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2015 General

Link RoundUp: August 2015

Announcements

Where to find the group:

Facebook: Las Vegas WordPress Users Group (Great for Q&A between meetups!)

Website: WPVegas.com (Link roundups and video of previous meetups.)

Meetup: Las Vegas WordPress Meetup Group (Schedules and RSVP for upcoming meetups.)


Child Themes: An Introduction

Presenter: John Hawkins

Why Visual Composer Is Better

Presenter: Alex King

Paid WordPress Themes & Why I Don’t Like Them

Presenter: Russell Aaron

An Introduction to Desktop Server

Presenter: Ben Weiser


Have a topic idea or something you’d like to share?

Your input helps make our meetups great. Let us know what you’d like to hear more about, any “WordPress mysteries” your might have, or if you’d like to present some awesome WordPress techniques, tips, or related resources.

We all learn from each other so don’t hold back. We even have a form you can use!

3 replies on “Link RoundUp: August 2015”

This was my first WP Vegas meetup, and I very much appreciated the presentations from everyone. It gave me a lot to research afterwards.

I’ve been looking into Visual Composer based on Alex’s presentation. VC looked great at first, and I could see immediately why Alex loves it and why it’s so popular. I also discovered that VC has a major downside. It relies heavily on its own shortcodes and leaves you in shortcode hell if you ever try to uninstall VC or switch to a non-VC theme later. Without the VC plugin installed continuously, your pages will be essentially unreadable, and your precious formatting will be lost. This type of lock-in is a huge deal breaker for many people.

With some digging I found that there are other page builders with nearly equivalent functionality that don’t have this lock-in problem.

Chris Lema has an excellent overview of different page builders with ratings for each, including what he recommends instead of VC:
http://chrislema.com/wordpress-page-builders/

VC looks great for building short-term websites, such as an event website or to create a temporary mockup, but it seems problematic to use it for serious long-term development projects. It virtually guarantees some major editing pain down the road if you’re creating websites built to last.

Hey Steve,

Sorry to hear about your shortcode problems with Visual Composer. Believe it or not, you’re going to have problems with shortcodes no matter how they are installed. If your shortcodes are theme / plugin dependent, and you change themes or plugins, you’re back to the same “hell” that you described. There isn’t a real simple way to fix this as shortcodes can be written in any way, shape and form. Come to the meetup on Wednesday and we’ll talk about this in our group discussion.

Thanks, Russell. I’ll be there… and at WordCamp. 🙂

Because of the potential long-term problems with plugin- and theme-dependent shortcodes, I’ve managed to avoid using them thus far. Fortunately I learned this about Visual Composer before I went beyond the demo. It’s nice to see that there are alternatives that don’t require shortcode dependencies.

I also appreciated your cautions about paid themes and their potential hidden dependencies. It was helpful how you noted the difference between the marketing side of theme vs. the practical reality side of using it.

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