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A place for nonprofit WordPress developers and content managers of all skill levels.
The WordPress group is an engaged network of WordPress developers and content managers, for all skill levels, by WordPress users for WordPress users, to encourage the usage of and advocate for WordPress.

Our goal: to support nonprofit organizations using (or interested in using) WordPress. Additionally, this is a safe and friendly place for beginning WordPress developers and users to ask questions and connect to like-minded people.

Short link: http://community.nten.org/wordpress

Subject: Member Profile: Melissa Amarello

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1.  Member Profile: Melissa Amarello

Posted Dec 07, 2016 18:01
Our latest and greatest member profile is the last one for 2016! Melissa Amarello—presumably the person in the background, unless she's an animorph—builds WordPress websites about rattlesnakes! What else do you need to know to get interested?
Let's all help Melissa by providing our recommendations for child theme setup at the end!
What's your job title and who do you work for?
I work part-time doing online communications for the Center for Biological Diversity. Unfortunately they have no interest in upgrading their website from html/dreamweaver (!?!), so I don't use WordPress for that job. In my spare time I am the Director of Education for Advocates for Snake Preservation (ASP), a small nonprofit I co-founded, and handle all communications (among other things), including our WordPress websites.
When and how did you get started with WordPress?
I started a blog on WordPress.com in 2011 for one of our research and outreach programs. A year or so later when we decided to merge our blogs and go with a self-hosted website, I chose WordPress.org because I was familiar with the interface, but more importantly, my research demonstrated this was the far superior platform :-)
How do you use WordPress these days? What type of WordPress user are you?
Um, what's a level or two below developer? I start with an existing theme and customize like crazy. I also spend time on the user end of things adding content to sites I've built. [Ed Note: For those learning code or those who taught themselves, don't forget to respond to our question of the month!]
What's your dream feature for a future version of WordPress?
I'm guessing there's a good reason why this isn't already a feature, but it'd be nice if it was easier to customize themes within WordPress. I know there are plugins to make child themes, but the ones I've tried are buggy (see problem below).
Do you have a recent WordPress/website win you could share with us?
In March I built this site for ASP's first major campaign using a free, pretty simple boostrap-based theme that I customized with a child theme. This site works well, is pretty and engaging, and was successful for its intended purpose (raising awareness). Building that site was a ton of work, but I now have my own template for a campaign page or site that I have already tweaked for other issues (here and here). It's now a matter of hours instead of days (or weeks) for me to put together a campaign microsite, which is great when you're working for a small nonprofit and have many responsibilities and not a ton of time.
Do you have a recent WordPress problem the group could help you with?
Related to my dream feature, what is everyone's favorite way to customize themes and create child themes? Plugin recommendation or software outside WordPress? I'd love to learn how to build my own, but I'm not sure I'll ever be able to devote the amount of time I assume it takes to do that.
Mark Root-Wiley

MRW Web Design / MRWweb.com / @MRWweb
Thoughtful WordPress Website for Nonprofits & Mission-Driven Organizations
Seattle, WA

2.  RE: Member Profile: Melissa Amarello

Posted Dec 08, 2016 09:44
I was completely intimidated by child themes when I first started developing with WordPress. I found a great tutorial a few years back - very plain language, step by step instructions - and it helped so much.


Cindy Leonard, Consulting Team Leader
Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University, 
339 Sixth Ave, Ste 750, Pgh, PA 15222
p 412-397-6007 | f 412-397-6016 | leonard@rmu.edu | www.bcnm-rmu.org

3.  RE: Member Profile: Melissa Amarello

Posted Dec 09, 2016 12:42

Call me old fashioned, but I learned about child theming mostly from the official WordPress Codex page! These days, probably the better source is the new WordPress Theme Handbook page about Child Themes.

I hadn't really looked at the handbook page before but it seems really good with one small exception. I think the way they include the Parent Theme's styles are old-fashioned and there's a newer best practice.

Since I'm complaining a bit, I have to be productive! Here is a quick set of well-commented files you can use to make a child theme: https://gist.github.com/mrwweb/92b1c15abfe74f0e472c20a9b1591adf

Mark Root-Wiley

MRW Web Design / MRWweb.com / @MRWweb
Thoughtful WordPress Website for Nonprofits & Mission-Driven Organizations
Seattle, WA

4.  RE: Member Profile: Melissa Amarello

Posted Dec 10, 2016 11:23
Oh Mark RW I do love it when you complain about things. Since then you immediately provide replacements and/or improvements!!

5.  RE: Member Profile: Melissa Amarello

Posted Dec 17, 2016 16:40

Thanks guys for all the great resources for building child themes! This is such a great group.

Melissa Amarello
Advocates for Snake Preservation
Tucson, Arizona