How to build a WordPress site in 5 hours

June 25, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Max Limpag explains step-by-step how you can create a WordPress-powered site (not just a blog) from paper to the screen in no more than 5 hours. He also shares useful tools which aided in his process, such as the Yahoo! UI library, Aptana Studio, Bluefish, and FileZilla.

His proof of concept can be viewed at Tungkaran.com.

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Reasons you should and shouldn’t use WordPress

May 13, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Killersites.com points out several advantages to using WordPress in building websites as opposed to purely static webpages:

If you haven’t guessed it already, using WordPress in your day-to-day web work WILL have major economic advantages – in a nutshell, you will be able to provide a lot more for your clients for a lot less work! This will lead to you landing more web design contracts and making more cash because the extra WordPress skills will allow you to charge more for your time.

On the other hand, WP Fun emphasizes its disadvantages in back-end maintenance, which is technically a whole other job outside of building websites, but is slowly merging with it anyway.

Which of these two win the argument? While I agree with WP Fun that you shouldn’t just go into a project hastily deciding to use WordPress, using static HTML files is not the only alternative solution, especially if a web designer’s concern with clients is ease of use. There is no interface to deal with in static webpages but you can use lighter and/or hosted CMS solutions too.

That’s just one factor to consider. Other factors like extensibility with plugins, security, support, community, etc. should definitely affect your decision to choose a publishing platform. WordPress tends to win out because of those.

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The WordPress community sounds off on WPShout

December 30, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WPShout.com has published answers from the most prominent members of the WordPress community to four big questions about WordPress:

Fantastic reads which couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s the end of the year which means evaluating the year that was; then, between the latest WP release and the big 3.0 dropping next year, we’re also looking forward. Whether you’re new to WordPress or a veteran, there are a fair amount of insights to be had, and it’s a great glimpse into the state of WP and its community.

(Via Weblog Tools Collection)

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WordPress upgrade notifications from Google Analytics?

December 1, 2009 | No Comments Yet

If you’ve been blogging for a while now you’ll know that Google Analytics is an indispensable part of your website, so perhaps it’s not surprising that the service has this new feature: software version notifications for your CMS.

One of the great things about working at Google is that we get to take advantage of an enormous amount of computing power to do some really cool things. One idea we tried out was to let webmasters know about their potentially hackable websites. […] This time, however, our goal is not just to isolate vulnerable or hackable software packages, but to also notify webmasters about newer versions of the software packages or plugins they’re running on their website. [..] This is where we think we can help. We hope to let webmasters know about new versions of their software by sending them a message via Webmaster Tools. This way they can make an informed decision about whether or not they would like to upgrade.

I’m not sure this is any better than installing a plugin such as Update Notifier that sends emails whenever your WP installation or WP plugins need updating. After all, it still depends on the generated version meta tag which both WordPress and hackers use to check.

The upside here, though, is that at least Google is now looking into ways they can help with website maintenance, particularly security. And not just for WordPress, but for all other content management systems out there. Both CMS developers and webmasters stand to gain from the knowledge and resources Google can spend on this.

In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled as this new feature will be rolling out “soon”.

(Via WPLover)

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WordPress is Best Overall Open Source CMS

November 19, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WordPress has won the Best Overall Open Source CMS award in this year’s Open Source CMS Awards. It was also named first runner-up after Drupal in the Best PHP Open Source CMS category.

This is a landmark for us, as it is the first time we’ve won this award, and it marks a shift in the public perception of WordPress, from blog software to full-featured CMS. No small contest, the Open Source CMS Awards received over 12,000 nominations and more than 23,000 votes across five categories.

That makes for a very good point, seeing as how there are oodles of “WordPress as CMS” articles out there. WordPress has proven despite its very strong reputation as blog software, it’s now ahead of the content management system pack. Plus we, the members of the WordPress community, are a big part in making it this big.

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the_post_image() in WordPress 2.9

October 15, 2009 | No Comments Yet

In WordPress 2.9, users will now be able to set a representative image per post, one of the most popular features found in advanced or premium WP themes.

The image can be added via the function the_post_image(), with possible parameters 'medium' and 'thumbnail' to indicate the size.

I’m still on the fence about this. On the one hand it’s one of the biggest things that’s missing in in the WordPress core for anybody who wants to transform their websites to more than just a blog. But on the other hand other smart solutions, like the Get the Image plugin, exist. I would love to see the_post_image() expand its feature set to extract the first uploaded image within the post automatically, and provide the option of setting that as the featured image for that post.

Either way, we’re seeing a huge focus on the media management aspect of WordPress in this upcoming version.

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BuddyPress to ship with a theme framework; will WordPress be next?

August 25, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Social networking platform BuddyPress has modified its theme structure to contain by default a theme framework, basically a parent theme which custom themes can override with child themes.

In BuddyPress 1.1 there will be one single theme to handle everything. BuddyPress will ship with a theme framework that acts as a parent theme. The default theme will be a child theme based on this framework and contains only images and css. Building a new BuddyPress theme will be as simple as creating a child theme based on the framework. If you’re not familiar with child themes a quick google search will bring up lots of useful information.

This makes theme development for a relatively more complex CMS much easier. But what’s more interesting about this is there are several WordPress theme frameworks already out there, and it looks like the BuddyPress development team has taken a cue from that. My question is: should future versions of WordPress also ship with a default theme framework just like BuddyPress? For those who aren’t familiar with the benefits:

When building a new theme you don’t need to re-create every template file. You can override specific template files where needed. Most importantly though, your theme will update automatically with the latest functionality when the framework theme is updated.

In the meantime, however, check out these 3rd-party theme frameworks for WP.

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Universities use WordPress too!

July 22, 2009 | No Comments Yet

WPBeginner lists 17 top universities that use WordPress for their websites—the likes of Cornell, MIT, and Harvard Law School. Some of them have really great designs and should serve as inspiration for you, too!

We’ve featured several government websites using WordPress, and several University sites too, but we need more Philippine sites using WP, if only for the ease of use, customization, and reliability it brings.

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WordPress seminars in Davao from July 3-4

June 30, 2009 | 2 Comments

Heads up, Mindanao folks! There are two WordPress seminars coming to your area—Davao City, to be specific—this July. WordPress for Bloggers and WordPress as a CMS. Fees vary from Php150 (students) to Php450 per person. Here’s the sked:

SEMINAR 1: WORDPRESS AS CMS

Date: 3 July 2009 (Friday)
Time: 5:00 – 8:00 P.M.
Venue: Lane Systems conference room, Wheels n’ More Drive, J.P. Laurel Ave., Bajada, Davao City (in the compound where Urban Club & AutoShop are located)
Fee: ?450 per person
This seminar will tackle the fundamentals of the WordPress engine: the templating system; built-in PHP functions for delivering & manipulating content; design elements; introduction to theme & plugin design. Installation and maintenance best practices will also be included. Prerequisites: PHP, XHTML & CSS.

SEMINAR 2: WORDPRESS FOR BLOGGERS

Date: 4 July 2009 (Saturday)
Time: 2:00 – 6:00 P.M.
Venue: PhilNITS Lab, 5/F Mintrade Bldg, Monteverde cor. Sales Sts. (this is the building where DTI-11 is located; at the ground floor is PNB)
Fee: ?300 per person | Student rate: ?150
The seminar for bloggers will feature advanced coverage on WordPress deployment & utilization: how to make the most out of your self-hosted WordPress installation. Important topics: theme management; plugin management; SEO basics; introduction to the world of server hosting. Bonus topic: AdSense integration and optimization, c/o Lyle Santos.

Sign up here. How I wish there were something like this in the metro! We’ll have to be a little more patient for the upcoming WordCamp Philippines, then.

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25 examples of WordPress as a CMS

May 21, 2009 | No Comments Yet

Noupe has compiled 25 unique uses for WordPress as more than a blog, but a full-blown CMS.

Among those mentioned is the Ford Autoshow website, which is one of the examples Karla Redor used in her talk (under the same topic) at last year’s WordCamp Philippines. Check out the whole list and take down notes—the possibilities with WordPress are endless, and you’d be surprised with the features some of these sites have.

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Unique WordPress uses

March 6, 2009 | No Comments Yet

DesignM.ag lists 11 non-traditional uses of WordPress, plus several other suggestions from commenters. The list includes clones for top websites like TechMeme and Ffffound, as well as non-blog site types like forums, job boards, wikis, review sites, and of course, e-commerce.

The list of unique WordPress uses keeps on growing! But are you happy with where WordPress is going?

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15 WordPress experts on the future of WordPress themes

March 5, 2009 | 2 Comments

Ian Stewart of Theme Shaper has put up this year’s installment of the Future of WordPress Themes, which is a compilation of ideas and opinions from different WordPress theme designers, developers, and enthusiasts in general. This year, the following people have been invited to weigh in on this meaty subject:

There are a lot of things that can be done to WordPress to take its theming system to the next level, but if you’ll read the accomplishments of the designers/developers in the article, it’s staggering to see just how much they’ve already achieved! It’s been clear for a long time now that people want WordPress to be more than just a blogging system, even more than a publishing system. Themes are a large part of making that possible, because they’re the first step to changing the way a WP site presents its content, but it’ll take cooperation from other aspects of the WordPress system—plugins, widgets, and the core code—to undergo a real evolution.

That said, are you in favor of where WordPress is headed, or what these people believe WordPress should be headed, or do you wish WordPress were kept as simple as possible?

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Plugins for a client-friendly WordPress CMS

February 17, 2009 | No Comments Yet

StylizedWeb lists 10 steps to making a client-friendly website that’s powered by WordPress with the help of plugins. To customize the admin, for example, check these out:

The Custom Admin Branding plugin will let you swap out logos in the administration panels for your own, or your clients (depending on how you want to brand WordPress).

WP Admin Theme Extended will let you easily adjust and tweak the color scheme of the administration panel. Again this will let you either pick your branded colors, or your clients for the administration panel.

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Questioning WordPress user satisfaction & status as a CMS

September 9, 2008 | 1 Comment

CMS Survey Results by Steve Smith

I found this Content Management Survey Results by Steve Smith of Ordered List, with WordPress having the highest usage among the respondents (173 out of 189).

One of the more interesting features of the survey was the user satisfaction levels among CMSs. WordPress had a rate of 85% (44% “it’s OK” plus 41% “very satisfied”), though lagging behind Expression Engine, which was at 94% (30% “it’s OK” plus 64% “very satisifed”).

Enter the comments who question WordPress as a full-fledged CMS and dismiss it as a mere blogging platform. Granted, the structure of WordPress really is meant for blogging. But why deprive it of the term “Content Management System”? Is it because WordPress isn’t generic enough? Should WordPress have to aspire for the title of a “true” CMS, or are people happy with the direction it’s going?

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A guide to using WordPress as a CMS

August 5, 2008 | No Comments Yet

Devlounge has an in-depth article on Things To Consider When Using WordPress as a CMS.

The real issues present themselves when you’ve chosen WordPress as the CMS for your client project. That’s when you’ll have to think a bit outside the box, or not really, but at least peek over the blog focus edge at least.

Try answering some of the questions raised to better understand if WordPress can meet your needs as more than a blogging platform.

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WordPress, How Do We Love Use Thee? Let Us Count the Ways!

February 29, 2008 | 2 Comments

I Heart WordPress

Why bother with tired old social networking sites and cumbersome blogging systems when you’ve got WordPress?

If you’re still doubting the versatility of WordPress for that website you’ve been dying to create but can’t figure out how, even with all the examples we’ve given so far, this is a must-read: Here are 48 Unique Ways To Use WordPress.

I have to mention 2 overlooked ideas: ComicPress is a great way to transform WP-powered blogs into webcomics. There’s also a Link Directory plugin for all the link builders out there.

P.S. We do love WordPress. And there are many other people who feel the same way.

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