Brian Coords

Freelance Web Designer and Writer Interested in WordPress, Nonprofits, and Education.

Blog / Tech

CMB2 & the WP REST API

Update: CMB2 has added support for the REST API. While this method is still valid, I encourage you to review my follow-up post as well as their documentation.

CMB2 opens a lot of doors with WordPress development, making it possible to store all sorts of meta, or extra, information about each post. Typically, meta information includes fields like Categories or Tags, but there’s really no limit to what sorts of meta information you can store.

Blog / Tech

WordPress Plugin: Free Beaver Builder Custom Modules

Recently I’ve been using the Beaver Builder WordPress plugin for websites that need to be turned over to clients. I love Beaver Builder because you can make just about anything, even using the default modules.

For some of my projects, however, I like to take things a step further to make sure everything is simple and intuitive when my clients takeover.

Blog / Tech

Digital Media Workflow Step Two – Develop the Mediums

It’s time to come clean. Earlier I said that not every story is put down in writing, and in a sense, that’s true. We can tell our stories through alternative mediums like video and photography. When it comes to our online digital media strategy, however, writing is going to pervade everything you do. And with good reason: writing is still the most effective way to communicate ideas across distance and time.

Blog / Tech

Digital Media Workflow Step One – Find the Story

John is standing in a small semicircle of casual acquaintances, holding a drink in one hand and trying to think of something to say. Everyone else has shared an insightful opinion or humorous anecdote with the group, and he starts to feel the pressure of his own self-consciousness behind his eyes. He knows it’s his turn to talk, but he isn’t sure he has anything to say.

Blog / Tech

Intro to Digital Media Management

The most important ingredient to successful digital media is storytelling. It’s not analytics, it’s not content, it’s not new social networks or conversion rates or newsfeeds. If you want to motivate people to join your team or advocate for your cause or learn something new or donate resources, there needs to be a meaningful narrative that inspires them and that they can use to inspire others.

Blog / Books

Born Standing Up Book Notes & Review

If you learn anything from Born Standing Up, Steve Martin’s memoir, it’s that he’s at heart a magician and that a magician never reveals his tricks. Throughout Martin seems to be giving us an almost antiseptic account of the facts of his life. He tells the story of a man named Steve Martin without really revealing anything, offering a wikipedia-like list of highlights and slightly personal moments, but never more.

Blog / Tech

Don’t Fear the Auto-Update – Stay on Top of WordPress

Recently I’ve noticed a new sort of FOMO in the online community, fear of missing out on breaking changes. Every time a new version of something is released, from iOS to WordPress, there’s a large chorus of ‘wait for the .1 release’ online. And I have to say that I understand the hesitance. Breaking changes and glitch interfaces are not fun, and neither is cleaning up a broken mess or trying to roll back a site.

Blog / Tech

How to Successfully Use Visual Editors to Give Your Clients Control

I used to be very skeptical about visual builders for websites, especially for developers. Perhaps I just never fully experienced the Dreamweaver era, though I have made a few Flash headers in my time. Or maybe there’s a sense of purity that comes from building something from ‘scratch’, even when ‘scratch’ includes the most popular CMS, the latest grid framework, and… well, you see where I’m going with this.

Blog / Music

Thoughts on Weezer’s New Summer “Session” Album

When reaching for a beer these days, the choices are endless. The spectrum ranges from the ultra-watery Bud Lights and Milwaukee’s Bests to the kinds of beers that will make you lie down afterwards, the double, triple, and imperial IPAs at a 12+% alcohol content. Somewhere in between, however, is what’s known as the ‘session’ beer. A session ale has full flavor but a low-medium alcohol content, allowing the drinker to have a couple in a nice afternoon ‘session’ while still maintaining the ability to participate in decent social interaction.

Blog / Tech

WordPress Tip: Quickly Import Posts via Google Sheets and JSON

Recently, I found myself setting up a new WordPress site, but with an enormous legacy of content that needed to be uploaded in the form of posts and custom post types. We had about 1500 posts just in one category and a few hundred posts under different custom post types like ‘videos’ and ‘events’.

To make it even crazier, the site itself once ran on WordPress, then was transferred over to a new platform, NationBuilder, during a redesign by an outside agency, and we were finding our selves missing WordPress.