Author: Jennifer Folsom page 1

Web Designer & Developer Jennifer Folsom has a Bachelor of Science degree in intercultural communications from Middle Tennessee State University. She uses media to gain customers, create community, strengthen branding, and online presence for businesses. Her strong networking and collaborative spirit serves to tackle challenging projects that span individual skills, helping ideas reach fruition. Constantly seeking out new skills and tools to help businesses and individuals thrive, Jennifer has always been a natural educator, helping others grow their capabilities no matter what stage of the process they are in.
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WordPress Gutenberg & The Classic Editor

The new block editor, also known as Gutenberg, stands to change the way you create and update content on your WordPress site.

It’s likely you have experienced the classic WordPress editor. You might use it to post a blog, for instance. It’s also likely that you had to look up how to complete complex tasks like style changes, adding buttons or changing the background color. (You may have also asked your friendly agency for assistance.)

Gutenberg simplifies the process by giving each type of content properties, features, and abilities, which can be customized to create exacting results: drag blocks up and down to rearrange their position; add a quote block between paragraphs with a click; change the alignment and width of an element in the sidebar. The list goes on.

There are varying reasons you or someone on your team may want to continue

using the classic editor. You may need more time to learn the new editor, use a custom post type that interferes with Gutenberg, or use a tool like YooTheme, Divi or Beaver Builder. The Classic Editor plugin (created and maintained by the WordPress core team) allows you to disable the new editor OR toggle between the Classic editor and Gutenberg! Simply install and activate the Classic Editor plugin, hover over settings on the dashboard of your site and click “writing”, then click “allow users to switch editors” and save. Now you have the option with posts and pages to use the Classic Editor or the Gutenberg Editor, whichever works best for you!

CAUTION: If you activate Gutenberg or Classic editors on pages built with other builders you risk erasing your work or changing your formatting. If you use one of many popular and powerful builders, definitely continue using these tools for content updates.

While the Classic Editor plugin will enjoy support into 2022, Gutenberg now ships with core, so do check it out, it’s the future of content creation! (And it’s REALLY cool!)

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Web Accessibility

We all visit websites for similar reasons regardless of the technology we use to interact with it. A person who is visually impaired will use a bank’s website to pay a bill with the same intent as someone who doesn’t use assistive technology. A person using their mobile device requires the same functionality of someone using their desktop. Just as a good site design will have considered the requirements of different screens, good site design needs to consider a variety of users’ needs and accessibility issues.

We were at WordCamp Atlanta recently and attended a talk about the inherent challenges of using accessibility tools and understanding how to make user experiences better regardless of ability.

Consider navigation. Large, complex menus can be daunting to navigate without a mouse. A visitor will have to click through your menu every time she navigates to a new page.  A better experience allows users to skip links with assistive technology as they prefer and improve the experience of the site. This is important for more than altruistic reasons. Users who can engage with your content are more likely to use your content. Sites that are usable are visited, the ultimate reason for creating a website in the first place.

In Atlanta, we learned about two great tools userway.org and the WPAccessibility plugin, we can use to add a variety of accessibility features with a minimum of setup. We can include these tools in all new projects and use them to help remediate existing sites.

Users with varying abilities are more similar than we think and websites with good designs will consider every user from the beginning. Keeping every user, regardless of ability, in mind when designing and developing a website improves usability for every user.

Resources:

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Need Help with WordPress?

Have you heard about WordPress? You may be considering it for your new website. You may need a website; you know how important it is, you just “don’t have the time”.

What is WordPress and how can it help you?

WordPress is a dynamic, world-class Content Management System (CMS) versatile enough to handle personal blogs, complex e-commerce shops, mobile applications, beautiful portfolios and more with outstanding ease of use and learnability.

WordPress powers about 30% of the top 10 Million websites – think TheWaltDisneyCompany.com and KatyPerry.com.

What does this mean for you? Because of its popularity, WordPress works hard to continuously improve its product. It’s responsive. It has built-in GDPR compliance tools. It is constantly making content management more intuitive even while improving web accessibility by focusing on removing accessibility barriers for people with disabilities.

WP helps you manage your media library by automatically resizing images and preparing them for use in different applications. This means that with minimal preparation on your part your images will always look good and your customers won’t have to wait on the site to load an oversized image.The results? Improved SEO and user experience. And who doesn’t need to improve their Search Engine Results?

The range of options available via thousands of plugins, themes, widgets and various media applications for different functionalities and looks for your website is unlimited.

Here are a few examples of some of the recent work Bear Web Design has done in WordPress:

So, do you need help with your WordPress site? Do you need a new WordPress site? The Bear Team is easy to work with and we have creative ideas and knowledge to help your ideas reach fruition. We also offer custom training to help you understand and use your new website. Contact us today!

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Welcome To Code Club for Girls!

Over the last few months I have been working with the Watertown Wilson County Public Library to launch an after school coding club called “Watertown Impact”. Every Wednesday, 7 young women, 6th through 12th grade, spend their afternoons learning to code.

The students come from different backgrounds, and utilize their different learning styles and problem solving skills to create something entirely new. They are quickly realizing that enthusiasm, hard work, curiosity and risk taking are essential to learning standard web languages as well as structural and presentational aspects of web design. And they’re usually laughing the whole time. They are becoming digital creatives, and it is wonderful to witness their originality and curiosity.

Already, they are putting their burgeoning coding skills to work for Wilson County by creating a website to promote the use and maintenance of the county’s new Little Free Libraries, a project organized by United Way of Wilson County to promote reading, strengthen community and inspire creativity. The site will feature pictures of the new Little Free Libraries, a map of library locations, and information on use, donations and the sponsors of the libraries.

This project requires peer-to-peer in addition to student-to-mentor relationships that extend beyond the local and into the world-wide coding community. Students will have the opportunity to publish their code in online repositories and receive input from others in the industry from around the world. They will visit local agencies, too, for some hands-on experiences of the local programming scene. Connections between industry and students opens possibilities and opportunities for kids and their futures and that’s something we’re very proud to facilitate.

Be sure to read the bios of these fledgling coders, once their new site is live. Their enthusiasm for learning, experimenting and having fun is contagious. They know that anything is possible.

Contact

Bear Web Design
2622 Bluefield Avenue
Nashville, TN 37214
(615) 504-6845

Bear Web Design - Web Design Agency | 2622 Bluefield Avenue | Nashville, TN 37214 - (615) 504-6845

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