Archive for Blogging

How to turn ANY web page into a WordPress Page

I’ve noticed a lot of people wondering how to use WordPress as a sales page. Now, I wouldn’t recommend using it for this if all you’re going to have is a sales page, but if you’re planning a blog in the back end, or some other pages that you want to easily edit, then maybe it’s not overkill.

Anyway, to make life easy for those folks looking to integrate their existing sales page into a WordPress install, here’s the secret…. YOU DO NOT NEED TO USE A PARTICULAR THEME, OR EVEN INTEGRATE THE PAGE INTO THE SITE….

Here’s the quick and dirty way to add your page to your blog:

  1. Open your sales page in note pad or a text editor
  2. Add the following code at the top of the page:
    <?php
    /*
    Template Name: Sales Page
    */
    ?>
  3. Rename the page to something like mysalespage.php
  4. Upload your new page to your theme folder in your WordPress installation

salespage1
And that’s the hard part.

Now, go to your WordPress admin area and create a new page.
salespage2

Make the title Buy It Now or something like that, just in case you have the page listed in your blog section in the future. Leave the body of the page blank.

In the righthand sidebar, in the new Attributes area, choose your newly created page from the Template dropdown box.

salespage3

You’re done. Save the page.

If you preview the page now, you’ll see your sales letter. All that’s left to do is make your sales page the front page of your site.

You can do that by clicking the Settings item in the left sidebar, then choosing the Reading settings.
salespage4

Select “A Static Page” for your front page display, and choose your Buy It Now page from the drop down list.
salespage5

And that’s it.

Now when you go to your front page, you’ll see your sales letter. If you want to change your sales letter, just change mysalespage.php or whatever you named the template page, and reupload it. It’s not elegant, but it is better than paying someone to make a new page template for you.

IF YOUR NEW PAGE DOESN’T SHOW UP IN THE TEMPLATE LIST

Someone told me their newly created page didn’t show up when the followed the directions above. The best thing to do then, is grab a copy of page.php from your template folder. Rename it mysalespage.php and change the code at the top to
<?php
/*
Template Name: Sales Page
*/
?>

Follow the rest of the directions, and at the very end of the process, replace the faked sales page template with your real sales page.

Offering event registration from WordPress

If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know I’m working on a local business networking site in WordPress.

To handle event registration, I checked out a few different plugins, and finally decided on Events Manager 2.0. It’s a very slick plugin that not only allows people to RSVP for events, but also ensures only the right number of seats are available, it sends confirmation emails, and produces a nice printable report of who has bought tickets.

Configure Emails

It isn’t exactly what I need, but it’s a solid place to start hacking.

My first job was to turn the single field “seats” into “member tickets” and “non-member” tickets, make sure that the new fields show up in all the right places, and recode a few things to make sure they get added up in the calculations to determine how many tickets are left to be sold.

Hacked Registration Form

I also added two new admin and database fields for the prices of member and non-member tickets for each event.

Today I’m working on a Paypal integration for the registration process. Once the user has decided how many member/non member tickets to buy, I want to send them to a page where they can either print off the invoice and pay by cheque, or click a link to connect to Paypal.

Once I’m done hacking this plugin, it’s on to user registrations on the site, which looks like it could be a beast!

[evening edit]

And by golly I’ve done it. It ain’t pretty so far, and I need to make the paypal and addresses and such customizable, but the hack was successful….

invoice

20 WordPress Plugins for Local Business Network Sites

I’ve been considering the steps to convert an existing Women’s business networking site from Joomla to WordPress.

Joomla has wonderful capabilities, but it’s a beast to manage in the back-end, whereas building the same functionality in WordPress will require some tweaking, but the administration of WordPress is significantly easier.

This list is mostly for my own reference, but it might be helpful to someone else trying to do the same thing in the future, so here it is.

MEMBER PROFILE PAGES

In order to make this work, I need to make authors into members, and extend the fields they can enter and that will be viewable on their profile pages. I also need to add images to those profile pages, and make them searchable by business type for a business directory type section.

I found two plugins that might work for the extra fields:

and a few choices of plugins to add images to the profile pages:

I’m not entirely sure that I can hack the

to initially link only to profile pages, but I’m sure there’s some code I can gain inspiration from here to get the job done. Otherwise, it’s off to RentACoder to get a hack worked out for a searchable directory like our Joomla site has.

MEMBER LOGINS

Since members will be logging in frequently, I want to put a login form in a sidebar to make it accessible wherever they might be.

In case the members land up on the regular login screen, I want to beautify that with the logo and site colors too. I’ve always had success with

so I’m going to stick with that.

Once the user is logged in, I don’t want them going to the dashboard. That’s just wrong. So hopefully

will work to point them to a page with the latest events, and member options that I create.

should help me restrict what users can do and see once they’re logged in.

I’ve dug up some tutorials to help me out should I get stuck along the way:

EVENT CALENDAR

The networking events, luncheons, breakfasts and trade shows are the heart of the business, so the event calendar has to work for this. Not only will people need to be able to browse a calendar view, but they need to be able to see all the events in a list, click for more detail, and pay for tickets to whichever events they choose.

This might be the biggest challenge, but I’m hoping that the

plugin will at least give me a start. Maybe

, which allows online registration with Paypal integration, will give me some ideas too.

CONTROLLING REGISTRATION

Another challenging aspect of the site will be the registration. Since registration includes many extra fields and a required payment, things might get a little tricky. Here are a few of the plugins I’ve found that might be useful:

SERVING ADS
Sponsors of the group get advertising across the site, so a rotating banner manager of some sort is required. I’ve used

before, and I’m comfortable with it, so that’s probably what I’ll install.

OTHER FUNCTIONS

Since we’ll probably be adding a small shop, some member input areas, and definitely some photo galleries to the site, we’ll need