Author Name Security

Did you know that many themes have a default that display the username for an author of a post? What could be wrong with this you say? Well, just knowing the username can be that one step closer to breaking into your WordPress website. All a hacker will now need to do is try to brute force your password for that account.

How can I protect myself?

There are many ways to make it more difficult for a Hacker, but one of the simplest for the novice user is to create a second user account in WordPress with a second email address, but only give that user account the lowest permissions possible and still be able to post. The setting you would want to give the user is “Contributor”. You can still create the post with your admin account, just be sure to go back and assign the post to the lesser permission account. This way, if a hacker happens to break into your account they will have very little permissions. A “Contributor” account can create posts, but that post will need to be approved by an  Admin in order to display on your site. While this is not a full proof way to keep hackers out, you at least limit one vector for them to work with. Just be sure to use a very strong and generated password on the “Contributor” account.

Other ways

If you are knowledgeable, you can locate where in the theme files the link to the author is generated and remove the link. This way, you can change your display name to something other than your user name and make it one step harder for a hacker to learn your username. Another option is to edit your database and change the “nicename” for your users to help hide the usernames that get displayed.

Combining Bootstrap with Underscores

Sometimes, simple is the best. This theme was created using as the main template and then incorporating Bootstrap for the basic visual. Underscores is generic by nature so that the developer can concentrate on creating a visual without having to recreate the necessary backend pages for a WordPress theme. Bootstrap is then utilized to incorporate some interesting visual capabilities. No need to make this difficult, just keep it simple and use underscores with Bootstrap.

Add Underscores theme template

Go to and download the base theme template. Login to your WordPress site, go to “Appearance” and then to “Themes”, click the “Add New” button and then “Upload Theme”. Choose the .zip file you downloaded, then click “Install Now”, then activate the theme. Your site should now be a plain vanilla site with no real formatting.

Setup Bootstrap

Download Bootstrap by clicking the “Download Bootstrap” button. Unzip the file and rename the folder to “bootstrap”. Move the folder to the base folder of your theme. This may require using FTP to upload the folder to your hosting provider or by using the ‘File Manager’ of your hosting providers admin panel. (please check the support section of your host for information on how to FTP or use a file manager for your account)

Note: The following directions assume you can edit the files within your theme folder on your hosting account. If you do not have the ability to edit the files on your host, even though this is never recommended you can actually edit these files from your WordPress Dashboard under “Appearance” and then “Editor”. Just look for the files in question and make your changes. Be warned, that editing files from the WordPress editor you run the risk of locking yourself out of your site. There is no undo function, so please edit carefully and backup your site prior to editing in this manner.

If you think you will need to provide support for IE8 browsers, then add the following code to the header.php file just prior to the <?php wp_head(); ?> line.

<!-- HTML5 shim and Respond.js for IE8 support of HTML5 elements and media queries -->
    <!-- WARNING: Respond.js doesn't work if you view the page via file:// -->
    <!--[if lt IE 9]>
      <script src=""></script>
      <script src=""></script>

The Bootstrap CSS will be included by enqueuing in the functions.php file with the other stylesheets. Look for the function that is approximately 100 lines of code down that enqueues the style.css stylesheet. The code should look similar to the following:

wp_enqueue_style( 'your-theme-name-style', get_stylesheet_uri() );

Add the Bootstrap CSS enqueue just below the above line

wp_enqueue_style( 'bootstrap-style', get_template_directory_uri() . '/bootstrap/css/bootstrap.min.css' );

Bootstrap also has a JavaScript library that we need to enqueue, which relies upon jQuery in order to provide certain functionality. Just below where you added the Bootstrap CSS add the following code to include jQuery and the Bootstrap JS (note that jQuery is required for bootstrap-js, so a dependancy is created in the array to ‘jquery-js’ for the enqueue to ‘bootstrap-js’):

wp_enqueue_script( 'jquery-js', '', array(), '20160804' );
wp_enqueue_script( 'bootstrap-js' , get_template_directory_uri() . '/bootstrap/js/bootstrap.min.js', array('jquery-js'), '20160804' );

Save the files and voila… a no frills theme for your WordPress site. From here you can edit the style.css file to change your formatting. Or better yet, create a custom.css file and enqueue it just below the Bootstrap CSS enqueue in similar manner.

Simple theme using Bootstrap and Underscores

Quick development can be accomplished by using Bootstrap with the Underscores framework. is a vanilla, “no styles included”, framework for starting your developent of a WordPress theme. I use Bootstrap to provide the styling functionality. In order to get started, we first need to get the two working together. Check out my post in combining Bootstrap with Underscores before we start diving into working out a simple green theme.

Adding a NavBar

Underscores has a very minimal responsive menu as a default. We can update the navigation menu using Bootstrap’s simple navbar with a white background. In order to get the navbar to work, we need to do a couple things.

First, go to your WordPress Dashboard and create a new menu and save for the “Primary” menu location.

Next, we will need to download a walker script that will edit the WordPress generated menu on the fly to include the necessary coding for Bootstrap to work. Download Edward McIntyre’s wp-bootstrap-navwalker.php class from GitHub and save the file in the themes main directory. In functions.php add the following to the end of the file

* Register custom navigation walker

In the template-parts/navbar.php file, at about line 20, edit the wp_nav_menu to the following:

<?php wp_nav_menu( array( 'theme_location' => 'primary', 'menu_id' => 'primary-menu', 'depth' => 2, 'container' => false, 'menu_class' => 'nav navbar-nav', 'walker' => new wp_bootstrap_navwalker() ) ); ?>

just above the wp_nav_menu, you will find the following line

<button class="menu-toggle" aria-controls="primary-menu" aria-expanded="false"><?php esc_html_e( 'Primary Menu', 'sohud-green' ); ?></button>

replace that line with the below to add the mobile dropdown menu capability

 <div class="navbar-header"> 
 <button type="button" class="navbar-toggle" data-toggle="collapse" data-target=".navbar-mobile-collapse"> 
 <span class="sr-only">Toggle navigation</span> 
 <span class="icon-bar"></span> 
 <span class="icon-bar"></span> 
 <span class="icon-bar"></span> 
 <a class="navbar-brand" href="<?php bloginfo('url')?>"><?php bloginfo('name')?></a> 
 <div class="collapse navbar-collapse navbar-mobile-collapse">

and then just below the wp_nav_menu add the closing div


Now, if you would like to remove the site branding above the navigation menu, then edit the navbar.php file and remove the lines approximately from 2-16 that include the site-branding div that that looks like the following

<div class="site-branding">
 if ( is_front_page() && is_home() ) : ?>
 <h1 class="site-title"><a href="<?php echo esc_url( home_url( '/' ) ); ?>" rel="home"><?php bloginfo( 'name' ); ?></a></h1>
 <?php else : ?>
 <p class="site-title"><a href="<?php echo esc_url( home_url( '/' ) ); ?>" rel="home"><?php bloginfo( 'name' ); ?></a></p>

$description = get_bloginfo( 'description', 'display' );
 if ( $description || is_customize_preview() ) : ?>
 <p class="site-description"><?php echo $description; /* WPCS: xss ok. */ ?></p>
 endif; ?>
 </div><!-- .site-branding -->

The navbar looks good but there is one small issue. If in your menu, one of your top level items is a link to a real page or post it does not work. That is because the walker class that we downloaded places a ‘#’ for the link and the jQuery utilized to create the dropdown effect does not follow the link if provided. Also, the walker class will only handle one level of dropdown. Given the limitations, this is at least a good start for a simple menu at the top of the page with only one level of links and the top level must not be linkable pages. If you want to have the links show (but still not clickable) you can edit the wp_bootstrap_navwalker.php file around line 70 where it says

$atts['href'] = '#';

and replace it with the following

$atts['href'] = ! empty( $item->url ) ? $item->url : '';

I am sure with some clever editing, this navwalker could be adjusted to allow deeper levels of dropdown and the ability to have a link in the top level. The issue is that on a desktop sized machine it is easy to have a hover initiate the drop down, but on a touchscreen device there is not a hover. So a cleaver edit to determine if a touch screen vs a desktop could determine whether to put a ‘#’ vs an actual link. I will leave that for another time or for someone else to fix.

Bootstrap Body Container

The body is edge to edge on the screen, and we need to apply the bootstrap container in order to adjust the edge spacing. First, in the header.php file adjust the class in the last line to read:

<div id="content" class="site-content container-fluid">

otherwise, if you would like more spacing, change ‘container-fluid’ to just ‘container’

Moving the Sidebar

The Underscores framework puts the sidebar at the bottom of the page. In order to put this on the right hand side, we will need to edit any template files we would like change the layout for. Edit the following three files: index.php, page.php and single.php (all three are setup the same). Bootstrap provides us the ability to create columns by wrapping the content with special classes. See the Grids Example on the Bootstrap site for ideas.

The code in general looks like this (don’t add this code anywhere, just here as an example)

<div class="row">
 <div class="col-md-7">
 [the main content section here]
 <div class="col-md-5">
 [the sidebar content here]

In index.php and the other two files, add following on the line after get_header(); ?>

<div class="row">

Then to the next line add the column class to the div to read as follows

<div id="primary" class="content-area col-md-7">

and then change the following line



to be replaced with the following

<div class="col-md-5">
 <?php get_sidebar(); ?>


Save the file and refresh the main page.

Custom.css file

First step is to enqueue a custom.css file inside of functions.php. Place the following line anywhere after the enqueue we added for the Bootstrap css:

 wp_enqueue_style( 'your-theme-custom-style', get_template_directory_uri() . '/css/custom.css');

Now create the custom.css file and save under the root of your theme in a folder called ‘css’. Open the file and let’s start.

Edit as you find appropriate for your own theme. If you are unsure of where to make an edit to adjust the CSS, try using the Developer/Inspector mode of your favorite Internet browser. Most will allow you to temporarily try out changes on the fly so you can see their effect. Use W3Schools for a great guide on CSS.

Here is a list of items that I have changed in order to create a simple green colored theme:

.navbar-nav > li > .dropdown-menu,
.dropdown-menu > li > a:focus,
.dropdown-menu > li > a:hover,
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .open > a,
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .open > a:focus,
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .open > a:hover
 /* light green background for nav */
 background-color: #9EFFE0; 

.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .active > a,
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .active > a:focus,
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .active > a:hover, 
.navbar-default .navbar-nav > .active > a,
.dropdown-menu > .active > a,
.dropdown-menu > .active > a:focus,
.dropdown-menu > .active > a:hover 
 /* darker green background for active areas */
 background-color: #00CC8B;

body {
 color: #267F63; /* font color */
 letter-spacing: .1em;

A little bit about security

By default, this theme actually displays the username of the author in order to make it easy to find other posts by the same author. There is a way to remove the link if you are comfortable editing the template file. Otherwise, check out my brief Author Security post on the topic.


I know this is not the most exciting theme, but the idea was to give you a start to create your own themes by combining the quick profiling with the Underscores framework and combine it with the beauty of the Bootstrap styling. Check out the Bootstrap examples page for other ideas.

Tales of a Rider: Watch out for them groundhogs

Groundhogs can take you down

July 3rd, 2015 was my first motorcycle accident. I was traveling alone in the back roads just south of a main town hunting geocaching locations. I had my helmet and jacket and the ride was beautiful.

A short ways ahead, I saw a groundhog peak out from the side of the road from my right and watched as he darted across to the left side. I started to slow down to see what he would do. The groundhog kept pacing back and forth on the left, so I figured he would stay over there until I passed. Just as I was about to pass the critter, he darted back over to the right hand side. Everything seemed to happen quickly and I was unsure of what to do as I only had about 2000 miles under my belt and this was a first time experience coming against nature. Well, thinking about what i learned in the beginner motorcycle training course I thought the best thing to do would be to throttle up and try to run over the critter square on. Turns out that was not the best idea, because as the front wheel came in contact with the huge round hump of the groundhog it caused the wheel to tip to the left and the gyroscopic effect turned the whole bike on its side. I slide down the road a little ways, kicked the bike away from me and watched as the road slid past the left side of my helmet.

Thankfully, no real damage to myself except for a heat abrasion on my left arm caused by the jacket heating up as I slid down the road and the inner arm sleeve cut into my elbow causing a gash that needed to be stitched up. There was some bruising on my hip and i must have caught my right hand knuckle briefly on some road and got a minor gash that was glued up at the hospital. I also somehow stubbed my left toe in the boot, so the nurse had to puncture the toenail to release the blood pressure.

The lessons learned:

Don’t ride alone, ride with a buddy. I was not sure where I was and could not easily grab my phone from my jacket because I was trying to hold the wounds from bleeding everywhere. Thankfully, a car was not far behind me who happened to be an off duty fireman from the nearby town and called in for the squad.

Always wear a helmet, jacket, gloves and any other gear. You never know when nature can dart out from the road and change your plans for the day. At least the safety gear will quicken the healing time.

Never trust nature’s creatures to act in a way that will be safe to you. If you come up on groundhogs and large rodents, it might be safer to not cross their path until you know they have gone into the field, and be sure to honk at them to hopefully scare them off.

Always ride with the goal of maneuvering the bike in the path you want to go to avoid the obstacle. Never stare at the obstacle as you will evidently hit it, but rather stare into the open safe zone where you want to go to avoid.

Masonic Widows Son medallion for my motorcycle

Picked up a really cool medallion to add to my motorcycle from The Masonic Exchange. They sell many different items of Masonic interest and I liked the “In Memory of Hiram Abiff” auto emblem and thought it would look pretty cool on my air cleaner.

I talked to another rider who already had this very same emblem (I did not know he had one until after I bought mine) and he said he attached his with some thick 3M double-sided tape across the whole back and removing any excess to keep it hidden. I was wondering if that would be the route I should take as well because I was curious if it would hold up over time in the rain and during washes.

I picked up a rubber washer for the waste shoe of a sink, and I also picked up an assortment of large o-rings meant for sink plumbing. I figure that one of the large o-rings might fit the best and I can Krazy glue it to the air-cleaner. The air cleaner is concave, so the medallion does not touch at the edges. The o-ring looks like it will be thick enough to make a good seal. I will follow up at a later time with picture to let you know how it goes.

Small dog and antibiotics

Updated 5/4/2016: See below

My son went into the Navy, so I know have his small dog. I love the little thing, even though I really prefer larger dogs. Well, she was still in need of a spay so I took her to the vet. Afterwards, they put her on antibiotics and some pain meds. Talk about being difficult, this little booger is so squirmy and fast with her head it was very difficult at first to figure out how to get the pills down her throat. With larger dogs, it was fairly easy because once the pill was put near the back of their mouths they pretty much had to swallow at that point (not sure if that is the correct way either, but I am not a vet). Other times with my larger dogs I would hide the pill in a hot dog or some peanut butter. But not this little beauty, she has a knack of using her tongue to spit anything back out. We started pulverizing the pills with a mortar and pestle and then mixing it into small amounts of canned food. It is a very messy process and tends to get all over her fur. But after some patience and practice I found just the right small amount of the mixture that i can sneak in and on the roof of her mouth. For the most part this has been working. But the biggest part of this is making sure she gets a treat afterwards. After a few days she has started to eat again (even though in small amounts), but not really on her own will. She drank plenty of water and had enough energy to go outside for small walks, but we were getting concerned she did not want to eat. After doing a little research online, it appears that the antibiotics must be killing off the good bacteria in her stomach which keeps her appetite down. The results online talked about feeding her cooked egg and yogurt. Well, the cooked egg is starting to do the trick, this is the treat she gets for putting up with us humans forcing the small amounts of food/meds down her throat. We cook up the egg first and break it up into a bowl. She can smell the egg in the air and gets excited. We then do the sit down and force the small dollop of food/med down her throat and then she gets the wonderful treat. While she still puts up a small fight for the meds, it is starting to get easier…. the best thing to keep in mind is to have patience and understanding. They are your loved pets, but don’t feel bad that you might be causing a little stress in their life. They will forgive you and hopefully the meds will help them get better. You might feel bad forcing food down their throat, but get over that and realize you have to do what you can to keep them safe and healthy and little bit of discomfort is ok (within reason of course, you never want to hurt them physically. which means not smacking around or breaking necks… got it?)

Update 5/4/2016: So the dog has decided that she no longer wants the egg. I had forgotten about this but decided to try baby food. Mainly the idea is to get her used to eating again so that she will start to eat more. I also think that she has coordinated the stress of force feeding with certain foods or situations so I am trying to get her excited again. I ran up to the store at midnight and picked up a small jar of turkey in turkey broth baby food. She really loved the smell and licked up the spoonful quickly and then started to press towards the jar to lick directly out of it. The first round she only took about 1/5 of the jar. An hour or so later she tried another 1/5. This morning, she ate the remaining 3/5 of the jar with no questions. I guess I will have to pick up some more jars after work and see how soon I can introduce her pate and kibble again. Also, she is now on a lighter antibiotic as we found out she had an eColi infection likely in her kidney. Not sure how she obtained it, but likely one time she must have had the runs and some of the poo stayed caked on and likely entered through her urinary tract. So 30 days of this new antibiotic and hopefully appetite comes back quicker now.

Let’s see where this goes

So, I have been very busy lately with my second job and also taking a class on full stack web development on The problem, is I have far too many ideas in my head and no real direction to speak of. I do not have one topic that I am good at, but many topics that I know enough to get myself into trouble.

Of what is most exciting for me at this moment is taking long rides on the motorcycle and looking up youtube videos of thing I would like to do with the bike. Which is again, just one more thing to add to the mix.

Also, since my son joined the Navy I have taken on his dog as my own. Just the last few days, I had taken her to the vet to get spayed and talk to the vet about some white spotting she leaves. At first we thought it might be pyometra, but after the spay we were assured that it was not. What that means is we now have to wait for the urine culture to come back so we can see if there is an antibiotic that will take care of the infection. Sounds like could be her kidneys. So, yet one more thing on my agenda.

Also, I manage various other websites and have to keep them updated. The most recent one that I want to work harder on is the block watch site as I have some ideas on how to gather more useful data like police reports and consolidation of reports people make to our Facebook page. This is why I figured I would look into the class for full stack development, as I think this will entail setting up another database and creating a separate application. The data is not structured, so I should really look into how to manipulate or utilize the big data concepts.

What this boils down to, is that I will not be able to fully concentrate to finish up my tutorial I started but will always keep it in my mind. What you will start to see is some more random postings and hopefully more pertaining to my bike and some of the things I have learned along the way about being a fairly new rider.

So… Let’s see where this goes

WordPress Theme development process – Beginner, Part 5 (Similar Sites)

Research Similar Sites

researchIn order to better understand how you compare, research similar sites to see what might be missing that you could capitalize on for your readers. Not every site should have the same information, and each should offer up some useful bit of information that might not be found somewhere else. Your readers are trying to solve their problem, and do you offer up something different to help them further their progress in completing tasks. What do similar sites focus on and how do they display the information. Is it concise and easy to read, are the users bombarded with ads or call to actions, or is the information really not there or hard to find.

General Steps

Here are the steps to follow along in the series.

  1. Overview – describe  the purpose
  2. Local development – Set up development server with DesktopServer Limited (free version)
  3. Identify user – and problem I am attempting to solve for them
  4. Topic list – Categorize list of needs of users and topics of discussion
  5. Research similar sites – and analyze how they answer the user’s needs
  6. Create storyboards – or sitemaps for different posts and pages.
  7. Sketch on paper various page layouts, first in mobile view and then on up to desktop
  8. Determine extra functionalities needed and possible plugins that could be utilized
  9. Create page/post templates
  10. Test, Test, and Test some more
  11. Upload to a live site


Google is my best friend, or at least it is currently my favorite search engine. There are many out there and might even be better. However, most of the SEO that I have been working with has centered around Google so this is what I know. I really plan to look further into Yahoo and Bind and any other search engines and how they rank, but for now I can only concentrate on one source. Listening to the Smart Passive Income podcasts have taught me to try and not spread myself thin, but rather to concentrate on that one idea and finish it through until complete. So on to Google I go to do some research for similar websites.

Remejy.Com Planning

Find at least three other websites that have similar interest points to your topic and then discuss what you like and don’t like. Do they answer the questions or is it a fluff site just to display ads.

site1: (as of 2/17/16, researching)

site2: (as of 2/17/16, researching)

site3: (as of 2/17/16, researching)


Research is a very important step into any venture. You need to have a good understanding of what is already out there. Then you can decide if you can provide the same information in a better form, or if you can provide new or better information to better server your readers’ pain points. There are many search engines available to find sites on a similar topic, pick one that is your favorite and identify a minimum of three other similar sites. Critique these sites and better understand if they are in the same direction for your goal or if you think you can provide some other version to answer the questions.

Next Steps > Create Storyboards ( estimated publish date 3/30/16 )

WordPress Theme development process – Beginner, Part 4 (Topic List)

Topic List

Topic ListWhen we first start our blogs, for the most part we still do not know what we really want to talk about. Planning ideas on topics should really happen prior to starting the blog or well in the beginning stages. It is far too easy to get into a state of confusion and disarray, unless we step back and do at least a minimal amount of planning.

General Steps

Here are the steps to follow along in the series.

  1. Overview – describe  the purpose
  2. Local development – Set up development server with DesktopServer Limited (free version)
  3. Identify user – and problem I am attempting to solve for them
  4. Topic list – Categorize list of needs of users and topics of discussion
  5. Research similar sites – and analyze how they answer the user’s needs
  6. Create storyboards – or sitemaps for different posts and pages.
  7. Sketch on paper various page layouts, first in mobile view and then on up to desktop
  8. Determine extra functionalities needed and possible plugins that could be utilized
  9. Create page/post templates
  10. Test, Test, and Test some more
  11. Upload to a live site

Flush Out Topic Ideas

This can be a fun part of the planning stage. I listen to a blog about “Smart Passive Income” by Pat Flynn and many times either he or his guests will convey the need to plan and research out your topics. One guest suggested creating a little idea box, when every time you have an idea pop up in your head immediately write down a brief statement on the topic and place it into a box. Either way, the goal is to write out as many ideas of topics you find interesting and then see if you come up with a common theme. This process should take you longer than one week, only because you should really spend some time on this procedure. Save these ideas somewhere as you will find that later on you might start to have “Writers Block” and returning to the idea box occasionally should help give you some ideas.

Remejy.Com Planning

I have so many varied experiences in life, that I typically say that I freely learn all but specialize in none. That being said, I really needed to constrain my topic list to one general theme. Lately, much of my side work revolves around the backend of various websites all based upon the WordPress platform. I have created a couple custom themes to upgrade a few sites to mobile friendly and I have created a couple specialized plugins for those sites based upon the client’s needs. I have lately started attending the monthly WordPress Meetups and the last two WordCamps.I really enjoy the platform and think I can offer help to beginners just getting acquainted to WordPress. The topics I had varied from neighborhood issues because of the blockwatch I helped start, driving tips, random thoughts on life and many topic ideas revolved around WordPress and websites. While I am not skilled at creating beautiful websites, I can research and learn the needed skills to translate other graphically inclined people. So, I thought it would be the better choice to narrow my topics to beginner WordPress help. I know there are already many other sites on this topic, so I still need to flush out a niche where I can better fill that is in need but this will come out in time after I get more posts and see what my users gravitate towards solving their pain points.


Coming up with topic ideas should be the fun part of the process. Keep it simple and create as many as possible over at least one week or longer. Review the ideas and narrow down to what you find to be a common theme. Pick something to start with, but keep the ideas handy in case you find the topic just does not work for you or you need something to help overcome the initial “Writer’s Block”

Next Steps > Research similar sites ( estimated publish date 2/2/16 )

WordPress Theme development process – Beginner, Part 3 (Identify User)

Identify your user

identify UserThis is not an easy step. The user of your website is not likely going to be the “Ideal” user you are thinking about, and most of all YOU are not the example of the user that will likely use or find your site. While it is easy to design based upon what you would like your site to provide, you will find out that the users of the site will help direct your design and information you provide. Before you start to plan your site, I found a great video from a WordCamp held in NYC in 2015 that further describes the concept of user.

General Steps

Here are the steps to follow along in the series.

  1. Overview – describe  the purpose
  2. Local development – Set up development server with DesktopServer Limited (free version)
  3. Identify user – and problem I am attempting to solve for them
  4. Topic list – Categorize list of needs of users and topics of discussion
  5. Research similar sites – and analyze how they answer the user’s needs
  6. Create storyboards – or sitemaps for different posts and pages.
  7. Sketch on paper various page layouts, first in mobile view and then on up to desktop
  8. Determine extra functionalities needed and possible plugins that could be utilized
  9. Create page/post templates
  10. Test, Test, and Test some more
  11. Upload to a live site

Points to consider

You will want to consider who your planned target audience is, and their current motivation while on your site. Make sure you fully understand the context in which they are visiting the site. Try to understand the “problem” you are helping them with.

Target Audience

Until you actually get visitors and watch their usage patterns with analytics, you have to make an assumption on who your intended target audience is. What are the age ranges, socio/economic backgrounds, general education vs. post graduate/masters program, purchasing goods or looking for information and any other descriptor you can imagine. Write them all down and try to create a general profile for at least three different users.


Why did the user find your site? Have they been their before and found it useful? Are they trying to quickly find a short answer or looking for an in depth article on a specific topic? Are they in need of purchasing your product quickly or are they just doing research? Are they driving in their car and looking for your hours or contact information? You need to step back and imagine their situation and the Context in which they are looking for assistance.

The Problem

For most sites, you are trying to answer some question or provide a solution to their current problem. Define the problems you plan to solve. What are the questions they could be asking, and how can you best answer their need?

Remejy.Com planning

So, who are the users of my own site? Since this site is very new, I do not have any good analytics yet to really get an idea of what my users are looking for. I would imagine that my users are looking for in-depth articles to help them better understand various aspects of WordPress. They know there are many other sites out there that discuss the same issues, but may not like how little information is out there without all the extra fluff from ads or articles without substance. Based upon my experiences with WordPress Meetups and the WordCamp, I know the users will be of varying ages and backgrounds. There are some highly experienced users out there, but my current concentration is to assist the newer users of WordPress, as I plan to answer the common questions that come up in a Meetup.

User01: younger male, with little college or only high school education. Works full time at low rate of pay and looking for a way to increase his opportunity to make money online. He is new to WordPress and has very little knowledge of PHP, but a small bit of familiarity with HTML and simple CSS

User02: young to middle age female. Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. Working full time, but not in the career education is for. Employer has a few websites that either need to be converted to WordPress or are already setup on WordPress with a custom pre-built theme. Understands HTML and CSS and a small bit of javascript and PHP.

User03: middle age female not necessarily working a full time job or works at home as a stay at home Mom (a full time job mind you). No familiarity with websites, or HTML. Heard about WordPress to create a blog and would like to learn more. Has a great eye for visual design and considers self to be an artist. She has enough technical knowledge to use a web browser and create Office documents.

I will keep each of these users in mind as I continue the process. None of these may fit who you are, but the goal of this exercise is to create at least three potential users. You can create as many as you see fit, but I think three at a minimum should get you a good start.


In the beginning, it is difficult to imagine your intended user. Only time will give you a better understanding, but know that they typically will not be like you. Take the time to write out who the users are, understand the context in which you are trying to solve their problem and decide how best you might be able to provide an answer.

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