One of my favorites weekend morning activities is fooling around in Photoshop. From time to time I find myself lured by one or more interesting effects. This time it was grungy, well worn (thought not worn out) hang tags. It actually started when I stumbled across a Photoshop tutorial on how to create a well worn ace of spades playing card. This tutorial is a popular and one can view results of the tutorials students in various locations on the web:
View Kevin Chu’s Result
View Lara’s Result
View My Result
Where would the fun be if I didn’t provide my .psd. One never knows when something other than “SALE” might come in handy.
Who doesn’t need spare change from time to time. Starting right now you can mine your own coin with my Photoshop Bitcoin file. There are two designs to choose from, or edit my file and create your own coin design.
Grab Some Coin
Bitcoin is an open source peer-to-peer electronic money and payment network introduced in 2009 by pseudonymous developer “Satoshi Nakamoto”. Bitcoin has been called a cryptocurrency because it uses cryptography to secure transactions. Digitally signed payment messages are broadcast to and verified by a decentralized network of computers all over the world. Specialized computers use a proof-of-work system to prevent people from copying and spending the same bitcoin multiple times, a problem for digital currencies known as double-spending. The operators of these computers, known as “miners”, are rewarded with transaction fees and newly minted bitcoins.
In your WordPress theme folder, you will always find functions.php, the most useful theme file. The name says it all, this file adds functions to your WordPress website and goes a long way to making the cool stuff happen. Often unknown to many WordPress developers is the fact that this files functions can be moved to a WordPress plugin.
Themes and Functions
Today, theme developers cram all kinds of functions into the theme itself in an effort to woo customers. Whether it is a slider, social media icons and functions, Google analytics and or a spiffy wiz-bang contact form; what happens should one choose to swap out one theme for another. You lose all your hard work setting up those mods. Do yourself a favor. Instead of adding the code to your theme, or relying on the code that is in the theme, instead drop it in a plugin. Flashy Functionality plugin is just one solution. There are plenty available plugins on wordpress.org that will enable you to accomplish many things. Unfortunately, there are those that bring unneeded or unwanted bloat that your site can do without. With my Flashy Functionality plugin, you’ll only have to add it once and your functions will be preserved when you change the design of your website.
Don’t Lose Your Edits
WordPress themes often have updates to keep them playing nicely with core wordpress files and server scripting. With the Flashy Functionality plugin, you can add your new functions into the plugin instead of touching your themes functions file. If you are a power user, chances are you will have a bevy of functions that you use over and over again. Edit the Flashy Functionality plugin to add your favorite and essential functions then upload and activate.
There are many functions that, in my opinion, every WordPress website needs. Here are the functions I’ve pre-loaded into my plugin:
Helpful Info Dashboard Widget
The whole idea of a WordPress website is the client will be able to manage his or her own content. With my Helpful Info Dashboard Widget, I provide the new client with general information on managing a WordPress website, as well as links to great tutorial resources, stock image resources, and my email and phone number when it comes to support. I’ve even built in the ability for us developers to upload “how to” videos and provide them right on the dashboard.
Clear All | The WordPress page/post editor is a great tool to be sure, but don’t we all find those time when the content just won’t behave. I have found myself putting in hard returns, and line breaks in an effort to get content not to jumble together haphazardly; all to no avail. With this plugin, content editors can use the shortcode [ br ] (remove spaces for actual use) thereby forcing the next line of content to clear all other elements.
Private | Display secret message to editors by using my Private shortcode. Usage:
[ private ]Your secret message here. [ /private ] You can provide helpful hints and tips to content admins and editors that only they can see.
Security | There are many functions that can be utilized to protect your WordPress installation from hackers. Consider the functions “explain_less_login_issues”, “disable_file_edit” and or “no_generator”. Other ideas (though not included) are enabling the WordPress hidden admin feature, modify the login logo and image urls and hide WordPess update notifications from all but the admin users. There are plenty more you can use. Check the links at the bottom of this article to get you going.
Core Updates | Select how you want WordPress to perform updates. More Info»
Misc. | Add additional menu and or widget areas and more. You’ll have to download the plugin and look inside to see them all.
14 Key WordPress Functions to Jump-Start Theme Development
Fifteen Useful WordPress Functions You Probably Don’t Know
TOP TEN UNKNOWN WORDPRESS FUNCTIONS
25+ Extremely Useful Tricks for the WordPress Functions File – One of my favorites!
This plugin requires that you edit the plugin files themselves to turn features on and off. The files are well documented. Have fun.
A couple years ago I developed a website for an intriguing woman; Marsha Hankins. I Am Standing in the Light was the site and on its contact page, as I often like to do, I inserted a photo to help illustrate the page. The photo was a Photoshopped representation of a freeway sign, and more importantly to a new and exciting location.
As luck would have it, I found myself in need of another freeway sign graphic and could not find anything that would suite my purpose in the stock photography houses I prefer to frequent. There was nothing left to do but create my own.
Download and enjoy the possibilities with this layered Photoshop file.
Download Freeway Signage
My Sister Judi occasionally leans on me for help with her graphic arts projects. Today I was asked to solve her Corel Draw issues and send over a flyer that she could use to advertise her upcoming camp-out.
Corel Draw is a great program and can be a lot of fun. Judi had the file so convoluted that starting from scratch was my only option. I fired up Photoshop; waaay more fun that Corel Draw. Using a background I found online on somebody’s free backgrounds blog, the end result is nothing real special, but might help jump start your own Christmas flyer project.