Why You Don’t Need a Child Theme

Why You Don’t Need a Child Theme

The question will be asked many times. Here is the answer for the DIY person who does not need to know code to use the Divi Theme. The Divi Theme has integrated a method to tidy up the loose code all over the Internet. Code isn’t perfect and it doesn’t always work the way it is supposed to. The modification of the Divi Theme will essentially be in the area of the functions.php files. This is only if you want to build a template or a specific style.

If you are a developer and specifically want to build unique Themes and use the Divi Framework, then you would create a Child Theme. But it is not necessary to think you have to use a Child Theme just because the Divi Theme updates regularly. This is what you do want with a Theme, regular updates.

Misinformation

This is one of the most unfortunate problems on the web. You have to check out the information and take a look at what’s in it for the person giving you the information. Not everyone has your best interests in mind. What they have in mind is to tell you that you need something when you don’t. How do you know the difference? If you find a beautiful Theme styled in Divi made by a developer and decide you want to use that Theme, then you use that theme. This will most probably be a Child Theme and the developer will have instructions on how to use the Child Theme.

When I first started out with WordPress, I used a styled Theme because I did not know how WordPress worked. I had to operate within the limitations of the Theme. After a while the Theme I was using was too restricting, I wanted the freedom to have a different layout on the page. I only had a choice of a single column or two columns. When I added pictures it didn’t look right and I wasn’t satisfied. There had to be a better Theme. There was, I wrote about it in this article.

What’s the Purpose of the Website?

If the Website is for a large company with a membership base, or a forum, then we’re departing from the basic five page website. That’s a different story, but depending on what you want to extend the website into will help you make the decision about using a Child Theme.

To help make that decision read the Ultimate Divi Child Theme Guide for 2018 by Tim Strifler of Divi Life. This guide takes you through the information so you can make an informed decision based on what is the purpose of the website.

But, it is not true that you have to use a Child Theme. You don’t, unless you decide you want to use one based on the specific needs for your website. If you use CSS styling in the Advanced tab in a module, you won’t lose the styling when Divi updates.

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the subject of whether you should or should not use a Child Theme.

Leaping Technology

We can hardly keep up with all this tech stuff. It can get overwhelming. It’s not going to slow down, but what does improve is the software, like WordPress and the Divi Theme. I only mention these two products because I use them every day. One of the new leaps in technology is the coming changes to the WordPress editor section, the place where you enter content onto the page or post. This change only puts the icon in a different place, but it is the same icon.

Have you noticed how you might visit a website and the design is totally changed from what it was when you last visited the page. You have to mouse around to find a setting, it’s just in a different place. Well, the same is true with the new WordPress Editor, named Gutenberg.

WordPress is an incredible software and it takes its place as the number one used software worldwide because it is a deserved place. It is powered by developers who are committed to its excellence and the project is open source. This means developers from all over the world contribute to the core code which is what the Divi Theme overlays.

Change Is Easy To Deal With

The Divi Theme is a complete WordPress Premium Theme on it’s own. Here’s the real secret; the developer and the designer don’t want you to know they use the Divi Theme.  There are also premade layouts in the Divi Library that you can use to build a website.

The Child Theme question is based on what you need, not a “best practice” use. This is why you don’t need a Child Theme.

The Paradigm of WordPress Gutenberg

The Paradigm of WordPress Gutenberg

A RealTime Paradigm

In real time another paradigm comes in the form of technology through the printing press. Named after it’s predecessor the Gutenberg Editor comes to WordPress. It means the editor will have a facelift. The icons will be the same, their functions won’t change, but they’re in a different place.

Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press which revolutionized the way people produced the printed parchments. As the blocks were laid onto the tray we now lay the blocks onto the web page.

This new system of block building, is also called the modular system. Modules are used to build the content on the page within the Divi Theme. This is one of the excellent features of the Divi Theme.

Oddly enough in the world of developers, there is a backward kind of thinking. The irony of this thinking is, it is so named “backwards compatibility.” Meaning you can roll back a version and use an outdated one instead of an updated one. Why? I would rather use the most updated version instead of an older version.

But nevertheless, you’ll find the nervous developer predicting the end of something because it means more work for them. What comes out is the truth of the matter, nothing ends.

Nothing Ends

Technology changes and improves all the time. WordPress is no exception. You may not know it but there are updates and upgrades happening all the time to the WordPress core software. The coming Gutenberg Editor will indeed make life easier for those of us who like to enter the content in the world’s most popular CMS (content management system) just like it is supposed to be entered.

The Coming Change

The WordPress editor has familiar icons which we use to place the content onto the web page. These familiar icons won’t disappear, they might be in a different place. WordPress is designing its own Page Builder. The most advanced way to build content on a web page.

Page Builders are developers who worked to solve the problem for the users of WordPress not to have to place the content into HTML brackets when writing a blog post.  Change isn’t easy for everyone. You still have developers who  “write” their blog posts in the “text” area, which by the way is the area where you can see the HTML tags. Perhaps it gives them the feeling they’re still doing the “tech” work as it used to be.

Websites are becoming more sophisticated and easier to use. The code is complex, but it runs in the background. The Page Builder lets you put the content directly into the page or blog post without having to have knowledge of HTML. This post is written using the Divi Builder built into the Divi Theme. It is a Page Builder.

The State of the Word US WordCamp 2017

Every year Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of WordPress gives an update on the progress of the world’s most used software, WordPress. The video recording shows the Gutenberg editor in action and how it changes the WordPress editor.

Developers, desingers, and users of WordPress attend the WordCamp events. At the most recent WordCamp in Nashville, the developers of the most used Page Builders came together, Divi, Elementor, Beaver Builder, and Visual Composer in an iconic picture captured by Jason Champagne of Elegant Themes. These developers are the top of their field and produce excellent Page Builders used with WordPress Themes. Now WordPress core is introducing the Gutenberg Editor. Named after the Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, the Gutenberg WordPress Editor uses building blocks, or placeholders. The area where you place and style the content.

The same concept is used in the Page Builders. You are using the module as a place holder for the content, with the ability to style the content within the module.

The Gutenberg Editor won’t end it all for everyone. WordPress is an open source software. Developers from all over the world contribute to the WordPress core. WordPress is the most used software in the world. Everyone uses it, and they’re not about to abandon it just because WordPress introduces an improvement and gives us the user the best experience.

How Will This Affect The Page Builders?

The developers working with the top Page Builders will incorporate the Gutenberg Editor into the existing Page Builder. The command icons on the toolbar won’t change. What will change are some WordPress Themes built with the current default editor, may not be able to incorporate the Gutenberg Editor.

The Page Builder feature in the Divi Theme is a plugin as are all the Page Builders used in WordPress themes. This time the WordPress core software will have a Page Builder.

As with all new software it’s only a matter of time after using it for a while, you’ll see how it operates. We’re a whole lot smarter with technology than we’ve been led to believe. Finally, we’re getting over the hurdle of not believing everything we see in print.

The paradigm of the Gutenberg editor into WordPress core is no different than what it was when the printing press was invented. People thought the end had come because books were available to be read by everyone.

The dire predictions of the end of WordPress are from those who are afraid of change. The Gutenberg Editor is a real time paradigm, it’s purpose is to elevate everyone’s ability to create content with WordPress.

Knocking Yourself Out to be Like Everyone Else

Knocking Yourself Out to be Like Everyone Else

Have you ever felt as though you need to fit in, but you want to express your individuality at the same time? We are one among many, and we compare ourselves to others all the time. We’re also evaluated, classified, and counted more than we want to be.

But aren’t we unique and different?

We are, but we won’t always be true to that difference, until we are more sure of ourselves. Taking a closer look, here is a poem I wrote that speaks to the depth of my problem.

Like Everyone Else

Fear dances in your head,
the traditional lays it’s frightening images before you.
Pay homage to the wisdom,
as your father, grandfather, great grandfather,
and generations before you did.
Your new idea hangs lamely in the air,
will they scoff and laugh.
Preposterous, impossible, yet it isn’t new.
It is as ancient as you.
© 2016 Joan Margau

Fitting In

This is a full time job if you are going to fit in, you have to have the “right profile.” You’ll have to be “cool,” follow the right people, and put perfect pictures of your life online. Your “persona” will be someone you think you’re supposed to be. A new trend sets the pace. An “influencer” tells you the best way to do something. All you have to do is just follow their “blueprint,” and you don’t have to think for yourself. It’s all done for you, just follow the secret method.

The problem is everyone has a secret method. If you compare the methods, it’s two different ways of doing something. Each method is unique to the person who promotes their particular method. This is not to say you cannot learn from someone else’s experience. But if you adapt what you are doing to be like everyone else because they are successful, you’re knocking yourself out to be like them.

How do you get from being like someone else to being true to yourself?

It’s an obvious answer only when you stop and think about it. You have to develop your own style and know yourself. The way to do this is to improve your mind, and be aware of yourself.

The process of thinking is actually an automatic activity, through responses to the five (and sometimes) six senses. Our interaction leads to the thought process of the mind and of course our feelings. When we want to be like everyone else, we give up on ourselves.

Our individuality is shaped by our worldview through what we experience. For instance, there are many subjects that shape our view; art, literature, religion, politics, self-awareness, family, observation, reading, instruction by learning, conversation, and mediation, but not necessarily in that order. We are shaping our individuality when we improve the mind. We start to think for ourselves, and not let someone else think for us.

Improving the mind isn’t something newly discovered. One of the minds that steered me in the direction of accepting the fact I was knocking myself out to be like everyone else was Isaac Watts. His writing was in a different time, but the truth of what he wrote is timeless.

The improvement of the mind

The action and process of improvement of the mind was a preoccupation of Isaac Watts, the well known English minister, theologian, and logician. His book, The Improvement of the Mind (1741) was widely read, and still is today. Watts wrote poetry, prose, and hymns. He spoke Greek, French, and Hebrew, and was known as a Dissenter. Not a good idea in those days, depending on the ruling monarch of the time.

He wrote the Art of Reading (1721), A Guide Called Logic: or the Right Use of Reason (1724), and The Improvement of the Mind (1741). These works became textbooks and educational theory for more than a century. A digital copy of the Improvement of the mind is available in the Google Play store.

“There are five eminent means or methods whereby the mind is improved, in the knowledge of things, and these are observation, reading, instruction by lectures, conversation and meditation…” (The Improvement of the Mind, 1741, Isaac Watts: 22).

Observation

Observation shapes our ideas and experiences resulting in opinions. It lays the foundation of knowledge. We obtain a variety of ideas from an outward perception. Differences of opinions are normal, otherwise we have to think the same way, under someone’s idea umbrella.

We see and know things as they are and how they appear to us. We can be influenced by our observation of others, especially if they improve our mind and contribute to our existing knowledge. Influence through observation can be inspirational. But we should not be so influenced we let go of who we are, in favor of wanting to be like someone else because they are successful.

Reading

Reading transfers knowledge to us. We review the text, observe, and interpret the meaning in context with our observation. Our online experience has put us into spending a good deal of time reading. Just what are we reading?

It depends on whose work you read. The purpose of the interaction when reading is a comparison rather than an outright adoption. What if you were doing what you wanted to do from the start, and it was the one thing you needed to do, but abandoned what you were doing, because you thought you weren’t doing it “right.”

There are too many how-to-do it faster, better, and quicker. Don’t waste time, all you need is five minutes to change your life, in three easy steps. This kind of reading can cause you to abandon what you are doing, and knock yourself out to be like everyone else, thinking this is what you should be doing.

Was I that gullible? Yes, most definitely, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this post.

Instruction by lectures

If we think about the journey of instruction, we could start with the oral instruction. The tradition of passing on the stories of nations to future generations. The open debates on the senate floor in ancient Rome. The schools of instruction in philosophy and theology. The universities, education institutions and higher education. Every century has instituted a form of instruction by lectures.

If Isaac Watts was our instructor he would expect the result of all instruction to improve the mind, not persuade. If we want to learn we will be enthusiastic in our approach. Instruction by lectures will be exhilarating, and we will always be learning. This is an ideal situation, and this is our experience today. Our life is rich with learning, and there’s no shortage of instruction by lectures.

Conversation

“Conversation is another method of improving our minds, wherein by mutual discourse and inquiry, we learn the sentiments of others, as well as communicate our sentiments to them, in the same manner.” (Watts, 22.)

The principles of conversation were posted on the wall in my English classroom in junior school. Each day a different student had their turn to read the principles to the class. Even if you missed a day of school, you still took your turn to read the principles aloud. This way no one could say they weren’t aware of the principles.

  • Speak only when you’re spoken to
  • Don’t interrupt the person when they are talking
  • Listen politely first and then respond
  • Speak clearly and pronounce your words
  • Don’t shout
  • Don’t use swear words

You were only able to have a conversation if you followed these principles. We had the strict supervision of our teachers. You had to follow the principles or there was no conversation. This resulted in meaningful conversing with your peers and teachers. We respond to everything the way we first learn something.

Today our conversation is significantly enlarged. In addition to in-person conversations, we are having a digital conversation in real time with a person behind their keyboard.  The principles of conversation, learned in junior school still apply. Conversing through computers is a paradox, and a delight. Online conversations are borderless and rich with diversity, and are the perfect opportunity to express your opinion.  Although the rules I learned weren’t for online conversation, they still apply.

Online conversations are very different. They happen in the privacy of your mind. Your written response is more of a meditation and thought contemplation. We’re thinking about how we speak, in writing.

Meditation

“It is by meditation, that we fix in our memory, whatsoever we learn, and form our own judgement of the truth or falsehood, the strength or weakness, or what others speak or write.” (Watts 22).

Meditation is the practice of contemplation and reflection. This is how we come to know ourselves. It is the process of being still in the silence, to know yourself. But not as you would be defined by someone else’s opinion of you. You would be defined by your own reasoning and ability to determine the true from the false, the good from the bad, and the right from wrong.

What we speak and write online is as a meditation.

The writer is often in mediation as they write. The words reflect the streams of thought, through the keyboard, and onto the computer screen. The writer contemplates and writes from the depth of their being. It is a world of silence and unspoken words, the movement of the mind through ideas and expression.

Meditation is not only in the form of writing, it is in the form of contemplation and is a very ancient practice. The art has been practiced by the wise sages and doesn’t know a specific time period. The subject of meditation is finally being revived in our modern lifestyle. It is the single most beneficial action anyone can do for themselves. Spend fifteen minutes a day in silence. It doesn’t have any secrets, there is no cost and there are enormous health benefits.

There is continuous learning and improvement of the mind, but it will be as an individual enriched by learning.

The day will come when you have observed, read, learned by lecture, conversed and meditated. You will know who you are, and waste no more time knocking yourself out to be like everyone else.

Creating Blog Post Content

Creating Blog Post Content

Creating Blog Post Content

The buzz around content creation, content marketing, and content in general, is getting louder. The subject of content has become complex. This article opens the dialog about content from the reader’s point of view. The one who is on the receiving end of the content produced.

The Web is the go-to place for information, and after twenty-five years of using the Web, we’re good at researching and reading. These days we’re reading content generated on a consistent, or automated basis. Experts, authorities, and opinions abound in a quantity of content, and we’re wading through a surplus of information.

“The content bubble is about to burst,” says the marketer creating content.

“No says the advertiser,” content is here to stay and has to be quality content.”

“Content marketing is dead,” days the chief information officer.

“What do you mean,” says the reader, “this content is the same as the last article. I’m looking for a simple explanation, but what has this got to do with what I’m looking for.”

The way to simplify something complex is; state the obvious and return to the origin of the contextual definition.

The obvious issue about content; there are two people involved in creating content. The person who writes the content and the person who reads the content. So just who is reading the content? Unless the person engages with you after reading the content, you may not know.

The genuineness and the originality of the content will reach the reader.

Content should complement and supplement existing knowledge Click To TweetRespecting the person you are communicating with is the first step to resolving the complexity of creating content. Instead of relegating people to a particular group, understand people are individuals, and they have prior knowledge.

Defining Content

Content is the material in speech or literary work. It is presented in a form, or style, to promote ideas, a message or a thesis. A thesis is a statement or theory put forward to be maintained or proved.

The creator of the content within a book, a literary work, is a writer, and an author if the book is published.

The Web gives everyone the opportunity to write, or create content. Written and visual content exist within a website. The prompt of “What’s happening?”  “Join the conversation.” “What’s on your mind,” invite you to create content.

“Hello world, this is my blog,” continue the sentence and tell your story. For some it is easy, for others it is unpleasant. Staring at a blank page, and what do you write?

A writer will answer you immediately with the latest story or content running through their mind. Their imagination is captivated by the subject and they will tell you all sorts of interesting facts about what happens when you write “hello,” and connect with the world.

On the Web, the content of a thesis, a sales pitch, and a conversational blog post are all content. All this content finds a home on a Website. There are no hard and fast rules about when and where you can publish content on the Web.

Continuing on in our thorough definition…

Content is defined as a literary work having a marked style intended to create a particular effect. A sales promotion, for example, has a marked style with a particular effect. But a sales promotion isn’t a literary work.

A literary work is a formal style of elaborate writing. An author uses a formal elaborate style of writing. Writing content for a book and the Web are two entirely different kinds of writing.

The Blogger

Logging onto the web and writing in the log was called a weblog, so named by Jorn Barger. In 1997 Peter Merholz shortened the word to “blog”. Blog content was written with an informal conversational style. The personal blog was a single person who wrote content into the blog. The blog built social relations with readers who subscribed to the blog because they enjoyed reading the content.

The word blog was used as a noun and then as a verb to post to one’s blog devised the term Blogger. The original blogger platform product was developed by Evan Williams from Pyra Labs. Blogging became popular in 1999. In 2003 Google bought the platform and this became Blogger. A very popular blogging platform but not in the WordPress software.

Blog key on a keyboard.The blog was a personal account of events in life. The entries were journals. The blog has evolved the writing of a blog rather than a personal journal. It is an information source, a means of communication. In fact it is a vital tool of communication on the web.

A blog opens the conversation. One of the major changes of our interaction on the Web was being able to comment and interact with the person who wrote the blog post.

Another change was the introduction of forum software. We now have online communities and forums contributing to the discussion and learning through the blog.

WordPress Blog

Another popular blogging platform is WordPress started in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and David Little. The project was picked up to improve the blogging software dilemma Mullenweg was using. As a result, WordPress has grown to be one of the most popular softwares used for blogs and websites worldwide. There are a variety of different publishing platforms for blogs and websites.

The Web is a publishing platform for commerce, education, research, and personal communication. The World Wide Web is the largest electronic database of it’s kind, and almost everyone has Internet access worldwide.

The original purpose of the blog was communication in real time. WordPress started off as a project offshoot from b2/Cafelog, developed by the French programmer Michel Valdrighi. The blogging software dilemma was resolved. Today, we press words with WordPress, one of the best blogging platforms to have a blog, and create blog post content.

The key to getting content published and read on the Web is to consider the reader. The content in the blog post should not be full of advertisements or distractions. Keep the content free of clutter. The purpose of the blog post content is to inform. Ideally, you you’re writing about a subject that is interesting to you and your readers.

Layout Content

A layout is how the parts of something are arranged. 

The layout of a Web page or post page is built within tables and specific column widths.

This next section show how disruptive content can be when placed in the wrong place or out of context.

There are specific areas for content within the framework of a web page. The problem is not the layout of the tables, it’s with the content.

The deadline begins

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

The Norman Nielson Group conducted tests in 1997, on how people read on the Web. They discovered people don’t actually read the content they skim read.

Why Content on the page isn’t read

  • The content on the page has now disrupted your attention. The click me button on the right is distracting.
  • The countdown is an advertisement because you’re running out of time.

You have now lost the thread of the discussion we are having about creating blog post content.

Creating Blog Post Content

The content survives if the definition of content is understood. The content is read when there is a clear eye path and no distracting information to interrupt the reader’s concentration. How many times have you finished reading a blog post and retained the information? Not too many. Even in this post I interrupted the flow of content to illustrate the point of how we should think about creating blog post content.

Creating content in a blog post needs planning. We are used to writing a composition. An article with a beginning, a middle, and an end. A blog post is a powerful communication tool so take time to think when creating blog post content. 

When I’m not all over the Web, I’m writing and marrying the content with the design. Writing content and design is usually a match made in heaven. With WordPress, it’s in real time. Follow me on Twitter