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Book Giveaway! book-giveaway-2014

To celebrate Thanksgiving, we’re giving away three copies of Digging Into WordPress! Winners will receive full access to the Members Area here at DigWP.com to download current versions of the book and all exclusive themes and bonus material. To participate, just leave a comment on this post sharing something for which you are thankful. To […]

WordPress Themes In Depth wp-themes-in-depth

Just launched my new book WordPress Themes In Depth! This book literally is packed with over 450 pages of in-depth theme-building action. If you want to develop, customize, and distribute your own WordPress themes, I think you will benefit greatly from this book. About WordPress Themes In Depth For most of this year, I have […]

Backup and Restore Theme Options backup-restore-theme-options

After taking the time to set a whole bunch of theme options, it’s nice to be able to make a quick backup of your theme settings. Many themes have this functionality built-in, but for themes that don’t, here is a plug-n-play snippet to create a “Backup/Restore Theme Options” page. You can see the snippet in […]

H5 Theme Update H5-theme

Theme update! The H5 Starter Theme is all updated and afresh for your theme-building adventures. The previous version of H5 still works great, but there was a lot of room for improvement, especially with all of the new features and functionality made available in recent versions of WordPress. So now the H5 starter theme is […]

Disable Default Dashboard Widgets wordpress-dashboard

Continuing with tips for customizing the WordPress Dashboard, here is a look at one way to remove unwanted widgets and clean up the default WP Dashboard. Using WordPress to build sites like Plugin Planet, it’s usually necessary to customize the Dashboard by removing some default widgets and adding some of my own. No big deal, […]

DigWP Update – Version 3.8 DigWP-version-3-8

Digging Into WordPress update! The book is now current with the latest version of WordPress, 3.8 “Parker”. The Parker update is focused primarily on improving the appearance of the Admin Area, along with the usual blend of bug fixes and enhancements. As with all DigWP updates, the new version is a FREE download for everyone […]

Bring Back Single-Column Dashboard in WP 3.8 single-column-dashboard

After updating to WordPress 3.8, the single-column Dashboard disappears with no options to bring it back. For years, users could set the number of columns in the Dashboard to suit their needs, but apparently some brilliant decision was made to just remove it. Personal opinions and feelings aside, here is a quick snippet to bring […]

Getting Background Updates to Work wordpress-background-updates

The new background updates feature in WordPress 3.7 is great for security and productivity, but it can be tricky getting it to work. This post explains how the same technique posted here also worked for enabling background updates. After upgrading to WordPress 3.7, I was excited to try out the new background updates feature. But […]

Book Sale and Giveaway fall-sale

To celebrate the new design and book update, we’re giving away 5 free PDF copies of Digging Into WordPress and having a Fall Book Sale! Book Sale From now thru November 1st, save $7 on the PDF version of Digging Into WordPress. Purchase includes: PDF copy of Digging Into WordPress Free updates for the life […]

Book Update: Version 3.7 DigWP-version-3-7

Digging Into WordPress update! Version 3.7 of the book is updated for WordPress 3.6 and 3.7 (beta). As with the previous 10 updates, everyone who owns the book gets the new version for FREE. As promised, the new version returns the book to its original 9-chapter format, with the bonus and update chapters moved to […]

Site Redesign Digging Into WordPress

Well sort of.. more like a design “refresh” really. DigWP.com launched in May 2009 with its first design. Then later that year it was redesigned for the launch of the book. The second (blue/grey) design was well-suited for the site and a natural progression from the first design, and the new design continues along the […]

DIY Alternative to WordPress SEO Plugins [ Basic WP SEO ]

Most SEO plugins have way too many bells and whistles for my simple needs, so I wrote a little snippet that’s meant as a drop-in, DIY replacement for the big WordPress SEO plugins. If you want a lot of features and options, then try Yoast’s awesome SEO plugin or the great All in One SEO; […]

New Book! The Tao of WordPress Tao of WordPress

I’m excited to announce the launch of my 3rd book, The Tao of WordPress! Every page of The Tao of WordPress is carefully distilled, refined, and focused on WordPress. I wrote this book for beginners, students, designers, admins, enthusiasts, and anyone who wants to rock their own WordPress-powered site. In clear, easy-to-read text, the book […]

Post Format Archives Widget post-format-archives

Custom Post Formats enable you to customize your asides, images, and other types of posts. Doing so is a great way to bring character and definition to an otherwise amorphous collection of regular posts. Then, as your custom-formatted posts grow in number, your site will feature uniquely styled archives for each of your Custom Post […]

Find the Perfect Theme with “There is a Theme for That” thereisathemeforthat

I’ve been working with WordPress for about 2 years now. I’ve set up dozens of websites for both myself and clients and finding the perfect theme has always been a bit of a chore. Don’t get me wrong, I love that there are so many to choose from, but now that there are over 100 […]

WebHostingBuzz Giveaway webhostingbuzz

We’ve teamed up with Web Hosting Buzz to present you with a superb giveaway. WebHostingBuzz are providing the following great prizes: three lucky winners will pick up an entire year of FREE hosting that includes 750 GB Disk Space, 15,000 GB monthly Bandwidth, a free domain name and more. Enter to Win! To win one […]

Display Blog Posts on any Page (with navigation) wordpress-blog-posts-page

By default, your latest WordPress posts are displayed on the home page, with older posts available via post navigation on /page/2/, /page/3/, and so on. In this DigWP post, we’ll explain how to display your blog posts on any static page using a custom WP_Query loop that works beautifully with post navigation. For example, if […]

Best of DigWP.com DigWP-2012

Chris and I launched DigWP.com back in 2009, and since that time have posted many WordPress tips, tricks, and techniques. As 2013 fast approaches, it’s a good time to look back at the most Best of DigWP for each year, 2009 thru 2012 — 4 years and counting! Top 10 of 2012 Plugins & Tools […]

Plugins & Tools for WordPress Developers wordpress-developer-tools

I recently spent some time updating my growing collection of WordPress plugins, and during the process discovered some great resources for my WP “developer toolbox.” These are some super-useful plugins and tools for debugging, logging data, working with translation files, analyzing performance, and making otherwise difficult tasks efficient and manageable. May they serve you well! […]

Elegant Themes Giveaway! elegant-themes-giveaway

To celebrate the season, Elegant Themes is giving away three free memberships to their entire theme library — an impressive collection of 78 awesome WordPress themes yours for free! Enter to win To win one of the three memberships, just leave a comment on this post letting us know the name of your favorite Elegant […]

v3.4 Printed Books Now Available! digwp-print-v3-4

Printed books in the house! The new version-3.4 printed books are now available and better than ever, updated for WordPress 3.4 with new content, refreshed graphics, and new features galore. Each book is printed in full-color, with new extra-thick covers and slick spiral binding for laying it flat while reading. These features make the print […]

Adoption Program for Abandoned Plugins wp-plugin-recycle-program-thmb

One of the the most convenient things about WordPress is the abundant 21,834+ free plugins available in the WordPress plugin repository, but how many times do you run into the scary warning at the top of the page, “This plugin hasn’t been updated in over 2 years. It may no longer be maintained or supported […]

Customizing WordPress Feeds wordpress-customize-feed

WordPress feeds enable your visitors to subscribe to your content for use in their favorite feed-reader. For example, subscribing to the main-posts feed and/or the comments feed is a great way for your readers to stay current with all the latest from your site. With WordPress, you can deliver a wide variety of “Full-text” or […]

DigWP Version 3.4 Update DiW-announce-thumb-v3-4

Digging into WordPress version 3.4 is here! The DiW v3.4 update covers WordPress 3.4, with new and revised content throughout the book. This is the book’s 10th Edition, making version 3.4 more fluid, focused and current than ever. It’s also a free update to everyone who owns either version of the book. Sneak peek! To […]

All-AJAX Theme Update all-ajax-thumb-150x150

Just a heads up! Chris’ awesome All AJAX theme is now updated to version 2.0, featuring a whole slew of improvements: Updated to use jQuery 1.7.2 Added missing ajax-loader.gif file Updated enqueue-script function Added tags display to single post-views Added support for oEmbed media embedding Added readme.txt to theme directory Updated some template tags such […]

Notification List for New Books

Just a quick note: we’re currently updating the book to version 3.4, and will be ordering a fresh batch of printed books soon. In the meantime, we’re setting up a notification list for people who want to know when the new books are back in stock. To get notified when the new books are available, […]

How to Setup Secure Media Uploads

As discussed, it’s important to protect your site by setting proper file permissions on the server. This can be tricky for certain directories such as /uploads/, /upgrade/, and /backups/, which need to be writable by the server in order for things like uploads, upgrades, and backups to work. On the one hand, you want the […]

Add Shortcut Links to the Toolbar toolbar-featured

WordPress makes it easy to add custom stuff to the Toolbar. This is a great way to personalize the look and feel of the WP Admin with custom menus, links, or whatever makes sense. To further streamline workflow, you can create keyboard-shortcuts to open your Toolbar links with a single keystroke. For example, the DigWP […]

Displaying Code on a WordPress Site highlighting

Technically there is nothing special about displaying code on a WordPress site that is different than showing it on any other site.

5+ Ways to Add Google Analytics to WordPress google-analytics

Delivered on Google’s “world-class platform,” Google Analytics is a powerful way to monitor your site’s statistics. As flexible content-publishing software, WordPress provides a variety of ways to add Google Analytics (GA) to your web pages. These techniques range from including the GA tracking code directly to using plugins that are easy to customize from within […]

Limit WordPress Post Navigation to Same Author and Category

In this DigWP post, guest author David Powell explains how to limit WordPress’ default post-navigation to include posts only from the same author and category as the currently viewed post. This method is effective, but involves making modifications to core WordPress files, something you should only do as a last resort, and if you know […]

Complete List of Default WordPress Files

When cleaning up hacked sites and testing .htaccess tricks, it’s nice to have a list of WordPress directory and file names for checking patterns and finding strings directly via Search/Find. Especially when working remotely, having a complete list of WordPress files available online can help expedite the attack-recovery process. The official Codex page lists some […]

Poll: www. or no www.?

This one’s self-explanatory, but a lot has changed so I thought I’d poll one up to see what people think. It seems there are a lot more sites these days without the www. in their canonical URLs, but a lot of big sites continue to include the “www” subdomain (think Google home page). Which one […]

Attach Unattached Media Files

Attaching any unattached media files that you may have floating around is a good way to keep things organized and running smooth. Normally, when you’re working on a post in the Edit Post screen, you click the Upload/Insert button and use the nifty drag-n-drop media uploader to get ‘er done. When you upload your media […]

Measuring Latency with Apache Bench

One of the important factors in the speed of your site is the distance between your servers and the browser visiting your site. The time it takes the information to travel from the server to the browser is called latency. Latency increases with distance, so no matter how fast your servers may be, high latency […]

Don’t fork your theme, flex it with “is_plugin_active” conditional dont-fork

Donkey Work Donkey work is really the last thing I want to be doing. Piddly tasks that could have been avoided with a little thought and perspective. Below I explain how I worked my way away from becoming a donkey with a dozen child themes to manage and maintain, with just a little knowledge of […]

Get Comment Info from the WordPress Database

An easy way for visitors to enter their emails is by commenting on a post. We did this recently for people to sign up for a notification email. Instead of using a plugin or custom function for a one-time email list, we just went with WordPress core functionality and used post comments for people to […]

v3.3 Printed Books are Here!

Good news! The new version-3.3 printed books are now available. The new books are better than ever, updated for WordPress 3.3 with new content, refreshed graphics, and new features galore. Each book is printed in full-color, with new extra-thick covers and slick spiral binding for laying it flat while reading. These features make the print […]

Digging into WordPress v3.3 Update

New version of Digging into WordPress now available! The DiW v3.3 update covers WordPress 3.3 & 3.2, with fresh new sections and updated content throughout the book. Similar to the latest versions of WordPress, DiW 3.3 refreshes the look and feel of the book, with updated graphics and screenshots, streamlined content, and new bonus versions […]

Notification List for v3.3 Printed Books

Digging into WordPress v3.3 is now available, and more printed books are on the way. It can take some time for the books to be printed and delivered, so we’re setting up a notification list for people who want to know when the new books are back in stock. To get on the list, just […]

WordPress CMS Plugins

To make room for new content for the DiW 3.3 update, we’re “excerpting” this section into its own blog post. Here you’ll find an extensive round-up of CMS plugins for WordPress. Includes CMS plugins for better admin functionality, user-role management, custom content display, e-commerce & shopping carts, forums, newsletters, and more. Administration Tools These plugins […]

Smarter Slugs ~!@$%^&*()={}<>[]?

See those crazy characters in the title of this post? Now see how they don’t appear in the post’s URL? That’s one of the finer details of the WordPress 3.3 update: smarter permalink slugs. So when you type something like you see in the title of this post, with all the funky characters, or even […]

Plugins for SOPA/PIPA Blackout

Get involved! Here is a list of stop-SOPA/PIPA plugins to help blackout your WordPress-powered site: SOPA Blackout Plugin “This plugin allows you to set SOPA blackout dates for your WordPress website, as well as a variety of options on who the anti-SOPA is shown too. You can have it shown instead of your site for […]

Goodbye Admin Bar, Hello Toolbar

When the Admin Bar hit the streets in WordPress 3.1, people seemed to either love it or hate it. And rightly so, it was a significant change in the appearance of the WP Admin area, and if not disabled in your User Profile, the front-end of your site as well. Many tips, tricks and plugins […]

Poll Results, Book News, and More!

We’ve had several polls going in the DigWP.com sidebar for quite some time now, and it’s been interesting watching the trends change over time. The first and longest ongoing poll is HTML or XHTML for Markup?, which now has over 7,000 votes. HTML or XHTML for Markup? When the poll started in April 2010, the […]

Displaying Theme Data with WordPress

A cool trick you can do with WordPress is display information directly from your theme’s style.css stylesheet. I recently used this on a site where the theme’s version number is used throughout the template to keep things current and consistent. get_theme_data() The function that makes it possible is called get_theme_data()*, and it simply returns an […]

HTML Formatting for Custom Menus

For some projects, it’s nice to output clean, well-formatted markup. Using theme template files enables great control over most of your (X)HTML formatting, but not so much for automated functionality involving stuff like widgets and custom menus. One of my current projects requires clean, semantic HTML markup for all web pages, but also takes advantage […]

Clean Up “Cannot redeclare” Hack

One of my clients was hacked with the so-called “Cannot redeclare” hack. It seems closely related to the nefarious TimThumb hack, so if you’ve been hit by either of these hacks, you should check for the other. Apparently these hacks affect shared servers, so if you host multiple WordPress sites, chances are high that they’re […]

That’s Not Spam: False Positives and Ham

Everyone loves a good comment. Readers benefit from the shared information and authors appreciate the conversation and feedback. But you gotta keep the spam out. Akismet and other anti-spam plugins do an excellent job of automating the process, but it’s a good idea to watch out for false positives: legitimate comments marked as spam. Rescuing […]

Import Feed, Display in Multiple Columns

Recently I worked on a project where a single RSS feed was imported and displayed in multiple columns on the web page. Certain pages display feed items in two columns, others in groups of three or more. This technique uses WordPress’ built-in fetch_feed functionality to parse external feeds, and a slice of PHP magic to […]