How to use your own image next to the title in the UU2014 theme

picture13I am often asked how users can use their own image next to the title in the UU2014 theme.  If you create a Text Widget in your Footer Widget Area, you can paste the following JavaScript:

<script> document.getElementById("site-title-image").src = "/wp-content/themes/uu-2014/images/UUA_Symbol_dark_148_200.png"; </script>

Here I am changing the title image to a image that is normally in the background of the footer but you can replace the image location on the right with any image URL.  Make sure you are using the latest version of the theme because I changed the title image ID in version 1.3.6.

Tip for how to add online signups for events

Google Forms LogoMy favorite approach is to use Google Forms. I am also a scout leader and we use Google Forms on our website to create signups for all of our events. However, we don’t accept payments that way. For payment we put a message on the form and confirmation page with instructions on how to mail payment or pay on the website through a more generic PayPal link. The reason that we like it so much is that it makes it easy to view the results because they show up in a simple spreadsheet. We have also used this approach for our congregation but it is not as popular because we have more people with limited computer skills. For scouts we have not had a problem with only having online registrations but the demographics are different for parents versus a whole congregation.

BTW, the URLs above were very long so I fed them into goo.gl which will give you a nice short URL and also let you track how many people have clicked on the link.

Dan Flippo

Suggestions on Previewing and Migrating to the UU2014 Theme

open97WordPress does have a theme preview feature but it is limited. If you go into themes, you can add a second theme to WordPress and click the “Live Preview” button. It is limited because I don’t think you can go into the theme customizer to change settings. I would use a plugin ( https://wordpress.org/plugins/underconstruction/ ) to disable the front-end for users while you make changes. Such plugins usually allow logged-in users to see the site but not end-users. If you decide you aren’t ready, you can switch back to the old theme. Another option is to clone your WordPress site to another server and work out the kinks there beforehand. You would then develop a script of things to manually change/fix on your production site. What I have personally done is use Instant WordPress (http://www.instantwp.com/) to create my own local copy of WordPress on my laptop. You can use export/import to migrate content to the clone or you can use a more robust migration tool called Duplicator (https://wordpress.org/plugins/duplicator/). I don’t migrate back up to production using Duplicator because I’m not 100% sure I want to put that much faith in the tool. Typically the changes aren’t hard to replicate manually as long as I have notes to work from.

Featured News Sliders Without Gaps

To have Featured Articles Lite news sliders that do not have any space above and to the sides, use these settings:
  • Slider Theme
    • Base theme – Classic
    • Color Scheme – Light

    2014-09-21 16_35_00-FA Lite Sliders ‹ Unitarian Universalist WordPress Network — WordPress

  • Save Slider
    • Slider Name – Uncheck the box under the name next to “Display slider name”
    • Slider Width – Empty (Setting nothing causes it to use the entire width)
    • Slider Height – I use 300 but you can use any height

    2014-09-21 16_37_33-FA Lite Sliders ‹ Unitarian Universalist WordPress Network — WordPress

  • Automatic Placement Options
      • Display on Loop – 0
      • Click [select pages] and pick the page(s) you want the slider to appear on
      • If one of the pages is your homepage, check the box next to “Display on home page”

    2014-09-21 16_38_03-FA Lite Sliders ‹ Unitarian Universalist WordPress Network — WordPress

Adding Your Own Header Images

picture13While the UU2014 theme comes with a set of default images, you can add your own images by going to Appearance -> Header. The images bundled with the theme are 940 pixels by 198 pixels. The maximum suggested width of images is 1200 pixels and we strongly suggest that you use a consistent height. During the upload process you will have the option to crop the image. The theme will work with larger or smaller images if you wish.

If you upload multiple images you will then see a choice for “Random” which will cause the theme to randomly display one of your images when a page is viewed (including when a page is refreshed).

Plugins I Found Useful

lightning14I decided to go with a different social plugin (part of the FB widget I chose – http://wordpress.org/plugins/facebook-like-box-widget/ .  The style I chose is “Right 5”

I also wanted to let you know about three plugins I’ve found that other churches may find useful. As PHP is something I do very poorly (never learned it, just fake it if I have to) I searched for plugins that would do things for me without having to ever get into the PHP functions and change code manually. In each instance below I did get single-license pro versions of the plugins for full extensibility.

Not every congregation has the luxury of having a full time webmaster or even someone who is a programmer. In my situation, once my site goes live I’m turning the day-to-day operation over to a team of three people who will share the webmaster responsibilities. Though they are all savvy computer users, none of them are programmers or even familiar with HTML beyond the basic bold, italic, and link codes.  So, I wanted applications that they could learn and use without the need to understand or use CSS, HTML, or PHP.

User Role Editor($29 pro) – Three big things make this worthwhile to me. First is the ability to add new roles and assign capabilities (permissions) to them. Second, the ability to easily change/add more granulated permissions for already established WP user roles. Third, the ability to build all pages at the admin level and then turn them over to a content provider by a combination of role and specific page assignments on a user by user basis.  This is huge at our church because we want the content providers to maintain their own pages.

Pages by User Role ($13) – It does only one thing, but it saves a raft of trouble. It allows the administrator to identify specific pages, posts, custom posts, categories etc. to be accessed by a particular role.  This was critical for us because we are making the congregant directory available online to those who are in a role we call “member.” (Not just members of the church, but also long-time congregants/friends who support the church through participation and funds but are not members).  There will be additional content available to them (e.g., videos, special committee work, community sharing, etc.).

User Profiles Made Easy ($25) – I tried and discarded several free login and profile builders because they were either too circuitous to use or failed to have an easy integration with form building and display.  This one is pretty good (though the checkbox and radio button functionality isn’t working well).  It provides a nice front-end login & registration, the ability to build profile pages with custom fields, ability to upload a picture, and the ability for the end-user to easily identify what information they want to display and what to hide from anyone who has access to view their profile (such as in the congregant directory).

I hope someone finds these useful for their congregation as well.

Maggie Lynch
Interim Webmaster
UU Community Church of Washington County
Hillsboro, Oregon