DiggingIntoWordPress

by Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr

Category: Design

Thumbnail Based Archives

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Here at Digging Into WordPress, we’ve attached thumbnail images to every single (non-link-style) post since day one. We started before WordPress 3.0 had the specific feature for thumbnails. We did it just by attaching a file path to the thumbnail image as a custom field. We clearly display each of those thumbnails in the design of the homepage and other various pages where it makes sense.

WordPress Custom functions.php Template, Part 2

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In a recent post, we show you how to clean up and enhance the functionality of WordPress with a custom functions.php template. In that post, we explain how using a custom functions.php template can speed up development while optimizing many key aspects of WordPress. In this post, we deliver another prime collection of 15 custom functions to enhance your WordPress site. These functions provide all sorts of useful functionality, including stuff like:

WordPress functions.php Template with 15 Essential Custom Functions

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When designing WordPress themes, I always add a common set of custom functions to the theme’s functions.php file. This speeds up development time because I don’t have to hunt for and individually copy the same slew of functions for every theme. I just drop in a copy of my functions.php template and build up from there. This takes care of all those little things that always need to be done:

Display Separate Counts for Comments, Pingbacks and Trackbacks

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In WordPress, there are three ways to respond to a post: you can leave a comment, leave a trackback, or just link to the post to create a pingback. When displaying all of the responses to your posts, it’s a good idea to separate the comments from the pingbacks and trackbacks. Uninterrupted comment threads are a pleasure to read, as are well-styled lists of pingbacks. This is an excellent way to improve the usability, organization, and stylishness of your comment areas.

How to Develop WordPress Themes Behind the Scenes

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A reader recently asked about how to develop a theme on a live site such that:

  • All visitors will see the current theme
  • Only the designer will see the new theme
  • All site plugins will work with the new theme
  • Smooth transition between old and new theme at launch

These are the main concerns, but there are a few other details that need addressed to ensure smooth theme development on a live site. Let’s take a look at how to achieve these goals and effectively develop themes behind the scenes..

Embed an MP3 Widget of Any Song (Legally)

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Let’s say you were going to start a music review site where you review individual songs. Words are great, but in this context they aren’t going to mean much unless you have the song right there to go with it that can be listened to. This presents some interesting legal problems. You can’t just upload your own copy of the song to your web server and use some kind of MP3 player on your website to present the song. That is illegal distribution of the MP3 that could get you into trouble.

Code is poetry