Espresso Coffee fuels Agency Creativity and Ideas

Part of working at a digital agency is grounded in coffee shop catch ups and impromptu briefings. These catch ups often result in the best ideas being brought to the table. Part of the reason for this is the relaxed nature that the environment brings and allows free thinking and thought to happen.

A sure fire way to kill creativity at the outset of any digital marketing campaign is to not have enough creative directions explored.

The right way to start the day. A big day of campaign planning ahead! Let’s do this. #digital (at Elevate 360)

Using Twenty Sixteen WordPress Default Theme

Twenty Sixteen WordPress Default Theme

This post is about why I have decided to start using the Twenty Sixteen WordPress Default Theme as my site’s presentation layer.

There are a lot of WordPress Themes out there in the marketplace and you really can get lost in all the design, styles and builds. Over the years, I have had literally hundreds of skins on this site, you can view all the iterations on Archive.org. That has lead to a couple of things happening.

Firstly a negative many returning visitors get lost as there is no consistency across the site leading to confusion and despair.

Secondly changing and fiddling with all these different WordPress frameworks and themes has taught me about the ecosystem and it has taught me much of what I know about the internet.

Third, it has introduced me to an amazing community of great WordPress developers and designers that are extremely passionate about their craft.

I have created a Twitter list of these awesome WordPress legends if you would like to follow them as well. They will do nothing but motivate you to make great things with WordPress. Oh and they like talking about coffee, a lot.

Why I Choose WordPress

This probably deserves its own post and when time permits I will most definitely be creating one but for now here are some fairly common reasons I use WordPress:

  • Open Source Platform
  • Super Easy To Learn & Use
  • It’s Extensible (Themes & Plugins)
  • SEO Out Of The Box
  • Easy To Manage
  • Safe & Secure
  • Any Media Type
  • Versatile (Blogs, Sites, CMS, Apps, Membership Sites, Stores)

Why I Choose To Use Twenty Sixteen WordPress Default Theme

The main reason I have settled in the default theme of Twenty Sixten is equal parts simplicity and minimalism. Picking up and running with the default Twenty Sixteen theme allows me to focus on what matters the most right now (in my head) the content.

While I am obsessed with design like much of the WorPress community I want to focus on writing and documenting my own creative process before anything else.

While there are some seriously mixed reviews on Twitter I actually like the simplicity of the theme. I also really like that fact that it follows some standard layout features common to many WordPress themes. I believe this will ultimately help users navigate the site and find that elusive content that has been hiding from any semblance of an audience for years.

Moving Beyond The Default WordPress Theme

I have set myself a goal for the coming months to set about creating my own WordPress theme. I will be documenting this process here from ideation to creative, development to testing and finally to submission to the WordPress theme store.

It is an ambitious project for me and I am excited to start learning more about the process of theme creation.

My plan is to follow this epic tutorial from ThemeShaper that uses the starter theme called Underscores  built and maintained by Automattic.

Also available here on GitHub.

Over to you. If you have advice for me about theme development and the common pitfalls I would love any and all advice available just drop me a note in the comments section below.

 

 

Google Map Plugins for WordPress

Google Maps WordPress Plugin

Looking for the perfect Goole Map Plugins for WordPress?

Often when you are setting up a new instance of WordPress for a client one of the requirements will be to provide relevant contact information and a map of the location. Rightly so, showing proper location information with a contextual map is extremely important to both visitors and search engines alike.

Enter….

Google Map Plugins for WordPress

While there are literally hundreds of versions of Google Map embeds out there in the WordPress ecosystem what I will focus on in this post is the best free and premium examples of Google Map WordPress  plugins.

As an implementor of WordPress, I spend a lot of time configuring WordPress installations to ensure they are optimised for bot the user and search engines. As a little bonus, I have included a few tips and best practices I think are important when properly implementing Google Maps Plugins.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Google Maps WordPress Plugin

This is a really important step because as mentioned above there are literally hundreds of solutions out there in the marketplace that could potentially be considered as a viable solution for your site or your clients site.

Please ensure you follow the standard process when selecting an appropriate plugin keeping in mind you will want to make sure the developer of the plugin is reputable within the plugin directory and they have solid ratings. If you are diligent it also helps to make sure there is an upgrade path in place for the plugin so that you know there will be improvements made if there is a change in the Google Maps API or WordPress core.

I find it handy to follow the Google Maps API Twitter account so that I am updated of any changes that may affect client sites.

Choosing Your Google Maps WordPress Plugin

Now the fun part, after doing your due diligence you should have a pretty good idea of the developers that are capable of giving you the granular control and plugin performance and the sustainability that you need. If you are finding the search a bit too daunting, I have listed some of my favourite Google Maps WordPress Plugins below. Please note that these are not in order yet and are just a place for you to start from.

If you think I am missing any please ensure you drop me a line in the comments section below.