A New Plugin and an Update

A couple new releases this week…

  1. The NU Branding Plugin has been updated to offer a few new features. New features include the ability to toggle on/off what Nipissing links you would like to display, as well as the ability to add one or two custom links of your own, in either column of links.
  2. A new plugin is available this week. The new plugin, Verdon’s NU Meta Links, has been network activated and is available immediately. This plugin creates a new widget that is available to all in your Widgets area. The new widget looks much like the standard WordPress Meta widget, which provides Login and RSS links and such in any widget area, except that you can toggle individual links on or off to suit your needs, as well as add a custom link if required.

Please enjoy, and let me know should you need anything for your site.


NU Branding Plugin Available

There’s a new plugin available for all users called “Verdon’s NU Branding”. This plugin will add a little Nipissing University branding to any theme. In this first version, it just adds a footer to any other theme, that can be customized to show a couple different Nipissing logos and contact information. It can be configured in several ways. Future versions will offer more.

Please note, this may not play nicely with all themes, though it can readily be deactivated if it is not working with yours. If you’ve tried it and would like to make a feature request, please contact me.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 3.28.01 PM Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 3.29.14 PM

Visual Editor Enhancements

In response to a few requests, we’ve made some tweaks to the visual editor for posts and pages. The initial request was for an easy way to do paragraphs with a hanging indent, as used in citations and such. This is a common need for our users, and there was really no user-friendly way to achieve that. So, we have replaced the ‘Styles’ menu from the 2nd row of the toolbar with a more robust ‘Formats’ menu. This provides a place for our custom format, and a platform to go forward with, should we need future custom options.

Using the new ‘Hanging Indent’ format is as easy as 1,2,3.

1) If you do not already see the 2nd row of buttons in your editor, click this button to toggle it.

2) Now look/click in the ‘Formats’ menu.

3) With your cursor anywhere within the paragraph(s) you want to have a hanging indent, select ‘Hanging Indent’ from the ‘Custom’ sub-menu.

Please let us know if you have any special needs in your WordPress site.

Getting More From Your Editor

Did you know that there are a lot more tools in your editor, than just bold, italic, strike-through, and a couple lists? If you’ve been wondering where these tools are, or what those two funny looking buttons to the right of your toolbar are for, read on.

Distraction Free Writing mode

ExpandFind the editor a little small? Too many distractions on your screen? Try clicking on this little icon. Your editor window will expand, giving you a large workspace.

The Kitchen Sink

Kitchen SinkWondering where the rest of the editor tools are? Click on the kitchen sink icon to expand your toolbar to it’s full glory. You will now have other formatting options, undo/redo tools, copy/paste options and more. Try your favourite keyboard short-cuts too. You’ll find that many of them work the same as you are used to.


Styles and Formatting

StylesWant to simplify your formatting? Try the styles menu. Just as in any word processor or publishing program, using styles can greatly reduce the time taken to keep text formatted, and maintain consistency throughout your site.


button_visual_textStill need a few more options than what the toolbar provides? Are you a little geeky and like to tweak things? Wondering what happens when you click on these buttons? Go ahead, give it a look…. The ‘Visual’ (default) mode for the editor is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, much like a wordprocessor. The ‘Text’ mode is more-so a raw html mode. It does not display paragraph tags, but other than that shows you the html source code that builds your content, allowing you to tweak this. It also accepts direct entry of much html that is not in your editor toolbar, for more advanced users.

Have fun exploring your editor. It’s more powerful than you may have realized!


Static Front Pages

The following is taken from the official Word-Press guide at http://codex.wordpress.org/Creating_a_Static_Front_Page

Creating a virtual static front page does not require editing or coding of files or templates. Using the default configuration for a “static front page” in WordPress does not remove the sidebar or change the look of the entire site, just the content area.

To create the static front page, go to the WordPress Administration Panels.

  1. Create two WordPress Pages from the “Add New Page” panel. If you will not be using WordPress blogging functionality, you can skip the second page.
    • Title the first page “Home” (or another name) as your “static” front page.
      1. Set the “Home” template to the default template or any custom template. Do not title your template home.php as this could cause a conflict.
      2. Add content you would like to see within the content area of the “Home” page.
      3. Publish the Page.
    • Title the second page “Blog” (or you could call it “News”, “Articles”, etc.). This page will be a place-holder for showing the Posts on your site.
      1. Do not use a custom Page template for this page! home.php or index.php will be used to generate this page.
      2. DO NOT add content to the Blog Page. Leave it blank. Any content here will be ignored — only the Title is used.
      3. Publish the Page.
  2. Go to Administration > Settings > Reading panel.

    Reading panel

    1. Set ‘Front page displays:’ to ‘a static page’ and choose the first page you created above for ‘Front page.’ If your WordPress site will contain a blog section, set ‘Posts page’ to the page you created for this above. Otherwise, leave this blank.
    2. Save changes.
  3. Enable “Permalinks to show the “page title” in the address, since /index.php?p=423 defeats the purpose of making a static front page.

While we are calling this a “static front page,” you can change the content on that web page at any time by editing the Page.

Nipissing U Theme

A Nipissing U theme is now in beta and available to you to try. There may still be some changes to come with it, but the core of it is in place. It is a child-theme to twentyeleven, so all the features of that theme are available to you, with a little Nipissing branding. Feel free to use for your site/blog.