by Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr

Category: PHP

Call a Widget with a Shortcode

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We covered how to run a shortcode in a widget. But what about inserting a widget with a shortcode? I recently had this situation come up. I had a single page where I just wanted to be able to chuck in a widget without the whole rigmarole of creating a special widgetized area and probably a custom page template for that widgetized area and such. I wanted to just put [widget widget_name="my_widget"] in the pages content and have that widget pop in. Turns out it wasn't as easy I wanted it to be, but it's not that bad...

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.

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.

Shortcodes in Widgets

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I had occasion the other day to run a shortcode inside of a text widget. You know shortcodes... we talk about them all the time. They are keywords in [square brackets] that do something special. Sometimes something really simple like returning a string (so you can have a global location to change that string) or something complicated like call a plugin that does something fancy like build a photo gallery.

Display Separate Counts for Comments, Pingbacks and Trackbacks

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In WordPress, there are three ways to respond to a post: you can leave a comment, leave a trackback, or just link to the post to create a pingback. When displaying all of the responses to your posts, it’s a good idea to separate the comments from the pingbacks and trackbacks. Uninterrupted comment threads are a pleasure to read, as are well-styled lists of pingbacks. This is an excellent way to improve the usability, organization, and stylishness of your comment areas.

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.

WordPress Tip: Remove nofollow Attributes from Post Content

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If you have posts that include the nofollow attribute on links, you may at some point decide to remove them. By default, WordPress doesn’t insert nofollow attributes in post content, but there are a variety of plugins that will insert nofollow into all links in post content. Or perhaps you have been manually adding nofollow tags to your post links for SEO purposes. Regardless of how they got there, it’s very easy to clean things up and remove all nofollow attributes from post content.

Leave Comments Open Forever on Specific Categories or Page Templates

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I like the idea of shutting off comments after a certain number of days. Here on Digging Into WordPress we do it after 90. After that kind of time, the "community" of the discussion is long over. I think a good practice for turning off comments is to instead leave a message informing visitors that the comment thread is closed, and offer a course of action in case they have something of grave importance to share.

Custom Query Shortcode: Run a Loop inside Any Post/Page

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I had the occasion yesterday to have a page with a section on it where it would output a very specific set of other pages, which would need to change dynamically. What I could have done is built a special page template for this page, and inside that template run a query_posts() to get these posts. But I wanted this page to remain editable from the admin. Besides, creating a special page template every time you need to do something like this is too cumbersome. WordPress is extensible enough to do better.

Hence, the Custom Query Shortcode!

Google Maps Shortcode

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David Hollander of SparkWeb Interactive sent us in a little code clip for inserting Google Maps into Posts/Pages by the use of shortcodes. Google actually has copy-and-pastable iframe code already in Google Maps that is really easy to snag, but David was having problems with the Visual text editor screwing up the code when saving the Post. With a short code, no problem.

Code is poetry