DiggingIntoWordPress

by Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr

Clean Up Weird Characters in Database

Posted by on

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.

AnythingSlider Plugin

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).

Secure uploads, upgrade and other directories with .htaccess

Posted by on

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

Posted by on

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!

Posted by on

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:

Create Your Own Functionality Plugin

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)

Code is poetry