Welcome to Expert Web Support’s Builder Sandbox. If you’re a visitor looking for information, you’ll find nothing useful here. If you’re a prospective XWS customer who wants to explore how WordPress augmented with the Builder theme works, you’re in the right place.

The rules for the site

  1. Send email to sysadmin at expertwebsupport dot com asking to give you access to the WordPress sandbox. Include your name and contact info (phone, email).
  2. Wait for an email containing your credentials.
  3. Play around with the site, but don’t delete or modify this home page.
  4. It’s ok to add pages, posts, categories, widgets. It’s ok to change the layouts or child themes. It’s ok to move things around.
  5. Don’t delete pages, posts, or widgets created by somebody else. But you can delete your own.
  6. If you manage to put the site into a broken state, send email to sysadmin at expertwebsupport dot com and confess. Include the symptoms that indicate something is broken and any clues you might have about what you did to break it. It’s not a big problem, and we won’t make you feel too bad, but we might ask you to help with the repair. You’ll probably learn something from that exercise. (smile)

WordPress + Builder + plugins

This site is not a vanilla WordPress site. It makes use of a premium (i.e. paid for) theme framework called Builder, from iThemes.com. There are a few Builder child themes installed for you to explore with, including:

  • Foundation Blank – a plain Black/White/Gray theme
  • Ionic Sky – a more elaborate Teal/Purple theme
  • Glacier – a dark blue theme
For an introduction to Builder, in the back end, go to My Theme > Start Here. Watch the videos on that page.

The site also includes quite a few plugins that extend the functionality of WordPress in ways that I like. My standard install includes these plugins, so I include them here for you to experiment with. Plugins include:

  • BackupBuddy – A great tool for backup, restore, and migration
  • SEO – A Search Engine Optimization plugin from Yoast.
  • LoopBuddy – A plugin that works with Builder and its child themes to enable changes to the markup (content) of pages and posts without changing underlying PHP code.
  • ShortCodes UI – A plugin that enables building short codes without writing PHP code. (Or at least with minimal PHP required.)
  • Gravity Forms – A plugin that provides a WYSIWYG, drag and drop editor for creating forms.
  • Redirection – A plugin that provides redirection without writing .htaccess code.
  • Widget Logic – A plugin that enables conditional placement of widgets in widget locations based on short PHP boolean expressions.