WordPress

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL for creating websites and blogs. Features include a plugin architecture, a template system and strong management, customization and search systems; through its dynamic presentation of content, webmasters have the flexibility to create websites easily.

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Do you think that WordPress is just for blogs?  Think again!  WordPress is really a fantastic all around platform that you can use to develop websites on.  Integrated into its basic functionality is the ability to create pages using your choice of a Visual Editor or HTML Editor.  These editors allow you to upload and insert images, videos, audio, as well as other multi-media. Absolutely great for creating simple text and media layouts.

What happens though, when you need more dynamic interaction than that which simple html could provide?  What happens if you want a page that will change based on inputs or calculations?  What do you do then?

Well, there are two choices.  One would be to install one of WordPress' great plugins, called Exec-PHP.  Exec-PHP allows you to stick code directly into your post or page and it will interpret the code correctly for execution.  There are several disadvantages to using this though.

1. You cannot use the Visual Editor

Exec-PHP can only operate correctly using the HTML Editor.  In order to use it, you must disable the Visual Editor.

2. Neither the Visual Editor nor the HTML Editor provide search functions

Writing code generally necessitates the ability to go back and debug coding.  A search feature is sorely lacking to help with this.

3. Debugging Code is difficult

The HTML editor was designed for HTML, not PHP.  If you write really complicated coding it could become very difficult to debug.…
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Expert Comment

by:WaterStreet

Voted Yes, above, for this article.
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Author Comment

by:OmniUnlimited
Thanks!
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A How-to on transferring a WordPress site (or Multisite) to another (remote, staging, development) WordPress site.
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Expert Comment

by:captain
Thank you, simple and concise!
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Wordpress Horizontal Drop-Down Menu


In this tutorial I will show you had to add a WordPress horizontal navigation menu to your theme. I have searched and searched for a good tutorial on creating a WordPress nav menu without adding a plug-in or using the SuckerFish menu. I couldn't find a good tutorial, so I decided to write one.

For this tutorial I am using the theme I built for the Experts Exchange article I wrote called "Create Your Own WordPress Theme". This theme is very basic as I wanted to keep it simple for those without much or any WordPress experience. I thought it would also be a good opportunity to cover adding additional features to a WordPress theme. If you would like to use the theme to walk through this tutorial, you can get the code here: Experts Exchange WordPress Theme Tutorial

This tutorial should work with any WordPress theme. Before you begin, I strongly recommend backing up the original theme files. If you run into any problems you will be able to restore your theme to its original design.

1. GETTING STARTED:

Open the header.php file.
Find the current navigation menu for the theme in the header files.
Here are a few examples of what to look for:

<ul>
<?php wp_list_pages('exclude=17,38' ); ?>
</ul>

Open in new window


<ul id="nav">  
<?php wp_list_pages('title_li=&depth=1'); ?>  
</ul> 

Open in new window


It may look like this if the menu has been hard coded into the theme:
<ul id="menu-main">
    <li><a href="#">Home</a></li>
    <li><a href="#">About</a></li>
    <li><a href="#">Contact</a></li>
    <li><a href="#">Blog</a></li>
</ul>

Open in new window


And here is what it looks like if you are using the EE-Tutorial Theme:

Open in new window

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Author Comment

by:jeremyjared74
Thank you WaterStreet. If you ever need any help you you decide to go back to WordPress, just let me know.
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Expert Comment

by:WaterStreet


I'll then post in the form of an EE question.  Thanks.
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How to create your own WordPress Theme


Before I begin with the theme design tutorial, I would like to give you the basics of what is required to make a WordPress Theme. The most basic WordPress theme only requires 2 files: a style.css file and an index.php file. The index.php file is the page that will hold the loop. The loop is the piece of code that WordPress uses to import your content, either posts, or pages. The style.css file is required by WordPress because it is what tells WordPress that the theme exists. The style.css file only has to contain the theme header information. You could technically create a style.css file with no CSS at all.

View the picture below to gain a better understanding of the parts of a WordPress theme.Page Parts
 
Here is the basic information that is required to be in the style.css file:
/*
Theme Name: Your Theme Name
Theme URI: http://yoursite.com/
Description: Your custom website description *(not required unless you are submitting it to the WordPress theme repository)
Author: You *(not required unless you are submitting it to the WordPress theme repository)
Author URI: http://your-website.com/ *(not required unless you are submitting it to the WordPress theme repository)
Version: 1.0 *(not required unless you are submitting it to the WordPress theme repository)
Tags: black, blue, white, two-columns, * (this isn't required either. The description Tags are what WordPress uses in the theme 

Open in new window

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Author Comment

by:jeremyjared74
Sounds like you're on the right track. One of the mistakes I made starting out was jumping in over my head. If you have the patience and are able to focus on the basics without wandering of on custom functions it'll take a lot less time to "figure it out". There are a lot of bad tutorials on the internet that can set you back and teach bad practices. Be sure of your sources, and avoid tweaking the WordPress core functions and you'll be coding like a WP All-Star  ; )
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Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
What Jeremy said.  Despite what the rankings currently reflect, he and gwkg are the true Experts :)
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What's this?


As a volunteer Page Editor for Experts-Exchange.com, I have noticed that many authors also have blogs, and pull articles from their blogs to post at Experts-Exchange. I appreciate each author sharing their blog content with our site members, and have developed this plugin to help them transition their articles from their Wordpress based blogs to Experts-Exchange.com's article system.

Get the Plugin!

Download Wordpress EE Articles Plugin

What it Does


The plugin translates your Wordpress based blog to text compatible with Experts-Exchange.com's article system's shortcode markup, which saves you the hassle of most of the reformatting of your article. It is extremely easy to use, just activate the plugin, and it will appear on your admin panel for pages and posts on the right hand side:

Screenshot

Requirements:


This plugin creates a text file called eedownload.txt in your base uploads directory for wordpress. Please make sure your uploads directory is writable!

Supported Tag Translations:


Check back to this article (or the official plugin URI here) for updates to functionality.

bold
italic
hyperlinks
bullets
h1,h2,h3 (all converted to subtitle)
Removal of &lt;!--more--&gt; tags

Graphics and pictures are currently supported and unhandled because experts exchange requires you upload then embed your graphics into an article instead of using links.

How to Install the Plugin

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Expert Comment

by:Patrick Matthews
Great stuff!

Think I'll stick with this, though :)

+1 from me
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Expert Comment

by:Ian Chapple
Very Nice i will use this plugin and easy way to install it Member
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I want to start by talking about the use of plug-ins for WordPress. I started a web-site for a company I was working for a few years ago; I had extremely basic knowledge of HTML. I am a Graphic Designer by trade so I invited the opportunity as a challenge and a chance to learn another skill and get paid for it. Content Management Systems (CMS) are a good tool for beginners and seasoned pros as well. These tips will be most useful for beginners to mid-range bloggers or designers.


With the simple WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) visual HTML editors you can start designing with little or no experience. First of all what is a plug-in? A plug-in in this case is a website program or a script that has been designed for a specific function involving web-design. Plug-in uses can range from a photo viewer or image gallery to a script that performs a specific function for your blog or website, such as adding a sidebar or what is commonly referred to as a "widget."

Let’s start off with some things that should be avoided while searching for and installing a plug-in.


THE PROBLEM:
1. Not every plug-in is tested by the WordPress, or the CMS system you are using.

2. Plug-ins can crash your blog or web-site.

3. Authors of Plug-ins can include damaging code that installs on your blog or web-site. This doesn't necessarily have to be on purpose. Someone might have good intentions but not have the skill required to do correct scripting.

4.
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Author Comment

by:jeremyjared74
Thank you ericpete, I will apply your suggestions. When I do, how do I implement them into the article. If you will tell me how this is done, I will improve the article ASAP. Again thank you for reading and suggesting on my article.
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Administrative Comment

by:Eric AKA Netminder
jeremyjared74,

You should be able to edit your article. I'll get a notification of it, and we can go from there.

The main thing, of course, is that adding the URLs to the specific "recommendation" pages for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc. will give people an idea of where to look, and what to look for.

ep
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If you are looking for plug-ins to add functions to your WordPress small business web site, take some time to read though this comprehensive list.  These are all the plugins I use for my customers WordPress web sites, as well as my own.  Be sure to visit my technology blog at ConnectToRemoteSupport.com to see most of these plugins in action.

AddToAny: Share/Bookmark/Email Button - Help readers share, bookmark, and email your posts and pages using any social networking service.

Contact Form 7 – Be sure to install this comprehensive contact form plug-in; simple to use and very flexible – a must have.

Really Simple CAPTCHA - Module that works with Contact Form 7 to generate CAPTCHA text

Google Analytics for WordPress - This plug-in adds Google Analytics code as well as automatic clickout and download tracking.

Google XML Sitemaps - This plug-in generates a special XML sitemap which helps search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog.

Lightbox 2 – Automatic photo lightbox used to overlay images on any page or post.

Simple Tags - Adds suggested tags, mass edit tags, auto completion, tag cloud widgets, related posts, related tags and a lot more.

Visitor Maps and Who's Online - Displays visitor maps with location pins for the visitors estimated location. Includes who’s online sidebar to show current and previous user details.  Widget available to display visitor stats to your users.

WP-Polls
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How to install BuddyPress on your self-hosted WordPress site

It’s been called everything from “social networking in a box” to “Facebook without the terms of service,” but until Feb. 16, BuddyPress was a relatively unknown outside the WordPress MU (multiple user) community.

The release of BuddyPress 1.2 last month is starting to change that, making it possible to add a social networking layer to the standard, self-hosted version of WordPress (AKA, the WordPress.org install) for the first time. Note: BuddyPress can’t be installed on WordPress.com-hosted blogs. For a breakdown of the different WordPress projects, read more about The WordPress Projects You Haven’t Heard About.

So, if you like Facebook or MySpace, but aren’t a fan of the terms of service or other fallbacks of those sites, BuddyPress allows you to set up your own social network for your WordPress site with the features that work for you and your community.

And, it’s open source and GPL licensed, just like WordPress.

By following these three easy steps, you’ll be able to install BuddyPress on your existing WordPress install and turn your blog into a fully functioning social networking site:

1. Back up your site/database and install WordPress,  if you haven't already. Here’s a review of what the latest version of WordPress offers.
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WordPress has made it easy to create scalable sites based on their powerful CMS, but as great as WordPress is, there are some SEO issues that haven’t been addressed out of the box.  Fortunately these problems can be solved with a few plugins.  The following are the only 6 WordPress SEO plugins that you need to optimize your site.

All in One SEO Pack

This is a really powerful plugin that lets you change many of the most important on-page elements for SEO.  You can systemically set the way page titles, meta descriptions, and meta keywords will be displayed across your site, but you can also change these individually on each post or page that you create. The All in One SEO Pack also lets you set the canonical URL tag, and will display it on each page - this is a great way to help establish the canonical version of your site.

Get the All in One SEO Pack plugin WordPress

Google Analytics for WordPress

The Google Analytics for WordPress plugin is a pretty simple but important plugin. Once you have installed this plugin, all you have to do is set up a Google Analytics account and then add your account ID during the plugin process and you are set.  One of the cool features built into the plugin is that you can choose between placing the tracking code in the footer, before the…
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Author Comment

by:Geoff Kenyon
Thanks Jenn, let me know if you have any questions
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
I had a desperate need for wikilinks but my googling skills failed to turn up Cross Linker. It's an absolute diamond.

Thanks Geoff.

:)

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Now that you've installed WordPress 2.9 on your site, you need to install some plugins to get the most out of what the open source publishing platform has to offer.

Most all of the plugins you'll ever need can be found at WordPress.org, while a few others haven't yet made it into the repository for one reason or another and can be installed manually if need be.

Either way, it's best to use a plugin that's been tested by the community and has a positive user rating. You should also back up your files before installing any new plugins.

Back to the point of this Article, which is to shine a light on some of the best plugins for WordPress sites. While there are hundreds of plugins, these are some of the ones I feel are most useful for day-to-day WordPress users.


Akismet

This one's a no-brainer as it's included with the initial install of WordPress and is a great first line of defense against Spam comments. Even for blogs that get very little traffic, Akismet is a critical addition as more than 80% of comments are in fact Spam.

To get Akismet up and running, you'll need to activate it and enter a WordPress.com API key.


Fast and Secure Contact Form

Another way to keep Spam away, this time in your inbox, is to use the Fast and Secure Contact Form
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Expert Comment

by:b0lsc0tt
Another great article for WordPress.  Thanks for letting me know about some plugins I thought I didn't need or would not be interested in.  I was wrong and will have to try at least a couple of them out, even in my simple blog. :)

bol
0

Expert Comment

by:deoyagya
This is simply amazing stuff. PLease keep up the good work.
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Like there are many different versions of Wordpress, there are also a handful of related side projects WordPress users should be familiar with.  

All of these projects are open source and GPL licensed, which means there are few restrictions to using them.

These projects also use much of the same functionality and integrate well with one another, which is nice for those who are familiar with the WordPress code base and functionality. Some projects are even portable and have the ability to stand on their own if developed correctly.

A closer look at the entire WordPress family:

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

One of the most frequent questions I get from WordPress newbies is, "What’s the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org?"

Well, it’s pretty simple really.

WordPress.com is like Blogger.com’s free blogging service, where users sign up, pick a blog name and the blog is hosted at yourname.wordpress.com.

WordPress.com actually uses WordPress MU, which I’ll explain later, and doesn’t allow for a great amount of customization or give users the ability to install WordPress on their own domain. It’s typically used by novice bloggers or those who don’t care about having their own domain and would rather have wordpress.com host the blog than pay a monthly fee for hosting.

While many bloggers begin their joyride through the blogosphere on WordPress.com or Blogger.com, many eventually graduate to WordPress.org’s complete version. Here's a
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Expert Comment

by:b0lsc0tt
Thanks for the interesting article!  Great information and I found out about BackPress, which I am not sure I have looked at before.  Although my need for it will be outside WP your info makes me think I may still be able to use it (and may not have a hard time making it work ;)).

Thanks for the info and your time writing the article!

bol
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Expert Comment

by:younghv
BMilneSLO,
I really enjoy reading the EE Articles on topics where I have ZERO knowledge, but can understand what the Author is saying. You did a great job with making this readable and I appreciate that.

"Yes" vote above.
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Who says nothing in life is free?

WordPress.com is a freebie. WordPress.org's downloadable publishing platform is free. Heck, even WordPressMU is free.

WordPress is an open source project, which means it can be used on any personal or commercial website for free and is licensed under the General Public License (GPL).

But the free part isn't what makes WordPress (here's what's included in WordPress 2.9) a worthwhile platform for your blog.

Here are the real reasons WordPress has separated itself from the Bloggers and the TypePads of the world.

User friendly

Usability. User Experience. UX. Call it what you want, WordPress is easy to use.

The interface is intuitive and the user experience is always improving.

In short, Wordpress is all about the user, constantly evolving with major releases three to four times a year to make life easier for everyone, whether you’re the developer, designer, administrator, blogger or reader of that particular blog or site.  

Supporting the cause

It’s extremely difficult to find good help these days, especially when mega corporations like Google have a stranglehold on the Web.

Try contacting a supersite like Facebook, for example, and you’ll find out what I mean. No e-mail addresses to be found anywhere. Contact forms can be found after some heavy…
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Expert Comment

by:b0lsc0tt
Great article!  Thanks for sharing it and the time to make it.  I don't know that I am the same level of a "WordPress fan" as you are but it really is great.  It is nice to have something that really can work for various skill levels and needs.  That is always so hard to find and WP seems to have succeeded (at least in my opinion).

bol
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Expert Comment

by:Kevin Cross
Thanks for sharing, Brian!
We use WordPress for an important site here and good to have such a knowledgeable WP evangelist here at EE willing to share the knowledge with us.

Voted Yes above.
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Did you use a default hosting installation of wordpress with the intention of it being your actual site?  Maybe you’ve installed it as a Blog to your current site and recently converted it to be the main site and do away with the old .htm pages.  And the best reason yet – you’re the person hired to revamp an old site for a client that cannot allow down-time or design time during the process interrupting their current site.

Now we have the perfect installation and setup in a sub-domain.  How do we quickly and easily make that a root installation without losing anything or getting into that dreaded PhpMyadmin for crazy attempts at fixing the problem?

It’s not nearly as scary as you think.  All you need is the ftp access, wordpress admin (wp-admin) access (which I’m sure you already have if you’re attempting to do this), and follow three important steps in order.  Key here is “IN ORDER”.

1

First: It’s highly unlikely that you’ll need to worry about overwriting any important files in the root with the exception of the index page.  So first off, in the root, rename the index (any and all – whether they’re .htm, .html, .php, etc.).

2

Next: Log in to the wordpress admin area.  On the menu, choose Settings > General.  You’ll need to change both the wordpress address and the blog address.  Please note that if the current URL in the text field has a trailing slash (/), it’s best to keep this format on the chance that your theme is counting …
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Expert Comment

by:BMilneSLO
Good stuff Dzynit. Thanks for your contributions! I have a few sites I have to move over, so I'll let you know how it goes.
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The community spoke and the WordPress core development team listened.

When the WordPress team convened to discuss upcoming media features for WordPress 2.9 last July, it polled the community to get a feel for what features should be considered a priority.

The WordPress.org survey results made it clear what its users were thirsting for -- drastic improvements to media albums, image editing and video/media embed functionality.

WordPress 2.9-- released this past weekend after six months of development and 500 ticket, bug and feature requests -- addresses all of the above and then some with numerous media features and enhancements that pave the way for the much-anticipated release of WordPress 3.0 this spring.

WordPress "2.9 provides the smoothest ride yet because of a number of improvements under the hood," WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg noted in his release post, "and more subtle improvements you'll begin to appreciate once you've been around the block a few times."

After spending the weekend getting under the hood of the 2.9 release, I have to agree those back-end tweaks have made for a faster, more efficient interface. And I know the general WordPress community has been impressed by the additions on the dashboard side of things. From the global trash can feature and video embedding improvements, to a new built-in image editor, WordPress becomes more user friendly with each and every release.

Before You Upgrade
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Expert Comment

by:Eric AKA Netminder
BMilneSLO,

This article worked exactly as advertised; I have updated several sites that use WordPress, and each of the upgrades went flawlessly.

Congratulations on having an EE-Approved article!

ep
PE
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Author Comment

by:BMilneSLO
Just updated the end of the article to note today's release of WordPress 2.9.2.
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WordPress

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL for creating websites and blogs. Features include a plugin architecture, a template system and strong management, customization and search systems; through its dynamic presentation of content, webmasters have the flexibility to create websites easily.