Must Have WordPress Plugins
Instead of amending this theme and then poking through, pasting, testing, and tweaking in 20 other themes, we'll spend that time creating a WordPress plugin. It will then be easy to deploy it across all the client's sites, and it shouldn't matter what theme each site is using. Let's get started
Now you're free to go and install your WordPress plugin and include jQuery plugin on as many sites as needed However, in case you're wondering, yes, we can refine the installation process a bit more and just incorporate this jQuery plugin inside our WordPress plugin. We'll then add a function to our WordPress plugin which writes in the jQuery script that uses the authorHover function of the plugin. Normally, it would be better, and it is recommended to load up all scripts through the wp_enque_script function, but for very small scripts that are so customized, you're sure will not ever conflict, and you know jQuery is already loading in properly (as we are with the plugin), if you want, you can just hardcode script tags like so
So themes change the look of WordPress without affecting its functionality. But what if you want to change or add functionality WordPress plugins allow easy modification, customization, and enhancement to a WordPress site. Instead of having to dig in to the main files and change the core programming of WordPress, you can add functionality by installing and activating WordPress plugins. http wordpress.org extend plugins . The following is a screenshot of the WordPress plugin directory's main page Once you have a plugin, it's a simple matter of decompressing the file (usually just unzipping it) and reading the included readme.txt file for installation and activation instructions. For most WordPress plugins, this is simply a matter of uploading the file or directory to your WordPress installation's wp-content plugins directory and then navigating to the Administration Plugins Installed panel to activate it. The next screenshot shows the Plugins admin panel with the activation screen for...
Now honestly, the details of writing WordPress plugins are far beyond the scope of this title my goal is to show you the structure of a simple WordPress plugin and the basics of how to construct one. Understanding this, you can begin to write your own basic plugins and feel more confident looking through other people's plugins when assessing what kind of features they provide to your WordPress site and if you need to tweak anything for your jQuery enhancements. Even as simply and basically as we're going to work, you'll see how truly powerful WordPress plugins can be. Want to become a WordPress plugin rockstar You can start off with, yet again, WordPress 2.7 Complete by April Hodge Silver and Hasin Hayder. There's a chapter on plugins that walks you through creating very useful simple plugins, as well as a more complex plugin that writes to the WordPress database. Beyond that, you'll want to check out WordPress Plugin Development Beginner's Guide by Vladimir Prelovac. Don't let the...
Plugins found in the WordPress Plugin Directory, which is located at http wordpress.org extend plugins , can quite easily be added to WordPress on the Install Plugins screen. To reach this screen, click Plugins Add New. On this page, you can search for plugins by keyword, author, or tag. In addition, you can also click the Featured, Popular, Newest, and Recently Updated links to browse though the plugins found there.
Finding popular WordPress plugins Using plugins to enhance your blog m n this chapter, I list ten of the most popular plugins available for your WordPress blog. This list isn't exhaustive by any means hundreds of excellent WordPress plugins can, and do, provide multiple ways to extend the functionality of your blog. And if these ten plugins aren't enough for you, you can find many more at the official WordPress Plugin Directory (http wordpress.org extend plugins). WP Print is one of several WordPress plugins developed by Lester Chan. While visiting the official WordPress Plugin Directory, do a search for the term gamerz, and you will find all of the plugins created by Lester. They're all great plugins and worth a look.
At the highest level, manually installing a plugin will require you to connect to your web server, locate the WordPress plugins directory, and transfer a plugin that you have downloaded to your computer using either FTP or SFTP. Once you connect to your web server, you will need to locate your WordPress Plugin folder, which will most likely be in wp-content plugins.
There is literally a plugin for almost anything you want to achieve in WordPress. A quick glance at the WordPress Plugin Directory will show you just how many options are available. Admin, Ajax, Comments, Google, Posts, Sidebar, Twitter, and Widgets are all so very well represented that finding the right one can be a full-time gig. Twitter alone has over 200 plugins dedicated to pulling, pushing, and searching through its masses of data. However, before we can auto-tweet a post, or dynamically interleave links to Amazon products, we have to comprehend how a plugin works, and more importantly, how to install and activate them on our blog.
Chapter 3, Digging Deeper Understanding jQuery and WordPress Together This chapter takes the reader to a deeper level and introduces them to all the ways that jQuery can be applied to a WordPress site Through a custom script in the WordPress theme, as a jQuery plugin called in through the theme, and lastly, as a custom jQuery script or plugin applied to a WordPress plugin The ways to affect a WordPress site with jQuery are numerous, and the pros and cons of each method is considered so that the reader can assess their own projects accurately. The chapter also introduces the reader to their first hypothetical client and covers how to create their own jQuery plugin and then wrap that jQuery plugin into a WordPress plugin so that a site administrator could easily implement the enhancement without having to know how to edit the theme. Chapter 4, Doing a Lot More with Less Making Use of Plugins for Both jQuery and WordPress You thought you learned quite a bit in Chapter 3 Hang on to your...
A few years ago, Akismet was released to the WordPress community. Akismet is a Web application with a WordPress plugin by the same name that identifies and blocks comment spam on blogs. The WordPress plugin, which is under the General Public License, is bundled with WordPress and only has to be activated. It is free for personal use, and has a minimal fee for commercial use. The Askimet plugin can also be downloaded from the WordPress plugin repository at http wordpress.
Finally, the SimplePie Core WordPress plugin is a PHP library that gives you a bit more control over feed processing and filtering, but without the simpler-to-use interface. If you want to extract content from an RSS feed and perform some cleanup, for example removing images or resorting items before publishing, then you can use SimplePie as a container for your PHP content processing scripts.
Again, as with many examples in this book, to keep the process concise and easy to understand, we'll be doing things as directly as possible, but not necessarily as optimized as possible. In a real-world project you may want to create a separate stylesheet for any project like this or wrap your jQuery work into a plugin or even in a WordPress plugin using the techniques we covered in Chapter 3, Digging Deeper Understanding jQuery and WordPress Together. This all depends on how flexible and portable you'd like the jQuery enhancement to be afterwards.
Almost every WordPress plugin involves some sort of option, and that means you'll need to create the form that lets users manage those options. If you went through the process of creating theme functions back in Chapter 7, the process for plugins will look very much the same.
Hooks are places in the WordPress code where plugins have the capability to hook into the core and add some bit of functionality. Hooks are an extensive part of the WordPress plugin architecture and are essential to the concept of modifying WordPress behavior without modifying any core code.
You're aware that WordPress themes control the look and feel of your site and that WordPress plugins can help your site do more, but we're going to take a look at exactly how those two components work within the WordPress system and how to use jQuery from either a theme or a WordPress plugin. In doing so, you'll be better able to take advantage of them when developing your jQuery enhancements. Speaking of jQuery enhancements, jQuery scripts can be turned into their own type of plugins, not to be confused with WordPress plugins. This makes the work you do in jQuery easily portable to different projects and uses. Between these three components, themes, WordPress plugins, and jQuery plugins, you'll find that just about anything you can dream of creating is at your fingertips. Even better, you'll realize that most of the work is already done. All three of these component types have extensive libraries of already developed third-party creations. Most are free If they aren't free, you'll be...
Many, many thanks and kudos to Matt Mullenweg, the core development team from Automattic, and every single person involved in making WordPress the best blogging platform available on the Internet today. To the volunteers and testers who destroy all those pesky prerelease bugs for every new version release, the WordPress community thanks you And to each and every WordPress plugin developer and theme designer who donates his or her time, skills, and knowledge to provide the entire WordPress community of users with invaluable tools that help us create dynamic blogs, thank you a thousand times Every person mentioned here is an invaluable asset to the overall WordPress experience I wish I could name you all, individually, except that there are literally thousands of you out there
We've learned in this chapter how easy it is to edit a theme, create a WordPress plugin, and a jQuery plugin. For the majority of your WordPress development work, adding jQuery enhancements right to the theme will do the trick. If you feel your jQuery scripts are a bit cumbersome and you're allowed to edit the theme (assuming of course, you don't break the layout or dramatically alter the look) you'll probably find that being able to wrap WordPress content in custom HTML tags with special class or id attributes is a huge help and time saver. This chapter's project example's hypothetical client request also showed that if there's any chance that your work can or will be reused or deployed across multiple individual WordPress installations, you should consider encapsulating the work in either a jQuery plugin, a WordPress plugin, or as we discovered, both. In addition to considering if your work will need to be reused or deployed, you may also want to consider the lifespan of the jQuery...
As with themes, the easiest way to find and install WordPress plug-ins is through the Add New page in the Administration page Plug-ins section of your WordPress blog. This page integrates the WordPress Plugin Directory into your WordPress installation. As of this writing, the Plugin Directory hosts over 7,000 plugins. From the Dashboard, click Plug-ins and then click Add New. The screen offers many ways of discovering plug-ins (as shown in Figure 13.1)
Including jQuery in a WordPress plugin You can include jQuery in a WordPress plugin using any of the earlier mentioned methods. However, you'll need some familiarity working with WordPress plugins. We'll cover this topic in detail by learning more about WordPress plugins later in Chapter 3, Digging Deeper Understanding jQuery and WordPress Together.
In addition to having jQuery already bundled, WordPress has quite a few jQuery plugins already bundled with it as well. WordPress comes bundled with Color, Thickbox as well as Form and most of the jQuery UI plugins. Each of these plugins can be enabled with the wp_enqueue_script either in the theme's header.php file or function.php file, as we learned in Chapter 2, Working with jQuery in WordPress. In this chapter, we'll shortly learn how to enable a jQuery plugin directly in a WordPress plugin. Yes, you've noticed there's no easy jQuery plugin activation panel in WordPress. This is where understanding your chosen theme and WordPress plugins will come in handy You'll soon find you have quite a few options to choose from when leveraging jQuery. Now that we have an overview of what WordPress themes, plugins, and jQuery plugins are, let's learn how to take better advantage of them.
To encourage users to visit your forum, why not promote the most recent posts in your sidebar This is made easy to do thanks to a WordPress plugin called Latest-bb-Posts in WordPress, which can be downloaded from http wordpress.org extend plugins bbpress-latest-discussion .
When you install and activate the plugin, from within WordPress or by downloading and installing it from the WordPress plugin repository at http wordpress.org extend plugins all-in-one-seo-pack , you will find a new top-level navigation item, titled All in One SEO, in the WordPress Admin. Clicking it brings you to a new administrative menu where you can configure everything about the plugin, as shown in Figure 3.4.
Compared with the similar process with themes, it seems to be a little harder to find free plug-ins that are not in the WordPress Plugin Directory. Although the Google search for free WordPress plug-ins generates even more hits than free WordPress themes (87 million versus 49 million), nearly all the top 50 matches point directly to the Plugin Directory, or to developers already in the Plugin Directory. Angelo Mandato does the consistently interesting WordPress Plugins Podcast, where he reviews one plug-in at a time. He also reports from conferences and interviews plug-in developers to learn more about their recent work and their craft. Listen and subscribe at www.pluginspodcast.com. The WordPress Plugin Database at http wp-plugins.net is a promising idea, if somewhat neglected as a project.
The first step in using plugins is locating the one you want to install. The absolute best place to find WordPress plugins is the official WordPress Plugins Directory found at http wordpress.org extend plugins where, at the time of this writing, you will find almost 9,000 plugins available for download. 1. Go to the official WordPress Plugin Directory, located at http wordpress.org extend plugins. The Subscribe to Comments page opens in the WordPress Plugin Directory, where you find a description of the plugin, as well as other information about the plugin (see Figure 10-9). For example, take note of the important information in the FYI box Use the search feature of the WordPress Plugin Directory page to find the plugin you need. Use the search feature of the WordPress Plugin Directory page to find the plugin you need.
A great feature about WordPress plugins is that you can easily release updates for your plugins in the Plugin Directory. When a new plugin version is released, a notice is displayed on any WordPress site that currently has that plugin uploaded to its server, whether or not it is activated. The user can use the automatic upgrade process to easily upgrade the plugin to the latest version. This is especially important if there are security patches in your plugin to help keep WordPress secure. The WordPress Plugin Directory is a great source for inspiration and reference when building custom plugins. Don't be scared to look at another plugin source code for reference. Find a plugin that functions similarly to what you want and see how the plugin author structured the code or used hooks to interpose his or her plugin ideas in the WordPress core processing.
A requirement for all WordPress plugins is a valid plugin header. The plugin header must be defined at the very top of your main PHP file as a PHP comment. It does not need to exist in every file for your plugin, only the main PHP file. This header tells WordPress that your PHP file is in fact a legitimate WordPress plugin and should be processed as such. Following is an example of a standard plugin header Plugin URI Description This is a brief description of my plugin Version 1.0 Author Brad Williams
You've now edited a theme by hand and further extended the site by creating a WordPress plugin from scratch. Great job But what's that you say You were expecting to do a little more jQuery You're right. Let's enhance this site a little further by creating a jQuery plugin.
FollowMe is available through the WordPress Plugin Directory, and at the website of its creator, Once you've installed it, you can use the Plugin Editor to view and change the plug-in code. From your Administration page, click Plugins to see your currently installed plug-ins. Click the Edit link under FollowMe to open the plug-in editor (see Figure 15.4). You can also open the file php in any text editor to view the code.
In your WP Admin visit the plugins page again. If there are new versions of any of your installed but now inactive plugins, there'll be a note telling you so. If you have any plugins that are not part of the WordPress Plugin Directory, this is a good time to check the websites for those plugins to see if there's an upgrade available.
If you're comfortable with using WordPress but would like to understand more about theme and plugin development, then you should definitely check out WordPress Plugin Development by Vladimir Prelovac, and, if you'll excuse the shameless plug for my own book, WordPress 2.8 Theme Design.
The largest and most popular CRM software is Salesforce (www.salesforce.com). Fortunately, Salesforce offers a RESTful (Representational State Transfer) API for lead generation. RESTful APIs allow data to be transferred over standard Web protocols to a Web service (in this case, Salesforce) that processes the data. The SF Contact Form plugin for WordPress does just this, creating leads in Salesforce out of prospects who contact you through a Web form. The SF Contact Form plugin is available at Another CRM integration plugin for WordPress is Tactile CRM Contact Form, which behaves in a similar fashion to the Salesforce plugin. Prospective customers contact a company through a Web form, generating leads in the Tactile CRM. This plugin can be downloaded from the WordPress Plugin Directory at
There are tons of plugins and widgets in the WordPress plugin directory however, at some point you'll need to come up with your own custom widget that solves a particular problem. It's a really great selling point to have themes that come with built-in widgets, especially when they take advantage of a particular feature only available to your theme. Traditionally, there were two ways to add your own custom widgets. The first was to simply add a function to your functions.php file, which is what we've been doing so far for the custom functionality of our theme. This will become quite cumbersome quickly, though with good commenting and file separation it can stay manageable. The second way of going about it is to create a WordPress plugin for each new widget. This tends to be problematic as well, because the plugin will exist separately from your theme, thereby adding a few extra administrative steps to the installation process. You want your theme to be as easy as possible to use, so...
Want to save stuff and add cool functionality We'll dig deeper into that in the following chapters, dealing with WordPress plugin development. That's basically where you're at when you've gotten this far you're doing a WordPress plugin, but in your theme's functions.php file.
In this section, I show you how to install a plugin in your WordPress blog, using the built-in plugins feature. The auto-installation of plugins from within your WordPress Dashboard only works for plugins that are included in the official WordPress Plugin Directory. You can manually install plugins on your WordPress blog, which I cover in the next section. The Install Plugins page opens where you can browse the official WordPress Plugins Directory from your WordPress Dashboard.
After the Deadline is an open-source service from Automattic that checks grammar, writing style, and spelling. You install it as a WordPress plugin but developers are encouraged to build client pieces for other platforms as well. After the Deadline works in a client-server model a client Web application, such as WordPress, sends data to After the Deadline servers and the results are sent back to the application. After the Deadline requires a free application programming interface (API) key, but other than that, there is no cost.
WordPress plugins that operate off of the standard WordPress plugin application programming interface (API) generally work as expected in WordPress MU because WordPress MU is built on the same codebase as WordPress. Therefore, on principle, plugins that work with WordPress also work with WordPress MU. The same cannot be said of WordPress MU plugins working on standard WordPress installs, however.
Previously we covered different levels of caching ranging from inmemory cache using Memcache, to the WordPress object cache of frequently accessed information, and the WordPress plugin Super Cache, which bypasses the entire dynamic nature of WordPress altogether and creates static HTML files.
Selecting the Canonical URLs check box ensures that All in One SEO will add the rel canonical attribute to URLs. While this is supposed to help search engines understand how to handle canonical URLs, it has been found to be largely ineffective. For more on the potential risks for using this feature, see the excellent write up at www.quickonlinetips.com archives 2 00
If you use another traffic monitoring service, chances are there's a WordPress plugin for it. Google Analytics for WordPress includes the Google Analytics code in your footer and provides checkboxes for advanced Analytics options, such as tracking file downloads and outbound links. It also shows a basic traffic graph on your Dashboard. Wordpress.com Stats provides a graph of visitors and search queries as a Dashboard graph.
Weblog Tools Collection (WBTC) is a web site dedicated to blogging, but generally focuses on WordPress-related topics. Home to the popular new Plugin and Theme Weekly release blog posts, WBTC features the latest news and headlines in the WordPress Community. WBTC is also home to the annual WordPress Plugin Competition. You can visit the web site at http weblogtoolscollection.com .
Just as the best place to find themes is the WordPress Theme Directory, the best place to find plug-ins is the official WordPress Plugin Directory (http wordpress.org extend plugins ). This page is your one-stop shop for all WordPress-related plug-ins (well, most of them anyway).
WordPress is written in the PHP scripting language, and, therefore, much of what users contribute to the software in the way of themes and plug-ins is written in the same language. In this chapter, you'll learn a little bit about the language, along with its relationship to WordPress and the MySQL database. You'll find out where PHP fits in with theme creation. We conclude with writing WordPress plug-ins with PHP and getting them into the WordPress Plugin Directory.
Nonetheless, the cloud can be very effective for content types that don't need the computing power and immediacy that WordPress does. For this, solutions such as Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) cloud storage provides ample image storage. Installing the Amazon S3 for WordPress plugin (available at effectively replaces local media storage with S3 media storage.
BbPress is an open source forum software package. The goal of bbPress is to be lightweight, powerful, fast, and easy to use. bbPress has many of the features you would expect from message board software, including a simple interface, customizable templates, and spam protection. bbPress can also run plugins to extend its functionality just like WordPress. bbPress was originally offered as a separate installation package, but has since been ported over to a WordPress plugin, and by the time of the WordPress 3.0 release it should be a core plugin. You can download bbPress at the official Plugin Directory page
To edit any user, click the Edit link that displays when hovering over the user. The Edit User page allows you to edit all aspects of a user account except for the username. To update a username you would need to use a WordPress plugin or update the username directly in your WordPress MySQL database.
Each of these packages has an available WordPress plugin. Each package also varies in its specific vernacular. You will have to determine what the truly meaningful metrics are from each package for example visitors versus unique visitors, and hits versus page views versus unique page views. Deriving useful information from statistics depends on your goals. If you want more viewers, and are trying to attract attention from Google searches, social network recommendations, and other external aggregators, you may be happy with an increasing number of visitors who look at only one page or spend under a minute per visit on your site. A site that aims for more discussion and community feel should have more return visitors, a longer interval between visitor entry and exit, and multiple pages viewed by each visitor.
I cover the management and use of WordPress plugins in detail in Chapter 10 however, for the purposes of this section, I discuss the functions of the Plugins module in the Dashboard so you know what to do with it now The Plugins module includes three titles of WordPress plugins that are linked to its page within the WordPress Plugin Directory. The Plugins module pulls information via RSS feed from the official WordPress Plugin Directory plugin from three different plugin categories in the official WordPress Plugin Directory Most Popular, Newest Plugins, and Recently Updated.
If you use one good idea from Icon Dock, it's the site's smart use of a great WordPress plugin to power its online shop. The plugin is called WP E-Commerce, which you can find here www.instinct.co.nz e-commerce. You can install the plugin on any WordPress-powered Web site, and you immediately have a state-of-the-art e-commerce platform that allows you to host a full-featured shopping cart. Very professional The possibilities of this plugin are literally endless.
The best place to find plugins is the WordPress Plugin Directory at http wordpress.org extend plugins . There are more plugins every day (as of this writing, there are nearly 4,245) and millions of downloads (22,152,788 and counting). You can search plugins by topic and by tag, as well as see a list of the most popular, newest, and recently updated plugins. This is the best available plugin resource and you should always go here first when looking for a plugin.
If the video is one that you've uploaded (assuming you had saved or converted your file to Flash), you'll notice that you have no video controls. That's because you're embedding a straight file, with no video player built in. This is yet another reason for uploading your videos to a video-sharing site first and then embedding it in your site. Or, as I mentioned before, you can use a WordPress plugin for videos, many of which provide the necessary player.
Similarly, plugins have a nag that comes in the form of a small red bubble that is superimposed on the Plugins navigation item (see Figure 15.2). The number in this bubble represents the number of plugins that are installed (active and inactive) that have upgrades available. This is based on information from the WordPress plugin repository, another valuable reason to include General Public
The first step in creating a WordPress plugin is to create a new PHP file for your plugin code. The plugin filename should be descriptive of your plugin so it's easy to identify your plugin in the plugins directory. It should also be unique because all WordPress plugins exist in the same folder. If your plugin filename is too generic you run the risk of another plugin having the same filename, which would be an obvious problem.
Filter hooks are exceptionally powerful for inserting your own processing into a variety of points in the Loop processing of each post. Realizing the full power of the WordPress plugin system means also using action hooks to fire your own code in response to events within the WordPress core.
As if all the previous selectors and filters weren't cool enough, you can also explicitly filter to several types of form elements as well as types of events for those elements. Using these filters, you'll be able to take control of your WordPress generated comment forms as well as custom and WordPress plugin forms and make them even more intuitive and easier to use. Later on in this book, we'll see how jQuery can make form use and validation dead simple.
We're going to look at plugins from both a functional and structural perspective. Starting with the packaging of plugin files, we'll dig into the API hooks that connect your custom plugin code to the WordPress core and show how to integrate a plugin into various parts of the WordPress editing, management and display processes. Finally, we show how to publish a plugin for others to use. At the end of this chapter you build a WordPress plugin from the ground up. You'll utilize many of the features discussed in this chapter and learn the proper way to extend WordPress through a custom plugin.
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Blogging For Business
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