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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-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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| WordPress

wp-crop-imagesWordPress is famous for being easy to use, but some features can still be confusing.

We find that cropping images is one thing that frequently confuses users.

Here's a quick guide to cropping photos in WordPress:

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| WordPress

wp-supercacheEvery time you load the frontend of your WordPress site makes many, many database calls. WordPress pulls together many different assets and compiles them into webpages.

This is really time consuming and can make your site run slowly.

WP Super Cache is a great way to make your site run more quickly.

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| WordPress

Smart Slider 2

One of our students was having issues configuring a WordPress slider that was buggy. So we suggested he give Smart Slider 2 a try instead.  After using Smart Slider 2 his review was:

"I just accomplished in less than 30 minutes what I have been trying to do since yesterday. Very intuitive ui and gives me exactly what I was looking for."

So we created this tutorial for Smart Slider 2 so that you can see what it's capable of. Let's get started.

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| WordPress

wp-automatic-updatesOne thing I love about WordPress are the easy updates.

WordPress recently introduced automatic updates for minor releases of the WordPress core. The ultimate goal is for WordPress to always update automatically so users never even realize that WordPress has updated.

Well, did you know that not only the WordPress core, but also plugins and themes can update automatically? This tutorial will show you how to enable that feature.

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| WordPress

WordPress logoA lot of people say that WordPress is easy to use.

I hear that claim all the time, but rarely see anyone show evidence that it is true.

I sat down to test WordPress.

Which tasks in WordPress are really easy? Which tasks could be made easier?

I used a system called WICS to find the answers. Here are the results ...

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| WordPress

wp-39WordPress 3.9 is due to be released in mid-April.

Topher, our WordPress teacher, is here to give you your video introduction to 3.9.

In the content creation screen there's a new version of TinyMCE and also some gallery improvements. Topher also highlights some audio and video improvements.

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| WordPress

akeeba backup wpThe de facto standard for backing up a Joomla site is Akeeba Backup. The software is excellent, feature rich, and very reliable.

The developer of Akeeba Backup has now created Akeeba Backup for WordPress, which is now in Beta and available to subscribers for testing.

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| WordPress

Why WordPress from the Developer Perspective

Last week, we launched a new video class called Why WordPress? The Developer Perspective.

We also held a webinar on the same topic. Our WordPress trainer, Topher DeRosia, guided us through the thought process behind why a site developer should choose WordPress to build a site.

Topher explained the features of WordPress that make it attractive for developers to use.

Watch the full webinar recording below:

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| WordPress

topher testing

Topher is our WordPress teacher, and he tests WordPress plugins for us.

This week Topher introduces us to the WP Smush.it plugin.

Smush.it is a Yahoo service that optimizes your website's images. Its a "lossless" tool, which means it optimizes the images without changing their look or visual quality. This plugin uses the Smush.it API to work within your WordPress site.

So, is the Smush.it plugin worth using? Let's ask Topher:

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| WordPress

topher testingThis plugin review is part of a series we call "Topher's Testing".

Topher is our WordPress teacher, and he's testing some really useful new WordPress plugins.

This week Topher introduces us to the WP Remote plugin which can monitor and update all of your WordPress sites.

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| WordPress
This plugin review is part of a series we call "Topher's Testing".

Topher is our WordPress teacher, and he's sitting down to test some really useful new WordPress plugins.

This week Topher introduces us to the Block Bad Queries plugin which is a security plugin that protects your website against malicious URL requests.

Block Bad Queries checks all incoming traffic and quietly blocks bad requests. This plugin is based on the 5G Blacklist which fixes many potential security problems.

| WordPress

topher testingThis video review is part of a series we call "Topher's Testing".

Topher is our WordPress teacher, and he's sitting down to test some really useful new WordPress plugins.

This week Topher introduces us to the WP Updates Notifier plugin, which monitors your WordPress installation for core, plugin and theme updates and emails you when they are available.

This plugin is an option if you don't login to your WordPress admin regularly or you support client sites.

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| WordPress

WordPress-Deployment-with-Deploy-Git-and-BitbucketIn recent years, developers have used WordPress for more powerful and complex sites.

As WordPress sites have become more complex, developers have required better tools. It's not common to version control and to have multiple deployment environments for production, staging or testing.

In this tutorial, we're going to show you one way to manage and deploy WordPress sites professionally. We're going to use Bitbucket, Deploy and Git to deploy a WordPress site.

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