DiggingIntoWordPress

by Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr

Author: Jeff Starr

New DiW Affiliate Program

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Earlier this year, we had to close down our original affiliate program due to fraud and abuse. We hated to do it, and have been trying since that time to find a more secure way to make it happen. Thanks to all of the great tips, ideas, and feedback we received from our original affiliates, we decided to roll with ClickBank.

Clean Up Weird Characters in Database

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It’s been a crazy month, with lots of drama all over the place. Here at DigWP.com, we had an episode where the site was all screwed up and not loading or only partially loading, blank white pages, and the whole bit. During the process of keeping it together and trying to restore full functionality, numerous database imports and exports were performed under a variety of circumstance. During the rush, apparently the most recent database backup file was somehow uncompressed outside of MySQL before final import. Several days later, that decompression/unzipping basically converted every quotation mark, em dash, en dash, ellipses and other special characters into some really ugly-looking codes.

Secure uploads, upgrade and other directories with .htaccess

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It sucks, but a lot of plugins require certain directories to be set at CHMOD 777 for its file permissions. Of course, you should not use any plugin that requires 777 directories, but if you absolutely must, you can help protect the folder by adding a thin slice of htaccess. This works great for any directory requiring “loose-ish” permissions (i.e., anything greater than 755), and may also be useful for other key folders as well.

Leave the Visual Editor ON

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Just a quick reminder to anyone out there that may not know.. Enabling the Visual Editor in your User Profile settings gets you access to both Visual and HTML editors in the Write/Edit Post screen. Just click on either tab above the toolbar to toggle between modes. So you can write your posts in HTML and then jump into the Visual Editor to take advantage of the new Linking tool, which makes adding links incredibly easy.

New Book Winner!

Congratulations to Kristin Currier for winning a free printed copy of Digging into WordPress. The giveaway question this time was what’s the most interesting thing you’ve done with WordPress? Kristin replies:

I haven’t done a damned interesting thing
with WordPress at all.

So honest! You can read about what other interesting and unusual things people are (and aren’t) doing with WordPress in the comments of the announcement/giveaway post. Again, congrats to Kristin for winning – your new book is on the way! :)

New Printed Books are Here!

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We’ve got a fresh batch of Digging into WordPress 3.1 now available in printed format. 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 edition feel really solid and durable, like you know you’re reading a well-crafted, quality book.

Quick News and Links

Just a few news items and resources worth sharing:

4 Ways to Loop with WordPress

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At the heart of the WordPress theme template is the venerable WordPress loop. When you’re looking at your index.php file, for example, the loop is the part that typically begins with if(have_posts()) and contains all the tags and markup used to generate the page. The default loop works perfectly well for most single-loop themes, but for more advanced designs with stuff like multiple and custom loops, more looping power is needed. Fortunately, WordPress provides plenty of flexibility with four ways to loop:

Admin Bar Tricks

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According to our latest poll, so far the votes are pretty much split on whether people love, hate, or don’t care about WordPress’ new Admin Bar. Over time, it looks like “Hate it” has started to pull ahead, but it doesn’t matter because the Admin Bar is here to stay, regardless of opinion. Already there are many awesome ways to make it do virtually whatever you want. In this DigWP post, we round up a ton of tips, tricks, and plugins for ultimately mastering the WordPress Admin Bar.

Over 100 of the Best WordPress Blogs

Great to see DigWP.com included in this incredible list of the Best WordPress Blogs over at ThemeShock, where you can find awesome freebies, resources, tips & tricks. They’re also giving away a free retro/vintage WordPress theme that looks pretty interesting. Check it out!

Code is poetry