with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Really Rocking with WordPress

After treading carefully around the PHP and coding of WordPress, I have become fearless. I just installed the WP Plugin Manager and wish I had done this months ago.

Today I bravely added the following plug-ins, hacks and changes, and I am thrilled with the results.

A PHP function that works with WordPress to keep track of your blog’s visitor statistics.
Breadcrumbs by Technicallyincorrect
I’m not totally happy with this, but it is a very simple and clean breadcrumbs link. Right now, it lists the “home” and then the categories, and the title of the post. I don’t want the title of the post because this is right next to the title of the post and its redundant.
Nice Archives
Want a table of contents that is sortable. Nice Archives creates an independent page like a sortable table of contents.
Changing the Display of the Post ID and Title
Change the “string” to display before or after the Post ID and Title , so you could have something like >>>ID @@@Post Title. The default is blank, but you could have some fun with this.
Changing the “Read More”
To change the content of the “read more” link to “Continue Reading” or “Want to keep reading?” or whatever you want it to say.
Next and Previous Post Links
To make Next and Previous Post Links work, you have to post the following inside of the WordPress Loop, right after “if single” for this to show up on your single posts. Just below that type: <?php next_post() ?><?php previous_post() ?>

Fixes You Can’t See

There are always changes going on under the surface to make what you see better, and a lot of these things just aren’t visible to the viewer. Here are some of the changes I’ve bravely made.

Batch Edit Categories
An edit to the WordPress “edit.php” file to edit a batch of categories and moving the posts within them to new categories.
WordPress Database One Click Backup
A “one click” backup and restore feature to add to the administration page of WordPress.
There is nothing more “unpretty” than seeing a web page address of www.sitename/index.php?p=342. Permalinks changes that to something more recognizable like www.sitename/category/2005/5/15 for a post in a category with a date of May 15, 2005. My dream is to have the links on my site be organized by category names, like folders, instead of dates, but for now, I have to use some form of date system along with the categories until I find something better. If I’m a viewer and I’m looking for information on how to fix a problem with WordPress, I’d look under the category of WordPress, then a subcategory related to my interest like “Permalinks” or “Hacks” and not by date since I’d have no clue when such a post was written. As soon as I get this figured out, I’ll let you know. To access Permalinks from WordPress Admin screen, go to Options > Permalinks and follow the instructions. Hint: .htaccess has to be in the WordPress main directory in order for the Permalinks to work.

Things I Might Add Later

There are always things that can be done later, and these are a few of the ones I’m working on:

Dropdown List of Categories
By placing the code:

<?php dropdown_cats() ?>

out of the WordPress Loop, it will display a list of:

<option name="x"> category-name </option >

To use this, add this form where you want the drop down list to appear:

<form action="<?php echo $PHP_SELF ?>" method="get">
<?php dropdown_cats() ?>
<input type="submit" name="submit" value="view" />

Notify by Email of Updates to Blog
This is a clever plugin that will notify people on your “list” of updates to your blog. Unfortunately, it only works with the newer version of WordPress 1.3 (aka 1.5) and not with the current version I have. When I upgrade to the new one, this will be wonderful to have.
Plugin to Play Random Files
I love the little “bonus” we feature on our web site sidebar that features one of our nature images with a quote and below that a tip on traveling or photography every day. With this plugin, I should be able to add a similar feature.

The Help I Needed To Get The Job Done

I could never have done this without all the little people I stomped upon to get to where I am….okay, enough silliness. I’ve been working on this for weeks and learning a lot from people much smarter and wiser than I. Here are a few of the helpers that I have crawled upon my knees to.

Plugins I’ve Used So Far

Copied straight from my administration plugin page, here is a list of the plugins I am using – which might entice you to try a few yourself. Some require activation and they work without any more effort, while others need a step or three done to implement their activity. I adore them all.

BackupRestore – v1.3.b
Mark Ghosh – Simple way to backup and restore a WordPress MySql database and wordpress folder
Breadcrumb Navigation – v0.8.1
Mark A. Shields – Breadcrumb-style navigation. Shows current viewing post, search results, category, and author. Compatible with WordPress 1.2+. Experimental compatibility with WordPress 1.3. Based on the breadcrumb plugin by lennart (http://www.lennartgroetzbach.de/blog)
Condensed Content for Date and Category Archives – v0.93
Rich Manalang – Date and category archive pages are typically lenghty depending on the number of posts within an archive. This plugin is used to filter the_content() to return a condensed version of a post when viewed as a date (i.e., monthly, yearly, or weekly) or category archive.
Customizable Post Listings – v1.1
Scott Reilly – Display Recent Posts, Recently Commented Posts, Recently Modified Posts, Random Posts, and other post listings using the post information of your choosing in an easily customizable manner. You can narrow post searches by specifying categories and/or authors, among other things.
Flood Protection by URL
Charles Gagalac – Protects against a comment flood based on the commenter’s URL
HeadMeta – v1.0
Dougal Campbell – Add meta and link tags to the page head based on post custom fields.
Kitten’s Spam Words – v2.1.1
Kitten – This plugin adds a “Delete comments as spam” button to the comments mass editing page. When used to delete unwanted comments, the email address, url, and IP address, and any links in the comment body, will be added to your spam words list. Future comments matching any of those items will automatically be moderated.
© 2004, licensed under the GPL
Read Post In – v0.1
Mike Rainey – A plugin that calculates the average read time of a post. Original concept by Lucas Zallio.
Related Posts – v1.1
Alexander Malov – Returns a list of the related posts. Original code by Mike, I just made it into a WP 1.2+ plug-in. Please refer to included readme for installation instructions.
Kitten’s Spaminator – v0.6b
Kitten – Spam prevention and blocking using tarpitting, comments are assigned points and a comment that meets the criteria for spam is blocked from posting.
StatTraq – v1.0a beta
Randy Peterman – This plugin will allow you to keep track of every hit on your public WordPress site (note that it does not track admin activity)
WP-Lists – v0.9
Navid Azimi – This plugin facilitates the use and management of lists directly from the WordPress Administrative User Interface. It also provides several API methods to display and manipulate those lists throughout your website.

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