Posts about using the open source CMS WordPress

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Create A Tag Cloud Page In Wordpress

28th April 2009 - 5 minutes read time

A tag cloud is a name for a collection of keywords that are displayed as a big block of text. Usually the most commonly occurring keyword is the largest, and the least commonly occurring keyword is the smallest. Tag clouds are a neat way of allowing your users to navigate your content in a different way, simply be letting them look over the cloud and linking each keyword to sections of your site that contain that word.

Wordpress comes with this function built in and is already available as a widget. However, after adding a few hundred posts this tag cloud can get rather large and this widget can stretch your sidebar to stupid proportions. A way around this is to create a page that can be used to display this large tag cloud. The first step is to create a page template that will be used to run the correct Wordpress function to display the tags. This is done by making a copy of your normal page template (call it tagpage.php) and adding the following code at the top.

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Displaying Wordpress Authors

26th February 2009 - 6 minutes read time

Wordpress has a couple of rarely used functions that allow author information to be displayed for the current post and a list of all of the authors on the blog.

Adding a written by message to your posts is not difficult at all. Just use the the_author_posts_link() function inside the post loop.

<?php the_author_posts_link(); ?>

This function shouldn't be confused with the the_author_link() function that prints out the link in the author's profile.

The second way of printing out author information is by using the wp_list_authors() function. This can take a number of arguments, but the simplest use of it is as follows:

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Turn Off Wordpress Revisions

24th February 2009 - 3 minutes read time

Wordpress has a nice little revisions feature that will allow you to revert to a previous version of a post if you don't like the current edit. However, the drawback of this feature is that it is not always needed and it fills the post table full of stuff you will never need. Fortunately, turning this feature off isn't too much of a pain. All you need to do is add the following line of code to your wp-config file, just below the DB_COLLATE line.

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 0);

You can also set the autosave interval here to something greater than the default of 60 seconds. It is possible to do this in the wp-config file since version 2.5.0.

define('AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL', 123);

If you want to get rid off all of the post revisions from your post table then you can use the following SQL query.

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Adding A Sortable List To Wordpress

19th February 2009 - 4 minutes read time

A sortable list is simply a list of items that can be dragged and dropped to alter the order of those elements.

There are two sortable lists available in Wordpress, one from the JQuery framework and one from the Scriptaculous framework. For a sortable list you will need a list, so here is a simple one.

<ul id="sortcontainer">
	<li class="sortable">Item 1</li>
	<li class="sortable">Item 2</li>
	<li class="sortable">Item 3</li>
	<li class="sortable">Item 4</li>

JQuery Sortable

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Wordpress Post Friendly Code With JavaScript Replace

12th February 2009 - 3 minutes read time

I recently talked about adding code to blogs and comments to Wordpress and making sure that certain characters are encoded properly. So to simplify things I thought I would create a little set of regular expressions that takes a sample of code and convert it into a Wordress friendly format. It consists of the following function, which takes the value of a text area called tochange and runs some regular expression replace functions on it. I have kept the expressions as simple as possible so they are quite easy to understand. The g argument for each expression means that the replace will be done for all of the text.

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Adding Code To Wordpress Blogs And Comments

5th February 2009 - 4 minutes read time

Wordpress is a pretty neat blogging platform, but it falls over quite spectacularly when trying to write code in posts. I write a lot of code for #! code and so I have understand what needs to be encoded to make code examples work.

For code example on #! code I use the code tag and I encode the following characters.

&lt; into &amp;lt;
&gt; into &amp;gt;
" into &amp;quot;
' into &amp;#39;

Note: You must be in HTML mode in your Wordpress editor or everything will be double encoded.

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Enabling Image Formatting In Your Wordpress Template

20th November 2008 - 3 minutes read time

One neat thing about Wordpress is the ability to add images to your posts in a quick and easy manner. You can also create thumbnails of larger images and link to them using a captioned image. The only problem is that when you have sorted out how your images look in your post in the admin section they just don't appear the same in your template once you have published it.

This is because Wordpress creates a set of styles that are used in the admin section and the default Wordpress templates. However, these styles are usually left out of custom template stylesheets. If you want to use the same sort of formatting that the Wordpress admin section has then open up your stylesheet file in your template and put the following stylesheet rules in at the bottom.

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Creating A Simple Widget In Wordpress

13th November 2008 - 4 minutes read time

A widget is a little program that fits into the side menu of your site. These widgets can be moved around using the admin section of your Wordpress blog and there are quite a few to chose from with a default install.

To create a theme that supports widgets you can follow the instructions in the post creating a widget proof Wordpress theme.

You can create a widget in one of two places, either within your functions.php file of your template, or in a plugin. To get a widget to display you need to call a function called register_sidebar_widget(). This function takes two parameters, the name of the widget in the admin section, and a callback function that controls what the widget contains.

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Enable Drag And Drop Script In Wordpress

27th October 2008 - 4 minutes read time

Note: This code has been written with WordPress 2.8 in mind. It won't work on versions prior to 2.6 and might have unpredictable results in later versions.

Drag and drop is a useful mechanism to do stuff and can turn a complicated set of buttons or drop down lists into a simple elegant solution.

Wordpress has lots of scripts built in, which do a lot of useful functions. However, they are not enabled by default, which means that in order to get your script to work you need to enable them.

The drag and drop functionality in Wordpress is provided by the Scriptaculous framework. To get Wordpress to include this in your page header just use the function wp_enqueue_script() with the parameter "scriptaculous-dragdrop".

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Adding And Updating Options In Wordpress

24th October 2008 - 4 minutes read time

Wordpress has an options table that developers can use when creating templates and plugins to store information that would otherwise have to be kept in a separate table or written to a file. Assuming the default table prefix of wp_ the options table is called wp_options.

Rather than allow developers to access this table directly, Wordpress has some functions that you can use to create and change options in that table.

To create an option and assign a null value to it use the add_option() function. The parameters are as follows:

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