DiggingIntoWordPress

by Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr

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:

Database Powered CSS in WordPress Themes

“A popular ability in WordPress themes is to add custom CSS driven by options. This brings up a common question, how should the theme inject custom CSS? I’ll outline three different approaches on how to do this.”

Remove/Replace Content from the WordPress Database

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A useful tool to have in in your WordPress toolbelt is the ability to quickly and easily search for, find, and replace specific strings of text directly from the MySQL database. We can do this by entering SQL queries either directly or through one of those handy interface applications like phpMyAdmin, which seems like one of the most prevalent PHP applications on servers today.

Display “Time Ago” for Posts or Comments

Turn regular datestamps into more human-readable text (e.g. 22 minutes ago) via a built-in WordPress function.

Update 2014/02/08: 404 link removed: http://www.upthemes.com/2010/03/wordpress-master-tip-display-time-ago-for-posts-or-comments/

Custom Post Types in WordPress 3.0

Still confused about these “custom post types”? We already have categories for Posts and we can use various techniques like post_class to target certain posts with CSS and do different styling. We can also use conditionals to treat posts in different categories completely differently. Why is this going to help?

The big difference is that it actually adds sidebar links to the Admin side specifically for these new types. And beyond that, you can actually declare custom data types for different types. Instead of just “Add Post” and “Add Page”, you can have “Add Real Estate Listing”, which only will ask for “Property Name”, “Description”, “Price”, and “Sale Status”. Powerful stuff!

.net Mag, The web pro’s guide to WordPress

I just got my hands on issue #199 of .net Mag. I did an article for it on WordPress, and it’s on the cover!

They did use the wrong W for the cover, but I’m sure they got enough flack for it they won’t mess that up again =). This is probably practically an old issue for UK folks, but big bookstores in the U.S. I find do tend to stock this magazine (Sold as “Practical Web Design” in the U.S.) but always a few issues old, so I bet you could find it around about now.

Update: (404 link removed 2014/04/18)

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:

Declare Multiple Widgetized Areas

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Have a bunch of different areas you wish to declare as a widgetized area? Save repetative code by creating a quick array of their names, then loop through that array calling the register_sidebar() function on each one. Elementary PHP stuff here, but hey, it just saved me quite a few lines of code in a widget-heavy theme I am working on.

WordPress Admin Bookmarklet

Drag to your bookmarks bar, click, get a bunch of buttons for easy access to specific areas of your WordPress admin. No security concerns, other than taking people to your log in page, so assuming you have a good strong password you are fine. Also I suppose this assumes you have WP installed at the root…

Code is poetry