DiggingIntoWordPress

by Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr

Tag: PHP

Import Feed, Display in Multiple Columns

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Recently I worked on a project where a single RSS feed was imported and displayed in multiple columns on the web page. Certain pages display feed items in two columns, others in groups of three or more. This technique uses WordPress’ built-in fetch_feed functionality to parse external feeds, and a slice of PHP magic to display them in multiple columns. It’s flexible too, enabling any number of columns and feed items from anywhere in your theme/template files. For example, you could display any of the following:

3 Ways to Reset the WordPress Loop

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WordPress does an excellent job of keeping track of what’s happening with the loop, but once you start customizing parameters and setting up multiple loops, it’s a good idea to explicitly reset them using one of three WordPress template tags. In this DiW post, we’ll explore these techniques to get a better understanding of when and how to use them in your WordPress themes.

Create an Articles-Only Feed

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WordPress makes it easy to publish content in any number of categories, with any number of tags, and with any type of custom post format. So for example, in addition to full articles, you could also offer screencasts, links, side posts, tweets, and all sorts of other peripheral content. Complementary material may work great for visitors surfing around your site, but including all of that extra stuff in your RSS feed dilutes the potency of your main articles. The idea here is that your visitors will subscribe to the more focused content.

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:

Ajax Requested Page Return Only Content

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I posted a little tip on CSS-Tricks the other day about how you can load only parts of other pages on a site via Ajax, and how to do that without needing additional HTML wrapping elements to keep it clean. A common criticism of this is that the Ajax request still loads the entire page, using all that bandwidth, it’s just that it only places onto the page the part you specify via CSS selector.

Specify Unique CSS File Per Post

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I’m a HUGE fan of being able to link up a CSS file on a per-page basis. I just find it extremely common that a page needs CSS styling unique to it, and I hate litering a sites main stylesheet with customizations that only one particular page needs. We’ve talked about this before, and even created a custom method for doing so, as well as mentioned the art direction plugin, which makes this easily possible.

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.

How to Widgetize Your WordPress Theme in 2 Steps

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Working on a new theme for the next Digging into WordPress book update, I found myself really getting into the whole “widgetizing” thing. Widgets enable non-technical users to customize your theme according to their specific layout needs, and with so many different widgets available, the possibilities are endless. You may have thought about widgets as something you do in the sidebar, but there is no reason to stop there. You can widgetize just about every part of your theme. In this post, we’ll show you how to do widgetize your theme in two easy steps. Once we get the basics down, we’ll dig into some sweet tips and tricks.

Remove Private/Protected from Post Titles

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I had the situation come up where I need a password-protected post in WordPress. Of course that is super easy in WordPress, you can set up a password for it right in the “Publish” box before publishing. But by default, WordPress appends “Protected: ” to the front of the post title, before and after the password has been entered. I didn’t like that, and thought that the password box was clue enough that the material was password protected.

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