100 Miles For charity:water - 12/1 Update

charity:water campaign progress

Donations come in spurts, but the running continues!

About halfway into my charity:water campaign (donate here), I’m pleased to say that I’ve raised $675!  Translated into miles, that’s 67.5 miles, of which I’ve run 37.95 thus far.

The running is starting to get easier, but I’m starting to lose momentum on the donations side.  I’ve thoroughly worked the Facebook Friends network, and with a little “Embarrass Randy” motivation, my co-workers have put up quite a bit of money.  It’s funny how offering to run on the company treadmill on my normal work-from-home day can get people to cough up the dough.  That, and the fact that they can drink beer and mock me during said running…

But with those two personal networks tapped out, I’m going to have to start twisting arms pretty soon.  Unless there are some charitable readers out there 🙂


100 Miles For charity:water

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve started a project through the Analysis Exchange working with Jason Thompson and charity:water.  If you’re not familiar with the Analysis Exchange, it’s a program where aspiring web analysts and grizzled veterans* volunteer to provide analytics services to charities.  Through the Analysis Exchange, charities are helped, students are mentored, and the World is a slightly better place than when the project was started.

But just because I’m volunteering my time doesn’t mean I can’t raise some money also.  As we go into the holiday season, I’ve started a charity:water campaign:

100 miles for charity:water.

Find out about the details at my fundraising website.  As the weeks go by, I’ll be publishing a dashboard of the progress, with pictures of each of my runs for proof.  I’ll also be including such embarrassing KPI’s as avg. time per mile, current weight, and anything else I think of.

I’m already in for 5 miles.  There’s only 95 to go.

*Jason is the aspiring web analyst, and I’m the grizzled veteran.  I think.

Update:  After Day 1, already 27% of the way to $1000!  I’ll start paying off the miles this weekend, but there’s still plenty more opportunity to contribute.


Page Navigation For WordPress Twenty Eleven

By default, most WordPress themes (including Twenty Eleven) have relatively weak page-to-page navigation.  Users can improve content structure on their WordPress blogs by using categories, tags, and custom menus, but one navigation element that’s a bit more difficult to modify are the “Next Page/Previous Page” links.  These links are great if you want to move a page at a time, but if your blog has lots of pages, users won’t easily be able to navigate very deeply into your content.  That’s where a page navigation menu comes in handy.

Here’s how to implement page navigation, using a plugin and a simple modification to the WordPress Twenty Eleven theme.

Using a plugin?  For shame!

Usually, I’m not a big fan of using plugins for every little modification on my blogs. While there are some amazing WordPress developers out there, there are many less than perfect ones as well, and by loading up your blog with their buggy code can really slow (or brick!) your blog.  However, for something as complex as page navigation, I’ve opted to use the WP-PageNavi plugin.  With over a million downloads, I’m fairly confident that this plugin’s popularity indicates its code quality.  Since I’ve installed it, I’ve seen no performance deterioration…

So the first step for this tutorial is to install this plugin!

Modifying your Twenty Eleven child theme for Page Navigation

When you install this plugin and refresh your blog, the first thing you’ll realize is that nothing happened!  This occurs because the plugin itself doesn’t know where you want to put the page navigation; this needs to be done with some minor PHP coding.

In your WordPress Twenty Eleven child theme, we need to add a new PHP file if it’s not already available:  index.php.  It is this file that controls the front page container of the blog, and is where the “Next Page/Previous Page” code resides.

In the index.php file, find the following code:

<?php twentyeleven_content_nav( 'nav-below' ); ?>

We want to comment this code out by doing the following:

<?php /*twentyeleven_content_nav( 'nav-below' );*/ ?>

Finally, we want to add a call to the page navigation function by placing the following code directly under the code we just commented out:

<?php wp_pagenavi(); ?>

Once you hit save and refresh your blog, you should now see the page navigation at the bottom of your blog where the default navigation option used to reside!

WP-PageNavi Settings

The default settings for this plugin should be sufficient for most users, but if you want to change how many page numbers show in the navigation, or any of the other options, you can go to the Settings menu and click on “PageNavi”.  The only setting I’ve changed so far is the “Number of Pages to Show”, which I set to 10 because I like round numbers.  Given that this blog only has 8 pages as of the time of the tutorial, this means all pages are showing in the page navigation.

Customizing the Page Navigation with CSS

The plugin by default has its own CSS turned on, which makes the menu look pretty stylish on its own.  Because the page navigation are links, the plugin will keep the same styling as the rest of your page.  Pretty cool!

The only CSS modification I made was to put a small amount of padding on the bottom of the navigation, because it was sitting on top of the gray horizontal line for the footer.  To correct this problem, place the following code in your style.css file:

div.wp-pagenavi { padding-bottom: 10px;}

You can change the number from “10” to any amount of pixels you’d like, as your design eye sees fit.

And that’s it!  Any questions? Leave a comment 🙂


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