by Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr

Author: Chris Coyier

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.

Setting Up a Simple Backup Process for WordPress

Use the WP-DB-Backup Plugin, have it send a copy to your email. This is what we do on DiW and it works great. Part of security is having clean and recent copies of your data in case of failure.

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

How to Keep WordPress Secure

WordPress is like Windows, it's a huge target so hackers are extra-motivated to exploit it.There has been a bunch of brew-ha-ha over WordPress security over the last week or so. It started off a few weeks ago with a really easy URL hack to reset the Admin's password. That ballooned into a far nastier exploit allowing a new admin to be created who could totally hose a site. Matt Mullenweg does a little damage control here by essentially saying the best way to stay secure is to stay updated to the latest version. I wholeheartedly agree, and think that that step is just a part of a complete security breakfast (the upcoming book will have lots on security). I have probably nearly 20 WordPress sites I maintain and every single one of them was at 2.8.4. It's so trivially easy to upgrade, It's a no-brainer.

Look Ma, Editable Text Regions

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WordPress is a CMS. The whole idea being to manage content and make websites editable without having to wrangle code. Any theme can handle Posts and Pages, but what about those "smaller" areas. Little chunks of text placed around a design like a small "about" section, or the copy in the footer of a website. A lot of times this text is hard-baked right into the theme, which isn't a very friendly way to do things, as it can't be updated by average Joe user.

CMS Your WordPress with These 10 Plugins

WordPress is a CMS out of the box, but sites that are really deep in page templates and hierarchies can benefit from some help on the back end for managing them all. This roundup of plugins do just that.

Note: link removed 2013/04/21http://www.thinkdave.com/cms-your-wordpress-with-these-10-plugins/

New WordPress Search API (Plugin)

This looks promising. Runs MySQL Fulltext search, as well as integration with Google Custom Search Engine.

On the search results page you can refine your search by specifying whether to search posts, pages, and comments. You can also sort the results by relevance, date, or alphabet. The Advanced Search link leads to a form where you can specify author, categories, tags, and date range.

I haven't tested it yet though, so I can't officially vouche for it, but I'm really looking forward to playing with it. Built in WordPress search has sucked too hard for too long.

10 Useful WordPress Hook Hacks

Smashing Magazine with a characteristically nice set of tricks for WordPress, this time revolving around hooks. You can attach your own functions to hooks in that funny file functions.php that everyone is raving about. Neat ideas including entering default text directly into the TinyMCE Editor, and putting entire Post contents into a PHP variable.

Remember though that functions.php is theme-specific, so in my opinion should be used for things that are specific to a given theme, while content and admin things should be left to plugins.

Breadcrumbs in WordPress

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Breadcrumbs are such a standard design pattern these days I find it surprising there isn't a build in WordPress function for displaying one. But no matter, that's what plugins are for. A quick Google search brings up a couple. Yoast has one, so you know that one is pretty good. The other popular one is the NavXT plugin, which I actually used recently on a project and can fully vouch for it.

Getting More Fine-Grained with Includes

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I was recently putting together a site where I found it very useful to have a number of small areas of the site as separate chunks of code I could include in templates at will. The site wasn't unusual at all, it just never occurred to me to get this fine-grained with includes before, but I'm starting to do it now and I like it.

Code is poetry