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In this course, author Joseph Lowery shows how to combine the utility of WordPress and the power of Adobe Dreamweaver to transition existing websites to the WordPress platform. The course demonstrates how to create new blog posts and pages, customize WordPress themes, and extend WordPress editable pages from within Dreamweaver. It also covers how to add Spry elements, add and customize plugins, and enhance WordPress-stored content with Dreamweaver's dynamic pages. Plus, a chapter on responsive design shows how you can adapt your layouts for tablets and mobile devices.
Once you're live site is up and running, there is still a little bit to go. It's pretty much critical that you do your own testing and especially with the WordPress based site engage your client in the testing process as well. So I like to think of it as divided into two main areas, your own testing and then client-based testing. Your own testing should initially address the public-facing site. You want to make sure that all of your output is cross-browser, cross-platform, and especially today, cross-device.
One key tool that you can use to help ensure that your site is both cross-browser and cross-platform is Adobe BrowserLab, and it's something that you can access right from within Dreamweaver. Now you also want to be sure to test your administrative site, and by that I mean the WordPress Dashboard. For the most part there is been a lot of testing that is already gone into making sure its cross-browser and cross-platform tested well, so you really only need to do a little bit of that.
However, I do recommend that you look at your WordPress site on a variety of platforms and browsers just to ensure that there are no surprises. When it comes to different devices like tablets and phones, that area is under development as they say, and I would especially test hard on any enhancements that you bring to your site as we did earlier in the course, especially in the cross-device category. You want to make sure that any menus that you've added to the Dashboard are easily accessible on both phone, tablet, and desktop.
Another aspect to testing and fine tuning your administrative site is making sure that the client assistance and support is in place. It's one thing if your client is well versed with WordPress blogs and has worked with them for years and all of their company have used them for years, but that's not always the situation. I typically encounter clients who are new to using WordPress and need a lot of support initially. What I do is I create some basic targeted documentation that includes their log-in details meaning the URL that they go to in order to log in, what their usernames and passwords are, and how to find them if they don't have them available to them, and then just the basics of entering posts and editing posts.
I try to set up my WordPress site so most of the hard work--meaning setting up different pages with different themes--is already done. And the client only needs to do a bare minimum, such as enter a post and assign a category. On the client side of things, you want them to also be concerned with testing the public-facing site, as well as the Dashboard administrative site. With the public-facing site, you're going to be dealing with real-world browser, platform, and device testing.
And by that I mean they're going to be using exactly what it is that they work with in their everyday lives. I always try to find out ahead of time what browsers and systems people are used to working with so that I can be sure to pretest those a little more heavily than I would other devices. I want to make sure that when the client sees the work for the first time, that it looks exactly as they're expecting it to. That being said, you never know when they will get word from a trusted advisor who's on an Internet Explorer 6 platform that the site doesn't look quite right.
So you have to be prepared for situations like that, whether you build in the expectation of what browsers, the sites we'll work on in the contract or less formally. One thing that I found very helpful when working with clients and WordPress sites is to initiate a soft launch so that the site is launched but only the client's personnel have access to it. So that they can see not only what it looks like under real-world circumstances as they add more content and expand certain areas of the site, but also so that they can get their content onto the site before it officially launches.
One of the most frustrating things from a web designer's perspective is often getting the content that a client intends to put on the site ahead of time so that you can incorporate that correctly and see what it is they're really working with. Having a soft launch allows them both the experience of getting used to working with the site so you can answer any questions in an upfront manner as well as populating the site. Typically during this process, you'll encounter some minor bug fixes and some adjustments where one feature may not work out exactly as they had thought and so they want something slightly different.
Now that's all fine. But one thing I want to caution you about, this is also an area where feature creep can come in. You want to be aware of the possibility of that but also alert for ways to take that desire to enhance the site into an opportunity for future work. Now there is a tremendous amount of gratification in seeing a client make the site their own by adding content and bringing your site design to life. Enjoy your work as it takes off and becomes an important destination on the web. [00:05:15ll.91]
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