On this snowy Monday afternoon we had 9 people show up for our Fix Your Site #4 meeting. We had 3 new members attend, one returning member and 5 of us from our core group including Alex and Dan who provided the lion’s share of expertise when fixing people’s site.
We were happy to welcome Bhautik who is a WP developer with several years experience who was able to help out with fixing some of our group’s issues. He is a visiting student from India and has only been in Canada for less than a month. I’m sure the whole WP Toronto community will welcome him as he gets out to all the Toronto Meet-ups and chats with our friendly WP users.
Debbie joined us for the first time and we were happy to hear that she had found us on her WordPress site (www.fashionsentral.com) dashboard. In turn, she was pleased to see that there was a North York meet-up because she lives around the corner and is embarking on a website building exercise for her affiliate clothing and accessory line. Debbie works with Wealthy Affiliates which is a service that offers you information on how to build a site and then make money from it.
Wealthy Affiliates advertise that they will show you how to set up your website in “less than 30 seconds” and give you, “access to the most advanced website and hosting platform in the world. A platform built for the most sophisticated online entrepreneurs from a technical standpoint, but from an ease of use standpoint it is an experience that any newbie can thrive within.” They’re obviously referring to WordPress, but their assertion that you can create a site in less than 30 seconds is pretty crazy. I guess if it had no content, it could be possible. Wealthy Affiliates offers a lot of training courses on the topic of building your WordPress site probably similar to what’s on YouTube, Lynda.com and other WP training materials already on the market.
In this session we helped Debbie with having her blog images displayed on the home page as featured images. We showed her where the meta-boxes are on the right hand side of the administrative page and where she selects featured images for each post. I imagine that Debbie will get a lot of value from our meet-ups and we look forward to seeing her each month to help get her new site running and making her money.
Rob was also new to the group. He is administering a site for fire enthusiasts (www.ofba.ca) which he inherited from an existing club member. He has made some changes to the layout and design but is wondering if he should continue to work to modify the existing site or start fresh with a new theme. We looked up his existing site at www.whatwpthemeisthat.com and found that he was using an older theme called Responsive by CyberChimps. He was encouraged by the group to check if the theme was up-to-date and if he was not completely satisfied, to start fresh by picking a theme that offers him the look, feel and features that he wants and then to employ a page builder to help him along in a new build. Our meet-up will be there as well to help him along on a monthly basis;-)
Steve joined us for the second time and brought us some questions about his B2B company’s eCommerce ordering and processing workflows. The company site is www.pacificcandywholesale.com and they’re using WooCommerce to allow their customers to choose and order their products and use a shopping cart to pay. The staff then get a print-out of the order (a version that is not formatted to be printed and is therefore wasteful) but in many cases they can not supply every item ordered and the staff can’t or won’t go back to the system to update what was available on the customer’s order, what was sent out and when. This lack of follow-through is not customer friendly since in most cases customers have to call to see if their order was received and if it was sent out.
Steve is looking to streamline the processes involved in the billing, picking, delivery and customer notification. In his investigation of possible solutions, Steve came across and purchased Store Explorer Deluxe, a WooCommerce plug-in developed by Visser Labs which at least allows him to export information into a report that is emailed to him. He’d much prefer an export to DropBox so we encouraged him to contact Visser Labs to see what his options are.
Fernne is one of our longstanding members and she came in with a few questions and wanted us to remove some of her portfolio images. After spending some time finding where the pictures were stored on visual composer, we had a discussion of the value and merit of this page builder plug-in. It seemed as though it might be too complicated for beginners. We were able to show and give Fernne instructions on where to find the images and removed one of them for her. We left her to edit the others herself so that she gets comfortable working within visual composer. Fernne would be really helped by Wpup.co where she could get help on an as needed basis.
The rest of us participated in the discussion, offered suggestions and learned more about our members, their sites and WordPress.
We look forward to our next meeting on February 20th (not our regular 3rd Monday of the month because the 19th is Family Day and a statutory holiday). We will also be moving the meet-up to a new location so stand by for updates!