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| WordPress
Creating Printer-friendly Versions of Wordpress Posts

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to place Print This Post buttons into WordPress posts and pages. The main reason you'd want to do this is to extend a courtesy to your readers. Many of them still print things they read online and you don't want them to waste that expensive printer ink just to print your logo and theme as well as the post.

Without this solution, you'd likely need to create a separate CSS file with styles specifically for the printed page. Fortunately, the WP-Print plugin makes this much easier. It will automatically create a printer-friendly version of each post or page.

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5 Reasons Not to Require Composer in Your CMS

Some people love Composer. 

They use it to build their PHP projects and manage all the external libraries and dependencies. They love it so much they say things like this: "Composer should be the only way to build a Drupal code base."

That approach is misguided, and I'm going to give you 5 reasons why.

Composer is a great tool, but it's far more limited than some people realize.

I'm going to mostly write about Drupal in this blog post, because it is further down the Composer path than any other CMS. But, some platforms like Magento and Typo3 are headed that way too. 

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Drupal 8 Composer and Configuration Management

Drupal development is changing fast, and with Drupal 8 there are lots of new tools to explore.

This week's new class is called "Drupal 8 Composer and Configuration Management" and covers the modern tools and techniques available to Drupal 8 site-builders. These have largely replaced the old standards like FTP and even Drush Make.

We'll use tools like Composer, Drush, Git, and Configuration Management and see how they all work together to make your Drupal 8 site development and management process faster, more efficient, and less error-prone.

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| Joomla
Track Search Queries on Your Joomla Site

This tutorial will show you how to track search queries on your Joomla site.

Often these queries can be a great source of information about what your visitors want:

  • They show you what visitors can't find: If one search term is really popular, it might be because people can't find it using your current menus ... it might be time to add a new menu link.
  • They show you what visitors really want: You may think people want "pink widgets" but search terms might show that people really want "blue widgets".

Read more ...

| WordPress
How to Block Spam Comments in WordPress with Akismet

Have you heard people complain that Windows computers get more viruses than Apple computers? There are many reasons for that. One of the most common is that there are just so many more Windows computers out there. That's why they make a much more inviting target.

The same is true with WordPress sites. More than 25% of all websites run on WordPress. Hence, they are a very attractive target for malicious users. It's common for WordPress beginners to end up with hundreds of spam comments on their posts.

The solution? Akismet.com. They provide a great spam-blocking service. You'll need it because around 83% of all comments are spam. 

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| WordPress
How to Add a Sitemap to Your WordPress Site

Every website needs a sitemap, but it might not be for the reasons you expect.

Sitemaps do not improve your ranking in search engines. However, they do make sure more of your site's pages get indexed. They also make sure those pages get indexed more quickly. This article presents evidence that the difference is astounding:

  • Google with a sitemap: 14 minutes
  • Google without a sitemap: 1375 minutes
  • Yahoo with a sitemap: 245 minutes
  • Yahoo without a sitemap: 1773 minutes

I'm going to show you how to add a dynamic sitemap to your WordPress website.

Read more ...

| Web Design
Dark Sidebar Menus with White Icons and Text

This week a friend commented to me that too many user interfaces look like WordPress.

That's crazy talk, I thought, until I started Googling around. Almost every open source project I looked at seemed to use a dark sidebar menu with white icons and text. WordPress didn't start this design pattern, but they certainly popularized it.

Here are some of the admin area design for about 20 non-WordPress open source projects.

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| Joomla
How to Embed Instagram Photos and Videos in Joomla

If you use Joomla, then you probably know that embeds can be confusing. It can be hard to find the right embed code and then keep it intact while using your WYSIWYG editor.

Thankfully, the OSEmbed extension makes Instagram embeds much easier.

In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how easy it is to embed Instagram videos and photos into Joomla.

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| WordPress
How to Migrate Joomla to WordPress

This tutorial will show you how to migrate a Joomla site to WordPress.

We're going to do this with an out-of-the-box Joomla site with demo content and a brand-new WordPress site.

There are two things to note before we start:

  1. This will move all of your Joomla articles and convert them into WordPress posts. However, it won't move any components, templates, modules or plugins. To achieve similar functionality with your WordPress site, use WordPress plugins.
  2. Both the Joomla and WordPress sites need to be on the same database server. This won't migrate sites if they are hosted separately.

| WordPress
How Does the CMB2 Plugin Help WordPress Developers?

Have you heard about the WordPress plugin that seems to do nothing, but is installed on over 100,000 sites?

CMB2 is one of the most popular plugins in WordPress. We feature CMB2 heavily in the new class, "How to Develop WordPress Plugins". 

However, you would never realize how important CMB2 just by installing it from WordPress.org. When you install CMB2, it is invisible - your site will not change in any way.

CMB2 is short for "Custom Metaboxes", but that name probably doesn't help if you're new to WordPress development.

All-in-all, I think it's time for some explanations ...

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| Drupal
What Are Experimental Modules in Drupal?

Drupal 8 introduced an interesting new approach called "experimental modules".

These experimental modules are included in the Drupal core, and have inspired several questions from OSTraining members. What are these experimental modules, and is it safe to use then?

Yes, experimental modules are shipped with the Drupal 8 core, but they are not yet fully supported. Here's the official explanation:

Experimental modules allow core contributors to iterate quickly on functionality that may be supported in an upcoming minor release and receive feedback, without needing to conform to the rigorous requirements for production versions of Drupal core. Like other features, new experimental modules can only be added in minor releases, but unlike other features, they may change between patch releases while they are still experimental.

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How to Develop WordPress Plugins

This week's new class is "How to Develop WordPress Plugins". The class a step-by-step guide to building your first WordPress plugin.

We've released the first 25 videos, and there's much more to come over the next few weeks and months.

In this class, you're going to build a plugin called "Big ToDo". You can click here to download the completed project. It installs and works just well as any plugin on WordPress.org.

The plugin uses a custom post type, a custom taxonomy and a shortcode for the output. As you build the plugin, you'll learn about the best practices for WordPress development, including how to follow the recommended coding standards.

This intro video gives you a feel for the class and introduces you to the plugin project:

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| Joomla
How to Recover a Lost Joomla Username and Password

We've had several people recently contact us after losing the login to their Joomla site. 

In this tutorial, you'll learn:

  1. How to recover your lost Joomla username
  2. How to recover your lost Joomla password
  3. How to recover your lost Super User password

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| Drupal
Add Parallax Styled Blocks to Your Drupal 8 Theme

In this tutorial, I will explain how to use custom block types to create a Parallax effect in your Drupal 8 subtheme.

To follow along with these steps, it would help to have a good understanding of Drupal 8 theming. You can click here to take our Drupal 8 Theming Class.

To be able to follow this tutorial, you also need to install Bootstrap and create a subtheme from the CDN folder. You can follow our guide here in our earlier post.

Read more ...

3 out of 4 members use OSTraining at least once a week. You can build great websites. We can help.   Plans from $4 per month