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| WordPress

tutuploadsmedia_1348690176825.pngWysija is a newsletter program that will let you send out newsletters from your WordPress admin.

Wysija is easy to use and allows you to design your newsletter with a drag-and-drop interface. Once it's been set up, Wysija is a perfect solution for automatically sending your new posts to subscribers.

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to create, design and send your first Wysija newsletter.

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| WordPress

 wordpress=It's not due out until December, but WordPress 3.5 already has a beta release. 

With the exception of a new theme, version 3.5 is primarily focused on removing and improving existing features, rather than adding new ones.

3.5 brings improvements to the media library, theme previews and plugin installer. It also removed the Links feature, which has been around for over a decade.

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| WordPress

It should be a simple task: move your blog from the homepage to an inside page. It's often an important part of using your WordPress site as a CMS.

Nonetheless, we often get asked to explain how to do this. Moving your blog is simple, but only once you know how.

Here, in a few short steps, is how to move your blog away from your homepage.

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| WordPress

tutuploadsmedia_1348272806221.pngBacking up your site is good.

Automatically backing up your site is better.

Automatically backing up your site to somewhere easy to use like Dropbox.com is the best.

Wordpress Backup to Dropbox is simple plugin that will automatically backup your WordPress site to your Dropbox account. Here's how it works:

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| WordPress

events-managerEvents Manager for WordPress is an excellent event registration plugin.

It has almost all of the features you'll need to organize events via your WordPress site. Features include recurring events, calendars, Google map integration, booking management and more.

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| WordPress
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WordPress is a very secure and well-coded platform. However, simply because it is so enormously popular, a lot of people try to create hacks and viruses for WordPress sites.

The Wordfence plugin is a great way to keep your WordPress site safe. Wordfence is a free plugin that scans your site for viruses, malware, trojans, malicious links and more.

In this tutorial, we're going to show you how to configure Wordfence, how to identify hacked files and what your options are for repairing them.

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| WordPress

twenty twelve 2012 wp themeStarting in 2010, the WordPress team started to annually release a new, default theme for WordPress sites.

This year they are cutting close to their own deadline. The Twenty Twelve theme narrowly missed inclusion in WordPress 3.4 and so will become the default with the December release of WordPress 3.5.

However, Twenty Twelve has now been released for testers and will soon be released to the general public via the WordPress Theme Directory. 

 

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| WordPress

google-analytics-logoAre you wondering which words attract visitors to your site? Do you want to know why people might be leaving the site? Google Analytics is the first choice, and most popular answer, for these questions.

The biggest stumbling block in the beginning is figuring out how to do the integration and where to place the code that Google Analytics needs. The Google Analytics plugin by Yoast is an easy solution and involves no messing around with the code. Here's how to use the Google Analytics plugin:

 

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| WordPress
NextGen Gallery

NextGEN Gallery is the most popular photo gallery plugin for WordPress, and with over 5 million downloads it is one of the most popular WordPress plugins of any kind.

NextGEN allows you to create beautiful galleries but also comes with powerful features such as bulk image uploads, grouping galleries into albums, and more.

We're going to show you how to get started with this popular and powerful plugin. We'll show you how to uset NextGEN to create a gallery and place it inside a post or page.

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| WordPress

s2memberIf you want to build a paid membership site, then WordPress is a great option for you.

There are many paid membership plugins for WordPress and, in this tutorial, we're going to recommend three.

Any paid membership plugin needs to do two things: create different access levels and collect payment from people who want to access those levels. We've chosen three plugins that do both well.

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| WordPress

jetpack

Jetpack is many plugins in one.

Built by Automattic, the people behind WordPress.com, JetPack offers around a dozen features including comments, statistics, social bookmarks and more.

They only have one plugin you need to pay for at this point. It's easy to see they are planning to add more of those, but the free ones work well and are adequate for a lot of websites.

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| WordPress

Gtranslate for WP is a plugin that will place a translation widget on your site, and allow for instant machine translation into 58 different languages.

Machine translation looks a bit strange to native language speakers, but it's still very useful. The free version of this plugin sends your page through Google Translate. There are also a pro and enterprise version where you can get professional translation done.

I found the installation of this to be a bit confusing. I'm going to show you how to install it so you don't have to spend time scratching your head over the non-standard installation method. Then we'll put a widget on the sidebar and see how it looks.

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| WordPress

The Google XML Sitemap plugin will generate a special sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo and Ask.com to better index your blog. Your SEO will be greatly improved if you use sitemaps, in fact, it's one of the first things you should do to get indexed faster.

With such a sitemap, it's much easier for the crawlers to see the complete structure of your site and retrieve it more efficiently. The plugin supports all kinds of WordPress generated pages as well as custom URLs. Additionally it notifies all major search engines every time you create a post about the new content.

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| WordPress

ultimate-tinymceThe default WordPress editor is designed for 80% of people. It's simple to understand, simple to use and simple in terms of features.

However, advanced WordPress users often need more features and the Ultimate TinyMCE plugin is a good choice for them.  

Here's is a short guide to Ultimate TinyMCE.

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| WordPress

WordPressWordPress released version 3.4 last month.

Now a roadmap is starting to take shape for version 3.5.

What can we expect from WordPress 3.5 and on into 2013? Read on to find out.

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| WordPress

Everyone is concerned about the speed of their website for at least two important reasons:

  • Search engines now take page speed into account when ranking.
  • People are increasingly using mobile phones and slow pages become even slower on phones.

One way to make your WordPress site run faster is with cache. WP Super Cache is just about the best cache plugin around.

This tutorial is a brief introduction to WP Super Cache that will help install and use the plugin.

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| WordPress

If you're an aspiring WordPress developer, one of the most important files you need to master is the functions.php file.

If you're developing or modifying a theme, you need to know how to get the most out your funcations.php file.

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| WordPress

Beginners don't need to know complex coding to manage their menus and navigation in WordPress. They just need to understand the Custom Menu feature that's part of the WordPress core. Before you will be able to use it, though, you will need a theme that supports it. Most of the customizations you would like to make are included in a well designed theme with the proper support.

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| WordPress

No matter what CMS we're teaching, when we come to talking about themes and designs, one question always comes up quickly: "How do I make a dropdown menu"?

This tutorial provides one answer to that question in WordPress.

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| WordPress

Matt Mullenweg said: "Child themes are the only way you should build your WordPress site on top of a framework."

Why are child themes the only way to build? If your theme updates and you don't use a child theme, all your changes will be lost. And if you don't update, you're site may well be insecure.

So, child themes are great. But the sad fact is almost no-one uses them.

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| WordPress

firebugIt can be difficult to edit WordPress templates. Many have a lot of CSS files, which makes it difficult to test and to make changes.

UPDATE: Firebug is not supported anymore. Please try Dev Tools in Firefox, or Developer Tools in Chrome instead.

We recommend that you use Firefox to help you edit WordPress themes.

Firefox is a great browser but also a great tool for working with themes. Firebug is an add-on for Firefox that gives you two really important powers:

  • You can test template design changes before you make them.
  • You can quickly track down the exact file and line number where you need to make changes.

In this tutorial, we're going to show you how to use Firebug. We're going to edit the site title in the default WordPress Twenty Eleven theme.

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| WordPress

Have you ever experienced Microsoft's famous Blue Screen Of Death? Well, WordPress has its own version commonly called the White Screen Of Death.

You are most likely to see this after upgrading WordPress to a new version, adding a plugin or a theme. 

It is possible to turn on debug mode to find the problem, but that won't really help if all you can see is a blank screen. Here are some ways in which you can recover from the White Screen of Death.

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| WordPress

Right before we jump into this tutorial, we’d like to mention an alternative method that you might find both faster and easier. As you know WordPress as a CMS relies on plugins to extend its core functionality, and one such plugin for this use case is Modula. Modula is an easy-to-use WordPress gallery plugin that makes adding flexible photo and video galleries to your website easier than ever. You can learn more about Modula by clicking here or get started right away by downloading the free plugin from the WordPress plugin repository by clicking here.

There are tens of thousands of plugins on WordPress.org, but it's amazing how much you can get done with the WordPress core and just a plugin or two.

In this tutorial we're going to show you how to create a sleek photo gallery with elegant pop-ups, all using just a default WordPress site plus only one plugin.

Step 1. Add a new post or new page

  • Click Add New for either a post or a page.
  • Click the Upload/Insert icon.
new-wp-page

Step 2. Add a list of images to that page or post

  • Open your file explorer and drag and drop a group of photos to the " Drop files here" Box.
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  • If you are successful, the image files will be listed and you will see progress bars to show you they're uploading.
uploading
  • When every one is uploaded, click Save all changes at the bottom of the list. Scroll down to see it if it's not visible.
  • There will now be gallery tab at the top of the window. This tab is specific to this page or post. If you add a new page or post, you won't see this tab until you have uploaded pictures.
gallery-tab

Step 3. Adjust settings and add the gallery

  • Scroll to the bottom of the window.
  • Choose your Gallery Settings.
  • Click Insert gallery.
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Step 4. Customize the page

  • Now you will see a gallery icon in the center of the area where you inserted your gallery.
  • You can insert text or images above or below this section to customize the page.
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Step 5. View the page to see the gallery

  • The thumbnails will show based on the settings you chose.
tree-gallery

So far so good. However, if you click on the individual images, all you see are the images flat on the page. To get a really nice pop-up effect, we'll need to add a plugin.

Step 6. Add the lightbox effect

  • Go to Plugins > Add New.
  • Search for "jQuery Lightbox For Native Galleries".
  • Install Now.
  • Activate the Plugin.
  • Go to Settings > jQuery Lightbox.
  • Choose your theme.
  • View your gallery and click a thumbnail. Your images will pop up on a light box with navigation control and image count.

tree-popup

You now have a photo gallery with a lightbox effect installed. You can make further enhancements with additional plugins. For example you can create Multiple Galleries with this extension http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/multiple-galleries/.

| WordPress

"Taxonomy" is a confusing word and one that many people don't like. It's hard to remember, it contains the word "tax", and it sounds like a little too much like "taxidermy" for comfort.

However, recently WordPress has adopted the word "taxonomy" as an additional way to organize information in more advanced ways than can be done with tags and categories.

In this example, we're going to show you how to create a full staff directory. After reading this tutorial, you'll be able to create a page for your company, sub-pages for each department in your company and finally place all your staff members into a department.

| WordPress

Custom Content Type ManagerOver the last few years people have been pushing the boundaries of WordPress as a CMS.

One of the most important boundaries has been only having posts and pages as option for your content. Custom Content Type Manager (CTM) is a plugin that allows you to go much further.

CTM allows you to create custom post types and add fields to them. You can add images checkboxes, textareas, and dropdowns and much more. And you can do all of this with little to no coding knowledge.

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| WordPress

Child themes are the professional way to modify WordPress themes. Matt Mullenweg who founded WordPress said that "child themes are the only way you should build your WordPress site on top of a [another theme]".

A child theme can use all of the functions, CSS and design features from a parent theme. The child themes only needs to contain the details it wants to change.

In this tutorial we'll use the default Twenty-Eleven theme as an example parent theme.

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| WordPress

The beta version of WordPress 3.4 is out.

So what's new? At first glance, you might say "not much". Unlike version 3.3, there are no easily visible changes to the admin area.

WordPress 3.4 is all about making theme customization easier, but even when you click on Appearance, you still won't notice any changes.

It's only when you dig deeper that you start to notice the magic.

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| WordPress

WordPress has nearly 20,000 plugins, which is both a blessing and a curse for beginners.

On the one hand, it's wonderful that so many developers have produced so much free software. On the other hand, it can be really hard to find the good plugins when there are so many to sort through.

We often get asked for our favorite plugins and so here's a list of some of the favorites used by the staff at OSTraining.

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| WordPress
OSToolbar for WordPress The OSToolbar is a great way to provide OSTraining videos to your customers.

You can give your webdesign customers WordPress videos, and they can all be watched directly from inside their site. No more confused phone calls. No more emails asking about simple WordPress features. Give them the OSToolbar, and they can watch and learn the WordPress basics for themselves. The OSToolbar is one of great benefits enjoyed by members at OSTraining.com. We also have a Joomla version of the OSToolbar.

Here's how to use the OSToolbar and to give it to your customers.

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| WordPress

wordpress-logo-stacked-rgbWordPress started out as a simple way to share your thoughts on the web through, what was then, a new concept, blogging. People wanted to keep "web logs" of their thoughts and have other people read them and contribute comments. So WordPress was born to blog and it still does an outstanding job, but has grown into a content management system (CMS) which is something much more.

WordPress is truly astounding. Whether pushing content to social networks, competing for sales and search engine position, allowing people to subscribe to specific content WordPress is not simply a website, but rather a content-publishing platform. It allows you to take part in today's "instant" information network - the internet. It gives an individual the same publishing power as a major corporation.

WordPress is an interface

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We use the term interface quite a lot. Originally it was coined to describe a method of passing information between two very different items. Sometimes between two machines (a hardware interface) to let a computer trade information with a printer as an example. A keyboard lets humans talk to computers; it's also an interface. WordPress is an interface that simplifies the way you communicate with a database. It lets you create and manipulate data with a GUI (Graphic User Interface).

WordPress makes it possible to publish all types of information without knowing how to write code. Anyone can start using a well-setup site without much training. It's fairly intuitive since it has evolved from years of user feedback and constant revision.

WordPress is a publishing platform

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The success of early bloggers created a demand for an easy way to publish news or opinions instantly. Remember the Drudge Report during the Clinton Administration? The Drudge Report was an "aggeregator" which pulled news stories and blog entries from other sources and posted them in an aggegated blog. The notariaty of the Drudge Report is only one example of what fueled the demand for easy blog creation.

The first web pages were built one page at a time by writing all the information into a file and making it look good by writing mark-up code (HTML- Hypertext Markup Language). It might take hours to create a single page on a site.

Not very efficient for the "blogosphere", where compettiion for top blogs dependend on instant publishing. This meant that the person doing the writing couldn't always be the same person that did the web development. Information was created faster than it could be disseminated by coding pages with HTML.

The concept of "database driven" websites came about. Partly because of blogs, but also because of demands of web developer to make data available on demand. In a database driven site, all the stories and pictures are stored in a data base, and the actual pages are created only when someone visits the actual URL of the page. Showing and sellng products, creating portfolios, making directories all have a common base of data that needs to be assembled and presented on demand, in different combinations and with different looks.

You could write out various applications and programs for this, but the WordPress developers have written out the programming for you. Now you have a simple, graphical way to enter information into the database. They have also written out the most common ways to display it. And now since all this data is so well organized, other people can write applications which use the same data in different ways or allow you to add new data and combine it with the old. That's what plugins are for. They expand the core capabilities of WordPress with additional applications.

WordPress is a Content Management System

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Publishing content isn't easy. It changes all the time. New content is added, old deleted. In ecommerce, prices change, sales and promotions come and go. Information needs to be very fluid, and WordPress lets you manage this ebb an flow. It also writes rules for you. For example, it will let registered users see a post, but hide it from people who aren't registered users. But managing the information isn't it's only function.

This information also has to look good and be organized properly. The underlying programing has to be safe, fast and up-to-date. Design and technology change as well as the information. WordPress handles this by separating the functions so a change in one area doesn't affect changes in another area. That's really the basic concept behind a content management system.

If you change the design, the database is unaffected and can still be used without modification; the programming isn't affected either. The same is true for all three elements. Changing one doesn't affect the other two. If all these weren't individual, you would need to build an entire new website every time there was a change. That would be very costly and very time consuming. There are four basic components to a content management system.

  1. Core programming - the common functions and files that every site needs to function at a minimal level.
  2. Data Base - The "file cabinet" of all information properly organized, sorted and tagged for easy retrieval.
  3. Theme (design) - The display of the information when it's pulled from the data base.
  4. Plugins - Additional programming that can be added to get extra functions that aren't part of the core. These can be turned on and off at will without affecting the core programming.

About WordPress

According to the WordPress Codex, "WordPress powers nearly a quarter of new sites today, is the content management system (CMS) of choice for more than two thirds of the top million sites making it the most popular on the web, and is trusted by content publishers both large and small including CNN and the NY Times. With more than 50 million sites globally and eight years of history."

The roots go back to 2001, but it made its first appearance in 2003. You can view it's history in the Codex on this page.

WordPress.org
This is the official website responsible for all communication and resources related to WordPress. From this site you can download a copy, as well as search for free plugins and free themes. Access to the codex and and the WordPress Forum can be found here as well.

The WordPress Codex

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We've mentioned it several times. This is the location of all documentation pertaining to WordPress. It is intended to be an encyclopedia of all WordPress knowledge. It is an "open wiki" which means that it is written by contributors. You can add to or modify wiki articles. You can read more about it here. If you want to contribute, start with this page.

Like most software, WordPress is distributed under a license, which means there are certain things that you are legally permitted (and not permitted) to do with WordPress software and source code. WordPress is distributed under a license called the GNU General Public License, a very popular license in the open source industry. If that doesn't ring a bell, read on.

About the GPL
gnuThe GNU General Public License, or GPL, is an open source license. Open source doesn't just mean that you can view the source code — it has political and philosophical implications as well. Open source, or "Free Software", means you are free to modify and redistribute the source code under certain conditions. Free doesn't refer to the price, it refers to freedom. The difference between the two meanings of free is often characterized as "Free as in speech vs. free as in beer." The GPL is free as in speech.

 

 

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