Archive for the ‘WordPress Hacks’ Category
WordPress 2.5 isn’t even out yet, and already we have a theme to replace the default WordPress administration panel theme that has taken a fair bit of flack.
The theme, Fluency, replaces many of the graphics and navigational item placements in the WordPress admin. It strips the colours back to a black, gray, and white mix, moving the main navigation over to the left hand side.
Despite the huge overhaul that the WordPress admin interface has received its still not quite what I would really like. I had grown quite attached to the Tiger Admin theme by Steve Smith and when I found that it didnâ€™t work with WP2.5 I was a little disappointed. But this gave me the opportunity to do something different, my own admin theme. Fluency is the result.
While this might make many people happy, I still believe that I will adjust to the upcoming WordPress administration panel, and am interested to see how long it will be before someone comes out with a “Retro” administration panel theme, reverting it back to looking closer to the WordPress 2.3 administration panel we have come to be familiar with.
Love the Prologue theme, but not the minimalist post box it includes? Raj Dash on Performancing has heard your cries and gone ahead and created a tutorial on adding the TinyMCE editor to the theme.
Twitter-like microbloggging functionality. But out of the box, the theme has a very plain edit area (see image below), and adding links, images, etc., is tedious.
Definitely worth checking out if you want to add features and functions for users that aren’t familiar with HTML.
Over on Performancing there is a great post which discusses the many ways in which WordPress can be used as a starting platform for all sorts of different web based applications. This was also talked about at Northern Voice while I was there in a session called More than Cat Blogs.
It seems that there are many people looking to extend and manipulate WordPress in wild and wonderful ways.
Why Use WordPress?
Not everyone is for the idea of WordPress as a CMS. Some bloggers point out a variety of technical issues (which I’m not getting into here). True, WP is not a high-end CMS, but it can get the job done, especially for low-volume use. The point is that with WP, you don’t always need to pay $50,000+ for a proprietary, difficult to learn CMS. And that’s for starters. Many of high-end CMSes require “seat” licenses. That is, a fee for each person that MIGHT use the software. Add maintenances/ upgrade fees, support licenses, training, etc., and most small businesses or online publishers are spending more than they have/ is necessary.
WordPress can do the job, and as has been discussed here and elsewhere many times, has a lot of community support, free themes and plugins, and is relatively easy to customize or to find someone who can for a fair price. Below are some ways that WP can be used.
I’ve done many of the listed items, but I am always looking to extend it in new and interesting ways, in hopes of streamlining my workflow. I love the idea of changing WordPress into a contact manager, but will I be vigilant in adding people’s information to it? Definitely an article worth checking out on Performancing.com.
I am a little “anti-plugin”. I try to avoid adding plugins to my blog if I can avoid it. Mostly because I don’t always know what they are doing and you never know what people are doing to your blog once you click Activate, and so I really enjoyed a post I found thanks to Weblog Tools Collection that shows off how to add Gravatars to your blog without using any plugins.
The tutorial, by Connor Wilson requires a bit of theme editing knowhow, but isn’t all that difficult to do.
The basics are that you need to create a MD5 hash of the commenters e-mail address as the URL for the image that you want to pull. Very simple, and very impressive. I tip my hat to you Connor.
Ben of Binary Moon has taken the custom WordPress login a step further as one of his series of WordPress Tricks and Tips.
He created a plugin as well as an image template for the custom WordPress login.
The plugin itself sits in the plugins folder alongside the images – which you can change as required. The footer image has been changed to a gif with a transparent middle which means you can use any images you like for the main background and they will fit seamlessly.
Because this is a plugin and the images are kept separately from the admin folder upgrades a nice and easy. Just upgrade as normal. This is particularly handy for client sites where they may not be aware of what you have done to customise things.
Check out this and other tricks and tips over on Binary Moon.
David Airey has a great little tutorial up on how to modify your WordPress login page, so that it fits more in line with the style of your site.
Even better, it is basically just the modification of two image files. So check it out. He seems to be using this as a way to remind his customers of the work he has done for them, by repeating his brand every time they need to log in. A very wise move for those trying to really get their name out there when it comes to customizing WordPress.
Before I say anything else, I wish that Chris J. Davis would make my life easier and roll this into a stand alone package for non-WordPress users to use and modify, as it would be perfect for a site I am working on, and I don’t want to try to make it work, I just want it to work.
What is it?
So at work the new design we just launched called for a rotating, hyperlinked slideshow, with cross-fading.
Normally it would be â€œTo the Flash Cave!â€, but I was feeling extra crotchety so I decided to basically recreate Slideshow Pro in PHP, CSS and some JS-foo. Nothing to spectacular, but it is shiny. Be warned, this is a very long tutorialâ€¦ use at your own risk.
This is definetly something to try if you have some extra time. Chris has said he might not roll it up into a plugin, but maybe if you beg hard enough and throw money at him he will.
Here is something completely different, Jack Slocum has gone ahead and used Yahoo UI and YAHOO.ext to modify how comments are handled in WordPress. While it is not all that practical for most people, it is still a very interesting modification.
For quite some time I have wanted to upgrade my WordPress comments system. I had some free time yesterday so I decided to go through the WordPress internals and figure out how some of it worked. Before I knew what had happened, it was 3:00am and I had a working prototype. It worked so well in my preliminary testing, I decided to deploy it to my blog and see what you guys thought.22
I think it turned out to be a perfect example of what can be done in a very small amount of time with Yahoo UI and YAHOO.ext. In a day’s worth of work, I have completely transformed the comments system on this site. Around half of that time was spent on the user interface, and the other half modifying WordPress to do the things it needed to do on the backend.
Basically you can comment on a single paragraph allowing you to pinpoint the exact section you want to make a remark on. I would love to have the changed files, and modifications done up in a nice package for people to install, but no doubt after extensive testing we might just see that.
A feature that I have wanted for some time now is a way to merge some of my WordPress blogs into one super blog, as I have started a blog and stopped writing on a blog, and let it die. Its old entries could bolster my current blog a bit more, and make it a more interesting read, but as far as I knew there was no way to do it easily.
While this feature is said to be in the next major version of WordPress, some people just can’t wait that long, and Aaron Brazell is one of them.
I know there are quite a lot of folks who have wanted to merge WordPress blogs or in one way or another import from one blog into another. The feature is coming in the next major build of WordPress and is already in place on WordPress.com blog. Trust me. But for now, I have wrapped that code into a plugin. Iâ€™ve already merged two blogs and there are other reasons I need this as well. It works. I have not had a lot of other extensive testing, but for me it works.
Check it out at Technosailor.
Now even plugins are getting plugins, as Richard Boakes adds onto Akismet, a powerful and popular anti-comment spam plugin for WordPress and other software.
The extension, allows for users to easily see and delete mass groupings of spam easily. It shows you the worst offenders, IP Addresses of computers sending you the most spam, and allows you to delete all their spam with one little click.
So I wrote a small addition to Akismet 1.15 (pictured above) that tries to help. It pre-processes the spam comments and identifies the worst offenders in terms of the domain thatâ€™s being advertised, or (perhaps more usefully) the IP Address of the spamming computer.
Itâ€™s not uncommon for me to get several hundred spam comments each day, so certain machines and websites are hitting my site many times. What the plugin does is make those worst offenders really obvious, so they can be removed en masse, reducing the ham-hunting to a smaller and more managable task.
Very interesting. He has also gone to the next level of blocking the computers that send him the most spam, and while it has been working well for him, I would be very careful in watching its effects when testing his htaccess extension to make sure it does not stop legitimate people from accessing your site.
Check out the Worst Offenders Extension and the htaccess extension.