WordPress is a software package written in PHP for web page/blog publishing. It is extremely customizable with support for additional themes and plug-ins. You can sign up and create your own WordPress web site for free or you can host it on your own server like this web site is.
This page is dedicated to sharing information learned about WordPress and how I have used it on this site.
Tips and Tricks
- WordPress Plugins and Tutorials - A selection of plugins and tutorials.
- WordPress Keyboard Shortcuts.
- Moving and Upgrading Your WordPress Weblog: A 20-Point Checklist
- Integrate Drupal with Wordpress
- Turning Categories Into Feeds.
- Creating a secure WordPress install.
- iThemes Tutorials - A collection of video tutorials covering many of the WordPress basics.
- How to Only Retrieve Posts With Custom Fields
These are my favorite themes (listed in no particular order):
- Sandbox - A well engineered XHTML and widget ready theme that can be used a foundation for creating your own theme. All that is required are some excellent CSS skills.
- Options - A very configurable theme.
- Revolution - A beautiful magazine style theme. It will cost you though.
- Neoclassical - An elegant, widget enabled, and multi-image header theme.
- deFusion - A simple and clean theme with support for drop-down page menus.
- Magazeen - A magazine theme as used by Smashing Magazine.
- Imprezz - Another stylish and interesting theme.
The following is a list of my favorite widgets (listed in no particular order). Almost all are used on this site unless noted otherwise:
- Configurable Tag Cloud - Allows one to customize the look and behavior the tag cloud.
- Accordion - Collapses up to six sidebar plugins using AJAX behavior to allow for faster page loading.
- Admin Drop Down Menus - Turns all site administration menus into drop down menus reducing the number mouse clicks required to perform an operation.
- WP Admin Bar Reloaded - Once logged in, the admin menu will show up at the top of your site for easy direct access to site administration. Needs theme support.
- Global Post Password - Allows one to set a globally unique password for all password protected posts via the administration privacy menu.
- WordPress MIME Config - By default WordPress allows one to upload only a small set of files. This plugin allows one to configure MIME types for any file. Be careful of what you allow as some files could cause security issues.
- Themed Login/Registration - Replaces the default login and register WordPress pages with an embedded login and registration page that stays within the theme of your site. To see an example of how this works try registering to this web site or logging in with an existing account.
- Comment Relish - Sends an e-mail to those users who have never commented on your site before. Great for easing first time users into your site.
- Comment Highlighter - Allows one to stylize the comments for posts.
- WMD - A lightweight WSIWYG editor for commenters on your site. Supports full HTML editing as well as markup. Best of all, it shows what your comment will look like before you post it.
- Textile Live Preview - Allows people who comment on your site to see what their comment looks like before they post it.
- WP AJAX Edit Comments - Enables the ability to edit comments. Greatly enhances the user experience since WordPress, by default, does not allow this capability.
- WP Chunk - Shortens really long URLs left by commenter’s so that URLs don’t expand beyond the content area.
- Move Comments - Allows you to move comments from one post or page to another.
- Lytebox - Beautifully renders images, video, and even HTML in a window overlay that comes complete with image info, forward, back, and close buttons. The background is darkened while the window is open. Settings are customizable.
- WP Video - Allows you to embed video within your posts/pages. Supports You Tube, Google Video, FLV, and QuickTime video to name a few.
- Noembedder - Adds a nice notification message when embedded video in a post/feed has no video or a link to an unresolved URL without leaving the user with garbled text.
- PodPress - The definitive plug-in for podcasting support in WordPress. Not only does it support podcasts but other media content as well.
- Google Site Map - Generates a Google compliant site map of your site. Useful for being detected and registered with the Google search engine.
- Google AdSense Deluxe - Allows you to easily insert and control Google AdSense and Yahoo! Publisher Network advertisements within your posts and pages.
- Google Analytics - Allows you to easily set your account ID so that google can track your site activity without having to change anything in your theme.
- WordPress Database Backup - A simple and fast database manager for easily backing up your database (included automated sheduling of backups).
- WP Database Manager - Allows easy management of the WordPress database all from the admin menu. Just about everything you need to configure, maintain, and backup the WordPress database can be found in this plugin.
- Postie - Allows one to blog via e-mail. This plugin does require a bit of work to install and configure but once it is running it is probably the most customizable plugin of its type. Highly recommend using it as it supports blog by category, image and file attachment capabilities, e-mail exclude lists, message filters, etc.
- Exec PHP - Enables the execution of PHP code within a post, page, and/or comment. Can be dangerous, use with caution.
- Code Markup - Allows one to display code in posts and pages without losing any formatting or fancy HTML markup being applied to corrupt the code.
- OpenID - Enables users of your site to use a decentralized form of identification. This means that their ID can work on your site as well as other places on the web. Just one way in which to make life a little easier for your users.
- DG Review Site - Turns your site or certain areas of your site into reviews allowing users to comment and rate posts. This would be an excellent application for book, music, and movie reviews etc.
- Category Visibility - Allows you to control how categories are displayed. You can enable/disable categories to be displayed on your front page, sidebar, search results, and even syndicated feeds, etc. A very powerful and useful plugin.
- Advanced Search - Adds advanced search functionality that than provided by default. Provides search term highlighting as well.
- Search Regex - Allows you to search or search and replace strings within your posts, pages, comments, etc. Very useful if you have recently refactored your web site.
- My Page Order - Easily reorder pages by dragging and dropping.
- My Category Order - Easily reorder categories by dragging and dropping.
- My Link Order - Easily reorder categories by dragging and dropping.
- Role Manager - Allows you to manage the access level of users and even create new roles.
- Future Post Calendar - Adds a calendar view to your post writing sidebar. Excellent for when you manage a bunch of posts that are to be published in the future.
- Batch Categories - Allows you to move posts in one category to another in a couple of clicks.
- Breadcrumb Navigation XT - Allows you to add breadcrumbs as part of your post/page navigation.
- In Series - Links posts into a series allowing one to easily know what position the post is in the series as well as navigate forwards and backwards.
- Simple Paypal Donate - Once you have setup your Paypal donation settings through your Paypal account, this plugin will allow you to easily place the form code generated via your Paypal account and use it anywhere on your site in the form a button much like this:
- Random Redirect - Creates a StumbleUpon-like experience where one can click on a dedicated link on your site and get a random post. Read what TechCrunch had to say about it.
- FeedBurner Plugin - Allows you to easily transform your WordPress feeds into FeedBurner feeds (assuming you have a FeedBurner account) without causing undo stress on your subscribers.
- Where Did They Go From Here? - Conditionally appends a list of links to where users went after reading your post.
- WordPress Stats - Provides user activity statistics on your web site. Works much like Google Analytics but faster. Both can be used in conjunction though.
- Twitter Tools - Allows you to inject Twitter posts on your site and syndicated feeds.
- Democracy AJAX Poll - Enables post/page polls. Good for opinion polls and user voting.
- WordPress Mobile - Makes it easier for viewers of your WordPress site to easily consume information on small devices like PDAs and cell phones.
- All-in-One SEO Pack - Optimize your page/post titles for search engines.
- Blicki - Blog + Wiki. Adds a wiki-like experience to pages.
- Download Counter - Counts and displays the number of times a file has been downloaded.
- WP Tag Manager - Allows one to manage created tags such merging and deleting tags.
- Tags4Cloud - Adds the ability to tag pages in addition to posts.
- Drop-Down Post List - Adds a drop-down combo box for posts within a specific category. Easily customizable. Can be placed within posts, pages, or theme.
- Subpage Listing - Adds the ability to list subpages of a parent page either on the sidebar or anywhere you desire on your web site.
- GigPress - A tour management plugin for traveling bands that can list upcoming shows and events. Can be useful for other event-type notifications as well.
- Syntax Highlighter - Highlights the syntax of various programming languages.
For more plugin information, check out Lorelle’s Plugin Series.
I will eventually move the following content to the development section of this web site but, for now, here is a quick breakdown of useful development related links for those who want to develop themes and/or plugins for WordPress:
- WordPress Help Sheet - A handy reference to have around when developing.
- Weblog Tool’s Suggested Plugin Standards - A few suggestions for developing well-designed plugins.
- Listing Your Plugin at the WordPress.org Plugin Directory
- Writing Secure WordPress Plugins
- WordPress Plugin Database Tutorial
- Query_Posts and Your Homepage Design
- Query_Posts and Your Homepage Design: Part 2
- Dissecting a Plugin: Better Comments Manager
- Adding Custom WordPress Hooks
- Global Variables and the WordPress Loop
- The Ultimate Guide to the WordPress Loop
- Optimal Meta Description Tag Code For WordPress
- Defining WordPress Theme Requirements
- Designing a WordPress Theme from Scratch
- What Makes a WordPress Theme Great?
- 10 Things You Must Know About WordPress Themes
- Designing Tabbed Themes - Check out the following: Dragon Labs Ultimate Tab Menus, Dynamic Menu Highlighting, Creating Horizontal Menus, Styling Lists with CSS, and CSS Experiments with Lists and Menus.
- Reduce the Size of Your WordPress Plugin Footprint
- Optimizing performance for WordPress
- Weathering heavy traffic with WordPress and Turbocharged
- The Definitive Guide to Semantic Web Markup for Blogs
- Scheduling in WordPress
- Define your own WordPress Loop using WP_Query.
- Posting to Wordpress via Ruby and atompub