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 Daniel Pataki. .
Popular tags in this category: Essentials, Techniques, Hacks, Templates, PHP, Themes, Plugins.
In the last few years AJAX has creeped into websites and has slowly become THE way to create dynamic, user friendly and responsive websites. AJAX is the technology that lets you update the contents of a page without actually having to reload it in a browser. For example, Google Docs utilizes this technology when saving your work every few minutes.
While there are a number of ways to use AJAX in Wordpress = and all are correct in the loose sense of the word - there is a method which you should be using since WordPress supports it, it is future proof, very logical, and gives you numerous options right out of the box.
As a Web designer, I often find myself building WordPress-based websites that will ultimately be updated and maintained by clients who have little to no experience working with HTML. While the TinyMCE rich-text editor is great for giving Web content managers of any skill level the tools they need to easily style and publish their posts to a degree, creating anything beyond a single column of text with a few floated images generally requires at least a basic understanding of HTML.
This article shows you an easy-to-implement trick that enables even the least tech-savvy of clients to manage multi-column content layouts within the comfort of the WYSIWIG editor. And for you advanced users, it’s still a great way to standardize and streamline your content entry.
Imagine you’re playing the latest hash-tag game on Twitter when you see this friendly tweet: "You might want to check your #WP site. It includes two copies of jQuery. Nothing’s broken, but loading time will be slower."
You check your source code, and sure enough you see this:
If you’re into WordPress development, you can’t ignore hooks for long before you have to delve into them head on. Modifying WordPress core files is a big no-no, so whenever you want to change existing functionality or create new functionality, you will have to turn to hooks.
In this article, I would like to dispel some of the confusion around hooks, because not only are they the way to code in WordPress, but they also teach us a great design pattern for development in general. Explaining this in depth will take a bit of time, but bear with me: by the end, you’ll be able to jumble hooks around like a pro.
What seems like one of the most complicated bits of functionality in WordPress is adding meta boxes to the post editing screen. This complexity only grows as more and more tutorials are written on the process with weird loops and arrays. Even meta box "frameworks" have been developed. I'll let you in on a little secret though: it's not that complicated.
Creating custom meta boxes is extremely simple, at least it is once you've created your first one using the tools baked into WordPress' core code. In this tutorial, I'll walk you through everything you need to know about meta boxes.
WordPress plugins are PHP scripts that alter your website. The changes could be anything from the simplest tweak in the header to a more drastic makeover (such as changing how log-ins work, triggering emails to be sent, and much more).
Whereas themes modify the look of your website, plugins change how it functions. With plugins, you can create custom post types, add new tables to your database to track popular articles, automatically link your contents folder to a “CDN” server such as Amazon S3… you get the picture.
Local development refers to the process of building a website or Web application from the comfort of a virtual server, and not needing to be connected to the Internet in order to run PHP and MySQL or even to test a contact form. One of the most annoying parts of development, at least for me, is the constant cycle of edit, save, upload and refresh, which, depending on bandwidth and traffic, can turn a menial task into a nightmare.
With application platforms such as WordPress, which require a server back end to work, you would normally be constrained to develop on a live server, with the headaches that go along with that. MAMP and its Windows counterpart, WAMP, are tools that allow you to locally develop applications that require a server on the back end.
While many functions you already use in WordPress communicate with the database there is an easy and safe way to do this directly using the
$wpdb class. Built on the great ezsql class by Justin Vincent,
$wpdbwill allow you to address queries to any table in your database, and it will also help you handle the return data. Since this is built in WP functionality, there is no need to open a separate database connection (you would be duplicating code in this case), and there is no need to do hacks, like modifying a result set after it has been queried.
In this article I will show you how to get started with the $wpdb class, how to retrieve data from your WordPress database and how to run more advanced queries which update or delete something in the db. The techniques here will remove some of the contraints that you run into with functions like
wp_list_categories(), allowing you to tailor the queries you make to your specific needs. This method can also make your website more efficient by only getting the needed data, nothing more, nothing less.
It’s interesting to look back at our previous WordPress themes round-ups. It’s almost like looking at a visual timeline not only of WordPress’ advances in theme design, but of the rapid development in functionality of the CMS itself. The themes from year to year clearly differ in style as Web design trends have evolved. As each year passes and more functionality is added to WordPress’ core, these improvements are strongly reflected in the themes developed for it.
Once upon a time, all WordPress themes looked like traditional blogs, with basic functionality and not a heck of a lot more. But as you will see from the themes below, that original “blog” design style is clearly gone, perhaps never to be seen again. It makes you feel nostalgic.
Nowadays, user requirements for WordPress themes are very high. Users expect all themes (including free ones) to have pages for admin options built in, where you can quickly set up your website and personalize it with a minimum of fuss. With the rise of these options pages, niche-specific theme designs (such as for portfolios, blogs or magazines) are no longer required and are, in fact, few and far between.