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Lesson 6 – Part 9 – Questions and Answers

Difficulty Level -

I have a few questions that were asked in the questionnaire when people signed up. I’m going to call on those folks and I’m also going to take other questions. I don’t actually have a bunch of questions and I’m guessing that at least some of you have a question now that you’ve watched this much of the session.

Please feel free to use that question box and type your questions in there or raise your hand if you want to get my attention and I can simply call on you. What I’m going to do is unmute your microphone then you can ask your question and we can talk about it.

I’m going to start with Jared. Good evening Jared, I’ve just unmuted your microphone.

Rick: What can I do for you?

Difference Between Responsive Site and Mobile Site

Jared: Actually, I think you did a pretty good job. My interest in responsive website has been from the standpoint that there seems to be a lot of iPhone and iPad users and majority of the users I think are going there instead of going on the regular monitor like what we’ve all been doing.

As such, it seems to me that some of the information that shows up on the big monitor are, pardon my expression “garbage” on a smaller screen. I’ve seen some sites like I told you, I think I sent you the copy of Panera Bread and how their site uses more like a Nav Menu, to click here to go to another page and I like that idea very much.

Rick: Yeah, that is however not a responsive site. What they do is they redirect the mobile device to a mobile specific site. If you do this you can see it’s not responding to the browser window.

Jared: I know that, you mean like a mobi site?

Rick: Yeah.

Jared: But .mobi?

Rick: Well, I don’t know if it’s a .mobi or not because my phone is upstairs and I haven’t gone to it.

Jared: No, it doesn’t. It’s still a .com site because I checked that out. But how does the iPhone know to get redirected or whatever.

Rick: Redirection isn’t done by the iPhone, it is done by the server. The server queries each device that calls for a web page, it asks that device what kind of device it is and then it serves up the page based on the answer. That’s different than the responsive site but that’s what happens on my site.

If you’re on my site on a mobile device and you click on one of my videos, you get a video designed to be viewed on a mobile device. Even though my site isn’t responsive and it’s not a mobile site, I have a number of mobile users and more iPad users so I went to a lot of expense and effort to make sure that my videos all played on mobile devices.

That’s made possible not because the site is responsive and not because the site is a mobile site but because I have a piece of software on the site that asks each visitor what kind of device they have and if their answer comes back it’s a mobile device, it serves a mobile video rather than the regular video.

Jared: I see, that’s quite involved to do that?

Rick: No. If you’ve gone through my Thesis lessons, you’ll see I have a plugin for doing that for serving up mobile content on non-mobile site.

Jared: I never knew that.

Rick: That’s not making it responsive, that’s just delivering mobile content when one chooses mobile content or regular content. In this case, this site is responsive, it automatically changes based on the browser window. The responsive site is not asking what kind of device is it, it’s asking what’s the width of the browser window.

Essentially the browser is saying I’m this wide so based on this width I’m going to use this CSS rule which is how the site resizes as the browser window resizes. That’s the difference between a responsive site and a mobile site. The mobile site is something that’s designed specifically to look good in the mobile phone while a responsive site is intended to look good on a mobile phone but it’s the exact same site, it just changes appearance as the width of the viewing device changes.

Jared: Sounds confusing to me but all I know is that if you shrink that down to the size of an iPhone column, it’s just a lot easier to read down and like I said, what I had noticed was that a lot of sites I think they’re using or they say, “Click here” or “Tap here” to talk and it automatically calls on the iPhone or “Click here” and it takes it to another page.

Like restaurants for example, “Click here for the menu”, that sort of thing and I just find that a lot easier to navigate through the website.

Rick: I agree that mobile support has become more and more important. It’s essentially the reason why this course and the next course that we’re teaching are all about creating a site that is responsive. The next course we’re teaching is how to create a Responsive Child Theme for Thesis.

Genesis has a fairly large selection of responsive tools, Thesis doesn’t currently but we will start teaching a class in May on how to do that in Thesis too. Nevertheless, that’s responsive design. It means that the width of the browser window dictates the size of elements and how it’s displayed.

Jared: That’s very important for the end user to quickly get to where he’s going.

Rick: Yes, I agree. Anything else?

Jared: No. I just need to understand the things a little better and keep trying as you go along.

Rick: Perfect. Have a good evening.

Jared: Thank you.

Rick: Tom Maloney had a question. Tom, I’ve just unmuted your microphone. Good evening Tom.

Tom: Hello, good evening. Can you hear me?

Rick: Hi Tom. I can hear you very well, thank you. You had a question about programming and site structure and data. Tom, did I lose you? Are you there?

Tom: Yes. Can’t you here me anymore?

Rick: Now, I can hear you I’m sorry. I couldn’t hear you there for awhile but I can hear you now.

Tom: I’m having this kind of problem throughout the course.

Rick: That’s not good. Let’s go ahead and try the question again then.

Use the WordPress User Role System To Control Access to Data

Tom: Keeping track of customer data, the question was keeping track of customer data online so that it’s available to them and not to anyone else. How do you do that?

Rick: If I understood you correctly, you asked about keeping track of customer data and exposing that data to the customer but not exposing to the rest of the world.

WordPress does have the best set of tools built in for that and it’s called the WordPress User Role System. WordPress is designed to have users control access and function based on the user’s role. We’re not really talking about that in this beginner’s class but what you do is create the user and protect the data so that it is only displayed to that user or to certain levels of administrative use and depending upon the kind of data you’re talking about.

For example, if you’ve got a shopping cart and your user wants to keep track of everything that they purchased, you’re already keeping track of that so you can allow them to log in to view their own purchases. Nobody else logged in will be able to view their purchases unless they had sufficient administrative access to be able to view all the purchases of everybody.

The security of that data is only as good as the log in information that the person provides so if their password is password, then their data is not very well protected just as anything else.

WordPress does have a user role system that’s quite robust and designed specifically to provide that kind of function, that’s the functionality I use for protecting content on my site. There’s lots of video on my site that you can only view if you’re logged in, some content can only be viewed if you’re logged in as a certain kind of member.

You can only download videos if you’re an annual member so I use this WordPress User Role System to regulate that. The same thing is true for posting on the forum, some parts of the forum are open to public, some parts of the forum are only visible to certain kinds of membership levels and so on and so forth. All of that is controlled by the WordPress User Role System.

Tom: That’s very good, thank you Rick for that explanation. I realized now that kind of question is way ahead of where I am. I need to go back to the beginner stages for this.

Rick: As long as you know that’s what you’re trying to…

Tom: I have an idea off in the future somewhere.

Rick: Yeah, so WordPress has a system in place for controlling that and various plugins try chime in to that.

Tom: Okay, very good.

Rick: Anything else?

Tom: Not that I could think of right at the moment. Thank you.

Rick: You bet, thanks for joining. Let’s see, I don’t have any other questions so I’m ready for folks to chime in. If you’ve got a question, now is the time to ask it. Another 15 minutes left in this class yet before we finish. Louise I’m going to unmute your microphone. Good evening Louise.

Louise: Hi, how are you?

Rick: I’m doing well, how are you?

Louise: Good, thank you. I enjoyed this class tonight.

Rick: Good. You had a question about pricing?

Genesis and GPL

Louise: I’m on the StudioPress site and I don’t see a different price for a developer’s license so I’m wondering, are these just to use on the particular site you’re buying it for or can you use it over and over? How does that work?

Rick: Genesis is fully and completely GPL which means that there are no restrictions on how often it is used or how it can be distributed.

Louise: What does GPL stand for?

Rick: General Public License. WordPress is founded on the concept of free software. Not necessarily free that doesn’t cost anything but free in that there are no restrictions on its use.

WordPress obligates everybody who develops anything for WordPress to distribute their software with a GPL license. However, the GPL does extend only to the PHP code and Thesis for example, has a GPL for its PHP code but has its own proprietary license for its JavaScript and CSS.

That’s actually consistent with WordPress rules that is, it’s possible for you to have proprietary CSS, JavaScript code and proprietary images that are not GPL and still meet WordPress’ licensing requirements. That’s why Thesis can require you to have a developer’s license to use it on more than one site.

However, StudioPress has chosen to allow all of their content to be GPL so their images, JavaScript, CSS, and there are absolutely no restrictions whatsoever on how you use it or how you distribute it within the confines of GPL which is why I can offer people the opportunity to ask me for a copy of it and I can give it without violating the terms of service with StudioPress because that’s explicitly one of the terms of service.

On the other hand, I want them to be in business so I don’t want to just distribute their product for free. They spend a lot of money developing the product and I don’t want to undermine their business by redistributing their product for free. I’m teaching a course and I want everybody to have access to the course material.

Louise: That’s great.

Rick: In terms of a developer’s license, there’s no such thing with the GPL theme. A fully GPL theme, you can use on as many sites as you want, you can redistribute it, there are some restrictions about how you have to leave its attributions. If you went in and took their theme but erased all of the references to Genesis, then than would be a violation of the copyright because you would not be attributing to their work. Besides that, you can redistribute their work.

How to Convert an Existing Site to Genesis?

Louise: That’s amazing. I want to ask you one more question. I’m going to convert a site that I have to Genesis for the sake of this class. Would it be best to do it as a subdomain so that the site just stays in tact until the new thing is developed? What’s the best way to do that?

Rick: If the existing site is active then yes, I would develop it on a development subdomain. The domain here is byobgenesis but sbywh-final-agency, that’s just the subdomain of byobgenesis and same thing is true with sbywh6. It’s just a subdomain of BYOB Genesis that I’m developing and it’s easy to do.

I’ve got videos on the site if you’re not really comfortable with it on how to set up the subdomain, how to build the site on the subdomain and how to transfer it from the subdomain to the main domain.

Louise: Good, it’s the transferring that I was concerned about.

Rick: Actually,  there are only a couple of tricky parts. It goes pretty easily and if you use BackupBuddy, it’s flawless, that’s one thing to keep in mind.

Louise: I don’t have that backup ready yet but I really want that.

Rick: It’s flawless. It’s ridiculously easy with BackupBuddy.

Louise: How much is BackupBuddy, is that $300 I think?

Rick: No. You can get a developer’s license for BackupBuddy for $150 or something like that. I think that’s what I pay a year.

Louise: Why do I have such a bigger figure in my head? I think there’s something else you would get with that to get a bigger package? I have to go look at it.

Rick: I don’t know. I have the developer version and it is $197 I guess since mine is an upgrade, every year. I think I’m probably like $157, that’s what it costs me now a year.

Louise: Okay, but it’s $197 to get it?

Rick: That’s the developer suite so that’s absolutely everything they sell, that’s all of their plugins. For $150, I think you can get the developer’s version of BackupBuddy, unlimited sites for $150, $10 sites for a $100 if that’s all you want. Having said that, I’ve never used anything but BackupBuddy so I pay the extra money every year but I don’t use any of their other stuff yet.

Louise: You could be using the $100. No, $100 was for one site, was it?

Rick: It’s $150 for all sites, $100 for 10 sites, I think it’s $50 for one site or something like that.

Louise: Then annually it’s less than that original price?

Rick: Yeah.

Louise: Thanks for that, I could look on their site, not take up your time but thanks Rick.

Rick: That’s okay. You bet. Anything else?

Louise: No, good. I’m really glad to be learning this. Really excited about the responsive learning, I just love your explanations about the responsive sites and how that all works.

Rick: Good. I’m excited about teaching it too. I think it’s a cool thing and it’s going to be relatively easy to do too. You’re going to see the one thing I add to it that Genesis doesn’t come with and that is a plugin I created for making a responsive header image.

You can see that this header image changes when the menu drops down then I changed the header image so that that tagline jumps up there and once it gets smaller then I made the tagline smaller and then it gets smaller and the tagline goes away.

Louise: You get to decide that the type is condensing that way or can you say, “No, I don’t want to condense, I want it to drop underneath”. Do you get to change parameters or you get to decide any of that?

Rick: You don’t. The way it actually behaves, you don’t get to decide. Like I said, I did a plugin that you’ll have access to, that changes the header image itself. You essentially create 4 or 5 different header images and you insert them where you want them to display in so that it’s not the same header image all the time.

Besides that, you don’t have any control over how this behaves. They’ve made some decisions for you and if you really want control over that kind of stuff, then you want to take my class in May on how to create a responsive child theme in Thesis and you can tweak it to your heart’s content.

Louise: Okay.

Rick: Okay?

Louise: Yeah, fine. Thanks.

Rick: You bet, Louise bye.

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8 Comments… add one
8 comments… add one
  • Vincent January 1, 2013, 11:42 pm

    Can the Agency Theme works with any shopping cart ?

    • Rick Anderson January 2, 2013, 3:48 pm

      Generally – although it needs some help to work with Shopp.

  • Lesr Renfurm May 12, 2013, 10:58 pm

    Dear Byob website,,

    I verry much would like to know which Genesis Child themes for Wordpress provide up to 6 Columns to display text and also fully loaded with built-in shortcodes styles ?
    I want to use them as a professional website designer.
    I’am allready busy with the Wordpress course and lesson.

    Thanks very much and greetings from the Nederlands.

    Mr. L. Renfurm
    Amersfoort – The Netherlands

    • Rick Anderson May 14, 2013, 8:28 am

      Lesr, I’m not aware of a Genesis child theme with 6 columns. The nature of Genesis is that no one child theme will be the appropriate starting place for every site. A professional web designer will either create their own child theme to modify or will use one of the existing child themes and modify it for the particular condition.

  • Lin November 13, 2013, 9:58 am

    Hi Rick,
    May I ask some questions about your Genesis course…
    1) I understand you’re using Agency theme to teach. I bought the Prose theme and understand from Studiopress (after a little communication) that it’s quite different to all other Genesis themes. Do you think I would be able to customize Prose theme using your Agency tutorials?
    2) For customization questions like “How do I add a (customized) link button on a static image or on a slider”, would you be able to provide me with answers?

    Many thanks and best wishes to you.

    • Rick Anderson November 13, 2013, 1:35 pm

      Lin, Yes Prose is quite a bit different but I’d be glad to teach a quick start seminar on it to get you started. If you sign up let me know and I’ll schedule it. Yes I do help my members do things like adding link buttons to pages and sliders. If you look at the forum or the live answers section of the site you’ll see I answer hundreds of questions like that a month. Sometimes in writing and sometimes via video.

  • TXSnowBird November 13, 2013, 4:23 pm

    Hi Rick can you tell me what thing you use for this website?
    Also also what plug-in do you use to display your videos in organized fashion on this page? Thank you for your work.

    • Rick Anderson November 17, 2013, 6:42 am

      TX, I cover all of that in the Membership course. If you browse through the course outline you will find the plugins and systems I use.

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