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WordPress Intermediate Workshop


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Here are the slides from the Toolbox and Boston WordPress Intermediate Workshop at the Labor Guild June 1, 2013

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WordPress Intermediate Workshop

  1. 1. 1WordPress: Tips & TricksJon Bishop"Kurt EngJune 1st, 2013
  2. 2. 2Tips & Tricks• Best Practices•  Security•  Backups•  SEO•  Upgrades• Child Theming• Caching
  3. 3. Best Practices•  Security•  Backups•  SEO•  Upgrades•  Managing Content3
  4. 4. Security•  Upgrade WordPress core, plugins, and themes!•  Password strength across all entry points (Hosting control panel, FTP,WordPress admin)•  Don’t use default username “admin”•  Download code directly•  Public WiFi caution: your traffic is probably not secure•  Disable unused/unneeded features (e.g., remote publishing)•  File permissions (FTP)4
  5. 5. 5Architecture of WordPress•  Posts & Pages•  Comments•  Links•  Options/Settings•  Taxonomy•  Users•  WordPress core•  Themes•  Plugins•  File UploadsImportant for Backups!
  6. 6. 6Architecture of WordPresswordpress.zipwp-admin/wp-content/wp-includes/wp-app.phpreadme.htmlwp-signup.phpxmlrpc.phpwp-login.phpwp-mail.phpwp-config-sample.phpwp-comments-post.phpwp-settings.phpwp-feed.phpwp-activate.phpwp-links-opml.phpwp-cron.phpwp-load.phpwp-trackback.phpwp-pass.phplicense.txtwp-atom.phpwp-commentsrss2.phpwp-rdf.phpwp-rss.phpwp-rss2.phpindex.phpwp-blog-header.phpwp-register.php
  7. 7. 7Architecture of WordPresswp-content/themes/twentyten/mytheme1/plugins/akismet/wp_e-commerce/uploads/2010/11/photo1.jpgphoto2.jpg
  8. 8. Backups•  Use a plugin or service (set & forget)•  BackupBuddy, VaultPress•  Automated backups provided by your hosting provider (but don’t back up to thesame server your site is hosted!)•  Remember: A WordPress site lives in two separate worlds simultaneously•  Files in a folder you can see via FTP (especially /wp-content)•  Data in tables in a database server (you can see and manipulate using 3rd partytools, often provided by your hosting provider)•  Secure your backups!•  Test your backups!8
  9. 9. SEO•  Beyond the benefits provided by a stock WordPress install…•  Theme used & author’s ability to write semantic HTML•  Additional meta data you supply using an SEO plugin•  How you write and organize your content (HTML, taxonomy, etc.)•  Permalinks w/ a good link structure (the default works wonders)•  Google Webmaster Tools (monitor your site’s ranking performance)9
  10. 10. Upgrades•  Upgrade often, but maybe not too often•  Don’t wait for minor updates that fix critical bugs or security issues•  Wait a bit longer on major releases (3.0, 3.2, 3.3)•  Follow the WordPress Development Blog:•  WordPress, themes & plugins are open-source & community developed: embracebut be cautious•  Keep plugins & themes updated, too•  Be careful & mindful of what files you’ve changed (ideally, don’t change any “core”files in themes, plugins or WordPress itself)•  Before upgrading, backup your site & check plugin compatibility10
  11. 11. Content Tips•  Chris Brogan•••  Boston WordPress Meetup presentation:•  Chris Penn•  Upcoming WordCamp Session11
  12. 12. Content Tips (cont.)12•  Use paragraphs and lists•  Break up long pieces of content & thoughts in sections•  WordPress will automatically add HTML paragraph tags in the Visual editor•  Lists group related pieces of content together •  Use headings•  Use Heading 2, 3, 4, etc. to label/group sections of content•  Call out important keywords/concepts•  Bold relevant and meaningful keywords and text, but don’t abuse•  Hyperlink to other articles•  Pingbacks build deeper linking & relationships
  13. 13. Content Tips (cont.)13•  Spell-check & proof•  Spell-check plugins•  Post as “pending” and have other preview•  Think before you post•  Beware: ranting on blogs is commonplace today•  Once it’s published, it’s syndicated via RSS, reblogged, tweeted, indexed by SEs& directories…•  Write about what you like•  Don’t force yourself to write about uninteresting things, enjoy the experience.•  Avoid excess slang and localized terms
  14. 14. Content Tips (cont.)14•  Don’t hide your emotions•  If you have to, remain anonymous but voice your opinions (take a stand!)•  Show your readers your passion & seek to create good discussion•  Consider your readers/audience•  Who’s reading? Is your content useful to that person/group? Is it appropriate?•  How often will you post? Consider your audience’s attention span vs. your average article length?•  Make use of comments (even the nasty ones)•  Feedback can be rewarding and useful, whether it’s praise or constructive criticism. •  Worry about content first, then blog design, features, etc.•  Content is king! Build an audience/readership first. Get visitors to subscribe via RSS and email(increase repeat visits).•  Your site will likely undergo many design and functional iterations anyway.
  15. 15. Content Tips (cont.)15•  Use rich multimedia (images, audio, video, maps)•  The make your content pages more colorful, break up lengthy copy, and present information in avisual (and often more easily interpreted) ways•  Keep writing!•  Don’t stop publishing content•  Writer’s block could mean you’re holding back on something•  Browse and subscribe to others’ blogs for inspiration and motivation•  Write everywhere•  You can publish to your WordPress blog from your mobile phone, your iPad, popularsocial web apps like Facebook and Twitter, email, and desktop applications
  16. 16. 16Child Themes•  Inherit the functionality of a parent theme•  Typically override:•  Styling (colors, fonts, margin/padding)•  Addition or removal of functionality•  Templates•  A good way to modify third party themes without hacking the originalcode•  Provide several flavors of a parent theme•  Video of Jonathan May’s presentation:
  17. 17. 17Example•  A typical theme:wp-content/"- themes/"- twentyeleven/" - index.php" - style.css" (etc…)- twentyeleven-child/" - style.css" - functions.php" - custom-template.php" - images/
  18. 18. 18Child Theme Files•  style.css‣  Replaces parent theme’s style.css stylesheet‣  You must manually import the parent theme’s stylesheet•  functions.php‣  Loaded automatically, in addition to the parent theme’s functions.php, andloaded right before it!
  19. 19. 19How To (style.css)/*Theme Name: Twenty Eleven ChildTheme URI: http: // Child theme for the Twenty Eleven themeAuthor: Your name hereAuthor URI: http: // twentyelevenVersion: 0.1.0*/@import url("../twentyeleven/style.css");h1 {font-size:24px;}#header {margin-bottom:10px;}
  20. 20. 20How To (functions.php)<?phpfunction my_name() {echo ‘James!’;}add_action(wp_head, ’my_name);
  21. 21. 21How To (templates)•  Any template file with the same name‣  Overrides parent theme’s template file•  New template files‣  Made available to website when using child theme•  More specific template files‣  category.php in place of more generic archives.php
  22. 22. 22How To (other files)get_stylesheet_directory();vs.get_template_directory();Include Templatesrequire_once(get_stylesheet_directory() . /new_template.php);Assets (images, JS, etc.)<img src=“<?php echo get_stylesheet_directory(); ?>/images/logo.png” alt=“” />
  23. 23. Caching•  What is it?•  Practice of storing data in a way so that future accesses are much faster.•  Types•  Server-side: Expensive, repeated operations like large database queriesare performed once, saved in a cache, and served from cache (until datachanges or cache expires)•  Client-side (browser): Images, CSS, JavaScript assets are saved locally onthe visitor’s computer until a specific expiration date or until assets change23
  24. 24. Server-side Caching w/ WP•  Why W3 Total Cache?•  Recommended by notable hosts MediaTemplate, HostGator, etc.•  Used by,, etc.•  Promises at least 10x performance increase•  Reduce web server load•  Up to 80% bandwidth reduction ($$$!)•  Comes from Boston!24
  25. 25. Why W3 Total Cache?•  Server & client side caching tools for WordPress•  Recommended by notable hosts MediaTemplate, HostGator, etc.•  Used by,, etc.•  Promises at least 10x performance increase•  Reduce web server load•  Up to 80% bandwidth reduction ($$$!)•  Comes from Boston!25
  26. 26. Demo26
  27. 27. HostGator•  Cheaper hosting with unlimited storage, bandwidth and domains•  Great if you plan on starting more than 1 WordPress site•  Plenty of support for the server and you don’t need to have WordPress onit (self-install)•  Lots of software, room to experiment!27Use code TechDayCamp for 25% discount
  28. 28. WP-Engine•  WordPress only hosting•  Cheap, integrated, automatic backups and updates•  Set it and forget it!•  Secure, fast and reliable28Use code WPMeetupBoston2013 at for 1 month free
  29. 29. Thank You29Jon BishopTwitter: @jondbishophttp://johbishop.comKurt EngTwitter: @kurteng