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This extended category features quality articles about developing clean, smart and fast websites with WordPress. The articles are intermediate level, with an emphasis on practical, hands-on discussions related to WordPress. Curated by Marcus Couch. Subscribe to the RSS-Feed.
Gone are the days when WordPress developers, wanting to extend the functionality, had to alter and hack the WordPress core source code directly, resulting in headaches when upgrading and sharing modifications. When WordPress 1.2 rolled out back in 2004 a new plugin architecture was introduced; an architecture that is now commonly referred to as Actions and Filters, Hooks and the WordPress Plugin API.
The WordPress core has been carefully "sprinkled" with actions and filters that external code (in the form of themes and plugins) can hook into, injecting new functionality into the standard flow. The Plugin API provides a neat interface to work with actions and filters. This article aims to gather insight into the inner-workings, elegancy and all the beauty of the Plugin API, allowing WordPress plugin and theme developers to gain a more profound understanding of what happens behind the scenes, why some things work but others won't, and where to look when they unexpectedly don't.
2011 was a great year for WordPress, with some excellent new updates that saw the introduction of a drag-and-drop uploader, distraction-free writing, the HTML5 Twenty Eleven theme, and movement towards a fully responsive dashboard. As well as changes to WordPress core, theme development continued to evolve, as whispers of responsive design spread like wildfire across the WordPress community.
Over the next year, some trends will become standards. Others, now just remote flickerings in the eyes of a few theme designers and developers, will start to take hold. Now that 2012 has properly started, let’s look at some trends that have emerged and are emerging.
Custom post types add a level of flexibility to WordPress that makes this open-source Web development platform more useful on many levels. Whenever I have been faced with a Web-based task, especially one that involves organizing information, the first thing I do is examine WordPress to determine if it can handle the job. It usually can.
As an Internet marketer and analyst, I need to be able to organize online marketing campaigns in a way that is trackable in Google Analytics. This is the perfect task for WordPress custom post types. In this article, we’ll explain how to create a WordPress plugin that enables you to organize Internet marketing campaigns using trackable URLs, shortened versions of those URLs, and trackable QR codes that you can also use for offline marketing activities.
Controlling who is able to view a post is a simple task once the system is established. Limiting access to certain users has several advantages, ranging from a design studio distributing artwork among various clients, or a small school arranging to have its students' homework posted online through a cheap and easy solution.
The easiest method to get this system working is to make the receivers of the information subscribers (since they will not be able to post), and the distributors of information authors (since they can only edit their own posts). This system eliminates several headaches for a website owner by managing who has access to specific posts. The username will be used for identification of who is allowed to view certain posts since it is unique and, for the most part, constant.
Integrating social media services in your website design is vital if you want to make it easy for readers to share your content. While some users are happy with the social media buttons that come built into their design template, the majority of WordPress users install a plugin to automatically embed sharing links on their pages. Many of you will find that a plugin does exactly what you need; others not so much.
Some are poorly coded, and most include services that you just don’t need. And while some great social media plugins are out there, they don’t integrate with every WordPress design. If you aren’t comfortable editing your WordPress templates, a plugin is probably the best solution. If you are comfortable making a few edits to your theme, then consider manually integrating social media so that you have more control over what services appear on your website.
While commercial theme developers are already promoted on WordPress.org, this promotion isn’t extended to commercial plugin developers. But restrictions often lead to creativity, and developers have had to get a bit creative in figuring out how to monetize the WordPress repository. API keys, complementary plugins and lite versions are just a few of the ways that plugin developers are exploiting the WordPress plugin directory for commercial benefit.
WordPress 3 introduced custom taxonomies as a core feature. The following release of 3.1 included many features to enhance the support for custom taxonomies. Better import/export handling, advanced queries with tax_query, hierarchical support, body classes and a bunch of wonderful functions to play with are all part of the package.
Let's take an in depth look at how you can create your own custom taxonomies in WordPress, including a few advanced development examples that you can begin using in your WordPress themes and plugins today.
A very important part of WordPress theme development is preparing it so that users from every corner of the planet can translate its messages to any language. This article covers the basics of internationalization, the process of designing a theme in a way that the end user can adapt it to various languages without source code changes, and localization, the process of translating text messages into a specific language. Expanding our theme’s users range is a big deal and WordPress provides a simple way to do that.
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There is no doubt that WordPress is the best content management system (CMS) for your website. Sure, countless CMS’ are available, ranging from open-source to paid, and you’ll hear evangelists on all sides swearing that their choice is the best. But Drupal, Joomla or any other CMS doesn’t hold a candle to WordPress for its ease of use, security and reliability.
It’s no wonder that Web developers have built over 50 million websites on its sturdy back, or that so many designers would never dream of using anything else. For the sake of this article, let’s agree that WordPress is the way to go, no looking back. With that established, let’s lay out a 15-step checklist to help you create the perfect WordPress website.
The beauty of WordPress is in how easy it is to adapt for different tasks. One can extend it with just a couple of lines of code. In this post, we’ll review 10 shortcode snippets that will tweak and optimize your WordPress theme. You can add all of these code snippets to the functions.php file in your WordPress theme.
One thing that can go wrong in WordPress magazine themes is when users include too many words before the more tag. Sure, they could handcraft the excerpt in the dedicated field, but on a website that has hundreds of posts and on which the text above the more tag has always been used as the excerpt, going back to create excerpts for all of those posts by hand would be cumbersome. In this case, we can limit the number of words shown in the excerpt by using the code displayed below.
Computing is full of buzzwords, “cloud computing” being the latest one. But unlike most trends that fizzle out after the initial surge, cloud computing is here to stay. This article goes over Amazon’s S3 cloud storage service and guides you to implementing a WordPress plugin that backs up your WordPress database to Amazon’s S3 cloud. Note that this is not a tutorial on creating a WordPress plugin from scratch, so some familiarity with plugin development is assumed.
The reason for using Amazon S3 to store important data follows from the “3-2-1” backup rule, coined by Peter Krogh. According to the 3-2-1 rule, you would keep three copies of any critical data: the original data, a backup copy on removable media, and a second backup at an off-site location (in our case, Amazon’s S3 cloud).
According to W3Techs, almost 55% of the 1 million most visited websites that are run on a content management system (CMS) are run on WordPress. WordPress is a darn fine CMS and is stable and easy to use, but so are Joomla and Drupal. So, why does WordPress have the lion’s share of the top 1 million websites?
This article does not set out to prove that one CMS is “better” than another. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal and dozens of other platforms are mature, stable, great CMS’ that can do a fantastic job in most cases.