I AM LISTENING TO
|
WHAT I LIKE
  • English
  • German
BLOG FILTER

Home » Blog

What’s new / What changed ?

Admin Enhancer is the first free plugin released under the cubicFUSION brand. The plugin is still work in progress, but a tool that is already used within some of my client projects. I am using this  plugin to centralise things I love & need, when sending out a finished website or project.

NEW: DASHBOARD GUTENBERG / DASHBOARD TEMPLATES
NEW: ADMIN TOOLBAR
UPDATE: SHORTCODES

Addons included …

This version includes a new addon “GUTENBERG DASHBOARD“, that allows you to build a White-Label Admin Dashboards using the Gutenberg Editor.

It integrates with the SHORTCODES addon and allows to drop in the dashboard widgets via its own Gutenberg Block.

The Block provides settings to overwrite CSS from the admin widgets, allowing you tweak them a bit — for better visual integration. The Dashboard template itself can be tweaked using CSS and Sass via SCSS now 😉

I am also releasing the first integration of the “ADMIN TOOLBAR” addon, which allows you to tweak some of the admin toolbar and footer options (Hide WP Logo, Hide Toolbar on Frontend, Hide Menu Items ..)

Already working on 0.3 … ENJOY!

cubicFUSION – Admin Enhancer
WordPress Repository

readmore

I am always looking for easy ways to white label the WordPress administration for myself and my clients. A nice personal touch for each project and an easy way to declutter the interface.

These are my personal favorites, that I use on a regular basis.

Admin Themes / Login Page

There are a lot of solutions out there, but many break easily and are really heavy to load. Some of these solutions I tried also break easily on new WordPress Upgrades. The first two below are currently my favorites.

  1. Slate Pro ( Commercial )
    “Slate Pro is a powerful WordPress admin theme plugin that reimagines WordPress with a clean and simplified design. White label your WordPress install with custom colors, a custom login screen, custom admin branding, and more. Slate Pro is now multisite compatible! Network activate to control the look of all sub-sites.”

    Slate Pro is a clean and simple admin theme, that does not try to alter the interface completely. Small changes that make a difference. Color adjustments, logos, simple menu & widget enhancements and login page tweaks. Compared to other solutions it has been a stable experience, even after multiple WordPress Updates.

    This is an install and enjoy solution!
  2. Kodeo Admin UI ( Free – Open Source )
    “Kodeo Admin UI turns your WordPress backend into a clean and modern user interface. All elements are well designed and arranged for the best user experience.”

    Kodeo is another clean interface, that goes further than Slate Pro. Many areas of the admin theme have been changed. It works well with most 3rd party plugins, but I have had problems with some plugins doing their own little interface tweaks.
    With Kodeo your WordPress Admin completely transforms and gives it a really modern & clean look.

    This is an install and tweak solution! You might need to trim certain CSS properties to make it work for everything.

  3. Material WP ( Commercial )
    “Material Design version of the WordPress Admin Interface”

    I have used this once or twice in the past. Its more of a honorable mention. The admin theme transforms the interface completely, but can feel sluggish on slower servers. It has an impressive set of options and gets regular updates.

    This is again an install and tweak solution! It works with most of the 3rd party plugins and Gutenberg, but some things might need to be trimmed by hand.

Menu Editors & User Groups

When sharing the administration with your customer, you often need to make it as simple a possible for them. Depending on your setup, the menu becomes cluttered and overwhelming really fast.

I often trim menus for each user role, to make only those options accessible that are really needed.

  1. Admin Menu Editor Pro ( Free / Commercial )
    This tool has been part of many of my projects and has been a solid solution for years. You can hide & move menus, create new menus, tweak menus by user role, hide plugins and also tweak the admin toolbar with an extra addon.
    Worth every penny! There is a free version available, that might just provide enough functionality for your next project.
  2. Groups ( Free )
    “Groups is designed as an efficient, powerful and flexible solution for group-oriented memberships and content access control. It provides group-based user membership management, group-based capabilities and access control for content, built on solid principles. Groups is light-weight and offers an easy user interface, while it acts as a framework and integrates standard WordPress capabilities and application-specific capabilities along with an extensive API.”

    This plugin allows you to add new user groups easily and can tie into the plugin above.

User Profiles

When sharing the administration with multiple users, its always nice to add some personality to the user profiles as well.

WP User Profiles
“WP User Profiles is a sophisticated way to edit users in WordPress.”

The plugin provides other small addons, like WP User Avatars. Neat plugin to tweak admins, editors and other users.

Admin Dashboard Replacements

  1. cubicFUSION Admin Enhancer (Free)


    This is a new plugin I am currently working on. The current shortcodes addon can help you integrate dashboard widgets into the dashboard builders below.

    I am also working on my own dashboard builder, that requires none of the solutions below and builds upon WordPress core functionality.

  2. Dashboard Welcome for Elementor (Free)


    “Dashboard Welcome by PowerPack Elements gives you full control over the WordPress welcome panel using Elementor.

    You can personalize the dashboard with content and design built with Elementor. You can add heading, contact information, form, video, images, affiliate links, etc.

    While the above plugin is free, you need a Elementor Pro License to use it!

  3. Dashboard Welcome for Beaver Builder (Free)


    “Welcome by Beaver Addons gives you full control over the WordPress welcome panel using Beaver Builder.

    You can personalize the dashboard with content and design built with Beaver Builder. You can add heading, contact information, form, video, images, affiliate links, etc.”

    Even though the plugin above is free, Beaver Builder is a commercial plugin!

  4. Divi Dashboard Welcome ($22)


    “Divi Dashboard Welcome gives you control over the WordPress Dashboard Welcome screen …”

    The plugin requires the Divi Page Builder. Both plugins are commercial!

Enjoy
Alex

readmore

cubicFUSION

cubicFUSION is my personal development playground. I always planned to make many of my projects public, but time is limited and running customer projects a priority.

I am still doing a big cleanup of my toolset and will see what I can actually share or reuse. Some of these might be useful, inspiration or just an archive of broken ideas  ;)

Admin Enhancer

The first public release is cubicFUSION Admin Enhancer. This is a free toolbox that adds useful admin features and resources to help you tweak the WordPress administration. I am always looking for ways to easily white-label the experience for my customers.

The first addon SHORTCODES converts all admin dashboard widgets to simple shortcodes. You can use those shortcodes within Elementor Pro or any other page builder, that allows you to create custom admin dashboards. This makes it easy to build white-label dashboards, while still reusing all those nice dashboard widgets :)

The plugin can be downloaded from the
Projects page or directly from the
WordPress Repository.

Enjoy!
Alex


Available Admin Dashboard Solutions

Dashboard Welcome for Elementor (Free)

“Dashboard Welcome by PowerPack Elements gives you full control over the WordPress welcome panel using Elementor.

You can personalize the dashboard with content and design built with Elementor. You can add heading, contact information, form, video, images, affiliate links, etc.

Dashboard Welcome for Beaver Builder (Free)

“Welcome by Beaver Addons gives you full control over the WordPress welcome panel using Beaver Builder.

You can personalize the dashboard with content and design built with Beaver Builder. You can add heading, contact information, form, video, images, affiliate links, etc.”

Divi Dashboard Welcome ($22)

“Divi Dashboard Welcome is a revolutionary plugin that FINALLY gives you control over the WordPress Dashboard Welcome screen for yours and your client sites.

This means you can get rid of the default WordPress “getting started” content, and add your own branding, or your client’s branding. This allows you to upsell your additional services, create a client support hub, provide useful links or videos, and so much more!”

readmore

1. Build your own little cloud

Everybody seems to be searching for ways to integrate digital communication into their home-office environments or client/customer workflows. But many are not willing to pay huge monthly fees or rely on services like Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Slack.

For smaller teams meetings, or webinars for people up to 6, their is an alternative! You can easily use Nextcloud and its integrated Talk application for chat & webrtc video/audio streaming capabilities. Combined with the calendar app this becomes a very effective and low-cost solution.

2. Nextcloud Talk

Nextcloud Talk is a fully self hosted audio/video and chat communication service. It features web and mobile apps and is designed to offer the highest degree of security while being easy to use.

Talk makes it easy to call customers and partners in one-to-one or group-scenarios. Users can invite external chat participants with an URL into public rooms. The chat enables participants to easily exchange messages, links and notes.

Share the content of a single window or a full desktop screen for presentations with chat-partners. Manage participants by inviting, muting or removing them. Schedule meetings and be notified when they start. A lobby is provided for guests to wait until the call starts.

Calls are end-to-end encrypted so no communication can be intercepted. Chat logs are stored securely on your own server.

The peer to peer nature of Talk does inflate network traffic, creating one incoming and sending stream per other participant. This places practical limitations on calls that depend on network capabilities.

A typical private Nextcloud Talk setup should handle dozens of calls with each up to 4-6 participants, more if all participants have a good network connection.

Github

3. All the benefits of using Nextcloud & Talk

  • 100% open source
  • Self-hosted so no leaking of metadata
  • Encrypted, peer-to-peer audio/video calls
  • WebRTC for cross-platform support
  • Individual and group calls & chat
  • Mobile apps for Android and iOS
  • Easy screen sharing
  • Mobile calls & chat with push notifications
  • Commands to enable integration with other tools
  • Webinars & public web meetings

4. Setting up Nextcloud

Nextcloud is part of many hosting offers and can often be installed with one single click. You will also find hosting providers, that are specialised on Nextcloud hosting and offer you a preinstalled setup to use.

But any decent hosting setup should be enough to roll out your own. Setting up Nextcloud is really easy, as it offers a simple guided installation process.

If you need help setting up your own private instance, get in touch and we can work something out. Depending on your server setup and apps you want, it should not take longer than 60-90 minutes to get it up and running.

Alex, Contact Me

5. STUN / TURN Server

Nextcloud Talk tries to establish a direct peer-to-peer (P2P) connection, thus on connections beyond the local network (behind a NAT or router), clients do not only need to know each others public IP, but the participants local IPs as well. Processing this, is the job of a STUN server. As there is one preconfigured for Nextcloud Talk, still nothing else needs to be done.

But in many cases, e.g. in combination with firewalls or symmetric NAT, a STUN server will not work as well, and then a so called TURN server is required. Now no direct P2P connection is established, but all traffic is relayed through the TURN server, thus additional (at least internal) traffic and resources are used.

Nextcloud Talk will try direct P2P in the first place, use STUN if needed and TURN as last resort fallback. Thus to be most flexible and guarantee functionality of your Nextcloud Talk instance in all possible connection cases, you most properly want to setup a TURN server. COTurn is an open source solution, that offers just that.

If you need to setup your own TURN Server I can help. There are pretty cost effective ways, to host your own.

Alex, Contact Me

readmore

Heidelpay

ENGLISH: The heidelpay Group is one of the fastest growing German tech companies for international payment transactions. Founded by Mirko Hüllemann in 2003, the company relies on its own innovative solutions such as the secured invoice purchase, purchase by instalments, direct debit and online bank transfers. In addition, heidelpay also cooperates with more than 200 well-known providers of credit cards and wallet solutions.

As a payment institute approved by the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority BaFin and with over 16 years of experience in e-commerce and at the POS in its favour, the heidelpay Group enables companies of all sizes to make payments worldwide. The full-service payment service provider covers the entire spectrum of electronic payment processing: from processing, procurement, monitoring and risk management to accounts receivable management. Its fully scalable and modular solutions are used by 30,000 national and international customers. The various payment methods are available for e-commerce, m-commerce and stationary points of sale. “

GERMAN: Die heidelpay Group ist eines der am stärksten wachsenden, deutschen Tech-Unternehmen für den internationalen Zahlungsverkehr. Das von Mirko Hüllemann im Jahr 2003 gegründete Unternehmen setzt dabei auf innovative, eigene Lösungen, wie Rechnung, Ratenkauf, Lastschrift und Online-Überweisung. Daneben arbeitet heidelpay mit über 200 namhaften Anbietern von Kreditkarten oder Wallet-Lösungen zusammen.

Als von der Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) zugelassenes Zahlungsinstitut mit über 16 Jahren Erfahrung im E-Commerce und am POS zu seinen Gunsten ermöglicht die heidelpay-Gruppe Unternehmen jeder Größenordnung den weltweiten Zahlungsverkehr. Der Full-Service-Payment-Dienstleister deckt das gesamte Spektrum der elektronischen Zahlungsabwicklung ab: von der Abwicklung über die Beschaffung, Überwachung und das Risikomanagement bis hin zum Forderungsmanagement. Die voll skalierbaren, modularen Lösungen werden von 30.000 nationalen und internationalen Kunden genutzt. Für E- Commerce, M-Commerce und den stationären Point of Sale stehen die verschiedenen Zahlungsmethoden zur Verfügung.

Heidelpay Academy


ENGLISH: On March 19th I took part in the Heidelpay Academy, to be able to support my customers in the integration of all innovative solutions offered by Heidelpay.

I have been a partner since last year and have already integrated direct debit via Heidelpay for a customer.

GERMAN: Am 19.03. habe ich an der Heidelpay Academy teilgenommen, um meinen Kunden in der Zukunft verstärkt bei der Einbindung der innovativen Lösungen von Heidelpay zu unterstützen.

Ich bin schon seit letztem Jahr Partner und habe bereits für einen Kunden das Lastschriftverfahren über Heidelpay integriert.

Heidelpay Academy

readmore

AD Performance is your agency for professional web design,
highly profitable online marketing & sales consulting.

I helped redesign and shape the new look & feel. Lars Haupt knows his way around Elementor, that is why it was used to build out the complete website.

Logo was designed by me, Videos and Images optimized and a couple of specific plugins setup and integrated.

I wish Lars Haupt best of luck with his new home on the web!

AD Performance

readmore
21. December 2019

Merry Christmas

Time to slow down and enjoy some time with family & friends.


I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

“Christmas Bells” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

All the best wishes.

readmore

You might have heard about Structured Data, Schema.org and JSON-LD.  

Search engines read structured data and use it to enhance search engine results. Structured data helps search engines to understand and categorize page content.

Example

This structured data, in JSON-LD format, describes a simple Article.

Schema.org is a collaborative, community activity with a mission to create, maintain, and promote schemas for structured data on the Internet. But not all structured data endpoints are actually used by Google, Bing or other search engines yet.

Allowed Structured Data

Google provides a detailed overview of structured data allowed and used for search results.

There are basic enhancements you can use, like the Article structured data above. There are also many other more specific uses, like Video, LocalBusiness, Events, FAQ, Job Postings, Recipe and so on. Bing also provides a basic overview, but their documentation is scattered and feels incomplete.

How to integrate Structured Data

If you use a modern CMS, many structured data endpoints are already integrated out of the box (Article, Website, Logo, Person …).

Also modular content management systems often offer additional functionality through plugins, those help integrate structured data directly. Some do it better than others!

But if you really want to dive deep and integrate all those little things, structured data is still far more powerful when added manually. Especially things like events, products, job listings, courses, Q&A can greatly be enhanced by hand.

Alex@portalZINE

Validating Structured Data

Google and Bing offer validation tools for structured data. Both integrate it into their Webmaster Tools. You can also use the JSON-LD Playground to validate the JSON-LD itself or RDFa Play, Structured Data Linter, Facebook Debugger, Schema.org Generator and many other tools.

Need help?

I am a huge structured data fan and have been working with it for years now. I am constantly looking for new supported structured data endpoints, to enhance my own or customer websites & data.

Google constantly updates their documentation and highlights experimental structured data endpoints. Like Speakable for example, that highlights sections of a websites that are best suited for audio playback.

Fresh structured data helps to promote your content and enhance SEO, directly enhancing your discoverability and your search engine position. Your content becomes more meaningful for search engines, making it easier for them to promote it to the right potential user. It also ties into the GO GREEN concept, as you are reducing bounces of your website for users getting offered the wrong content.

Things like recipes and how-tos are already pushed to the top of the search index. A perfect way to promote your website and get noticed.

Have fun using or discovering structured data!

readmore

I signed the Sustainable Web Manifesto a couple of weeks ago. The manifesto perfectly reflects how I have been handling my business and my projects.

I created a special “GO GREEN” subsection to talk about the topic in more detail and give you some more context about the areas I can help you with.

We all share and use the web, just as we all share and live on this planet. This manifesto is a public declaration of a shared commitment to create a sustainable internet.

https://www.sustainablewebmanifesto.com/
  1. CLEAN –  The services we provide and services we use will be powered by renewable energy.
  2. EFFICIENT –  The products and services we provide will use the least amount of energy and material resources possible.
  3. OPEN – The products and services we provide will be accessible, allow for the open exchange of information, and allow users to control their data.
  4. HONEST – The products and services we provide will not mislead or exploit users in their design or content.
  5. REGENERATIVE –  The products and services we provide will support an economy that nourishes people and planet.

“If we embrace sustainability in our work, we can create a web that is good for people and planet.”

readmore

ConCoquo is a local cooking – school. Klaus Walter is a dedicated chef, who has been teaching for more than 15 yeas. Anyone can book one of the courses for himself, as a gift or for a group of people.

I helped update the websites design for 2020, updated the course listing and booking / contact integration. The new backend offers easy course and event creation now.

The website has new structured data for each offered cooking event, providing more food for the search giants!

What Klaus Walter has to say: “During our cooking evenings, you will experience how high-quality foods are transformed into a star-level menu. In a relaxed atmosphere I pass on tips and tricks of the star kitchen and you will see how well the dishes can be cooked at home. At the long table in the kitchen we enjoy the jointly cooked menu to which I recommend you the wine from my wine cellar. You can choose a cooking evening from the dates below.”

Concept & Design by GREENTONIC

ConCoquo – Kochschule Klaus Walter

readmore