TaylorLovett

Custom Contact Forms 5

March 20, 2012 by Taylor Lovett

Big news for Custom Contact Forms! After months of developing, we just released version 5. CCF version 5 is going to change the ways you build your forms dramatically. The theme for this new version is improved admin user interface.

New Features:

  • Rearrange attached fields with drag-and-drop
  • Rearrange attached field options with drag-and-drop
  • Restyled form and field manager
  • Save and delete buttons next to each form, field, field option, and style
  • Bugs fixed

Development will continue on Custom Contact Forms. Stay tuned.

SEO Friendly Images WordPress Plugin

February 16, 2012 by Taylor Lovett

Hey guys, I wanted to let you know about a plugin I just started using. It’s called SEO Friendly Images.

SEO Friendly Images accomplishes a few tasks that will save you time, improve your HTML code, and ultimately add SEO value to your website. The plugin automatically adds alt and title attributes to all your images (unless they already have them). This provides substantial SEO value because it allows you to add more keywords throughout your website.

  • The alt attribute is important part of search engine optimization. It describes your images to search engines and when a user searches for a certain image this is a key determining factor for a match.
  • The title attribute plays a lesser role but is important for visitors as this text will automatically appear in the tooltip when a visitor hovers their mouse over the image.

By adding alt and title attributes to all images, the plugin in turn makes your images W3C compliment (this means your code is valid which is important to Google). This plugin is extremely easy to configure and I’ve added this plugin to all my websites. I recommend everyone does the same.

Download the Plugin

Fields Disappearing Bug Fixed in Custom Contact Forms 4.0.9.5

January 14, 2011 by Taylor Lovett

Since the inception of Custom Contact Forms there has been a very strange bug that has bunch of people. After detaching fields in a certain order, fields would start to randomly disappear and blank spaces would pop up in the attachment dropdown. This was an error in logic. If two fields were attached to a form one with ID 1 and the other with 11, the fields would be stored in the database accordingly: 1,11, . Detaching the first field would remove instances of 1, from that string, but there are two instances of 1, in that string, some the resulting string would be 1 which would throw everything off from then on. This has been fixed by using serialization to store attached fields and field options. Also the Javascript Conflict bug has been fixed. If you are still experiencing this bug, simply disable jQuery on the frontend in “General Settings”.

Custom Contact Forms 4.1.0 is going to be released in the next week. It will have many new features such as a fixed field for states and countries as well as a dashboard widget for saved form submissions. We are in dire need of beta testers. If you are interested please fill out the following form:

Join the Custom Contact Forms Team

WordPress Reference Guide for Developers

November 30, 2010 by Taylor Lovett

WordPress theme and plugin developers, I found something you might like. A women named Natalie from DBS Interactive emailed me informing me of there WordPress Reference Guide for Developers. I am a huge fan of the WordPress Codex but the reference guide they put together is much easier to use than the WP Codex. It’s like an encyclopedia for WordPress theme developers. This is definitely worth a bookmark:

WordPress Reference Guide for Developers

10,000 Downloads!

November 14, 2010 by Taylor Lovett

Custom Contact Forms has been download over 10,000 times in it’s first 5 months. Thanks to everyone who has provided feedback and bug reports. 4.1.0 is in the works and hopefully will make Custom Contact Forms available to more types of server configurations. CCF has grown in to quite the plugin and is only gaining more features. In the future we hope to add lead capturing and internet marketing functionality. Thanks!

Download Custom Contact Forms

Custom Contact Forms 4.0.0

October 26, 2010 by Taylor Lovett

Custom Contact Forms 4.0.0, the most intuitive and customizable contact form plugin for WordPress, is about to be released. Here is a short list of some of the new features being added:

  • Import/Export/Create Backups at the click of a button
  • New style options for your forms
  • Ability to add a different CSS class to each field
  • * All form submissions saved to database and displayed in administration panel in a visually appealing way. You can enable/disable the emailing of form submissions now.
  • * AJAX in the admin panel – now you can save, delete, and manage everything in the admin panel without refreshing the page. This will save you time.

Right now you can download the latest 4.0.0 beta version on the WordPress CCF Download page. Right now the only thing that is left to do is debug the new AJAX features. We need debuggers. Right now we are adding anyone who helps us with debugging to the WordPress page as a contributor with a link to the website of their choice. Email admin@taylorlovett.com if you’re interested.

WordPress Frameworks or Parent Themes

August 13, 2010 by Taylor Lovett

WordPress frameworks are the wave of the future for not only WordPress users but also developers.

What are WordPress frameworks?
Wordpress frameworks provide a structure for developers to build off of containing a ton of great functionality. WordPress frameworks are the definition of not recreating the wheel. The release of WordPress 2.7 beckoned a revolutionary new feature, child themes. Child themes sometimes contain as little as a single style sheet file and build off of a parent theme (duh). The parent theme, or the framework, contains a basic HTML framework, a default plain looking style sheet, and most importantly loads of great functionality: a completey widgetized header, footer, homepage, and sidebar, some great widgets included the frameworks theme function file, and a great configuration page for the template (allowing you to choose primary and secondary navigation menus, choose SEO settings, exclude categories from the blog page, and much, much more) among other things.

Why use a WordPress framework?
As previously stated, why reinvent the wheel? Developers turn their nose at already developed frameworks because they feel they can do it better. I assure you this is not true. The functionality of these frameworks provides a versatility to WordPress that would take a year for any programmer to develop. Also, many parent themes provide a plethora of beautiful child themes to spiced up your site.

Top WordPress Framworks
Genesis: Developed by Studiopress, this is my go to framework and I use it on most of my clients websites. There are enough professional child themes to suite anyones tastes and everything is extremely easy Ito customize. The Genesis widgets are amazing and come preinstalled: add twitter to your menu, featured pages and posts with preview images (that you can define within the page or post!) and more. The SEO capabilities of Genesis make plugins like SEO all in one redundant. Also Genesis is compatible with every 3rd party plugin that I’ve ever tried which is important. This is definitely my favorite WordPress framework and is very affordable.

Thesis: Another great WordPress framework. It has a host of nice child themes to spice up your site. This framework also has a great configuration page with many of the same features as Genesis. It lacks the custom widgets that Genesis has. A means to manage SEO is also included in this framework. Where this framework is lacking is customization from the standpoint of the developer. The code is documented poorly compared to Genesis making it a constant battle to change anything code-wise. Thesis is also a little more expensive.

There are other great frameworks out there such as Thematic, but Genesis is my preference.

Custom Contact Forms 2.2.0

August 9, 2010 by Taylor Lovett

Custom Contact Forms 2.2.0 has been released and sports a number of new useful features. A plugin news feed has been added to the administratin panel displaying the latest news, tips, and tricks concerning Custom Contact Forms. A form has been added to the admin page allowing anyone to report a bug as well as suggest new features. 

Custom Contact Forms is constantly being developed and these new features really allows blog owners to steer development in the direction of their best interest. Finally a plugin navigation menu has been included at the top of the admin page allowing users to more fluidly control their contact forms.

Suggest a feature has already provided us with some great ideas. Custom Contact Forms someday some may have a mailing list function allowing you to build a list for internet marketing. Excited yet? Custom Contact Forms is already the best contact forms WordPress plugin by far and is only getting better.

Raving Reviews for Custom Contact Forms 1.1.1

July 27, 2010 by Taylor Lovett

The first stable version of my WordPress Plugin, Custom Contact Forms has been released in version 1.1.1. Version 1.1.1 includes fixed fields that are included automatically and not listed with user fields. The first fixed field added to Custom Contact Forms is a secure captcha.

As well as fixed fields, plugin users can now make a custom thank you message and have fields remember how users previously filled them out; error messages have also now been added to the WordPress plugin.

Custom Contact Forms is quickly becoming a popular WordPress. It is much more intuitive than any other contact form WordPress plugin and is extremely easy to use. Custom Contact Forms has been downloaded and installed over 240 times in its first two weeks. Here’s a review from a WordPress blog owner:

You have the best of the WP contact forms. Outstanding effort. Congrats!

Mark Lasserre – lasserre.us

Most importantly Custom Contact Forms updates itself automatically if you have an old version so they are no reason not to upgrade immediately. If you have any suggestions are problem with my WordPress plugin, please email me and I will fix them same-day guaranteed.

Download Custom Contact Forms 1.1.1

Custom Contact Forms 1.0 Released

July 18, 2010 by Taylor Lovett

My new WordPress plugin, Custom Contact Forms 1.0, has finally be released.

Custom Contact Forms is a WordPress plugin for handling and displaying custom web forms; insert the provided code in any page, post, category, or archive in which you want a web form to show. This plugin allows you to create fields with a variety of options and to attach them to specific forms you create.

Definitely allows for more customization than any other WordPress contact form plugin out there today. The greatest part of this plugin is the comprehensive admin page which allows you to manage fields, forms, and tons of customizable options in one place! Also comes with a web form widget to drag-and-drop in to your sidebar. It has been tested on WordPress version 2.7.1 and up. Give it a try on your blog today; it’s free!

Strange Google XML Sitemaps Error Fixed

June 24, 2010 by Taylor Lovett

Today, I installed the Google XML Sitemaps plugin. I configured the plugin accordingly then directed my browser to http://taylorlovett.com/sitemap.xml to see my newly built sitemap. I was confronted with the very ugly error:

Error loading stylesheet: An unknown error has occurred (805303f4)

http://www.taylorlovett.com/wp-content/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/sitemap.xsl

After some searching on Google, I found others having the same issue but no definite solution. It seemed that directing my browser to http://www.taylorlovett.com/sitemap.xml worked fine but http://taylorlovett.com/sitemap.xml did not. I figured out the problem was that in my General Settings page my WordPress address (URL) was set to http://www.taylorlovett.com/sitemap.xml and my Site address (URL) was set to http://taylorlovett.com/sitemap.xml. After changing them both to the exact same URL, the problem was solved!

Comment Template Customization in WordPress

by Taylor Lovett

Today I was working on my blog and started styling comments.php in my WordPress theme – this wasn’t too difficult but still took me a couple hours to sift through PHP/Wordpress jargon to find the HTML/CSS code I was looking for. Before long I wanted to style the actual comments posted by users. To my dismay I learned the code for user comments is not in the comments.php theme file but rather in the comments-template.php file in the WordPress wp-includes/ folder. Bummer.

Customizing the WordPress wp-includes/comments-template.php file is extremely complicated, even to a veteran PHP programmer, and after messing with it for 2 hours I started searching Google for a guide. I found out through various guides that the wp_list_comments() function called in comments.php can take a callback function as a parameter that will use a custom comment function as opposed to the WordPress default. By using the callback parameter to point to your own function, you can really take control of the WordPress comments style and structure.

I found a great guide that will take you step by step through creating your own comment function for the wp_list_comments() function to callback.

WordPress Comment Templates Customization

Also, for background information on wp_list_comments() and a full list of it’s parameters:

Function Reference for wp_list_comments()