WordPress Bits

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Archive for the ‘Plugins’ Category

Tip #6 : Enhancing WordPress administration

Posted by Karthik Kastury on September 26, 2007

This tip has been written by Karthik Kastury from dailyApps.net. dailyApps showcases the best of the Apps for different platforms and is a must read for all you software junkies out there. You can also find a host of tips to improve your productivity with review of various services and apps.

If you are a long time WordPress user like me, you surely know the obvious limitations that the WordPress backend has. There are far too many distractions in the Compose Section where you write the posts. Presence of Controls that you never use could become a nightmare to manage so it would be best if you would just remove them and use a stripped down version of the Compose Screen to manage your workflow better.

  • Get Rid of the Clutter

As I mentioned before there are far too many items in the compose screen that I normally don’t use. There is stuff like Password Protection, Excerpt, Custom Fields, Discussion Options, Bookmarklets, Author controls etc. which I am sure majority of WordPress Users don’t really use. So if you are one of them go ahead and add Clutter Free to your ever growing list of WordPress plugins.

Once you have activated Clutter Free go the Users Sections and select all the options that you need. Save the settings and “Boom!” as Steve Jobs would say, your Compose screen now loads a tad faster.

  • Disable the Rich Text Editor

When it comes to the Rich Text Editor things are definitely easy for the average to publish a new post. But in case you are a power user like me then you would want to Disable the Rich Text Editor Screen that has a few annoyances, such as being slow and standing in the way of embedding code provided by Youtube and other services.

I would put my money on the Simple Text Editor that is extremely powerful in terms of what it can do. To disable the Rich Text Editor follow these steps. Go to the Users Section in your admin. Scroll to the bottom and uncheck the option that Says “Use the visual rich editor when writing”. The only Downside is that you will have to learn some basic HTML before you can use the Rich Text Editor.

  • Make QuickTags Smarter

If you are long time WordPress user you will know how useful Quicktags really are (Quicktags are those buttons with tags at the top of the editor). Just about anything is possible with Quicktags. The default WordPress install comes with a few quick tags like <strong>, <li>, <ul> etc. But you might want to add a few more tags to this list so that you don’t have to type them over and over again while you are writing your post. I have some more tags in my Write screen like <span> which I regularly use.

If all the talk above sounded a little too geekish for you. Here is the simplified version of what you have to do. Just download the WP-AddQuickTag plugin and install it. Select Add Quicktags under the Options menu and add all the tags that you wish to include. Note that you need to have Rich Text Editor disabled to make Quicktags work for you.

  • Install Greasemonkey

If you are a Firefox User you definately should install Greasemonkey. There are many scripts that can improve your workflow. One of the scripts that I am using is Akismet Auntie Spam which changes the skin of the Akismet spambox page for WordPress admins and allows to download all spam at once, compress spam to make it more scanable and completely compresses obvious spam. Turns checking spam into a 10 minute per week activity.

  • Install WP-Admin Tiger 3.0

The default layout of the WordPress Admin can be confusing at times. It shows all signs of being extremely cluttered. You have to click through a maze of buttons to do something, and the most important thing surely is that it is not really good to look at. In case you are one of those who have got bored of the default layout for WordPress Admin then its time for you to download WP-Admin Tiger 3 that completely changes the look and feel of the WordPress admin.

If you like this post please consider subscribing to the dailyApps feed. You will find dailyApps an enjoyable read. And yeah make sure you tell me if these tips have helped you or not..

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Posted in Menu, Options, Plugins, Themes, WordPress, WordPress Tips | 33 Comments »

Tip #2 : Scheduling tasks with WordPress

Posted by Leonid Mamchenkov on August 15, 2007

Since WordPress 2.1 there is a way to schedule tasks from within WordPress (as opposite to using external schedulers). It is quite useful for doing systematic backups, cleaning user databases, importing data from other resources into your database, and things like that.

Glenn Slaven wrote a nice article – “Timing is everything: scheduling in WordPress” – explaining how to use this feature. If you read it through, tried, and failed to make it work, there is a Cron Demo plugin, which should get you started.

Posted in Plugins, WordPress, WordPress Tips | 7 Comments »

Adding options to WordPress plugins

Posted by Leonid Mamchenkov on August 15, 2007

Most WordPress plugins out there are simple things, fixing or changing one thing at a time.  But there are also examples of more complex things, like e-commerce and banner management, advanced anti-SPAM control, more flexible content and user management, etc.  One of the common things between those “advanced” plugins is that they almost always provide a user with a way to configure them – a screen with options.

In this post, we’ll see how to create plugins which integrate into WordPress options administration.

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Posted in Documentation, Menu, Options, Plugins, WordPress | 55 Comments »

WordPress Options follow-up

Posted by Leonid Mamchenkov on August 12, 2007

After the “Quick access to WordPress options” post got published, I’ve got plenty of questions, most of which could be rephrased as one of the two:

  1. What does each displayed option mean?
  2. How can I delete unused options?

While a comprehensive description of each option is yet to be done, I thought I’d do another post with a few links that might clear up some confusion.

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Posted in Database, Options, Plugins, WordPress | 5 Comments »

Cleaning up after the WordPress widget party

Posted by Leonid Mamchenkov on August 11, 2007

In one of the recent posts – “Advanced Widgets. Widgets with controls.” – we saw how to create WordPress widgets, which could have configuration options.  In one of the comments to that post, Matthew Smith, asked a very good question:

do the widgets leave settings in the database upon removal? Should these be cleaned up using a hook like unregister_widget() (if it exists, I haven’t looked yet)? Or does WordPress do this automatically?

Nicely spotted, Matthew!  Thank you.

Indeed, what happens there?

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Posted in Plugins, Widgets, WordPress | 14 Comments »

Automating WordPress customizations – the plugin way

Posted by Leonid Mamchenkov on August 9, 2007

If you installed WordPress more than two times, you know the drill. Download the latest version, unzip or untar, copy config-sample.php into config.php, edit config.php, upload files to your web host, visit new WordPress URL, click “Next Step” a couple of times, while submitting blog name and administrator’s email. After all is done, login with username “admin” and provided random password, go to Options menu, and set things the way you want them to be. Then upload and activate chosen plugins, and then switch theme to something you’ve spent some time searching for or designing.

Overall, the process is very simple and straight forward. And there are rumors that it will be even simpler in upcoming versions of WordPress. It’s all nice and good. But there is something that only you can make better.

If you installed WordPress more than two times, and by now we know you did, chances are you have a certain way of configuring things. You probably use the same administrator’s email. Or want to use a pre-defined password, not a randomly generated one, because you seriously can’t remember random passwords for those 20 test WordPress installations just on your laptop. Now, going through Options, setting things the same every time is boring.

There are, of course, better ways. In this post we’ll see how to automate this task with a plugin. In one of the near future posts we’ll see how to do even better with a custom install.php file.

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Posted in Options, Plugins, WordPress | 35 Comments »

A look at WordPress filters. Disable wpautop() on post formatting.

Posted by Leonid Mamchenkov on August 6, 2007

WordPress provides a number of ways to control how content is stored and displayed. There are themes, which I’m sure everybody has already heard of. There are widgets, which are picking up the fame. But there are things deeper in, which aren’t as famous. They are called filters. And WordPress has quite a few of them.

There are some default filters in WordPress, which work behind the scenes, formatting the content the best possible way. The thing is though, while this formatting suits most users out there, sometimes you want to have control over how things are done. In this post, we’ll see how to gain that control.

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Posted in Filters, Plugins, WordPress | 32 Comments »

Writing WordPress plugin. Widget Loader.

Posted by Leonid Mamchenkov on June 18, 2007

One of the best things about WordPress is its flexibility. For any given problem there are several solutions (“There is more than one way to do it” paradigm at work). There are many places where you can add code and markup – widgets, templates, plugins…

In this post, we’ll look at WordPress plugins. What are they? What can we do with them? How do we write them? We’ll go as far as create our own WordPress plugin from scratch. And it will be a useful one too.

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Posted in Plugins, Widgets, WordPress | 15 Comments »