Using the WordPress Default Themes, Twenty Seventeen

Each year WordPress develops a new, default, theme to incorporate new ideas on site layout, use, and features. The Twenty Seventeen theme represents a focus on creating company websites in addition to a blogging platform.

Twenty Seventeen brings your site to life with header video and immersive featured images. With a focus on business sites, it features multiple sections on the front page as well as widgets, navigation and social menus, a logo, and more. Personalize its asymmetrical grid with a custom color scheme and showcase your multimedia content with post formats. The default theme for 2017 works great in many languages, for any abilities, and on any device.

The theme is spaciously laid out, it’s very modern but might be too sparse for some designs. There is so much white space that there are a lot of customizations for reducing white space by reducing padding, increasing font size, adding full-width pages.

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Welcome to FastPaddler Site

FastPaddler is a new e-commerce site for a company selling high-end composite paddles from Braca-Sport Corporation and surfskis and  ICF kayaks from Nelo Kayaks.  The site uses the popular Woocommerce plugin to operate an online store. Products pages are customized for a large variety of products options, making ordering simple for customers and easy to process on the backend.

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Surfskiers Love Their Classifieds!

SurfSkiRacing is a collaborative site for which I provided the WordPress expertise and a focus on search visibility.  The aim of the site is to promote the sport of surfski kayaking.  As an avid surfskier myself, I really enjoy both coding and reading the content.  Planning a recent redesign for the site and selecting and customizing our new theme was great fun.

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Posts are not like art but they do take time!

Writers Block – the curse of blogging! Sometimes sitting down to log into your WordPress Site to create a blog post can feel like an overwhelming task.  The pressure to create a masterpiece and then the realization that this one is a doodle at best feels unmotivating.  Storing great ideas for later can help overcome the problems of poor content ideas and writer’s block.

Shortcut to Creating Great Posts – The “Press This”

Often, while surfing the internet, you may come across information you would like to represent in your blog, but don’t want to focus on blogging at the moment. The Press This bookmarklet, a tiny bookmark button for your browser tab, is an easy way to add content to your blog. For WordPress users, this handy shortcut helps you create posts immediately. Go to the Admin Dashboard/Settings/Writing and locate the small, gray Press This button”.  By dragging the little Press This button onto your browser’s bookmark, or tab area, you can use it whenever you see material you’d like to post. It will automatically sign into your blog and open the “New Post” window. But it does a lot more than that!



Grab Some Text from a Site

Just highlight the text that interests you and then click Press This from your browser bookmark or favorites tab.  The post will appear in a new window ready for editing with the highlighted text and a nice link to the original site.  (You may need to sign in to your WordPress Admin )[message type=”info”]This is a great way to store interesting posts for later.  Just Press This the info you want and then rather than PUBLISH just save as DRAFT.  Edit it later when you are ready to complete.[/message]

Grab an Image from a Site

Having already hit Press This you are looking at a fresh blog post.  Select the picture frame from above the editing box and all the image options from the article will be available for adding to your post.  If you are not sure about image use and copyrights then Google “Fair Use and Copyright Issues” or other appropriate search terms for guidance on when it is acceptable to duplicate material. Tin Eye is a great resource for tracking images online including your own.  IStockPhoto (paid) and Unsplash (free) are good sources for high-level stock photos should you need them to illustrate your post.

Grab a Link

While on the site of interest just click Press This and you’ll get a post with a link only.  Publish in simple form or save as a draft for later.

Welcome to Planning for Strong Communities!


Planning for Strong Communities is focusing their efforts on projects involving transit and transportation issues. As a particular area of interest, we also see a need for creative and environmentally sound solutions in this area.

Planning for Strong Communities is a Tucson-based LLC providing consulting services to planning projects in municipal and regional agencies. Their site serves the purpose of marketing their services to prospective clients in a professional manner.

Visit their site at Planning for Strong Communities

There’s Good Traffic and Bad Traffic

Prevention of hacking is really important.  WordPress is very susceptible to hacking attempts due to the open source nature of the code.  Since it’s easy for you to upload new versions of software for your site it’s also a possible vulnerability point for hacker access.  Squarespace and other platform builders will take care of all software issues on their end.  WordPress Security,

WordPress – How to Protect your Site

Our first line of defense against hacking involves setting up WordPress blogs with appropriate user roles and some technical edits to files and databases. Site owners who are not using our editing and monitoring service are encouraged to make sure they are backing up databases and have added appropriate security plugins. We suggest a collection of plugins for these purposes.

Country Blocking

Using the WordFence plugin to block traffic by country can be a great time-saver.  I also recommend using WPEngine for hosting due to their robust backup service.  If hackers get into your site then just restoring a previous backup is a lifesaver.  As a coder, it’s a lot of fun to travel through a site thwarting a hacker.  As the owner of an e-commerce, it’s a whole other matter to lose data, customers, information, and up-time.  I prefer to prevent all hacking rather than recover from the event!  Some attacks are insidious, leaving crumbs of code to regenerate hidden deep in your sites SQL database.

A Marine Services Company

The first part of this project is a WordPress site for a boat shrink wrapping and hauling business in Connecticut Shrink the Boat.  Search visibility was a priority so Local Search was optimized.  Local listings can be important.  I’ve found links to a company going to a competitor, phone numbers incorrect.  A customer who is trying to reach you is much more important than site traffic that may or may not convert.   Clients are better than traffic so we make sure all your communications channels are open and correct. The Pete’s Marine Services site performs really well providing ample customers that help grow the business.

The second part of this project was a scheduling website for boat pumpouts.  Having responsibility for one of the Connecticut coast’s busiest areas, Coastal Clean Waters is primarily a booking website.


I located a plugin with a very nice layout and edited some PHP code to replace staff with location.  Mystic River, Thames River, and Fishers Island boaters use the site to schedule their state-sponsored pumpouts.