Why I Love My Job

Photo of holding handsI started a personal blog on TLC by TARA a few months ago. The intention was to share general thoughts, reflections on life and get in the habit of blogging. While I enjoy that, I haven’t been very regular about it and feel the need to write about what I do all day instead of, or in addition to, what I think about. I decided to add a work/WordPress-related blog that will allow me to share the joys, challenges and lessons of making websites with WordPress.

As a start, for my first post, I am going to give shouts out to those who have helped me learn what I know (so far). When I look at the work I have done and the clients I have helped, I am proud of what I see, but I know that it wouldn’t be possible without the help of the WordPress community.

  1. Other Developers

    I am not afraid to ask questions (despite the fear of revealing my ignorance!) Thankfully, the WordPress community is made up of kind, helpful people who are, in my experience, always willing to help. Whether giving advice, making a quick fix, giving a lesson, or being available for hire for more advanced work, I am grateful for all of the help I have received over the years. Now that I have improved my own skills, I am always happy to help others and pay it forward. The best way to meet other developers and WordPress experts is at the many WordPress community events, such as local MeetUps and WordCamps. I would like to send a shout out, specifically, to Brian Wood, Mark DeRevere, Dylan Barlett, Shaun Nicol, Taylor Lovett, Russell Heimlich, Paul Barthmaier, Casey Driscoll and Tom Ransom … and a few women too! Carrie Dils, Shay Bocks and Lindsey Riel.

  2. Photo of Tara's Desk and ComputerThe Advanced WordPress and Genesis Facebook Groups

    I do not know what I would do without this resource! The only downside is that it is an excuse to leave Facebook open all the time (!), but it is worth it for what I have learned – both via questions others have asked, troubleshooting I have asked for, general news and updates and the ability to help others solve their problems.

  3. Hosting Support

    This is not meant to be an affiliate plug – and while I am an affiliate for SiteGround – my intention is to mention hosting providers who have given me peace of mind and good/great service. Most of my current clients are small businesses with “brochure” type of websites. While $25 or $30 per month does not seem like a lot to spend on web hosting, many small businesses already have inexpensive hosting somewhere and are not willing to spend that much money for hosting. I am sensitive to this, and I have found two hosting companies which offer Managed WordPress hosting with good service and support at a lower cost.

    Since I am not a back end developer and don’t work with servers, it is important to me to have a web host with good support. Site Ground is a mid-level hosting company that has ACCESSIBLE support – their online chat and phone support never has more than a minute or two wait in my experience. Their top level WordPress hosting (GoGeek Plan) offers advanced features, such as staging.

    I have been a vocal advocate of the “new and improved” GoDaddy. I am not an affiliate so have nothing to gain by saying nice things about them. Aside from medium-length hold times for phone support (and little if any online chat available, although that shows as an option, it is never “on” when I am looking for support), the support technicians I have spoken to have been friendly, helpful and thorough. Their Pro account lets me manage multiple client sites from one interface, and their Managed WordPress plans, while lacking some high level access on the server level, offer advanced features, including One Click Staging, for a very low price. Go Daddy Evangelist, Mendel Kurland, is a regular responder on the Facebook AWP group, and has responded to messages from little fish like me. Even Chris Lema has had good things to say about GoDaddy lately.

  4. My Clients

    I am fortunate to have clients who are great to work with, who trust me and appreciate what I do for them. Some of them have let me use their websites as practice in the early days, and others have presented me with challenges and ideas that have helped me grow.

  5. My Family

    Many WordPress enthusiasts can relate to the addictive (and sometimes maddening!) qualities of website development. A perfectionist like me is never “done” tweaking and the bottomless pit of things to learn is daunting. As a result, my family often comes home from their day at school and work, to find me, still at my desk in my home office, with no dinner made and no errands run. In our family, those task have traditionally been mine, but my family has been patient in adjusting to our new life with me almost constantly connected to my computer or phone. They support me and rarely complain. (And with a busy husband, one child at college and another in high school, I am usually home alone anyway!) I am grateful that they sometimes even listen to my ranting when technical glitches tie me up, and are patient when I excitedly brag to them about some new accomplishment or milestone I am proud of!

Tip from TLC

The focus of this blog going forward will be to share information to help new WordPress users. There are TONS of WordPress tutorials and tricks on the web. While I am not an expert in all things WordPress, I look forward to creating a library of tips and tricks that will be another resource for the WordPress community from the perspective of a basic to intermediate to “super” user.

This first tip is thanks to Taylor Lovett at this week’s WordPress DC MeetUp, who quickly tweaked some code I found online that wasn’t working and solved my problem.

How to add a LOGOUT link to your WordPress Footer

I did some searching for a way to add a Logout link, which would be useful on a site where the Admin Bar is hidden and the user does not have access to a Dashboard. Here is the code that worked:

<?php if ( is_user_logged_in() ) {
echo ' <a href="' . wp_logout_url( get_permalink() ) . '" title="Logout">Logout</a>';

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