Dark Sky in Weather Master

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A Brief Tutorial Outlining Installation Steps for the Weather Master WordPress Plugin

Weather Master is one of the easiest weather plugins to install and use.  It integrates well into most themes whose sidebar widget area is active. Once installed, the Weather Master widget will ask you within which location you would like it displayed.  Next, it will ask you a few well explained questions to define the data.  After saving the changes, the feed is live.  Outlined below are the steps used to define a Dark Sky weather feed.  The process is exactly the same for an Open Weather Map feed with the exception of the widget data definition process, which as stated previously, is very well documented.

  1. Use the WordPress Installer, Updater to grab Weather Master.  Alternatively, download and install manually from WordPress.org.
  2. Activate when prompted in the plugin info window, or from within the “Plugins” admin panel.
  3. Click the Weather Master widget you wish to use in the “Appearance | Widgets” panel and select the widget area to use. (Instructions follow as Setting Up Custom Widget Areas).
  4. Click “Active Weather Display” and enter a latitude and longitude at minimum in the options available.
  5. Save your preferences and enjoy your feed.

Read more Weather Master documentation at TechGasp or WordPress.org.

Setting Up Custom Widget Areas

To define our own widget areas or if the sidebar is disabled, we first have to define the widget area in functions.php:

 * Register widget area.
 * @link https://developer.wordpress.org/themes/functionality/sidebars/#registering-a-sidebar
function custom_wp_widgets_init() {

  // Widget Area - Weather

  register_sidebar( array(
  'name' => esc_html__( 'Weather Feeds', 'bourbon-wp' ),
  'id' => 'widget-area-3',
  'description' => esc_html__( 'Add widgets here.', 'bourbon-wp' ),
  'before_widget' => '<section id="%1$s" class="widget weather-widget-area">',
  'after_widget' => '</section>',
  'before_title' => '<h2 class="widget-title">',
  'after_title' => '</h2>',

add_action( 'widgets_init', 'custom_wp_widgets_init' );

And now to have more control as to where Weather Master will diplay its widget, we can easily create a new widget area.  Simply place the following line of code where you wish a widget area to appear:

<?php if ( (!function_exists('dynamic_sidebar') || !dynamic_sidebar("Weather Feed")) ) : ?>
<?php endif;?>

You can even conditionally display it:

<?php if ( is_page( 'projects' ) && (!function_exists('dynamic_sidebar') || !dynamic_sidebar("Weather Feed")) ) : ?>
<?php endif;?>

It really is that easy. The only drawback is that since the display is contained within an iFrame, any refining of styles except the basic outer layout is not possible.

You can read more about “Widgetizing” at codex.wordpress.org/Widgetizing_Themes

Git and GitHub – Learning the Basics

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9015d4da556858d18bc2843a2d03d387I recently working through three Lynda.com tutorials exploring Git and GitHub.  Ray Villalobos hosts Up and running with Git and GitHub, a brief yet informative look at one of the most popular distributed version control systems in use today.  Ray touches on all the basics of Git – building and initializing repositories, branching, merging, commits, etc. – in a local file system, the remote GitHub, and how both work together.  Although more of a web design enthusiast than web designer,  I was intrigued when I looked at the next title for web designers.

GitHub for Web Designers with James Williamson was a great video although the github desktop interface demonstrated was mac-based and the Windows version shown was not my more recent version.  Although having to translate the Mac interface instruction to my Windows interface made things somewhat confusing, the lesson plan and exercises were great.  The end game being a more thorough overview of Git and GitHub and why the use of the terminal and interface tools combine to make Git one of the best version control systems around.

As I am working on a Windows machine, I found that downloading and installing GitHub Desktop kept things simple.  Regardless of whether I was going to use the GitHub app, everything seemed more ‘stable’ on my machine.

Then I watched Git Essential Training, authored by Kevin Skoglund.


I looked at using the terminal and command lines of Git.  The Windows desktop interface for Github was pretty confusing, and the documentation help was limited at best.  I think I’ll study Git at the terminal level more thoroughly before trying the Windows Desktop interface again.