Why Install WordPress

January 2, 2013 | No Comments Yet

Image: mokshis

Installing WordPress is not as complicated as most would want to believe but does one really need to do it?  Are there other options that one can take to get the same benefit?  Can one do without it?

To answer these very practical questions:  No, it is not absolutely needed.  Yes, there are other options.  Yes, one can do without it.  Given these answers , why would one still want to install WordPress?  Simple.  If a blogger wants to have the freedom to take his blog where he wants to, WordPress offers the most opportunities of doing so.  There are other options so it would be advisable to look into them as well to determine which will work best.

WordPress is probably the most popular blogging platform and is widely preferred by bloggers who intend or are already monetizing their blogs.  Before installing WordPress, beginners are advised to read and gather information first to be better understand the platform before starting.  Steps to be taken are found online and can be followed easily.  Determine also what needs to be accomplished first before installing WordPress to enable a swift start.

There will be many options to choose from in terms of appearance, moderation, control, and other aspects important to having a good blog.  The platform of course cannot single-handedly catapult a blog to success since bloggers will have to provide the contents themselves.  WordPress offers adequate support for bloggers but it cannot do anything about poor content.  Before starting a blog, a would-be blogger must know what direction he intends to take and how he intends to go about it.

 

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A Worthy Blogging Tool

May 30, 2012 | No Comments Yet

WordPress has been making it possible for bloggers to go about their business of providing articles of great interest to online readers.  Being a free and open source blogging tool, it offers many features that allow easy management of the contents being offered.  The number of times its various versions have been downloaded since its introduction in 2003 up to the present is a testament to its ability to address and provide for the varied needs of bloggers worldwide.

Blogging became much easier to venture into with the availability of tools such as WordPress.  Even the most technologically challenged writers can publish articles with ease and confidence with the use of its features.  These features are meant to make the whole exercise enjoyable and fulfilling rather than a laborious task to be faced as often as the need to blog arises.  Everything is practically spoon-fed except of course for quality content which is the expected contribution of all writers to their blog.

WordPress offers various themes which bloggers can choose to install or change at any time they see fit.  Its plugin architecture addresses the other aspects that are now considered part-and-parcel of blogging activity such as search engine optimization.  Bloggers are given every opportunity to increase the functionality of their sites through the addition of widgets which emanate from the extended abilities of thousands of plugins offered by the platform.  Web developers are likewise given a chance to create their own blogging community as WordPress made it possible for multiple blogs to operate in a single installation.

The blogging tool likewise offers a link management structure that can assist website owners in their bid to have their sites found by search engines and related sites.  It has released a number of versions since its introduction, providing more features that beginners would find user-friendly while responding to the growing needs of more experienced bloggers.  It has become evident that WordPress is a worthy blogging tool.

 

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Tip: add a widget anywhere with the_widget()

February 28, 2011 | No Comments Yet

Here’s a very useful tip for everyone comfortable with customizing their WordPress themes: you can add any widget anywhere on your site, not just in your sidebar or widgetized areas, using the template tag the_widget.

Here’s the syntax:

<?php the_widget($widget, $instance, $args); ?>

This post by Shailan explains how to find the widget class name and arguments to use in the code. Refer to the Codex for the names of the default widgets. Want to create your own widget? Valums shows you how.

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Customize Acceptable Upload File Types

February 21, 2011 | No Comments Yet

WordPress Garage points out that there’s a limited list of allowed file types that you can upload via the WP admin. For certain custom sites, since WordPress is being used for everything these days, that may need to be modified and Chris Meller shows us how.

As of WordPress 2.2, there are 35 allowed file types configured in the default install. While there’s no admin-based tool for editing this list (nor any plugins that I’m aware of), it’s not at all difficult to add your own…

The idea is to add a custom function inside your theme’s functions.php to be used as a filter. In that function you can then add specific file extensions and their corresponding mime types. On the other hand, to remove a file type that’s allowed by default, use the function unset().

Sounds simple and painless! Of course, keep in mind that limitations are put in place to keep WordPress secure, so tread carefully. Also, for reference, there’s a list of the accepted filetypes at the WordPress.com Support section, but that may vary on a self-hosted install.

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Pinoy WordPress Theme: Classique

February 14, 2011 | No Comments Yet

Classique WordPress theme

Classique is a dark, 2-column, coffee-themed WordPress theme by Alex San Diego. No demo is available, but it’s fluid width, widget ready, and even contains PSD files to customize.

Download Classique

Other news around Asia

Vietnam comfort women is still an issue

South Korea leads FDI investors in Vietnam in 10 months

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Go Freelance with WordPress

February 7, 2011 | No Comments Yet

WordPress isn’t just a thriving free, open source community, it’s also a very popular business, from premium themes and plugins to large-scale websites. Want a piece of the profitable WP pie? DesignM.ag demystifies one particular aspect of the business: how to freelance with WordPress.

The guide covers not only the techie WordPress jobs like design and development, but also other careers in copywriting, photography, and journalism:

Built right into WordPress are a host of image and gallery features. You can upload, resize, and crop your images. You can align them around text, add captions and links. You can have a page of thumbnails which link to a larger version of the shot. All of this is part of the core WordPress software.

That’s an interesting take on going pro with WordPress you don’t get to see often, so make sure to have a look. It doesn’t stop there, though. There are dozens of site types you can build with WP, and that means different types of freelancers that can take advantage of the publishing platform.

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WordPress Plugin: BuddyPress Template Pack

January 18, 2011 | No Comments Yet

BuddyPress Template Pack transforms WordPress themes into BuddyPress-ready ones. This makes getting into BuddyPress a whole lot easier.

Now you can use BuddyPress with your single site installation of WordPress, and you can keep your existing theme. Seriously, could BuddyPress have made it any easier for you to add social networking to your site? I know I can’t wait to try it out this weekend, how about you?

Just follow the steps once the plugin is installed, and if you want to go back, rest assured that none of your theme files are modified. The plugin requires the BuddyPress add-on, which also comes as a plugin. Your WP install should be at least version 2.9.1 too.

Download BuddyPress Template Pack

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Make your WordPress site iPad ready

January 17, 2011 | No Comments Yet

WPLover has a straightforward guide on getting your WordPress-powered site optimized for the Apple iPad. It basically says you don’t have to do anything since like the iPhone it comes with the Safari mobile web browser, but there are a few tips and links if you’re concerned about an iPad-specific experience.

Biggest thing to remember: the iPad does not support Flash. If you can manage to do so, provide an alternative video source using the HTML5 <video> element.

Another helpful site is iPad Peek, which loads your website as it would on an iPad—both landscape and portrait modes. You can very quickly check any quirks without having to run out and get one.

No word yet on whether Automattic is releasing an official WordPress iPad app, but it would be interesting to see how much more you can do on a larger resolution mobile device now.

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15 snippets for functions.php

January 3, 2011 | No Comments Yet

You don’t need to buy the book Digging Into WordPress to get a hold of this essential list of custom functions for your functions.php file. There are a ton of things you can do with a tricked out functions.php, letting you forgo plugins and completely avoid hacking the backend code. From controlling excerpt lengths to loading scripts to customizing the admin, everything’s practically in there.

Perhaps one important thing to remember here is that the functions.php is located in the currently active theme folder, so if you like changing up your blog’s look quite often, don’t forget to bring the custom functions along. You can download the complete functions.php file at the end of the post.

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Check your web host file permissions first!

November 23, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordPress security issues come and go, and while some stay because it’s tough to get the crud out, other times it’s because site owners overlook an important part of keeping their hosts protected: file permissions.

A properly configured web server will not allow users to access the files of another user, regardless of file permissions. The web server is the responsibility of the hosting provider. The methods for doing this (suexec, et al) have been around for 5+ years.

Matt Mullenweg warns against web hosts and other security announcements that place the blame on the WordPress software without first checking if proper file permissions are in place.

Devlounge has an old but still applicable article on protecting your wp-config.php files, for starters. This article on WP Tavern also tackles the issue above and shares more file permission advice especially on shared hosting accounts.

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WP e-Commerce crash course

November 18, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordPress has been used for any type of site out there, including e-commerce websites, and one of the biggest reasons for that is the WP e-Commerce plugin. If you’re thinking of trying it out but have no idea where to start, this crash course by 1st Web Designer should help.

If you have not ever created an e-commerce website before, then this crash course is best-suited for you. I am considering that you are totally an idiot when it comes to e-commerce websites. At the end we will also talk about how a developer can integrate e-commerce features in his WordPress theme. So I will say this tutorial will take you from beginner level and at the end you can continue with creating e-commerce websites with WordPress as a developer.

It can also give you a good idea of the plugin’s capabilities and limitations—no use trying to force it into submission when there are specialized shopping cart systems that can do the job in a less hacky way.

Still, let’s hope WordPress provides more functionalities that can push it in the direction of creating ideal WordPress-powered online shops in the same way BuddyPress paved the way for a WordPress-powered social network.

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Optimize WordPress loading time by 75%

November 12, 2010 | No Comments Yet

So we’ve confirmed Google is factoring in site speed into their search ranking algorithms, but what exactly can you do to your WordPress site to make it load faster? David Kadavy shares his own website optimization story by doing the following:

  • Move from a shared hosting service (in this case Dreamhost) to VPS (virtual private server) hosting
  • Install the W3 Total Cache plugin
  • Use a CDN (content delivery network) such as Amazon Cloudfront: this works well with W3 Total Cache, which is why he recommends it over other WP caching plugins
  • Optimize with CSS sprites, inline styles and scripts, Gzip, and other recommendations from Yahoo.

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WordPress Theme: Motion

October 29, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Motion WordPress theme

Motion by 85ideas is a dark, 2-column blue and green theme with a watercolor-on-paper texture and transparency. It contains 5 widget areas in the header, sidebar, and footer. This theme is also available for WordPress.com users.

Download Motion

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WordPress Theme: Kirby

October 22, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Kirby 2010 default WordPress theme

Kirby by Ian Stewart started out as an idea for the next default WordPress theme when version 3.0 comes out. It’s a white, gray, and black theme with large text, ample white space, and what looks like a modern retelling of the default theme Kubrick we’ve come to know and love. There are two sidebar areas and four widget areas in the footer.

So I made the Kirby Theme. Actions speak louder than words, right? In the same way, code speaks louder than ideas. What better way to show off your ideas for a new Default Theme than to actually code one up? I get a fun project and you get a new Theme.

It has indeed been adopted by the WP development team as the new default theme and is now called Twenty Ten. It’s going through several tweaks until it’s fit to be called the predecessor of the great Kubrick. If you don’t want to wait until WP 3.0 to come out to use this theme, it’s available right now in the Themes Directory.

View Demo | Download Kirby

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Tip: use shortcodes anywhere

October 15, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Shortcodes are meant to be used for post and page content, but with a little custom code you can make them work elsewhere, as shown in this article:

  • Text Widgets
  • Template Files
  • Comments
  • Excerpts
  • User Descriptions
  • Category, Tag, and Taxonomy Descriptions

I think the most crucial piece of code to remember here is the one for theme files. Just add the line do_shortcode('[foo]'); and that will obey shortcode syntax. Super convenient! Also check out this list of custom shortcodes. For WordPress.com users, there are a bunch of media shortcodes already built in.

See also: how to use widgets anywhere.

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WordPress .htaccess tips

October 8, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Controlling how URLs behave and who access your site rely on the .htaccess file, and while some of the things it can do have a comfortable interface inside WordPress, there’s so much more to explore. WP Shout goes from A to Z of those possibilities.

For example: if you need to stop spambots, try denying no-referrer requests with this code:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_METHOD} POST
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} .wp-comments-post\.php*
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !.*yourblog.com.* [OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} ^$
RewriteRule (.*) ^http://%{REMOTE_ADDR}/$ [R=301,L]

Need to study the somewhat cryptic .htaccess language further? Head over to Apache’s official documentation.

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Protect Your Most Valuable Blog Resource, Stop Content Scraping and Plagiarism

September 17, 2010 | 8 Comments

There’s a very popular saying amongst bloggers, and it goes: content is king. As a blogger, your content is your most precious resource. I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to let sploggers and feed scrapers take that away from me. Not if I can help it. Not if you can help it. How?

Label your feeds with copyright notices.

Add your name, website, and URL (site URL or post URL) to your feed so that when it is read elsewhere, others will know where it really came from.

Recommendation: FeedEntryHeader Plugin. Many feed customization plugins exist, but I like this particular plugin because it affixes the necessary information before the content of the post rather than after, as feed scrapers usually truncate the content. And if you can help it, spell out the URL in plain text to your website or blog post rather than link to it using HTML. Scrapers will definitely want visitors to think they didn’t steal someone else’s content.

Feedback: Do you use summaries instead of full feeds because you don’t want scrapers to access them? Or do you provide both?

Block questionable visitors.

If they can’t find your blog, they won’t be able to take advantage of it.

Recommendation: AntiLeech Plugin. This plugin ideally stops potential scrapers from accessing your website content and instead feeds them fake content. You can enter either IP addresses or User Agent strings that identify the scrapers. Read more about AntiLeech here.

The tricky part is figuring out who your enemy is. They will have to scrape your feed first for you to know about it, right? You can use ©Feed to figure out who is reading your feeds, but more often than not they actually send trackbacks to your post once they’ve scraped it, so you can get their IP address from that as well.

Feedback: Where do you find your IP address blacklists?

Disable hotlinking.

Hotlinking is a term that describes how other people use your content with your own server bandwidth, which is how much data your server transfers over a period of time. Every time someone loads your website, all those files that get loaded is equal to a certain bandwidth. So if people keep hotlinking your photos, music, or videos, your bandwidth quota for the month (or quarter or year) gets used up. Now hotlinking may not be an issue for you—if you have lots of bandwidth, and don’t care about attribution or who uses your content. Normally it is; it’s bad netiquette. If you do care, you need to stop people from hotlinking.

Recommendation: Hotlink Protection Plugin. Enter the file location which you want to protect, and if an external website loads any image from it, a different image will be displayed (which is customizable). Since images are the most common target anyway, this plugin will suffice.

Feedback: Do you host your own images or do you hotlink them from sites like PhotoBucket?

*Note: What the plugins can accomplish can also be done in less straightforward but more flexible methods like PHP programming, .htaccess editing, cPanel configuration, web applications.

Take action.

Protecting your content isn’t just about setting up defense mechanisms. You should be vigilant enough to find out if you’ve been scraped or plagiarized and then do something about it.

Recommendation: 6 Steps to Stop Content Theft. These are six long and tough steps, but if you value your work, you will be thankful when it gets you through:

  1. Detection
  2. Preserving the Evidence
  3. Contact the Plagiarist (if Practical)
  4. Contacting the Advertisers (optional)
  5. Contacting the Host
  6. Contacting the Search Engines

Feedback: Do you think Filipino bloggers stand a chance in a battle against plagiarism, with all these (US-biased) steps that need to be accomplished?

Feedback: Do you know that Creative Commons Licenses like the CC Attribution 3.0 License have been ported to play nicely with Philippine copyright laws?

Sugod mga kapatid!

Right now, fighting plagiarism especially in the form of sploggers and scrapers is very tedious. Hopefully things get easier in the future, but for now, at least we stand a very good chance against it.

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Improve your WordPress search results page

August 17, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Most of your visitors will probably arrive from search engines looking for something particular in mind. Make your blog as search-friendly as possible with this set of improvements from Pro Blog Design. Here’s one of the tips:

2 – Highlight the Search Terms in Results

When you search on Google or any other major search engine, the words you searched for are highlighted in the results to make it easier for you to scan. We can do the same with your search results page.

Little tweaks should go a long way!

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Improve your WordPress installation with SQL hacks

July 29, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Jean-Baptiste Jung shares how you can perform very useful tasks and tweaks for your WordPress blog with the use of database SQL queries. Database manipulation may be a bit advanced for the average WordPress user, but for those who are curious, this article is a great start as the tutorials are not really intimidating at all.

Here’s the shortlist:

  1. Creating a Backup of Your Database
  2. Batch Delete Post Revisions
  3. Erase 5000 Spam Comments in a Second
  4. Change the Post Attribution
  5. Manually Reset Your Password
  6. Change Your WordPress Domain Name
  7. Display the Number of SQL Queries on Your blog
  8. Restore Your WordPress Database

View other WordPress posts on Smashing Magazine here.

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Tips on keeping your WordPress blog secure

July 22, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Make Tech Easier shares 11 tips on keeping malicious parties from penetrating your WordPress-powered blog. Here’s a snippet:

7) Change your login name

The default username is admin. You can make it more difficult for the hacker to crack your login credential by changing the login name.

You can never be too careful about these things, so be sure to follow the tips mentioned in the article.

(Via)

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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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WordPress 3.0 Release Candidate 1

May 28, 2010 | 1 Comment

Quickly after WordPress turned 7 this May 27th, the first release candidate of WordPress 3.0 finally comes out.

Two of the biggest new features, custom menus and multi-site support, are in place, while as with the previous beta you’ll notice a much lighter admin area. Also visit this page to check out known issues, and report those others that aren’t on the list.

You can download WP 3.0 RC 1 here or automatically upgrade with the Beta Tester plugin.

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Child Themes, Hooks, Actions, Filters simplified

May 27, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Ready to take it to the next level with WordPress? Here’s a 5-minute guide on essential advanced features to WordPress theming: child themes, hooks, actions, and filters.

The old, boring way is you open the theme files, starting from index.php, changing all <h2> tag to <h1>, then moving to the other files: archives.php, tag.php, category.php, doing the same thing over and over again, hoping you don’t miss anything.

Gah!

That is not clever because a) it’s too much work, and b) when the theme is updated, you’re screwed.

Wouldn’t it be better if you could just a) write the change once, have it applied globally, while b) at the same time not modifying the theme’s code?

Of course the answer is yes. Understanding how these four concepts in WordPress work is essential to building on a theme framework, creating plugins and widgets, and make developing with WordPress faster.

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Wear WordPress bling with WP Jewels

May 26, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WP Jewels earrings

Love WordPress and want to show it off on your body? You could buy a t-shirt or get tattooed, but how about some jewelry? WP Jewels is an independent store that peddles WordPress jewelry. Currently there are two products: dangling earrings and a pendant, both sporting the WP logo.

The online store policies are standard: free shipping to the USA, payment is via PayPal, and there’s a 30-day money back guarantee. Oddly enough this store doesn’t seem to be running on WordPress, which takes away from how “hardcore” of a WP fan the creator of the site really is.

But the question is, how much of a WP fan are you? Would you wear WordPress jewelry?

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Tip: exclude posts with custom post types

May 25, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Alex King shares a not-so-obvious fact about the upcoming custom post types feature for WordPress 3.0:

No, the real power of custom post types is more subtle – it removes those posts from default queries.

Right now it’s quite cumbersome to set up and get custom post types running on your WordPress blog, but once you get over that hurdle (there are a number of plugins that create a user interface for you) that tip is a great thing to remember. You might have a portfolio section you’d like to keep updated but don’t need to display in the “normal post stream”, or showcase your collection of favorite books, movies, songs you’ve been consuming. Put another way, “custom post types are really pages”…and more. They can be anything you want them to be.

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WordPress 3.0 to drop blog importer and TinyMCE

May 24, 2010 | No Comments Yet

There’s been a bit of a slowdown in the WordPress RC and final release schedule yet again, but here’s an important heads up from this week’s developer chat: In an effort to reduce server memory consumption and delays in the releases, WordPress 3.0 is dropping several core features. One is the WordPress Importer, which can then be installed as a plugin.

Another is the TinyMCE script, the most popular WYSIWYG editor out there. It’s not clear if eliminating it is a permanent move since a lot of people are dependent on creating properly formatted posts with it, but more details should follow when the new WP 3.0 releases come.

Read updates on the rest of the WordPress developer chat for 5-20-10 here.

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Stricter guidelines for WordCamps

May 20, 2010 | No Comments Yet

There are a lot of helpful tips for organizing a WordCamp that can be found at the official WordCamp how-to site, but what’s got people buzzing is the announcement of stricter guidelines about who can and can’t be associated with an event, from individuals to companies in various roles as organizers, speakers, and sponsors. This all depends on whether they comply with WordPress philosophies.

Lately there have been a number of WordCamps accepting speakers, sponsorships, door prizes, etc from people/companies acting in violation of the WordPress license (GPL v2) with regard to their themes/plugins. It is the official policy of WordCamp that WordCamps not provide publicity/a platform for such individuals/businesses. They are welcome to attend, but WordCamps may not have non-GPL-compliant people as organizers, sponsors, or speakers.

It’s only fair that WordPress stand its ground on matters relating to the GPL, WordCamps included. For participants who aren’t as familiar with the software, its community, and philosophy, WordCamp is the perfect venue to discuss those things.

I’m curious to see if any part of this controversy will affect the upcoming WordCamp Philippines 2010.

The complete list of guidelines can be found at WordCamp Central.

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WordCamp Philippines 2010 venue announced; answer their survey

May 19, 2010 | 1 Comment

WordCamp Philippines 2010 schwag from Automattic

This week the WordCamp Philippines organizers have announced the venue for the conference to be held on October 2: it’s back to College of St. Benilde in Taft Ave., Manila in partnership with the Association of Information Management. It’s also been announced that Matt Mullenweg will be gracing the event, so better RSVP on the event page now.

You’re also invited to complete a short survey which covers your expectations for the event. Also note that the entrance fee will cover lunch, schwag, and a WordCamp Philippine shirt.

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Mark Jaquith on WordPress and web hosting

May 17, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordPress lead developer Mark Jaquith sounds off on the state of web hosting companies and their lack of support for the publishing software. He emphasizes two of the biggest issues WordPress users have when it comes to maintaining their installs: caching and security.

People ask me for hosting recommendations all the time. I have a few decent hosts that I’ll recommend, but I don’t have any hosts about which I can say “use them, because they know how to host WordPress, and they’ll support you.” I’d like nothing better than to have a dozen such hosts to recommend by this time next year. WordPress is here to stay, and it’s time for web hosts to adapt!

This is just the first of many voices from WordPress community leaders cementing an initiative for better WP support, as mentioned in the State of the Word at WordCamp SF 2010. I think the greatest lesson here is never to settle with just any web host. With so many choices out there and your own site and brand on the line, choosing a proper, WordPress-friendly host should be top priority. You can’t afford not to.

As for the web hosting companies themselves, it’s a great opportunity to improve their game and offer specialized services that help with the upkeep of their respective client websites. A win-win for all.

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Matt’s State of the Word at WordCamp SF 2010

May 14, 2010 | No Comments Yet

If you missed the notes Matt’s keynote address at this year’s WordCamp San Francisco, here’s the full video finally posted at WordPress.tv and embedded above.

Look how far WordPress has come in the span of a year. We’re still awaiting the final release of WordPress 3.0 for the much-touted WordPress MU/Multi Site merge, but we’re also getting a bunch of other exciting, game-changing features such as custom post types, a new default WordPress theme every year, canonical plugins, security checks, and more.

Can’t wait to see what will be added to this keynote when WordCamp Philippines 2010 comes around in October.

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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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Microsoft loves WordPress

May 12, 2010 | 2 Comments

WordPress on Microsoft at MIX Online

While the culture of WordPress and open source software are closely tied with the Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP stack, that doesn’t mean the publishing platform doesn’t accommodate other development stacks like Microsoft’s. And don’t forget that one of the most popular desktop blogging software is Windows Live Writer!

So MIX Online has opened a new website called WordPress on Microsoft, which aims to provide tips on running WP-powered sites with Windows Server, SQL Server, Windows Azure, and SQL Azure and useful tools like Incarnate.

Why are they doing this? The simple answer is love:

  • Love of technology
  • Love of web developers and web designers
  • Smart business

If you’re running WordPress on a Windows Server or wondering how you can, head over to WP on MS for advice straight from experts. The Getting Started page is a great jump-off point.

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The Jazz Musicians of WordPress

May 11, 2010 | 1 Comment

Carmen McRae

All the major WordPress releases are named after famous jazz musicians. For example, pictured above is Carmen McRae, who was celebrated in WordPress version 2.9. Want to know more about all the artists WordPress honored over time? WPMU.org has a great tip: music discovery engine Last.fm actually has a tag for that, called wordpress-release-jazz.

  • 1.0 Miles Davis
  • 1.2 Charles Mingus
  • 1.5 Billy Strayhorn
  • 2.0 Duke Ellington
  • 2.1 Ella Fitzgerald
  • 2.2 Stan Getz
  • 2.3 Dexter Gordon
  • 2.5 Michael Brecker
  • 2.6 McCoy Tyner
  • 2.7 John Coltrane
  • 2.8 Chet Baker
  • 2.9 Carmen McRae

This means you can listen to these musicians’ songs, watch videos, and check out similar artists with on that site. It’s a great fusion of geekiness and music that the WordPress developers, especially Matt Mullenweg, established, and that aficionados of either or both can enjoy.

See the WordPress Roadmap for a complete list of the jazz musicians honored per release. I wonder whose music we’ll be enjoying when WordPress 3.0 drops.

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WordPress 3.0 Beta 2

May 10, 2010 | No Comments Yet

The second beta of WordPress 3.0 was released May 6. This is a little behind schedule as the Release Candidates should be out by now.

Following the successful post-WordCamp San Francisco code sprint, we are now ready to release the second beta of WordPress 3.0.

The update focuses on improvements to the menu interface and the WordPress importer/exporter. Everyone is encouraged become a beta tester with the help of the beta tester plugin.

Download WordPress 3.0 Beta 2

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Pinoy WordPress Theme: Baller Basic

May 7, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Baller Basic WordPress theme

Baller Basic by Jorge Cosgayon is a highly customizable 2-column theme that has 5 widget areas, 4 color schemes, 3 featured post options, and blog post layouts, and more.

One of the strengths of the theme is the powerful Features functionality, allowing you the ability to choose from one three ways to feature your posts via the FFN Carousel plugin: using a single category, using custom fields, or emulating a Magazine functionality.

The post boxes come from Derek Punsalan’s The Unstandard theme, while built-in support for other plugins include FFN Carousel and WP-PageNavi.

Download Baller Basic

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Google Living Stories for WordPress

May 4, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Targeted mainly at news websites, Google Living Stories makes covering an on-going story more convenient and navigable. Old but still working examples are found at this Google Labs website, but now everyone can enjoy the same functionality on their own sites as a plugin and theme package for WordPress.

Here’s a list of features from the Labs site:

  • “All in one place” – all the articles developing around a single story can be found on a single URL, and you can navigate around them much more quickly
  • “Easy to explore” – browse either by timeline, themes, people involved, or multimedia
  • “Smarter reading” – new additions to the story are highlighted while older news is summarized

Grab the code here. Take note that this isn’t just a fancy way of displaying developing stories, but a new content format which Google has open sourced.

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Matt Mullenweg WordCamp SF keynote & Mashable interview

May 3, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WP Tavern has posted notes from Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word at the 2010 WordCamp San Francisco. In it, Matt emphasizes the growth of WordPress into one of the most popular content management systems today: from the admin interface, to the number of plugins, to the upcoming features in WordPress 3.0: WordPress MU merge, menu navigation system, custom post types, and more.

Roughly 74% of WordPress sites are being used as blogs and content management systems. This is up from about 40% last year. It’s the fastest growing use case of the software. About 80% of people are making money from WordPress. 22% WordPress is their day job. 18% from custom development and hosting, 12%.

Other things to take from the talk:

  • A new default WordPress theme will be created every year. This year’s Twenty Ten features custom post headers and backgrounds.
  • WordPress should be as accessible as possible: the Post By Email feature will be turned into a canonical plugin.
  • WordPress.org will be redesigned.
  • Release cycles will go from 3 per year to 2.
  • On security issues: Automattic will work with web hosting companies to help protect its WordPress users, via a mailing list, security checks, and a list of best practices.

Mashable also conducted an interview with him, which covers pretty much the same things discussed at WordCamp. Watch it below:

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WordPress 3.0 news roundup

April 29, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordCast has compiled a list of all the WordPress 3.0 articles and and videos they can find. From the official Codex page to video walkthroughs and reviews of the latest features, there’s no longer any reason not to be informed before the final release ships.

Also watch out for their upcoming podcast episode where experts discuss the future of WordPress. For now, the links and videos in the said post will prepare you for that conversation.

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wp-config.php code snippets for autosave, post revisions, trash settings

April 28, 2010 | No Comments Yet

These are useful lines of code modifying the default settings on post revisions and autosave intervals, which you can insert in your WordPress site’s wp-config.php file at the root folder.

define('AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL', 160 );

Explanation: Set the length between autosaves to 160 seconds.

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false );

Explanation: Disable post revisions completely.

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 3);

Explanation: Limit the number of post revisions to 3. (Tip: install Revision Diet so you don’t need to do this manually, and you can also delete excess revisions created beforehand.)

define('EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS', 0 );

Explanation: Disable the Trash functionality completely.

define('EMPTY_TRASH_DAYS', 30 );

Explanation: Set the number of days between the contents of the WordPress Trash bin are completely deleted—posts, pages, comments, etc. This will be done automatically and without confirmation.

Even more snippets can be found at the Codex. Though I hope that in the future, WordPress can integrate these as configurable settings in the admin interface.

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Pinoy WordPress Plugin: Facebook Like Button Widget

April 23, 2010 | 1 Comment

The Facebook Like Button Widget plugin lets your readers use the Like functionality from Facebook right on your blog and display it instantly in your FB activity stream.

Plugin author AJ Batac made this soon after Facebook’s announcement about opening up its platform via the Open Graph protocol, the Graph API, and Social plugins. The Like Button is the first of these. Although you can install the feature manually from this page, using the WP plugin is certainly more convenient.

1) Download the “Facebook-Like-Button-Widget.zip” file
2) Extract and upload `facebook-like-widget.php` to the `/wp-content/plugins/` directory
3) Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress
4) That’s it!

Download Facebook Like Button Widget

(Via JaypeeOnline)

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8 WordPress “did you know?” features

April 22, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Dave Refern uncovers 8 WordPress features that you may not know about. He refers to the under-the-hood behavior of the publishing software that aren’t so common knowledge unless you’ve been tinkering with it long enough. Find out how you can automatically empty the new Trash feature in a specified number of days, load the hidden advanced options page, show the full WYSIWYG editor, and more.

My personal favorite is the fact that renamed permalinks don’t turn up a 404 not found error but redirect themselves to the new ones. Very considerate, WordPress!

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WordPress Plugin: Import from Ning

April 19, 2010 | No Comments Yet

With hosted social network service Ning announcing that it will no longer support free accounts, people are scurrying to find a suitable alternative, and WordPress / BuddyPress is one such example. Seems like a good opportunity to capture that market.

Should you decide to go that route, Import from Ning makes the transition that much easier.

Allows users to import the users of a Ning community into a WordPress installation. When BuddyPress is installed, the plugin also gives the option of importing additional profile data into BuddyPress profiles.

Download Import from Ning

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More on the Automattic Theme Team

April 16, 2010 | No Comments Yet

More details emerge about the newly-formed Automattic Theme Team, led by Ian Stewart. In his newest post at ThemeShaper, now the home of all things A-theme-team-related, he explains their goals for themselves and the WordPress community. Here’s one of six:

Every WordPress.com user should feel like there’s a theme that fits them perfectly, that is exactly how they want to present themselves to the world, that they’re excited to show to their friends.

The team would also like to encourage the best coding practices and reinforce the spirit of giving back to the whole community, helping WordPress theme authors (premium or 100% free) and WordPress theme users alike.

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Premium theme frameworks reviewed

April 9, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Technosailor reviews in depth the four most popular premium theme frameworks: Thesis, Headway, Genesis, Builder. Criteria range from pricing to performance to compatibility with various WordPress (even BuddyPress) features.

[…] based on the stress test and criteria I outlined earlier, the best framework is Genesis with an 84%. Thesis comes in with a 76%. Builder garners a 74%. Headway needs the most improvement and only gets a 55%.

It’s a long read, but if you’re a serious website developer, a good theme framework can make a big difference in getting things done. My only wish is for a matrix comparison of all the themes, not just the conclusion above, so it’s easy to figure out who’s strong in which area.

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WordPress 3.0 Beta 1

April 3, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordPress 3.0 is not far along now, here’s Beta 1! We’ve been covering the many features packed in this release but if you can’t wait, go ahead and take the early release for a spin.

As usual this is the first of the pre-releases before the final version comes out (in a month or so) which means take precautions when using it. If you’d like to help with development through testing, download WordPress 3.0 Beta 1 now.

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Must-have plugins for every WordPress blog

April 2, 2010 | 1 Comment

BloggingPro compiles a list of 10 + 5 WordPress plugins every blog should have. It covers the basics from good ol’ Akismet to security, performance, and analytics plugins.

It doesn’t matter what the aim of your is blog, whether you set out to become the next person getting rich in only 4 hours per week, want to run the hottest dating column in town, aim to take Arrington’s crown or just want to blog for fun, if you chose for WordPress there are some basics your blog needs.

The shortlist:

  • A Solid Theme
  • Akismet
  • Google XML Sitemap
  • Align RSS Images
  • AntiVirus for WordPress
  • Subscribe to comments
  • WP Super Cache
  • WP.com stats
  • WP Twitip-ID
  • FeedBurner FeedSmith
  • The Excerpt Reloaded
  • WP Footnotes
  • Future Dashboard Widget
  • WP Table Reloaded

What’s on your must-have plugins list?

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Automattic launches VaultPress backup & protection service

April 1, 2010 | No Comments Yet

VaultPress

VaultPress is a premium offering from Automattic that lets you backup and even more interesting, protect your WordPress-powered site:

In the future, if your site is tampered with in any way, we’ll know within minutes and can take appropriate steps. The VaultPress core engine will be able to protect you against zero-day security vulnerabilities by updating your blog with hot-fixes, even while you sleep.

VaultPress runs as a plugin that runs and responds in real-time. It will also be closely integrated with WordPress.com. On the invitation-only beta signup page, the service costs $20 monthly. It also classifies users into personal, pro-blogger, small business, and enterprise.

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WordPress in Google Summer of Code 2010

March 30, 2010 | No Comments Yet

WordPress is once again participating in the annual Google Summer of Code, whose application period just opened. For the unfamiliar, GSoC gives initiatives for student developers to work on open source projects (such as WordPress) in preparation for their foray into real-world software development.

Here is this year’s list of ideas for WordPress:

  • BuddyPress
  • GlotPress
  • bbPress
  • Media
  • Widgets
  • Blog Import/Export
  • User Roles
  • Template Versioning
  • Comment Moderation
  • Move WordPress
  • Enhance Profiles.WordPress.org

The WP GSoC also gathers some of the biggest names in the community to act as mentors to the participants. IRC chats will be held on March 31, April 3, and April 7 to interact with them.

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Gravatar gets Profiles

March 29, 2010 | No Comments Yet

Beau Lebens' Gravatar profile

Gravatar took a big step over the weekend and announced support for public profiles, going from an avatar service to a business card and social network service in an instant.

Thanks to Automattic’s acquisition of Gravatar a few years back, WordPress.com users can enjoy editing their Gravatar profiles right within their dashboards. For everyone else, it’s just a matter of logging into Gravatar and going to My Account > Edit My Profile. There you can add your personal details and link up other web services and sites.

I think this is a great way to add value to Gravatar’s original premise that doesn’t sound too ambitious, but who knows what they’ll think of next!

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A look at WordPress 3.0 custom post types

March 25, 2010 | No Comments Yet

kovshenin.com discusses one of the many new features coming in WordPress 3.0 that will raise its bar as a publishing platform: custom post types.

So what else could be done with WordPress’ Custom Post Types? Well, basically anything. Say you run an online store which of course has some static Pages (such as Contact, About, etc), some blog Posts, cause we’re so 2.0, remember? And Products, which would be a custom post type that contains the product name, description, product price, stock availability, and could even contain inquiries in forms of user comments!

He covers two key code snippets that gets the ball rolling on custom post types: register_post_type (WPEngineer has a great post on it) and custom functions for the edit post screen columns, which are added via a filter and an action:

The action outputs custom columns depending on the type, while the filter simply defines the columns for the Podcasts post type. It’s as simple as that. Note that I trimmed the code a little bit to fit on screen, so you shouldn’t be simply outputing 63:50, but actually count the podcast length 😉

Looks quite simple for those who know their way around PHP, but I expect plugins (and perhaps future releases of WordPress) to integrate interfaces for setting up and customizing post types.

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