Articles by Bill Erickson

  • Creating Custom Location Rules for Advanced Custom Fields

    Advanced Custom Fields is a powerful and user friendly plugin for creating metaboxes. One of the best features is the conditional logic you use to specify where a metabox appears. ACF refers to this as the “Location Rules”. But what if there isn’t a location rule that matches your specific need? ACF can be easily […]

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  • Relative Date Lengths in Genesis

    Genesis has always allowed you to display the relative post date like “6 weeks and 1 day ago” using [post_date format=”relative”]. It displays two date segments – days and hours, or weeks and days, or months and weeks, or years and months… In some layouts, especially if you’re using a Grid Loop, a shorter date […]

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  • Recent Plugin Updates

    Over the past few weeks I’ve released or updated quite a few of my plugins. I’ve also revamped my Plugins page so it’s easier see all of my plugins across GitHub and WordPress.org. Check it out! Display Posts Shortcode Display Posts Shortcode is my most popular plugin. This week I finally documented all of its great […]

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  • Git Push with WPEngine

    This week I finally started using WPEngine’s Git Push integration during development. It’s much easier than SFTP’ing into the server to make changes. Now that GitHub provides unlimited private repositories, I’ve switched to GitHub for client project version control and issue tracking. I had been using BitBucket but GitHub’s interface is so much nicer. Make sure you read their Getting Started […]

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  • Dynamically set who receives contact form email

    I’m working on a gym’s website that has profiles for all of their trainers, and includes an “Email Me” link. I didn’t want to expose their email publicly, so I’m using a contact form and passing their “Trainer ID” (the post ID of the trainer’s page) in the URL string. Ex: /contact-a-trainer?trainer=29 You could do the same thing with […]

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  • Fixing the Post Title Link when Editing Comments

    This has bugged me for years. I can’t believe it took me this long to fix it. When I’m moderating comments, people will often reference something in the post or another comment. At the top of the page it says Comments on “Post Title Here”. No matter how many times I’ve clicked it, I always […]

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  • Announcing EA Share Count

    Share count plugins are a requirement on most content-focused websites. They provide “social proof” that this article is worth reading. A social share requires less work than a comment, so you’ll see more interaction from your readers. And social networks can be a huge source of traffic. You can use the buttons provided by the […]

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  • Improve Shortcode Experience using Shortcake

    Photo by jeffreyw The real value in a WordPress-based website should be ease of management. You don’t need a developer on staff to update your website. There are a lot of tools I use to keep my websites as easy as possible for non-technical clients. These include: WP101 Video Tutorials to educate on how WordPress […]

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  • Integrating your contact form with external services

    For many online businesses, the contact form is one piece of a larger marketing and customer management system involving multiple services. You might be sending support requests into HelpScout, or adding interested readers to your MailChimp mailing list, or creating a new lead in your CRM. Popular services might have add-on plugins that integrate with your form. For instance, WPForms has MailChimp […]

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  • How long does it take to build a website?

    This is one of the most common questions I hear. It’s also one of the key factors in the success of your project. The short answer is: longer than you would expect, but don’t rush it. There are three main factors in a project’s timeline: How soon can they start? High quality service providers are usually booked, so can’t start […]

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  • Adding Facebook Comments

    Facebook Comments can be a great tool to increase the social sharing of posts. When people leave a comment, it will be shared on Facebook. Since most people are already logged into their Facebook accounts, you’re also simplify their commenting experience. There’s no need to install a plugin – it only takes a few lines […]

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  • Plugin: Load Media from Production

    Download the plugin on GitHub I’ve worked on websites with absolutely massive uploads directories. duPont Registry’s Autofluence blog weighed in at 45GB, and Western Journalism was much larger still (I don’t know exactly how large, I didn’t attempt downloading it all). Just setting up a development environment could take days, and that’s before I’ve started […]

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  • Infinite Scroll in WordPress

    Infinite scroll, when used correctly, is a wonderful tool for improving engagement on your website. You lower your users’ barrier to getting the next page of content, which increases their chances to find something interesting and click through. I refer to infinite scrolling as any technique that uses AJAX to load additional content without reloading the page. […]

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  • Building a Dynamic Secondary Menu

    I recently redeveloped the Texas 4-H website (go ahead, check it out!), and one of the unique features is its dynamic secondary menu. This website has lots of deep content; most of its content is three levels deep. We added a secondary menu both to indicate the user’s current location in the site and to simplify browsing these sub-sections. I […]

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  • How to overlay a grid on your website

    Most designers use a grid to organize content on the page. When I’m developing a website using their designs, it’s nice to be able to visually access that grid to ensure elements are all lining up as expected. This works great alongside my Column Class Generator, which provides the CSS for implementing the grid. The […]

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  • How to accurately calculate the value of a CD

    (This is not WordPress-related at all. I was looking for this information and couldn’t find it.) A Certificate of Deposit, or CD, is a time deposit that allows you to invest a certain amount of money at a specified interest rate and period of time. There’s a lot of CD Calculators online, but usually they […]

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  • h1’s on front page with Genesis

    If you’re building a website for a business, chances are they won’t have the homepage display a listing of blog posts. WordPress lets you easily change this default behavior in Settings Reading, so you can set a static front page and have your posts page be elsewhere (better than using the Genesis blog template). Genesis […]

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  • Using Site Icons with Genesis

    One of the new features in WordPress 4.3 is a Site Icon (also known as favicon). It allows you to specify what icon should be associated with your website. This displays in browser tabs and mobile bookmarks. Just go to Appearance Customize Site Identify and you’ll find a Site Icon uploader in the left panel. If you […]

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  • Display menu items with equal widths

    If you’d like all your menu items to be the same size, you use a percentage as the width. If you have 4 menu items, you set the width of each menu item to be 25% in your CSS. But what if you add another menu item? The fifth one drops to another line since […]

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  • Sorting Query Results by Multiple Meta Keys

    I’m building a website that features reviews of hosting companies. I’m storing Price, Rating, and “Top Pick” as post meta. Users can sort the results by Price, Rating and Post Date. The client wants Top Picks to always show up first. So if they select it to sort by Price (Low to High), it will first display all […]

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