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.
Update: This issue is FIXED in WordPress 3.3.
Here's the really short version: I used /%postname%/ as my permalink structure on CSS-Tricks for a long time. I have lots of Pages. My site went down. I changed my permalink structure to begin with a number. Now it's fine.
Tiny little fun idea by Dave Rupert.
Jacob Dubail turned my AnythingSlider jQuery plugin (now maintained by a number of folks) into a WordPress plugin. It's pretty neat. You create slides like you create posts, insert them with shortcodes, group them with categories, and control behavior and layout with simple backend user interface (rather than code).
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.
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 Poll! We've got several polls running in the sidebar at DigWP.com, and the latest asks which caching plugin is best. Sure it's all anecdotal and subjective, but user feedback is a fun way to see trends and get an idea of the top plugins.
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! :)
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.
Just a few news items and resources worth sharing:
- Awesome new WP theme by CyberChimps.com called iFeature is now available as a free download from the WP Theme Directory. iFeature is packed with features and really looks sharp. Check out the demo!
- There's a new HTML5 WordPress theme on the bock – HTML5Press by Tyler Longren is a beautiful looking theme with tons of features and written in good ol’ HTML5.
- Grid of Posts! Michael Clark adapted Chris' randomized grid of posts for his site's Recent Posts page. As Mike says, "it's very Flipboard-esque."
- Last but not least, Digging into WordPress is now listed on the WordPress Book Page! Special thanks to @photomatt, @nacin, @otto42, & @CoenJacobs for making it happen :)
You have two choices when adding custom functionality to your WordPress site: your theme's functions.php file, or a plugin. Ryan Imel reminds us that theme-specific functionality belongs in your functions.php file (like registering a sidebar) whereas site-specific functionality belongs in a plugin (like registering custom taxonomies), as well as teaches us how.
Update: (404 link removed 2014/11/03)