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| WordPress
7 Videos to Help Publish Your Plugin on WordPress.org

There are over 37,000 plugins on WordPress.org.

That means it must be really easy to get your new plugin published on WordPress.org, right?

Wrong. It's not the most intuitive system. WordPress.org has some quirks you need to learn and hoops you'll need to jump through.

In these seven video, Topher gives you an overview of exactly what you need to do go publish your plugin on WordPress.org.

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| WordPress
make logo

Last May I noticed an announcement from a friend of mine that his company, The Theme Foundry, had released a new WordPress theme, called Make. I didn't give it much thought at the time. Most of the sites I build have custom designs, and I usually start with something like Underscores, or no theme at all. Then last fall I decided to switch my own blog to WordPress, and needed a theme, and didn't have a design. I tried out Make, and quickly fell in love.

Before I get too far into this, I'd like to point out that Make has 2 URLs you should check out. The free version of Make is in the WordPress.org theme respository. There's also Make Plus at The Theme Foundry's web site. Make Plus is actually a plugin that greatly extends the Make theme, and costs $99. It adds lots of functionality and comes with support, which is great.

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| WordPress

Recently I needed to accomplish a specific chore for my job. I needed to make a meta box in the WordPress admin.

The image below shows an example of a simple meta box. In WordPress, in the admin area, any box that holds a part of the User Interface is called a meta box.

meta box

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| WordPress
wp rocket

Server side site caching has long been a passion of mine. The speed increase for the end user combined with the lowered server resource needs simply make it a no-brainer. You need to be caching your site on the server.

Until last week I’d only worked with free plugins for caching, and been pretty pleased with my favorite, WP Super Cache. Recently however, I’ve been seeing a lot of press about WP Rocket, a plugin that costs $39. It came out about a year ago, we wrote about it back then, and I’ve kept my eye on it to see if it gets any traction. It seems to be growing well, so I did a 3-part video review for OSTraining.

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| WordPress

In June of 2010 WordPress 3.0 introduced Custom Post Types, and thereby changed WordPress from a blog platform to a Content Management System.

The power and flexibility of Custom Post Types has played a strong role in getting WordPress to the place where it powers nearly 25% of the web.

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| WordPress
desktopserver

I recently got to test drive DesktopServer from ServerPress, both the free and the premium version.

This app has a very nice interface for installing first XAMPP so you can have a local server environment, but then also for immediately installing WordPress inside it. It also does a wonderful job of managing your own computer’s hosts file, so you can invent domain names like www.my-cool-web-site.dev.

I’ve had some experience with Varying Vagrant Vagrants for local development environments, so I’m no stranger to the theory, but DesktopServer made everything much MUCH simpler. There’s a simple installer for both Windows and OS X, and a very simple interface for setting up WordPress right after that.

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| WordPress
backupbuddy-logo

I first used BackupBuddy about 4 years ago. At the time I was using it as a migration tool because it had excellent built-in search and replace tools. Over the years I’ve kept my eye on the plugin and watched it grow from a rudimentary backup plugin to an extremely powerful tool that integrates with a variety of other plugins.

I’ve actually been using BackWPup on my own site for some months now, and it got me thinking that I should review other options, so I recently did tutorial series on both BackWPup and BackupBuddy.

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| WordPress

wordpress drag dropSometimes the process of assembling all the pieces of a WordPress post can be a little confusing.  Part of that process is dealing with the image library, particularly the Featured Image. 

To associate a featured image you have to click a link which brings up the Media Library.  Then you click another to add media to the library.  Then you browse your computer to find it. 

Then you do more steps, and the process is longer than it needs to be.

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| WordPress

wordpress php mail functionPHP has a built-in function called mail() that allows you to send email.  The advantage of mail() is that it’s very easy to use.  The disadvantage is that it’s also very easy to use improperly, allowing spammers to send rafts of email through your site.

Because of this, there’ve been many wrappers and libraries written to help prevent that abuse.  Most CMSs have their own built in methods, we’re going to take a look at WordPress’ in this post.

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| WordPress

wp custom loginThis week, one OSTraining member asked us whether it was possible to improve the login experience in WordPress.

The member wondered if they could make their login process easier to use in two ways:

  1. Integrate a login page with their WordPress theme, rather than the wp-admin screen.
  2. Redirect the user to another page they were reading before, rather than the WordPress dashboard.

Fortunately, there are 2 plugins that helps to achieve this customization in just a minute.

In this tutorial, I'll show you which plugins to use for this process.

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| WordPress

wordpress debug barIt's Friday afternoon. 4:30pm. Suddenly your new email indicator lights up. A client you haven’t spoken to in months says:

"I've been getting reports that my site is running really slowly. Could you take a look?"

Ever been there? Ever spent a weekend reading through code you wrote, and then code you didn’t write, looking for what could possibly be slowing things down?

The Debug Bar plugin for WordPress can help developers analyze slow sites, as well as solving several other problems.

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| WordPress

phpmyadminPHPMyAdmin is a database administration tool.

It allows you to explore your database, make backups and, if neccessary, make changes to your database tables or content.

Many hosting companies provide PHPMyAdmin as a pre-installed option, but many hosting companies and private servers do not.

So, if you need to use PHPMyAdmin with your site, and it's not currently available with your server, here's how to install it:

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| WordPress

Simple WordPress PaymentsStripe is a wonderful credit card processor.

Stripe was built specifically to be easy for developers, which then makes it quite easy to use for end users.

Here's a getting-started guide for using Stripe with your WordPress site.

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| WordPress

breeze wordpress themeToday we're releasing Breeze, a WordPress theme that's good-looking and really easy to use.

Breeze got its name because it's so speedy and lightweight that installing it is a "breeze".

We have had a Joomla version of Breeze for several years. We've now ported the design to WordPress.

Breeze will be the default theme we use in our training classes and our upcoming book, WordPress Explained.

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| WordPress

custom sidebarsOne of our OSTraining members asked us how they could show different widgets on different WordPress pages. This isn't a feature that's available by default in WordPress.

We recommended this Custom Sidebars plugin, which makes it easy to customize which pages your widgets appear on.

In this short tutorial, we'll show you how to use Custom Sidebars.

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| WordPress

wordpress 4.1It seems like only a few weeks ago that WordPress 4.0 shipped.

Well, the WordPress team are moving quickly, and version 4.1 is now due on December 10th.

Not surprisingly, given the short time-frame, there won't be many new features in 4.1. One major feature that won't make it is the new REST API.

However, 4.1 does have one nice writing feature, a very cool internationalization improvement, and the new Twenty Fifteen Theme.

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| WordPress

better wordpress minifyBetter WordPress Minify is a plugin that reduces the loading time of your website by compressing the Javascript and CSS code. Much of these files is taken up by empty space and line breaks, and removing those can make your files smaller and faster. To remove these items is to "minify" your files.

In this short tutorial, you'll see how to use the Better WordPress Minify plugin to speed up your WordPress site.

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| WordPress

make wordpress themeOne of our absolutely favorite WordPress themes is Make from the Theme Foundry.

We use the Make theme in many of our training classes, and the feedback is always great.

Make has a drag-and-drop page builder that makes page layouts fun and easy. In these three videos, Topher shows you how to start building a site with Make.

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| WordPress

A file with a lock over it to symbolize securityOne of the most common ways that people attack WordPress sites is via the wp-login.php file.

Hackers try a "brute force attack" where they simply go to your login page and try to login as many times as they can. They try to login to your site using a masterlist of common usernames and passwords.

Every time they access that login page it adds stress to your server. If they're accessing the page multiple times per second, it can significantly slow or even crash your site.

In this video, Topher shows you how to solve this problem via a plugin called "Rename wp-login.php".

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| WordPress

wp-rocket.png WordPress has made it much easier to own and host your own website.

However, while choosing a great looking theme and adding a slider might have become easier than ever; knowing how to optimize your website still remains a complex issue.

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| WordPress

Could My WordPress Site be Hacked via TimThumb?TimThumb is a wonderful idea.

TimThumb is a script that allows your site to grab an image and resize or reshape it automatically. TimThumb will cache that new version of the image so that it can quickly be served to new visitors.

This is such a useful idea that thousands of WordPress themes have included TimThumb.

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| WordPress

Easy Digitial DownloadsWe're going to introduce you to the world's easiest way to sell digital downloads through WordPress for free - Easy Digital Downloads.

Easy Digital Downloads is easy to set up, has a ton of features that are free, and has just about any payment gateway you'd need.

The following 5 videos will help get anyone up and running with Easy Digitial Downloads:

These videos are taken from our complete Easy Digital Downloads class

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| WordPress

WordPress APIWith the release of version 3.0, WordPress moved from being a blog platform to being a content management system.

WordPress 4.1 may officially announce the arrival of WordPress' next transition, this time from a content management system to an application framework.

This change is already underway with WordPress being used for lots of apps and and external software. OSTraining members can download a whole book on building applications with WordPress.

4.1 is likely to accelerate that change by providing an API directly from the WordPress core.

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| WordPress

action filtersActions and filters are two of the most useful features of the WordPress Plugin API.

An action allows you to write a function that runs everytime a certain event happens in WordPress. For example, actions can allow you to make something happen every time a post is published. WordPress provides hundreds of actions that you can hook into, but you can also create your own actions.

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| WordPress

wp-4WordPress 4.0 is due for release in August.

Although it has a "major" number and 3.0 was a huge release, don't expect similar fireworks with 4.0.

Instead, Version 4.0 is full of cool little features that make WordPress better.

In this video, our Wordpress teacher, Topher, gives you an introduction to 4.0:

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| WordPress

wp-galleries-slideshowsWordPress is often accused of lacking features. But, it's amazing what you can do with the WordPress core and just one or two plugins.

Did you know you can make beautiful image galleries with a plain WordPress installation?

Have you seen what you can do with the JetPack and Soliloquy plugins?

Here are 3 videos to get you started with WordPress image galleries and sliders. These videos come from our class on building a WordPress portfolio site.

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| WordPress

wordpress post shortcodes pluginI love the Display Post Shortcodes plugin.

I'm not alone because Display Post Shortcodes has an almost perfect rating on WordPress.org and is an official WordPress.com plugin.

Why is this plugin so useful? Because it allows you to organize and display your WordPress content using a series of simple shortcodes.

Here are 5 examples of what Display Post Shortcodes can do.

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