Change the Look of Your Site with Jetpack Modules

Jetpack offers dozens of different options to expand upon the basic layout and settings within WordPress. With the expanded Appearance modules, you can add several exciting options to your site. These will improve the look and feel of your site as well as add additional functionality and usability.

We at DevPress think these are great options for your site, and encourage you to check them out. Below we’ll look at each option and how it can be used. Continue reading

Building an Author Website with WordPress

Every writer needs a website.

You might want to have a portfolio of your writing, feature short pieces on a blog, or connect with your fans.

In this post we will take a look at how you can build a simple author website using DevPress themes. In this particular example, we’re going to focus on the Luminate theme, but any of the other DevPress themes that feature at least one sidebar will work just as well.

Here’s an example of a simple author site using Luminate:

screenshot of sample site

Let’s look at how to put it together! Continue reading

Get Social with Jetpack!

We know you value your content and want to share it as widely as possible. The Social modules within the free Jetpack plugin give you new ways to interact with your readers. You can make it easier for them to comment on your posts, and you can add sharing buttons to allow your readers to post your content on various social media sites. By connecting your site to Facebook and Twitter, and allowing your visitors to share the content, you will drive even more traffic to your site. Continue reading

Track your WordPress Site Visits with Google Analytics

Whether you’re a small business or a blogger, once you build a website you’ll want to know how much traffic you’re getting. This can help you better plan your marketing strategy, determine which of your web copy and call to action items are most successful, or convince companies to advertise on your site.

Even if you don’t know how you might use this data in the future, it’s a good idea to start tracking your site visits immediately upon building a website, or as soon as you can afterwards. That way you can start monitoring changes over time and see how much your site traffic grows along with your business.

Although there are lots of services that will allow you to track some of your site data, we at DevPress think the best, and most comprehensive, solution for the average website will be Google Analytics, a free data collection tool from Google. It can be modified to track pretty much any activity on a site, including page clicks, button clicks, and time spent on a page, and the great thing is, once you’ve set it up, it’s completely invisible to your visitors. Continue reading

Luminate: A Bright New Theme

We’re super happy to announce that we’ve added a new design. Luminate officially joins the DevPress theme family!

Luminate is designed with small business in mind. It features a page showcase layout where you can easily highlight services on the home page with eye-catching images and text. You can also display important information like a phone number, hours, or location in the top bar of every page.

screenshot Continue reading

Thoughts on Theme Options

nasa-computer

One of the most difficult decisions I face when building a new theme is which customization options to include.

It’s an incredibly difficult feature to balance. Customization options can make it possible for a single theme to be used for a greater variety of websites (which is good from a sales perspective), but it can also make a theme more complex to set up and customize.

Many of the best-selling commercial WordPress themes are ones that allow non-developers a huge amount of customization choices. Avada, Canvas, Divi, Make, Total and X Theme all have hundreds of settings. The big website platforms like Squarespace and Wix also provide a huge amount of design control.

Options Are Both Popular and Complex

I understand why customization is important. One of the main purposes of a website is to express a brand or identity. Customization of fonts and colors can be hugely important. When I helped my wife set up her first WordPress site years ago, I installed Canvas by WooThemes because I knew she’d want something that could be altered to fit her specific design aesthetic (and I didn’t have time at the time to customize it for her).

But even with a thousand options, there’s no way that everything can be customized. And adding many options has a downside: it increases the complexity of the user interface and code. Continue reading

Zelda Released, Zenith Retired

Zenith is the best selling theme on DevPress, so it may seem like an odd move to retire it. However, we’re introducing a new theme today called Zelda designed to take its place.

zelda

Everyone who has an active license for Zenith now has access to Zelda if you’d like to switch. You can also choose to stay with Zenith if you’re happy with it (DevPress will continue support for a year and release updates as needed). Continue reading