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| Drupal

Let me give credit where credit is due. The Drupal community is really getting organized in 2018.

In years gone by, Drupal has succeeded despite not having a clear direction. Everything was done in a stereotypically "open source" way with loose roadmaps. The apex of this was the development of Drupal 8 which dragged on for over 5 years.

This disorganizaton continued even after the release of Drupal 8. Early last year, I wrote a post asking, "When is Drupal 7 End-of-Life?" Unfortunately, no-one knew the answer. The deeper I looked, the more messy and confusing Drupal's plans became. The release cycles for Drupal 7, 8 and 9 were all vague and undefined.

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If you want to set up an online store, and already have an existing website, then Ecwid is a great solution. 

With Ecwid, you can embed your store (or single products) as simply as you would embed a YouTube video. This enables you to easily use Ecwid with WordPress or other platforms. 

This week we released a massive update to our Ecwid class. There are now over 30 videos in the "How to Use Ecwid for eCommerce Sites". 

Inside the class, there are several videos showing how to use Ecwid together with WordPress. If you're looking for a simpler alternative to WooCommerce, give Ecwid a try.

These videos are part of our eCommerce pathway, which covers all the major platform, including WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento and more.

| WordPress

Many WordPress themes rely on "Excerpts" to show a short summary of your WordPress content.

You'll find an "Excerpts" box on all your WordPress Posts, but you won't find them on Pages. Excerpts on WordPress pages used to be a standard feature, then they were removed in WordPress 3.1.

Fortunately, if you need to use excerpts, it is easy to put the excerpt window back for "Pages". All you need is a single line of code.

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Bootstrap is the most popular design framework in the world. It's an HTML, CSS and Javascript framework that allows non-designers to create clean-looking websites and interfaces.

Earlier this week we looked at the numbers and discovered that between 50% and 70% of people who use a design framework choose Bootstrap.

Bootstrap is popular because it provides pre-built code that solves many of the tricky problems that slow down web projects.

This week's new class, "How to Use the Bootstrap 4 Framework", is the perfect introduction for anyone who wants to start using Bootstrap. These videos will show you how to use Bootstrap 4's grid system, and responsive features. You'll learn how to design menus, buttons, media and text. You'll also see how to safely override Bootstrap's defaults with your own code.

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| Drupal

Drupal releases major updates only twice per year: in March/April and also in September/October.

Drupal 8.6 is the major update for September 2018.

Let's dive in and discover what new features we'll see. Some of the Drupal 8.6 improvements are outstanding!

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| Web Design

Back in mid-2013, I wrote a post called, "The Bootstrap Boom is Just Getting Started". Looking at the statistics, it was clear that Bootstrap was on its way to becoming very popular indeed.

3 years later, we looked again and saw that Bootstrap was growing even faster than we predicted.

Now in 2018, I decided to take another look. If you believe the official Bootstrap website, things are still going great:

  • "The world's most popular front-end component library"
  • "The most popular HTML, CSS, and JS library in the world"

Are those claims correct? Is Bootstrap still as dominant as they claim? Let's look at the numbers ...

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| Drupal

One of our customers asked how to highlight an active menu item in Drupal and how to keep it highlighted once it has been clicked.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to achieve this goal using the "Menu Trial by Path" and "Pathauto" contrib modules.

In this example, we're going to use a site that has a main menu with different regions e.g. Alaska, California, Pacific. There is also a secondary menu, customized for each geographical region. So we have the following URL structure:

  • example.com/regions/alaska (Main Navigation)
  • example.com/regions/alaska/al-link-1 (Secondary Navigation)

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| WordPress

When you’re developing plugins, messing up is just part of the process.

There’s a lot of trial and error involved in developing plugins for WordPress. You don't need to beat yourself every time you make an error, but there are some really common mistakes you can avoid.

Read on to find out how to avoid eight of the most common mistakes you'll make when first creating plugins for WordPress.

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When you first set up a Magento site, your products will have a price, a weight, an image and some other popular e-commerce options.

However, these options won't be enough for many stores. Different products have different needs. Here are some simple examples: 

  • A book store will require fields for the Publisher, the Date of Publication, and the ISBN number.
  • A clothing store may require fields for Type of Fabric, Clothing Size, and Clothing Color.
  • A car store may require fields for Engine, Body Type, and Miles Per Gallon.

Magento allows you to add all those details through the use of "attributes". In this tutorial, I'll show you how to use attributes in Magento.

This guide is taken from Magento 2 Explained, the best-selling book for Magento 2. We use the example of a store called "Orangeville" in that book, so you'll see it referred to here.

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| Podcasts

5 years ago, Alex opened a web design agency in Poland. This summer, Perfect Dashboard, his SaaS company, was accepted to Berkeley SkyDeck, one of the most presitigious start-up accelerators in the world. How did Alex travel so far so fast? 

In this episode, Alex tells us about his journey. We also talk about the different approaches to work in Europe and US, plus raising money for WordPress businesses.

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| Drupal

Apache Solr is a very popular open source search platform, based on the Java Lucene Library. Solr is very stable, scalable and reliable and provides a wide set of core search functions. Solr creates an index of the available documents and then you can query Solr to return the most relevant ones for your search.

For Drupal users, it is possible to integrate your site with Solr. The Search API Solr Search module (yes, that name is a mouthful!) provides a Solr backend for the Drupal Search API module.

This tutorial will deal with the integration between Drupal and the Solr platform. Before you begin, you will need to have installed Apache Solr on your server. 

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| WordPress

WPML is the most popular plugin for multi-lingual WordPress sites.

WPML is an acronym for "WordPress Multilingual" and the plugin is installed on nearly a million sites.

In this tutorial, you'll see 6 videos that introduce you to WPML and show you how to configure it correctly.

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| WordPress

My client has asked me to build a WordPress plugin for them. Help! How do I learn to build WordPress plugins?

That's a common question we get from people who join OSTraining for the first time. They want to know about the skills they will need, and what kind of classes they should take.

I'm going to show you the skills needed for WordPress plugin development. I'll also give you links to start learning those skills.

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| Podcasts

Jason is the founder and CTO of WPEngine. Jason and his team recently celebrated WPEngine's inclusion on the Gartner Magic Quadrant for the first time.

If you don't know what Magic Quadrants are, this is the episode for you! If you do know about Magic Quadrants, you'll still learn a lot! If you want some background, check out our post "Your Plain English Guide to Magic Quadrants".

If you've seen Jason talk, you know he's an insightful and fresh thinker. In this episode, he convinces me that WPEngine deserves to be listed alongside Adobe and Oracle. He also explains why you should stop using the phrase "Managed WordPress" for WPEngine.

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Blocks and Widgets are the key layout features in Magento. These two features are very closely linked, and are often used together.

One way to think about Blocks is that they are mini-Pages. A Block can also contain text, images, video and more. But because Blocks are smaller, you will see them around the edges of your site. Blocks are often inserted into headers, sidebars and footers.

However, Blocks are placed using Widgets. First you create a Block, and then you use a Widget to decide where that Block will be displayed.

Let's walk you through some examples and show you how Blocks and Widgets work in Magento.

This guide is taken from Magento 2 Explained, the best-selling book for Magento 2. We use the example of a store called "Orangeville" in that book, so you'll see it referred to here.

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| General

Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the world.

For under $30 per month, Shopify offers everything your store needs from products and variations to payments and shipping.

We've just published a free, hour-long introduction to Shopify. Rod Martin shows you how to build your store in just one hour. This video is free to watch on YouTube!

Special offer: If you're starting a new shop, get a .STORE domain name for your Shopify site! It's the perfect TLD for your eCommerce site. Use the coupon "OSTSTORE" and you'll pay just $4.99/year. Get started here.

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