Articles by Eric Karkovack

Eric Karkovack is a web designer with over 20 years of experience. You can visit his business site here. In 2013 he released his first eBook: Your Guide to Becoming a Freelance Web Designer. He also has an opinion on just about every subject. You can follow his rants on Twitter @karks88.

Getting over your fear of commitment with WordPress plugins

When I first started out creating websites with WordPress, I was in awe of the depth and variety of plugins available. During those golden days I would willingly install just about anything that looked cool. Shortly thereafter, I was smacked in the head by reality. Stuff started breaking and seriously hurt my good time. It turns out that not every plugin is a great one. And there are times when it seems like the work we do is held together with bubble gum and duct tape. Everything works splendidly until it...

How to setup two-factor authentication for WordPress

With the constant barrage of sites being hacked, security should be of paramount concern to developers. Especially when using a platform such as WordPress, which is constantly under attack from nefarious bots. The thing is, the size and popularity of a website doesn’t matter so much. Bots are looking for any WordPress site, regardless of size. So anyone from enterprise to small business needs to take steps to better secure their website. One of the most common methods bots use are brute-force login...

WordPress vs. a bespoke CMS

As a developer, one of the most important decisions you'll make is choosing which content management system (CMS) will power a website. In many cases, clients will state that they want to be able to update the site themselves. They won’t necessarily specify which CMS they want, though. That decision is often left to you, the web professional. Many of us tend to use and recommend a single CMS for our projects (WordPress, in my case). An established platform like WordPress has a great community of resources...

Tips for inheriting an out-of-date WordPress website

When a new client comes on board, they may bring their current website with them. Only once you give their site a good checkup, you may find that not much is “current” at all. If it’s running WordPress or another open-source CMS, that could be trouble. Outdated core software, plugins or themes could leave the site vulnerable to attack. And, while it’s easy to say, “Just update it”, that can sometimes bring its own set of challenges. Here are a few tips on what to do when inheriting an outdated...

Embracing the WordPress REST API

The WordPress REST API may still be under development, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming quite the topic of discussion. Recently I attended my local WordCamp and, sure enough, there was a session dedicated to it. For those who aren't familiar with the REST API, it essentially allows data from your WordPress website to be made available to other applications. So, for example, you could build a mobile app that grabs pages, posts, etc. directly from WordPress. And as I learned at that WordCamp...

Dealing with client/developer conflicts

Working on a website with a like-minded client can be a thing of beauty. There’s a mutual trust in each other’s ability to make decisions that will benefit both the client and their customers. The client asks for your opinion on what’s best based upon your experience and expertise. The site comes together nicely and everyone’s happy. While that type of scenario is possible, we know that life doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes there are simply going to be conflicts. Whether they are...

Walling off sections of the WordPress dashboard

Setting up a well-made WordPress website takes a lot of thought, time and energy. During which you’ll take advantage of administrator-level access to do things such as install plugins and tweak settings. That’s great for the development phase of a project. But what if you need to set up access for non-technical members of an organization? Depending upon who needs access, there are probably going to be certain features you’ll want block out. For example, users who are just logging in to edit content...

WordPress Custom Field Conundrums

Overall, WordPress sports a fairly user-friendly UI for content editors. Sure, it can be a bit messy at times. But most basic tasks are easy enough for users to pick up on. For developers, the advent of plugins like the ubiquitous Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) provide a powerful set of tools to tweak the WordPress UI even further. The goal of adding custom fields is to make things easier for users to edit content. Instead of leaving users with the big empty box of the standard content editor, we can provide...
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