Advanced WordPress
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Workshop given at Software Freedom Day 19th September 2009 in Melbourne, Australia on the free and open source WordPress blogging tool.

Workshop given at Software Freedom Day 19th September 2009 in Melbourne, Australia on the free and open source WordPress blogging tool.

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Advanced WordPress Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Advanced WordPress Saturday 19 Sep 09 Software Freedom Day Melbourne Kathy Reid kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://slideshare.net/KathyReid Kathy Reid kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 2. This workshop is for YOU Let me know if there's something you would like covered in more depth or in a different way If it's too technical, let me know Kathy Reid If it's not technical enough, kathy@kathyreid.id.au let me know http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 3. What does this workshop assume? ● You are comfortable with creating posts and pages ● You are comfortable installing and changing themes, widgets and plugins Slide 3 ● Have used WordPress.com online or have installed your own WordPress on your server ● Installation page on Codex: Kathy Reid http://codex.wordpress.org/Getting_S kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 4. Common installation issues - permissions ● wp-config.php has to be writable by the web server. This is the file that you enter your DB username and Slide 4 password details into ● Permissions can usually be changed via FTP ● Is everyone familiar with Kathy Reid Linux file system kathy@kathyreid.id.au permissions? http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 5. Common installation issues - DB ● MySQL database has to be created, and the MySQL user has to be given permissions to the database Slide 5 ● This is best done through PhpMyAdmin (available through most hosting control panels) ● If MySQL is upgraded on your Kathy Reid host, you may need to kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au recreate the user and http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid permissions
  • 6. Common installation issues - upgrades ● Since WordPress 2.7, there are tools that automate the process of upgrading ● Disable all plugins before Slide 6 upgrading ● Ensure you make a backup of your database ● This can also be done in Kathy Reid PhpMyAdmin kathy@kathyreid.id.au ● Everyone familiar with http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid PhpMyAdmin?
  • 7. Common installation issues - timeout ● By default, WordPress has a timeout set to 30 seconds when downloading from FTP to do an automatic update ● This can result in an error like; Downloading update from  Slide 7 http://wordpress.org/wordpress­2.7.1 Download failed.: Operation  timed out after 30000  milliseconds with 351500 bytes  received     Installation Failed Kathy Reid kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 8. Timeout (cont'd) ● You need to do the following to fix this error ● In the file system where WordPress is installed, find the file called 'file.php' Slide 8 ● /wp­admin/includes/ ● Find the line; $response =  wp_remote_get($url,  array(’timeout’ => 30)); Kathy Reid kathy@kathyreid.id.au ● Change the '30' to something like http://blog.kathyreid.id.au '500' and try the upgrade again http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 9. Themes – modifying or building your own ● Easier to modify an existing theme as the basic layout will already have been done for you Slide 9 ● (check licensing of theme) ● Modifying or building your own themes requires some knowledge of HTML and CSS Kathy Reid ● Themes intro page on Codex kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://codex.wordpress.org/Usin http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 10. Themes – File hierarchy ● When building themes, it is important to have an understanding of the file hierarchy – ie which 'pieces' Slide 10 of the theme get included where. This page on the WordPress codex covers this; ● http://codex.wordpress.org/Step Kathy Reid kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 11. Themes – styles.css ● This is the main file that needs to be edited ● The first block is used by WordPress to show style Slide 11 information in the Appearance menu in the Dashboard ● You will need CSS skills to Kathy Reid edit the Theme kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au ● http://www.cssreference.com http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 12. Themes – Getting new ones ● There are literally tens of thousands of themes. High quality themes usually have; – Widget support Slide 12 – 'Fluid layouts' that fit to screen – Are standards compliant – Well tested or many installs Kathy Reid ● Good place to start is: kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au ● http://wordpress.org/extend/the http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 13. Exercise 1 – Modifying an existing theme ● Create a copy of one of the themes in the 'wp- content/themes' directory ● Edit the styles.css file so Slide 13 that the first block of information is changed ● Make some changes to the colours or CSS styling within Kathy Reid the file kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 14. Exercise 1 - contd ● Navigate to 'Appearance' in your Dashboard and change the chosen theme to the one you modified. Slide 14 ● Can you see the differences? ● What else would you like to change about your theme? Kathy Reid kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 15. Installing plugins ● A plugin is a piece of code written in PHP by a developer which can be added to WordPress to provide additional functionality Slide 15 ● The quality of plugins and their maturity varies – some are excellent, some are rubbish Kathy Reid ● Most are usually free, some kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au are not. http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 16. Finding plugins ● The best place to start is: ● http://wordpress.org/extend/plu ● Each plugin has information on Slide 16 – Version – Compatibility – Author – Home page Kathy Reid kathy@kathyreid.id.au – Screenshots http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid – Documentation
  • 17. Assessing a plugin ● What rating does it have? ● How comprehensive is the documentation or website? ● What version is the plugin Slide 17 (usually higher version, more mature) ● How active is the development (last version date) Kathy Reid ● How many other people have kathy@kathyreid.id.au it installed (a good indicator of http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid quality)
  • 18. Exercise 2: Assessing and installing a plugin ● In your Dashboard, navigate to Plugins -> Add New ● You will be presented with a field where you can search for Slide 18 plugins. Try the keyword for a plugin you're interested in. In this example, we'll use 'twitter' (it's not case sensitive) ● WordPress will go and search Kathy Reid all the plugins that match this kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au keyword and present them to http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid you in a table
  • 19. 19
  • 20. Exercise 2: Assessing and installing a plugin ● Identify the plugin you wish to install (refer to 'assessing a plugin' earlier in this presentation) Slide 20 ● Click the 'install' link next to the plugin ● The plugin will install automatically Kathy Reid ● You may have to configure kathy@kathyreid.id.au options for the plugin http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 21. Plugins – you MUST have ● Akismet is an anti-spam plugin; it is packaged by default with WordPress. It will identify which comments Slide 21 are spam and which are legitimate with a high rate of accuracy. ● http://wordpress.org/extend/plu Kathy Reid kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 22. Plugins - Forms ● Cforms is a plugin which provides a very robust and complete method to create forms for your website. Slide 22 ● It is overkill for basic contact forms, but has a lot of functionality such as captcha control and auto replies Kathy Reid kathy@kathyreid.id.au ● http://www.deliciousdays.com/c http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 23. Other plugins you might like ● Sociable: Allows people to read your posts and flag them with tools such as Delicious, Digg, Twitter etc Slide 23 ● Similar posts: Automatically suggest posts your readers may also like from keywords and categories ● WordPress mobile edition: Kathy Reid Make sure your blog is kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au readable on mobile devices http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 24. Keeping plugins updated ● It's important that you keep an eye out for plugins that need to be updated – for bugs and vulnerabilities but Slide 24 also for enhancements. ● WordPress automatically notifies you of plugins that have updates available; Kathy Reid kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 25. Keeping plugins updated ● It's important that you keep an eye out for plugins that need to be updated – for bugs and vulnerabilities but Slide 25 also for enhancements. ● WordPress automatically notifies you of plugins that have updates available; Kathy Reid kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 26. Writing your own plugin ● You will need to know PHP reasonably well ● Helps to have a knowledge of the WordPress code and Slide 26 components – and 'hooks' that are built in for plugin developers ● Has someone else already written the plugin Kathy Reid kathy@kathyreid.id.au ● How will you support it? http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid ● http://codex.wordpress.org/Writing
  • 27. Roles ● Roles and permissions in WordPress are basic; it is designed to be a blog used by a single person Slide 27 ● Blog owner can assign a role to a user which restricts what abilities that user has on the site – each role has different capabilities Kathy Reid ● http://codex.wordpress.org/Roles_ kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 28. WordPress Multi User (WPMU) ● WPMU is a different form of WordPress that is designed to be installed in a multi-blogging environment Slide 28 ● For instance, you can run hundreds of blogs from one installation ● The administrator can set privilege levels and plugins site Kathy Reid wide or on certain sites only kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au ● http://mu.wordpress.org http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 29. Social networking: BuddyPress ● BuddyPress aims to add social networking functionality to WordPress to make it more suitable for Slide 29 community sites ● Still in its infancy; is quite immature – but one to watch ● http://buddypress.org Kathy Reid kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid
  • 30. Additional resources FLOSS Manual (Free/Libre and Open Source Software) Slide 30 http://en.flossmanuals.net/wordpress WordPress – downloads, docs, themes http://www.wordpress.org Kathy Reid kathy@kathyreid.id.au http://blog.kathyreid.id.au http://www.slideshare.net/KathyReid