2 strands of goals together, the Team can sift out the mission critical areas for future development. A good Team Building Workshop should finish with a brainstorm and planning session so that the Team has a plan for improving each specific issue. They leave with action plans and new Team Processes to enable the Team to work effectively together.