Google Analytics Premium

Google Analytics Premium by YoastWe’ve just released the first version of our Google Analytics Premium plugin! It contains custom dimension tracking, which allows you to track pageviews per author, per category, per post type and more and of course, comes with our first-class support. You can read a bit about what the plugin does below or buy it right now.

“Custom dimensions”? What’s that?

Custom dimensions allow you to track extra parameters with each pageview. For instance, you can track the author of each post or page that receives a pageview and based on that see how many pageviews specific authors get. Or you can track the category or post type and see page views split out by those. Or you can track all of those. We’ve got five custom dimensions you can track right now:

  • Author
    Tracks pageviews per author, so you can compare authors or even pay authors based on the number of pageviews their articles received.
  • Category
    Tracks the posts category, this allows you to easily see which categories are doing best on your blog and you might want to publish more in.
  • Post Type
    Tracks whether the page viewed is a post, page or any custom post type. We use it for instance to have custom reports for our plugins pages (which are a separate post type).
  • Logged In
    Tracks whether the viewer is logged in or not, this is especially useful on BBPress / BuddyPress type sites where you have a lot of logged in users.
  • Published at
    This tracks the publication time of the post or page, allowing you to compare not just months, but for instance check in december whether the posts you wrote in january or those you wrote in february did better in december.

In the “old” Google Analytics there was a feature called custom variables, which allowed tracking of these things. This was replaced by custom dimensions in Universal Analytics, which are more powerful but in truth most people won’t notice the difference. The tracking code and logic changed though and you now have to create every custom dimension you want to track in the Google Analytics admin.

Because you have to create custom dimensions in the Google Analytics admin, we knew we’d get a lot of support questions if we just released this into the wild. We’ve already created two help docs that should assist you, one on setting up custom dimensions, and one on where to find the custom dimension reports in Google Analytics.

We’ve got a couple more custom dimensions planned already, but if you’ve got suggestions for metadata you’d like to track, by all means share it in the comments.

Support for our Google Analytics plugin

The fact that we now have a premium version of our analytics plugin also means that we’re now, for the first time ever, offering support for this plugin. Our support team has grown steadily in the last few months, now covering all time zones and even answering emails on the weekend. We now solve 95% of customers issues within one day!

Want great support and custom dimensions? Buy GA Premium now!

Check out the updated page for the Google Analytics plugin and buy it right now:

Google Analytics Premium »

 

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!

How to Replace ‘Enter Title Here’ Text in WordPress

WordPress displays ‘Enter title here’ placeholder text in the title field when you create a new post. Recently one of our users asked if they can replace it with their own placeholder text. This is particularly useful when you are using custom post types or creating a custom CMS for clients. In this article, we will show you how to replace ‘Enter title here’ text in WordPress.

Replacing default title placeholder text with custom text

When and Why You Need to Replace Title Placeholder Text?

Let’s say you have created a custom post type to create personal profiles, and you want the person’s name to be used as the title. By replacing the placeholder text, you can instruct users to use this field to enter the name.

You can create any type of content, and there is no reason why you should be using a generic text when you can make it more helpful for users.

Replacing The Title Placeholder Text in WordPress

All you need to do is add this code in your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific plugin.


function wpb_change_title_text( $title ){
     $screen = get_current_screen();
 
     if  ( 'movie' == $screen->post_type ) {
          $title = 'Enter movie name with release year';
     }
 
     return $title;
}
 
add_filter( 'enter_title_here', 'wpb_change_title_text' );

Don’t forget to replace ‘movies’ with your own custom post type, and the text with your own custom text.

Let us explain the code. First we created a function wpb_change_title_text. Inside the function, we added a check to see if the user is on a particular custom post type screen.

When it detects that a user is on that particular custom post type screen, then it should return our custom title text. After that we simply hooked our function to the enter_title_here filter which allows you to change the default title text.

That’s all, you can now create a new entry in your custom post type and you will see your own custom placeholder text in the title field.

We hope this article helped you replace ‘Enter title here’ text in WordPress post editor. You may also want to check out our guide on how to add default content in WordPress post editor.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Google+.

Source: Paulund

To leave a comment please visit How to Replace ‘Enter Title Here’ Text in WordPress on WPBeginner.

On Slack and the WordPress Community

One of the announcements during the State of the Word talk by Matt this weekend was moving to Slack for internal communication. As Matt said in his own post:

For the first time in 11 years we’re switching away from IRC as our primary communication method. We’ll be moving to Slack, which has helped us set up so that every member of WordPress.org can use it. (During the keynote address the number of people on Slack surpassed our IRC channels, and is currently over 800 people.) Sign up at chat.wordpress.org

I found it to be an extraordinary decision when it comes to core philosophies and the four core freedoms, as well as the all GPL and Open Source mentality that is running among everyone in the community.

Now, I’m not against Slack in particular. I’ve used it for a bit – it’s a shiny little thingy that some people like, and it’s okay. We’re using it for a replacement of Skype with some people with Chromebooks being unable to run anything outside of the browser. The problems I generally find here are the following:

  • Slack has a free version that is fairly limited (up to 10K message searchable archive) – the rest is paid per user per month (not a problem of each user right now, but still)
  • Slack is run by a company – just a neat and nice product (as dozens other products) where decisions are driven by owners, and companies get acquired and things happen (remember when Skype was actually useful and working nicely and imo.im and other clients had the protocols running prior to Microsoft purchasing them?)
  • You can’t spin up a new server, network or a channel – it’s all behind the “network” sitting somewhere
  • I don’t think logging is a part of most applications. I know that some clone of irclogs will be incorporated, but it doesn’t seem like adding an eggbot to track all communication and exposing the log files at the end (everyone can do that in IRC btw)

I tend to have issues with the Linux clients (non-existent) and the lack of decent notifications in the web client. One of the claims is that Slack is more user-friendly and interactive, which is cool. However, the main #wordpress channel will stay alive and active in IRC which is where the new users hang out, which kinda means that the technical people and contributors in general will move to Slack – so what’s the problem with the entry barrier exactly?

On Complexity

Back on “more easy, intuitive or whatever” – desktop notifications are not working everywhere for security reasons unless you enable them explicitly (and not always again, like when you minimize your browser to fire up your IDE). The Notifications API itself I find not overly reliable still, and not having a desktop client for Linux is a limitation, even for 1% of the people (or whatever the number of Linux contributors is, compared to 0% with IRC). Being unable to receive all mentions and DMs and react instantly is a deal breaker for me as I can use email with the same success (and reply faster even).

Some fairly basic options don’t exist as “options” in Slack right now, such as hiding the left/joined messages (very annoying having 800+ people in a channel) actually requires this script, which requires Stylish or TamperMonkey, which on top of being complicated for new users (which was one of the main goals for moving off IRC) doesn’t work outside of the web view. Every IRC client I’ve seen has that setting – and most support TCL or Python so for very fine customization and automation.

Yes, you can integrate your IRC client with Slack, if your organization owner allows the gateway and with some other exceptions.

On Features

Again, I understand when people dig shiny new cool stuff. Especially while in San Francisco here – early adopters, beta testers, startup owners everywhere, it’s a way of living. And I know that there are several good features about Slack – it’s:

  • more interactive, integrating media and meta data into the chat window
  • has the “read” ability (as “seen”, although my IRC client has that too)
  • messages could be edited (arguably a great feature)
  • see when someone else is typing at the moment

However:

  • it is still a product/service behind a startup in the US which is likely to get some funding from a VC (why else would we switch to it if it’s not awesome?), or acquisition/merge request and eventually move to another direction – could be for good, but corporate interests come with business agenda in order to make more money or collect more data
  • it is derailing the Open Source values from a very GPL-centric project
  • the UI in IRC could be (to some extend) customized a lot – mIRC script users from the 90s remember how much could be achieved, and web-based IRC clients are also available and could be build in anything due to the open protocols

Final Thoughts

I don’t want to rant against a specific product, because that is not the goal of that discussion. Trac is not overly useful, but it’s open, it’s customizable, we have control over it and it’s working great so far (especially with the work on Core’s Trac over the last year and a half). Whether I enjoy using Slack, or not, is a personal preference.

Open Source values, however are not. Last year using Skype for the MP6 development got some people annoyed – I get the reasoning and it was probably the right choice for a small group of decision makers. Officially moving IRC to [closed paid product X] is an important step and should be considered carefully, unless someone is thinking of buying and “opening” the company with the product, the protocol and communications anytime soon.

In addition to that, just as we discussed the 5% rule and giving back to Open Source, let’s consider paying for time or giving back to Open Source products we use. We can improve Open Source IDEs by building scripts or paying contractors for building plugins. We can help in the support forums of open products and make the ecosystem work better. Large corporations that have to pay a lot of money for a service/product (having lots of employees) could dedicate one person’s time to improving an open protocol, service or a product. All of us could support and contribute back to Open Source projects. If mobile applications for IRC are the problem – well it’s not rocket science, the protocol is open and there are thousands of code samples – let’s make a UX-friendly IRC client for Android and iOS.

The Twitter convo also has some thoughts from me and other community people as well (full thread):

The post On Slack and the WordPress Community appeared first on Mario Peshev on WordPress Development.

Matt Mullenweg’s State of the Word Highlights Internationalization, Mobile, and New Tools for WordPress Contributors

Today Matt Mullenweg delivered his annual State of the Word address at WordCamp San Francisco, with roughly 1,000 WordPress enthusiasts and contributors in attendance and hundreds more watching via livestream.

Before jumping into the results of the survey, Mullenweg announced that this would be the last event held at Mission Bay conference center.

WordCamp USA

WordCamp San Francisco will become WordCamp USA next year. The name of the conference, location, date, and details are yet to be determined. The event has outgrown the Mission Bay venue and the organization team wants to be make room for more people and presentations.

With the undeniable success of WordCamp Europe two years in a row, pan-continental WordCamps may become more common in connecting people in various regions of the world. In fact, Mullenweg envisions that a number of “anchor WordCamps” will surface in the near future.

Internationalization Improvements to Connect the Global WordPress Community

internationalization

This year 33,000 people responded to the WordPress user and developer survey. Mullenweg stated that 2014 is likely to be remembered as a turning point for the project, noting that this was the first year that non-English downloads surpassed English downloads.

Mullenweg encouraged attendees to see locale as a wider concept that includes language, timezone, and date formats. WordPress may soon be able to provide per-user internationalization features. For example, if someone leaves a comment in Japanese, an English-speaking post author would receive the notification in English.

Language packs are coming to more plugins and themes by early 2015. Mullenweg announced that fully localized plugin and theme directories will be available in the dashboard starting with WordPress 4.1. He believes that internationalization improvements will be one of the most impactful things for WordPress’ growth over the next decade.

“If WordPress is going to be truly global, truly inclusive, it has to be fully available for other languages,” he said. The upcoming improvements give WordPress the potential to be a truly global experience.

The Importance of Responsive Mobile

As he has in many recent interviews, Mullenweg highlighted the continuing importance of responsive mobile. “There are now more phones on the planet than human beings. We need to cater to them or they’re just going to replace us,” he joked.

The future of the platform depends on having a strong mobile presence, but Mullenweg has a larger vision for how WordPress can lead the way for the next generation of the mobile web.

“Online communication is one of the great equalizers of our time,” he said. This goes hand-in-hand with the WordPress mission to democratize publishing. As mobile devices now have the capacity to do more things, Mullenweg is inspired by the idea that people can always be connected. He believes that WordPress as an application platform is poised to the lead the way.

The 2014 survey results revealed that WordPress usage as a blog and as a CMS is declining every year. However, its usage as an app framework is steadily growing.

Mullenweg highlighted the WP REST API as critical to WordPress’ ability to rapidly iterate in the future. The new API will pave the way for “completely bespoke posting interfaces,” he said. WordPress developers have often asked him when the platform will allow for theming the admin. Mullenweg hopes that the new API will make it possible for “1,000 different WordPress admins to bloom.”

Exciting New Tools for WordPress Contributors: GitHub and Slack

contributors

WordPress runs on contributions and communication. There were 785 people who contributed on five major releases since the last WordCamp San Francisco. The software recently crossed the one million commits mark. During the State of the Word, Mullenweg highlighted recent release leads and new committers, making a point to personally thank those who create the software that now runs 23% of the web.

GitHub

He also delivered several announcements to the delight of contributors in attendance. After asking the audience who has used Git and GitHub, he exclaimed, “Whoah, that’s all the hands!” He followed that up with the announcement that core contributors will soon be able to submit pull requests on GitHub.

Slack

For the first time in 11 years, the project will experiment with not using IRC as its primary communication tool. Mullenweg announced that the community will be trying out Slack for real-time communication for contributor teams. The tool is mobile friendly and has a number of strong advantages over IRC for asynchronous communication. If a ticket is mentioned in Slack, it will be linked with trac. Participation on Slack is now available to every single user on WordPress.org, replacing IRC and ad hoc Skype chats. You can visit chat.wordpress.org to initiate your invite.

Results of the 2014 survey showed that a full quarter of those surveyed make their living using WordPress, representing more than a billion dollars of economic activity per year. Mullenweg referenced his Five for the Future post encouraging companies to support the project with 5% of their time. Very few open source software projects thrive as long as the 11 years that WordPress already has, Mullenweg said. He featured three companies that have publicly committed 5% to WordPress, including Gravity Forms, WPMUDEV, and Automattic.

“This is what is going to take us from 23% to 30% or 40%,” he said. With hundreds and thousands of freelancers and companies all over the world giving back to WordPress, the project will have the momentum to continue its unprecedented growth. WordPress has now outgrown the venue of its flagship WordCamp. It has also outgrown its old communication tools. WordPress is about to explode on a global scale. Years from now we’ll look back on 2014 as a year where many key improvements positioned WordPress to further dominate the web.

WordCamp San Francisco 2014

WordCamp San Francisco 2014 is in a few days, and I’m excited to joining the largest WordPress community event so far! The great folks at SiteGround are sending me to join the WordPress Core community summit and the contributor team meetups over the next few days and I’m thrilled to meet again the majority of the WordPress contributors from all around the world.

After last year’s WordCamp San Francisco I managed to get few of my patches in Core, and contributed more than 20 patches since. It’s been exciting and incredibly valuable experience.

Let me know if you’re attending WCSF this weekend and ping me at the venue if you see me. Also, over the next few days my “Making Money Online with WordPress” book is free for Kindle owners – a fair contribution to the WordPress users who are interested in joining our community and ecosystem.

 

The post WordCamp San Francisco 2014 appeared first on Mario Peshev on WordPress Development.

Initiatives Being Developed Alongside WordPress

Opportunity Featured Image
photo credit: {Guerrilla Futures | Jason Tester}cc

While it’s easy to focus on WordPress core development, there are a handful of satellite projects to keep an eye on. There is so much happening around the WordPress project, it’s tough to keep up. This post highlights some of the satellite projects and initiatives that are being developed concurrently with WordPress.

Feature Plugin: Improve Image Editing

Led by Siobhan McKeown, the Image Flow project is aimed at improving the image editing experience in WordPress. It’s a feature that will likely not be removed, so the team is doing what it can to improve it. In the most recent meeting, the group discussed various wireframes and will be making changes based on community feedback. The group meets every Friday and uses Google Hangout to conduct meetings.

Scalable Dropdowns

Created by Helen Hou-Sandi, the scalable dropdowns project is focused on addressing some long-standing issues with dropdowns in WordPress, specifically for users and pages. An initial meeting has taken place on IRC and as a result, several issues have been opened on Github for work and discussion. If you’re interested, review the issues on Github and contribute where you’re able to. Questions related to the project can be asked here.

Meta, Date, and Taxonomy Query Improvements

Boone Gorges is leading the way towards improving WP_Meta_Query, WP_Tax_Query, and WP_Date_Query. The improvements are slated for WordPress 4.1. According to a recent project update, most of the proposed changes Gorges listed in the initial post have been made.

Inline Documentation

Shortly after WordCamp San Francisco 2013, the inline docs team began working on providing inline documentation to every hook in WordPress. The team successfully completed documented every action and filter hook as part of the release of WordPress 3.9. In a recent meeting, the group discussed options for adopting a documentation standard for core JavaScript.

WordPress Training

The training initiative is a proposed curriculum that covers everything from explaining what a theme is, to creating and altering child themes. The group is working on various training modules that make up each class. In their most recent meeting, the group discussed the status of modules in progress, infrastructure for testing modules, and a team training sign up form. If you’re interested in contributing to this project, the team has meetings every Tuesday 18:00 UTC in the #wordpress-getinvolved IRC channel.

Opportunities to Contribute

I’ve only scratched the surface with the number of initiatives available to contribute to. Whether you have a special interest in accessibility, UI, mobile, support, themes, or translations, there’s a project that could use your help. The best way to stay informed of new and existing initiatives is visit Make.WordPress.org.

11 Must-Have WordPress Plugins Every Modern Blogger Needs for that Competitive Edge

With tens of thousands of plugins in the WordPress.org repository, and growing, selecting the right plugins to get the job done can be confusing, especially for new bloggers. At the same time I’ve realized that once you’re seasoned and have tried and tested dozens of plugins, you’ll tend to settle with a few that will almost always get the job done right without any issues.

best wordpress plugins

While there are thousands of great plugins available, there are only a few in my opinion that have and will continue to stand the test of time as web user experience design gets more complex and users demand richer experiences. These plugins will give you great control over how you create and promote your content as well as how effective you are at interacting and getting valuable signups and input from your audience – which is what will drive your blog’s success.

Here are some powerful plugins that are guaranteed to give you that edge you’re looking for and the longevity you need.

Sumome Plugins

Sumome is actually a combination of 10 plugins that work to help you achieve everything you need to on your blog. The developer covers email marketing, lead generation, conversion and user behavior tracking, social sharing, form building and even advanced analytics that delve deeper into user behavior. They’re offering a complete package of free plugins that accomplish tasks you would normally have to pay for at that quality.

My favorite plugins in the bunch are the List Builder, Heat Maps and Content Analytics.

Content Analytics: Their Content Analytics plugin goes a step further than simply tallying user visits and time spent on site but shows you how readers are interacting with your content by showing precisely where they stop reading, how many of them complete articles and reports to show your most engaged content. Very powerful for tweaking where you place your call to action buttons and other content.

screenshot-2

List Builder: List Builder is a super simple email signup pop-up plugin that integrates with popular email marketing services like MailChimp, GetResponse and Aweber. This is a functionality you’d have to pay for to get anything of quality. It’s simple, free, it works and helps you build your email lists quickly.

pop-up-screenshot

Heatmaps: Another premium functionality that is rarely found for free. The Heatmaps plugin allows you to study precisely where on your site readers are clicking and interacting so you’ll have the knowledge to improve your blog to get them clicking where you want them to.

heatmap wordpress plugin

Clef

Clef eliminates the need to use passwords to access your WordPress blog; it’s the future of security as a two-factor mobile authentication and strongly encrypted solution. Two-factor authentication is particularly more secure than average solutions since it prevents hackers from accessing your site via logging in since they’d need to have your physical mobile device to do so – an additional obstacle to hacking.

Install the plugin, install the mobile app, configure your settings and you’re ready to go. No need to use a password, simply scan the unique code presented on your login screen, use your phone’s camera to scan it, then you’re in. Check out the video below for the quick demo.

Visual Composer

Visual Composer is a premium drag and drop page builder that gives you control over the layout and design of your site without the need to be a professional web developer or designer. Build responsive pages and elements, gain control of columns, insert buttons, add complex and visually appealing animation, building practically any layout you can imagine through up to 45 features and elements.

visual composer drag and drop wordpress plugin

This plugin allows the average blogger to build elite, professional page layouts by leveraging a simple drag and drop system. With a plugin like this bloggers can get very creative with building a unique presence to truly stand out. Make your mark!

Mobile ShareBar

As you better streamline your mobile strategy, every plugin you use needs to be mobile-friendly and Mobile ShareBar is a beautiful social share option. The plugin even comes with a “Share on Whatsapp” share button for iOS; a unique feature on mobile for building reach.

screenshot-2

Simply put, the plugin is fast loading, easy to setup and works great for mobile.

Tablepress

We can’t always avoid using tables, sometimes it’s the best thing you can use to present your data in a visually appealing and easily consumed format and TablePress will help you to achieve this. The plugin offers numerous functions for controlling how data is presented such as sorting features, search, coloring and more complex stuff. You can include tables in posts, pages and even widgets. An excellent plugin for inserting tables.

tablepress plugin

WordPress Social Sharing Optimization

This is an important plugin for maintaining control over how content is shared from your site to social networks. The reason this is so important is that oftentimes when readers share your content, you’ll end up with missing or inappropriate images, descriptions, image sizes and messages that don’t quite sell your content the way you’d be pleased with. WordPress Social Sharing Optimization places the control in your hands and allows control over more modern media share types like Twitter image and product cards.

WPSSO is useful for improving social engagement and clickthrough rates.

VaultPress

VaultPress is a premium backup service from the developers of WordPress and for only $5 per month, they’ll backup your WordPress website on a daily basis. It has been revealed that other free traditional backup plugins have some serious vulnerabilities like exposing your database passwords. It’s time to start spending on services that stand the best chance of protecting your business assets. Features such as one-click backups and restores mean you can easily revert and recover when you need to.

WP Smush.it

I found WP Smush.it a useful plugin for optimizing images and decreasing the bandwidth demand from your media – basically speeding up the load time for images. It optimizes images via a lossless process effective for stripping unnecessary JPEG metadata, converts GIFs to the better performing lightweight PNG formats and stripping unused colors from indexed images and therefore reducing image sizes. A great plugin for making your image heavy pages load much faster.

WordPress SEO by Yoast

SEO by Yoast is the best free SEO plugin available in my opinion. It doesn’t promise to automatically improve rankings with witchcraft-like claims as many other plugins do but allows you to gain full control over your on-page SEO strategy and that’s what you should be concerned with. It’s a plugin bundled with features to help you cover the bases you’ll definitely forget on your own like using correct meta descriptions, social sharing tags, XML Sitemap integration, link elements and page analysis to guide your SEO efforts.

It’s a standard SEO plugin for the WordPress industry and is used by even larger enterprise websites.

These plugins are perfect for getting the most out of your WordPress site and will go a long way in extending your blog’s functionality for the current modern audience and beyond.

How to Fix WordPress Website Not Updating Right Away

Recently one of our users asked us why their WordPress website was not updating right away. Basically any changes he made to widgets or new posts would not show up on the home page right away. In this article, we will show you how to fix WordPress website not updating right away.

WordPress Site Not Updating Right Away?

The most common symptom of this problem is new posts not appearing on the homepage of your WordPress site. While you can still view the single post by clicking on the view post link from the WordPress admin area, you are unable to see it on the main page.

Another common symptom of this issue is that changes made to WordPress widgets do not show up right away on the homepage.

If you are encountering this problem, then continue reading to learn how to fix this issue.

Why is my WordPress site not Updating?

Before we explain the solution, it’s important to understand what causes the problem first.

There are two common causes for this issue. The first one is your browser cache. Sometimes your browser (specially Google Chrome) will show you a cached copy of your website instead of showing the new one. To resolve this issue, you need to simply hit CTRL + F5 (or Cmd + R in Mac) buttons on your keyboard to reload the page.

The second and most likely cause of this issue is poorly configured WordPress caching plugin. To see if a caching plugin is causing this problem, you need to see if you’re using a caching plugin on your site.

Often beginners use setup W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache.

The first thing you can do is try to Empty All Caches using your cache plugin settings area.

You can do this easily by going to plugin settings page (in our demo, we’re showing W3 Total Cache). Then click Empty All Caches.

W3 Total Cache - Empty All Cache

This should work for most folks and now the changes should be visible on the homepage.

Next, you should look in your plugin settings to see if you can control what is cached by the Page Cache functionality. In W3 Total Cache menu under Page Cache, there is an option to unselect caching of front page.

W3 Total Cache - Front Page

If you unselect that, then the front page will not be cached.

Now if none of the above solutions worked for you, then you should deactivate any cache plugin installed on your WordPress site.

Deactivating W3 Total Cache plugin in WordPress

After deactivating the caching plugin, you need to visit your website to see if this resolved the issue. If it does, then this means you need to setup your cache plugin correctly.

We have simple step by step tutorials to setup W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache plugins on your WordPress site. They are both great plugins, but we like to use W3 Total Cache with MaxCDN on WPBeginner.

We hope this article helped you fix WordPress website not updating right away issue. You may also want to take a look at some of the most common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Google+.

To leave a comment please visit How to Fix WordPress Website Not Updating Right Away on WPBeginner.

Changes should happen in Code, not in UI

If you are deploying your WordPress site, it generally doesn’t make much sense to have to go in and setup changes when you push the newest version live. When you push to production, production should have all your changes.

One more benefit of this method is that you never need to be signed in with a user who can change settings, change plugins, or change themes. Being signed in as a user with as few capabilities as possible is a one part of limiting your vulnerability in case of attack

This is what I use to stop the majority of activities from happening in the UI.

tl;dr; Don’t Update Options in the admin, update them in the code.

How to Limit the Number of Posts in WordPress RSS Feed

Recently one of our users asked if there was a way to limit the number of posts displayed in RSS feed of their WordPress site. RSS feeds provide your users an easier way to subscribe to your site. However, sometimes you may want to limit the number of posts user can view in RSS feed, so it encourages them to visit your site. In this article, we will show you how to limit the number of posts displayed in RSS feed of your WordPress site.

First thing you need to do is go to Settings » Reading page in your WordPress menu.

Next, you need to change the value next to ‘Syndication feeds show the most recent’ option. Simply enter the number of posts you want to be shown in RSS feed.

Changing number of posts displayed in WordPress RSS feed

Below this option you will also see the option to show either the full text or summary of your posts in RSS feeds. We recommend using summary because it reduces the feed size and increases your pageview. After that you need to click on the save changes button to store your settings.

That’s all, you have successfully limited the number of posts displayed in RSS feed of your site. You may also want to take a look at our guide on how to add post thumbnails in RSS feed, and how to add social buttons into your RSS feed. If you are using FeedBurner for RSS feeds on your site, then we would like you to checkout our article on FeedBurner alternatives.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Google+.

To leave a comment please visit How to Limit the Number of Posts in WordPress RSS Feed on WPBeginner.

WordPress Developers – Interview with Matt Medeiros

Yesterday we had another great interview for the Google+ WordPress Developers community (over 5200 devs participating), this time with Matt Medeiros:

Matt is one of the most active podcast masters in the WordPress community, focusing on the business aspects of our ecosystem, and is also involved in several interesting projects, including Conductor.

We chatted about the current state of the podcast field out there, and covered various aspects for the life of the WordPress themes, WP Mentor and the WordPress mentorship support program and much more.

Check it out.

The post WordPress Developers – Interview with Matt Medeiros appeared first on Mario Peshev on WordPress Development.

5 WordPress Plugins to Boost Social Media Activity

5 WordPress Plugins To Boost Social Media Activity

Image from Pixabay

WordPress is one of the most widely-used content management systems (CMS) for a good reason: it can be easily tweaked and customized to your liking. However, the flexibility of WordPress to accommodate different website types, from blogs to e-commerce, hinges on the WordPress plugins used to help achieve the site owner’s goals.

For webmasters who wish to increase site visitors, one way of doing this is to use WordPress plugins that allow easy sharing of site pages on social media.

Below are five of the best WordPress plugins that you should use to get more shares, as well as possibly boost your fans and followers.

SumoMe Sharing Options

SumoMe originally worked to increase your e-mail subscribers with its List Building apps. However, it has grown to include more apps to really help site owners gain more visitors to their pages.

The Image Sharer app lets visitors share pictures on the page using Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

The Share app is a floating bar on the left side of the screen to make it easier for visitors to share the post on social media. The default available are Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. To access other social media sites where you can share the post, click on the crown icon.

The Highlighter app lets visitors easily share quotes from the post. All they have to do is highlight the text and a pop-up menu will appear on the screen so they can share it using Facebook or Twitter.

Click To Tweet by Todaymade

Create tweetable content on your post so people can easily click and share it on Twitter. Make sure to observe the 140-character limit when writing messages to tweet using this plugin.

Evergreen Post Tweeter

Another plugin that boosts site traffic using Twitter, this lets you automatically post your website content on social media. This is ideal for webmasters who manage sites with lots of content that they want to share on social media. You can set up the types of posts and under which category, allowing you full customization of the automatic tweets that will be published on your Twitter account.

wpLike2Get

If you have e-books and white papers available for download on your site, then you ought to use this plugin. Once installed, instead of people downloading the resources off your site for free, they will have to share the page on your site using their social media first before the resources become available for download.

WP Sharely

This is similar to wpLike2Get, but instead of downloadable content, it works on the actual content on the page . If you want to entice readers to read your post, you can stop at the first few paragraphs and “gate” the rest of the content using this WordPress plugin. This will encourage them to share the post in order to read the entire article. Keep in mind that this is a paid plugin.

Did we miss out on any other WordPress plugins that help site owners increase their social media activity? Let us know by commenting below!

More about WordPress plugins:

10 Free WordPress Plugins Every Blog Needs and 5 Bonus Plugins

WordPress Launches Plugin Compatibility Beta

Passing variables when loading templates in WordPress

One caveat faced by developers using get_template_part is the inability of passing variables to the loaded templates. There is, however an alternative using locate_template.

Overview

In this example we’re going to display three Easy Digital Download entries. I’ve been using EDD for a while now and while it has a lot of features it’s still surprisingly lightweight. We’ll be fetching the entries and saving them in the variable $qledds. We will then load the template passing the variable. Actually, to pass the variable is to say too much. We’ll be simply loading the template in a way the $qledds variable has the proper scope to be used in the template loaded.

Caller code

This code can be for example in a function. You can then plug that function to an area of your theme using an action hook or simply call the function as a template tag. In my themes, such as the responsive media theme Brio, I use hooks so users can later add or remove content. This is all we need for the code:

<?php
$qledds = get_posts( array(
       'post_type' => 'download',
       'posts_per_page' => 3,
    )
);
if ( $qledds ) {
    // See if the template exists and save its location
    $part = locate_template( 'parts/download-home.php' );
    // if the template location was returned, load it
    if ( '' != $part ) {
       require $part;
    }
}

Template code

Now we need the template file. If you notice the call above, the locate_template expects to find the file “download-home.php” in the directory “parts” inside the theme folder.

<?php
/**
 * Created by themesrobot
 * This template uses $edd_download, a Easy Digital Downloads entry passed as variable.
 *
 * @since 1.0.0
 */

global $post;
?>

<?php foreach ( $qledds as $post ) : setup_postdata( $post ); ?>

   <article class="home-product">

      <?php if ( has_post_thumbnail() ) : ?>
         <?php the_post_thumbnail( 'medium' ); ?>
      <?php endif; ?>

      <a class="product-link" href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>" title="<?php the_title_attribute(); ?>">
         <?php the_title(); ?>
      </a>

   </article>

<?php endforeach; wp_reset_postdata(); ?>

We must always remember to call wp_reset_postdata() after a foreach loop if we called setup_postdata().

Closing Words

So after all this, why is this useful? because users can create a template in a child theme and easily override the original template. It’s all about making life easier for your users. Sure, this can also be achieved through filters or creating pluggable functions but some users might consider editing a template focused on one task a cleaner approach than dealing with a file with a lot of functions for several different and unrelated tasks.

The one article every WordCamp organizer should read

Too many conferences focus on the mechanics and skimp on the up-front editorial strategizing, shaping, and planning. It is not enough to simply hire people because they are respected in the industry, or because they are in demand, or because their name sells tickets, or because they are available.

via On Design Conferences | Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report: Web Design News & Insights Since 1995.

I think too often as WordCamp organizers we forget that we are curating an experience and as such we need to think about what we want the attendees to walk away with.  We need to strategize, shape, and plan.  Planning doesn’t mean figuring out where to setup registration tables (though that does matter), it means planning what people will be talking about when they walk away from the event.  If they aren’t talking about something they learned, or some new way to think, the event wasn’t a success.  Go read the rest of Zeldman’s article so you can understand that “A trained ape can invite the same speakers who speak everywhere else.” and why you can do better.

Matt Mullenweg on Ensuring the Future of WordPress

Photo by Vladimir Kaladan Petkov
Photo by Vladimir Kaladan Petkov

Matt Mullenweg made waves this past weekend during his Q&A session at WordCamp Europe when he strongly advocated the importance of companies contributing back to WordPress. He offered a rule of thumb for companies that benefit from the software and want to invest in the future of WordPress:

I think a good rule of thumb that will scale with the community as it continues to grow is that organizations that want to grow the WordPress pie (and not just their piece of it) should dedicate 5% of their people to working on something to do with core — be it development, documentation, security, support forums, theme reviews, training, testing, translation or whatever it might be that helps move WordPress mission forward.

He cites the tragedy of the commons as an example fate that he hopes WordPress can avoid.

The 5% statement was instantly controversial, sparking a number of heated discussions on blogs, news sites, and Twitter. Some took exception to the wording of his suggestion, as the use of “should” implies a moral obligation, complicated further by the fact that the statement originates from a person in a position of power, who many perceive as the person most likely to benefit from increased contributions.

Granted, Mullenweg is at the helm of what is undeniably the most successful WordPress-based company in operation. Automattic is one of many companies that are entirely reliant on this software for their continued existence. Though all may not benefit equally from contribution, it does not negate the fact that the WordPress project is 100% dependent on contribution and would not exist without it. If we want to see it grow, there must be continued contribution, and in the end it doesn’t matter if that motivation is practical or ideological.

Open source businesses are free to act on Mullenweg’s suggestion of 5% contribution or to throw it out entirely. The issue cuts close to home. It’s a personal question of philosophy as much as it is a business consideration.

For Mullenweg, the suggestion of a 5% contribution originates out of a desire to ensure the future of WordPress. The project started out much like your average garage band. Mullenweg wanted a place to blog and post photos, so with the help of a handful of contributors, WordPress was born. Since the very early days, he has been unwavering when it comes to protecting user freedoms with the GPL and established the project’s mission to democratize publishing through open source software.

Before you decide to contribute, it’s a good idea to consider the future of WordPress. Where does Matt see the project going? Do you want to be a part of taking it there? I had the opportunity to speak with him at WordCamp Europe to press further into his vision of WordPress for the next decade.

Mobile

You’ve probably heard it before: mobile is a big part of the future of WordPress. Mullenweg emphasizes this in nearly every recent interview I’ve read and Automattic is aggressively hiring mobile developers. For many internet users, their mobile device is the only way they access the web. This is particularly true for users in countries like China and India. If WordPress is to gain penetration in these geographical regions, it must provide a solid mobile experience.

This puts the WordPress mobile apps in a singular place of influence, which results in a bit of controversy at the moment. Currently, the apps are packed full of WordPress.com features that provide functionality beyond the core publishing experience. Many self-hosted WordPress users find the Reader in particular to be irrelevant.

Mullenweg explained Automattic’s approach to the mobile apps:

The goal with the mobile apps is first and foremost to get as many mobile app users as possible, because I think that ensures WordPress development for years to come. They are open source projects and people can contribute code to make them do a lot of different things. The team is focused on developing the things that will be most compelling to people on the mobile side. That’s notifications, stats, and the reader.

Since the apps are open source, developers can fork them and remove unwanted features if they want to. However, this seems a bit counterintuitive for self-hosted WordPress users who don’t use WordPress.com features. The recent video ad produced by Automattic does not put the spotlight on the Reader but rather features the mobile apps in use for publishing media. Won’t people be using the publishing features more often than the Reader? Mullenweg doesn’t think so.

By definition, people read more than they write. You read far more than you write. The average blogger doesn’t post every day. They read blogs every day. In fact, they read WordPress blogs every day, over a billion per month. By connecting more of those to the active users with this thing we call WordPress, I think it opens the door for more publishing in the future, which is really exciting.

The apps are technically open source. If there’s a strong contingency of developers who don’t agree with the preeminence of WordPress.com’s Reader in the app, they can work to change that through contribution. The reality is that mobile developers are few and far between. At the moment, Automattic drives nearly 100% of the contribution on the apps and its agenda is unrivaled. These apps wouldn’t exist without the company’s contributions.

I asked Mullenweg if other contributing commercial entities are free to push their own features through the official mobile apps. “Yeah they could,” he said, but followed it up with more insight on what he believes to be Automattic’s roll in the mobile apps:

I think that in many ways, Automattic is a shepherd. When you type in WordPress into a search engine, we’re the thing that pops up first. We’re the gateway drug, the thing that brings in the billions of people who don’t use WordPress yet. That’s our responsibility.

He believes that, as more users easily gain access through WordPress.com, it will mean a greater number of those who transition to self-hosted sites, as people graduate from the service. “We’ll even help them move on,” he said. Obviously, you cannot simply download PHP files to your phone and get started.

“We want you to be able to start a blog and engage with the world of blogging 100% from the mobile device,” he said. “That requires WordPress.com and Jetpack features. Will it forever? Maybe not, but, as an idealist in a practical world, while that is not what I’d choose as a perfect solution – I’d love for you to be able to run WordPress on your phone and the world could access it, but that’s not reality today.”

So why doesn’t Automattic simply rename the apps to reflect the fact that the it heavily features WordPress.com? “We could rename it to WordPress.com App, but then there would be no WordPress app.” Automattic only has 15 mobile engineers at present and there aren’t many on the outside lining up to contribute to the open source apps. For Mullenweg, the ease of starting a free blog via the app is something that will help to ensure the future of WordPress:

It’s difficult to build an open source thing on a closed source platform. I see it as a gateway drug and it gives people more options down the road. If we don’t do anything on mobile, five years from now, when everyone is only using mobile devices, they will all have Squarespace’s or Weebly’s. WordPress is still around but it just doesn’t matter. This allows us to matter five years from now.

Mullenweg sees the apps as an easy onramp to the WordPress software in general, but recognizes that the method isn’t the most ideal situation for everyone. “The direction we’re moving is to make them more modular, so people can fork the apps more easily in the future,” he said. “If you talk to anyone on the mobile team, you will find a passion for open source.” This means that there’s the potential for the focus of the app’s development to change in the future.

Internationalization and Global Adoption

Croatian, Serbian and Slovenian WP communities with @photomatt @nacin at #WCEU - photo credit: Konstantin Tatar
Croatian, Serbian and Slovenian WP communities with @photomatt @nacin at #WCEU – photo credit: Konstantin Tatar

WordCamp Europe is unique in that it brings together many WordPress users whose primary language is not English. Mullenweg could not hide his excitement about the recent and upcoming changes related to internationalization. “If WordPress is representative of the world, then English should be a minority of the interactions, contributions and even plugins,” he said, and remarked further on how we’re still in the old mindset of taking English plugins and themes and then translating them into another language.

Personally, I am far and away most excited about the internationalization improvements, because the fact that WordPress has that many users at all in these other languages where there’s not very much documentation, no plugins, very few themes, it’s kind of amazing. Basically we have lots of usage in other countries but it’s primarily built by English-speaking people. So when that starts to change to where you can, for example, login to your dashboard in Spanish, installation, plugins and themes in Spanish, I think it could substantially change WordPress’ adoption rate.

He believes that internationalization improvements will be key to improving WordPress’ global adoption and may perhaps be more of an influential factor than the software’s incremental improvement on features:

Honestly, incremental features in WordPress probably aren’t going to change its adoption rate (the number of people starting a WP blog every day). At this point, that’s primarily driven by our reputation and existing users. What will substantively change that is if WordPress opens up to vastly more audiences than it was before, be that platforms, languages, or cost. At the moment WordPress.com is free but it’s not fully available to all languages.

WordPress already receives many contributions from contributors who do not speak English as their first language. Mullenweg believes it may be quite a ways down the road from now before WordPress core development requires translators to effectively incorporate contributions from what may someday be a larger contingency of non-English speaking lead developers.

“Maybe there’s a full-time translator working with Nacin,” he commented, imagining how internationalization could change the project in the future. With WordPress fully opened up to more languages, the software has the potential to improve at an exponentially faster rate than it does now. It’s an exciting prospect to consider.

The Value of Experimentation

In his quest to ensure the future of WordPress, Mullenweg often looks outside of the project for inspiration. He’s devoted a team at Automattic to experimenting with non-WordPress technologies. This was the team that created the Selfies app, released earlier this year.

selfies

The app wasn’t built on WordPress and didn’t appear to be as polished as other Automattic products. I asked Mullenweg why they chose to release the app in its unpolished state. He highlighted the importance of experimentation:

One thing that’s difficult in a company, as it grows, is to not just work on the thing that’s most successful. WordPress, WordPress.com, Jetpack, these are ridiculously successful by any measure. It would be very easy for all 272 people at Automattic to only work on that. One of the things we did this year is create a team that is almost like our version of Google X, except we’re not going to space. As a smaller company our ambitions are a little more modest, but we do want that sense of experimentation, and that it’s ok to release something that’s not 100% polished.

This further clarifies the release of the Selfies app, which the team presented as an accident wherein the planned Gravatar App morphed into Selfies. “There’s no one working on a Gravatar app right now,” Mullenweg said, confirming that the idea was considered and then scrapped. What they learned in the process was more valuable than delivering on the original idea.

Usage is oxygen for ideas, right? The things that we know and learn by releasing stuff, we never could have learned otherwise, so look for more of that. That team has lots of things planned – their charter is specifically not to do things that integrate with WordPress. I’d love for it to be a much larger team, actually.

This spirit of experimentation is what sets Automattic apart from many other companies that simply focus on their successful products. Perhaps it will someday translate into technology that can work alongside WordPress, especially when the software adopts more modern APIs.

The Mission

In recent press, Automattic has received considerable attention due to the fact that the company doesn’t work from one centralized office. The idea is brand new to those who have only experienced more traditional workplaces. I asked Mullenweg what he believes is truly unique about his company. He cited a few things, such as the hiring process, the reliability of WordPress.com’s technical architecture, the dedication to experimentation. But in the end, for him, everything loops back around to the mission of democratizing publishing.

I don’t think there’s anything that doesn’t exist in any other company. Obviously we’re really deeply involved with WordPress. So is 10up and many other WP consultancies. We do a ton of open source but so does Canonical, Acquia, Redhat, and everyone else. I think it’s just the combination of all of these things, the truly distributed nature, and the mission, which isn’t just about bottom lines. It has an altruistic aspect as well.

Mullenweg’s Five for the Future post compelling open source companies to strive to contribute 5% back to the core software is a hotly debated topic in the WordPress ecosystem right now. Those who do not share the same practical convictions or altruistic ideals feel that the idea comes with an implication of people “working for free.” The folks at Automattic are hoping to lead the way in proving that commercial success can go hand-in-hand with an altruistic mission. For Mullenweg, it’s part of a larger vision and an unwavering commitment to ensure the future of WordPress for all.

Brio – Media & E-Commerce Responsive WordPress Theme

00-item-details-preview

Brio is a responsive theme with a flexible flat minimal design that works as a personal blog and allows you to setup an online store thanks to its integration with WooCommerce plugin.

Overview

Brio is a theme built following WordPress standards and best practices. It offers a great showcase of your media content such as images, videos, audios and galleries. It also allows to customize your posts differently one from the other and supports creating of an online shop.

Index & Archives

Brio implements post formats to display and showcase your content in a distictively way:

  • Gallery – showcase the images in a responsive gallery lightbox.
  • Image – show an enlarged view of the image using a responsive lightbox.
  • Audio – play an uploaded mp3 file with the responsive player or insert an embed code for a site like SoundCloud.
  • Video – insert the video URL or the embed code from sites like YouTube or Vimeo.

Custom Post Types

There are also other custom post types that allow easy content creation and display:

  • Slider – display images, posts and videos.
  • Testimonials – show the love your customers left.
  • Highlights – highlight your services or special products, or whatever you consider important.
  • Forms – quickly create forms like a contact form so your visitors connect with you.
  • Banners – create banners adding an ad code or uploading and image and setting a link.

Layout & Customization

Brio introduces customization capabilities to customize the post display shown in archive and index views and also the single view. For pages, there are different layouts that can be achieved:

  • Templates
    • Archives Template
    • Business Template, useful as an alternative home page
  • Layouts
    • Full Width
    • Sidebar Left
    • Sidebar Right
    • Full Width, No Title

Home

Brio empowers you to create a great home page, with a header slider, special widget areas, and the ability to show the latest blog posts, if you’re creating a rather more personal site, or to use a page, allowing to change its appearance to give the site a corporate business appearance.

WooCommerce Integration

Brio is integrated with WooCommerce for you to create an e-commerce shop and includes custom widgets such as the product slider, that you can place for example in the home page to highlight your products, or the customized collapsible cart, which can be added to the header widget area and sits there allowing for quick access and additions to cart.

Download Brio

Download Brio now and start showcasing your media content

10 Most Wanted Category Hacks and Plugins for WordPress

Categories provide an easy way to sort your WordPress content. However, there is so much more that you can do with categories to make your site more user and search engine friendly. In this article, we will show you some of the most wanted category hacks and plugins for WordPress.

1. Category RSS Feeds

Did you know that each category on your WordPress site has its own RSS feed? Just add feed at the end of your category URL like this:

http://www.wpbeginner.com/category/news/feed/

That’s all, you can add this link on category templates. Don’t worry we will show you how to create category templates later in this article.

Another great benefit of category feeds is that you can allow your users to subscribe to categories. This gives your users a chance to only subscribe topics that interest them.

2. Category list with RSS Feed Links

The default categories widget in WordPress does not allow you to display an RSS feed link next to category names. If you would like to display feed links next to category names, then add this code in your theme’s functions.php file or a site-specific WordPress plugin.

function wpb_categories_with_feed() { 
$string .= '<ul>';
$string .= wp_list_categories('orderby=name&feed=RSS'); 
$string .= '</ul>'; 
return $string; 
}
// add shortcode
add_shortcode('categories-feed', 'wpb_categories_with_feed'); 
// Add filter to execute shortcodes in text widgets
add_filter('widget_text', 'do_shortcode'); 

You need to add [categories-feed] shortcode inside a text widget to list categories with feed links next to them.

3. Adding Category Icons in WordPress

Images make the web more interesting. You can use images to make your category pages stand-out. To associate images with your categories you need to install and activate the Taxonomy Images plugin. Upon activation you need to visit Settings » Taxonomy Images to enable images for categories.

Enabling images for categories in WordPress

To associate images with categories simply visit Post » Categories and click on the thumbnail icon to upload category images.

Adding category icons

See our guide on how to add taxonomy images in WordPress for more details.

4. Enable Categories for Pages

By default categories are only available for posts in WordPress. However, you can associate them to any post type including pages. Simply install and activate Post Tags and Categories for Pages plugin. It works out of box and there are no settings for you to configure. Simply click on pages and you will see categories and tags under the pages menu. Take a look at our tutorial on how to add categories and tags for WordPress pages for more information.

Categories for pages in WordPress

5. Enable Sticky Posts for Category Archives

In WordPress you can make posts sticky to feature them on your home page. To add sticky posts for your category pages, simply install and activate Category Sticky Posts plugin. Upon activation, the plugin adds a category sticky metabox on the post edit screen. See our tutorial on how to add sticky posts for WordPress categories for detailed instructions.

Category sticky metabox on post edit screen in WordPress

6. Creating Category Templates in WordPress

WordPress comes with a powerful theme engine. By default it looks for templates with specific names in your theme to display certain pages. For example, the category.php template in a theme is used to display all category pages.

Similarly, you can create templates for specific categories by naming the template with category name. For example, to create a template for movies category, you will name the template file category-movie.php.

Use your theme’s category.php file as the starting point for your single category template and then make the changes you need. For more detailed instructions take a look at our tutorial on how to create category templates in WordPress.

7. Exclude Specific Categories from RSS Feed

By default all your posts appear in your site’s RSS feed. If you would like to hide certain categories from site’s main RSS feed, then simply install and activate the Ultimate Category Excluder plugin. Upon activation, simply visit Settings » Category Exclusion to select categories you want to hide from your RSS feeds.

Exclude specific categories from RSS feed in WordPress

8. Show Recent Posts from Specific Categories

The main use of categories is to help you sort your content and help your users find content easily. If a user finds a post in a specific category interesting, then they are likely to read similar posts in the same category. To display recent posts from a category use this code in your theme where you want recent posts from a category to appear.

$query = new WP_Query( 'category_name=news' );

if ( $the_query->have_posts() ) {
	echo '<ul>';
	while ( $the_query->have_posts() ) {
		$the_query->the_post();
		echo '<li>' . get_the_title() . '</li>';
	}
	echo '</ul>';
} else {
	// no posts found
}
/* Restore original Post Data */
wp_reset_postdata();

Replace the value of category_name with the name of category you want to use.

9. Assign Author to Specific Categories

When managing a multi-author WordPress site you may want to assign authors to only post into specific categories assigned to them. Simply install and activate the Restrict Author Posting plugin. Upon activation, go to Users and edit the user you want to assign a category. On the user edit screen you will see a Restrict author post to a category section, where you can select the category assigned to that particular user.

Restrict author to a category

10. Show Excerpts on Category Pages

We recommend our users to display excerpts on archive and category pages. Displaying excerpts only cuts down your page load time which is good for SEO. Apart from that it also protects you from duplicate content issue on your site. To replace full content with excerpts on category pages, simply add this code to your theme’s functions.php file or a site specific plugin.


function my_excerpts($content = false) {
if(is_category()) :
	global $post;
	$content = $post->post_excerpt;
// If the post has explicitly set excerpt use that
	if($content) :
		$content = apply_filters('the_excerpt', $content);
// If no excerpt is set
	else :
		$content = $post->post_content;
		$excerpt_length = 55;
		$words = explode(' ', $content, $excerpt_length + 1);
		if(count($words) > $excerpt_length) :
			array_pop($words);
			array_push($words, '...');
			$content = implode(' ', $words);
		endif;
		$content = '<p>' . $content . '</p>';
	endif;
endif;
return $content;
}
add_filter('the_content', 'my_excerpts');

You can also replace content with excerpt by editing your theme’s category.php file and replacing the_content with the_excerpt. For more instructions see this tutorial on how to display post excerpts in WordPress themes.

We hope this article helped you learn some new category hacks and plugins for WordPress. For more best practice tips, see our guide on Categories vs. Tags (Best Practices).

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Google+.

To leave a comment please visit 10 Most Wanted Category Hacks and Plugins for WordPress on WPBeginner.

Research on the WordPress, Web Development, and Web Design Job Market

In 2012 and 2013, I did extensive research for the grant program to develop and rewrite the Web Developer degree program at Clark College. This research included an analysis of current and future job opportunities for students graduating with that degree with a solid understanding of WordPress. Now that the program has completed its first […]

Meet John Blackbourn, WordPress 4.1 Release Lead

John Blackbourn speaking at WordCamp London 2013 - WordPress.tv
John Blackbourn speaking at WordCamp London 2013 – WordPress.tv

Nine years ago, John Blackbourn was stacking shelves at a supermarket 40 hours per week and returning home to do another 20 hours of freelance work on the side. His journey with WordPress started much like many others, when his first patch was accepted seven years ago. This past weekend at WordCamp Europe, Blackbourn was named WordPress 4.1 release lead.

“I’m sure my first contribution was because I found a bug that annoyed me, so I thought I’ll patch that up and get it in there,” he said. Submitting bug reports led him to learn about Subversion, patching files, and the trac ticket manager. “That’s actually a great way for people to get into version control – when someone turns around and says ‘Write a patch for it,’ and you have to go off and figure out how to do it.”

It started off as a hobby, Blackbourn said, “building my own websites and playing around a bit.” After awhile his freelance work started to take off. “Then I was lucky enough to be able to drop my hours down to part time while I ramped up my freelance work,” he said. A couple years later, he got a job at Code For The People, a WordPress development agency and WordPress.com VIP partner.

Code for the People is made up of a flock of regular contributors to WordPress core, with founders who are passionately committed to giving back to open source software. When Blackbourn was put forward to lead the 4.1 release, his agency was behind him 110%.

“I had previously talked to Andrew Nacin about leading 3.9 and 4.0 and he’d already spoken to my bosses at Code For The People. They said, ‘Yeah go for it – we’ll give you time off work, adequate resources, and time to lead it.'”

Simon Wheatley, one of the founders of CFTP, spoke at WordCamp Europe about running an open source business, during which his co-founder, Simon Dickson, commented on donating Blackbourn’s time to core. “CFTP is a small team. Contributing John Blackbourn to WP Core won’t make our lives easy. But it’s important to us. We’ll find a way,” he said.

What’s on the horizon for WordPress 4.1?

This will be the first time that Blackbourn has led a release, although he has been a core committer for both 3.9 and 4.0. WordPress 4.1 will be a short release cycle, with less than three months, due around December 12th. He shared a few ideas with us about where he thinks 4.1 will be heading.

We’re going to try to reign in expectations for the release so we’re going to get a few nice things to do with session management and password security, etc. If we keep the potential features reigned in a bit, then hopefully we won’t be needing to take weeks off work. I expect to be doing a couple days a week that I would normally be working.

Blackbourn hopes to further extend the improvements to sessions that were made in the previous release. “The new thing in WP 4.0 is the sessions – when you log in, you actually get assigned a session now, so you can forcibly log one of your sessions out,” he explained. “So if I’m logged in on my laptop and my phone I can kick myself out of one or the other.” This now exists in WordPress on an API level and Blackbourn is hopeful that 4.1 will add a UI for it.

He has extensive experience working with multisite on a daily basis at CFTP. “We haven’t got many clients who don’t use multisite these days,” he said. When asked if there are any multisite improvements planned for 4.1, he said that there may not be much time to make significant strides on the roadmap. However, he’s optimistic about including improvements related to multisite password resets.

Since it’s his first time to lead a release, Blackbourn plans to meet with several past release leads in attendance at WordCamp Europe in order to get an overview of how it’s done. He’s one of the most humble, talented people I had the privilege of meeting at the event. Query Monitor, his comprehensive WordPress debugging plugin, is truly a work of art, and many developers can no longer live without it. Blackbourn is a benefit to the project and an excellent example of a WordPress professional who has become a high-end expert by sharpening his skills through contribution to core.

My WordPress plugins will be TimThumb free

photos-in-hand

Contextual Related Posts, Top 10 and Where did they go from here have come inbuilt with TimThumb to resize images for a long time now. However, TimThumb has had a fair share of exploits that have affected a lot of websites and although I’ve maintained the latest version of TimThumb consistently within the plugins, it required me to be on the lookout constantly for updates to TimThumb.

Ben has supported the development of TimThumb over the years, but announced that he has stopped supporting or maintaining it. This means that eventually, I’m going to drop TimThumb from my WordPress plugins.

Contextual Related Posts v2.0 comes inbuilt with complete support for WordPress thumbnails  In the next version, you’ll be able to select the inbuilt created thumbnail sizes, instead of creating a new one. This means even better support for your thumbnails, especially if you’re carving your own ones! v2.1 will remove TimThumb completely and the plugin will no longer bundle it.

I’m currently working on new versions of Top 10 and Where did they go from here and these will come with the WordPress thumbnails support out of the box as well as the option to select existing thumbnail sizes.

If you’d still like to use TimThumb, you’ll need to host this on your own and use a simple function to filter the post image. This is, in fact, how my plugins currently use TimThumb to resize the images. But, as Ben says, this will be at your own risk.

I know that this is definitely a big change. I’ve always liked how TimThumb could seamlessly resize images on the fly, but with lack of support and maintenance, it’s time to stop using it.


My WordPress plugins will be TimThumb free was first posted on September 27, 2014 at 2:56 pm.
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What Does WordPress, iThemes, Goodwill, Home Depot, and Target Have in Common? Your Identity and Security.

We received a new credit card in the mail today to replace our old one AGAIN. An “unsuccessful attempt” to access our secure security data happened and this is a precaution the bank is taking to protect us. I have no other information so I’m left wondering. Yesterday I received an email supposedly from Home […]

Google’s Search in Sitelinks and WordPress SEO

Recently, Google introduced the new “search in sitelinks” box for a lot more sites. In the past this used to be restricted to YouTube and a few other sites. If your site is eligible, you’ll see it by Googling your brand, or receiving an email like this from Google Webmaster Tools:

Sitelinks with searchbox email from Google Webmaster Tools

So let’s run through steps 1 to 3:

1 Verify you have a functioning search engine

For 99.5% of WordPress sites, this one is very easy: you type example.com/?s=query (replacing example.com with your site’s URL) and you should be seeing search results. If not; you’ve either made a conscious decision to move your search engine elsewhere or you need to fix your theme.

If you see search results but you don’t like them, read my post on how to make WordPress search suck a little bit less.

2 Add the necessary markup

Another very easy step, assuming that A, you found your search engine under step 1 and it’s the default WordPress one and B, you’re using our free or premium WordPress SEO plugin. Update to the latest version of our plugin and you’ve got the code right on your site.

If your search engine is not the default, you’ll need to change the URL using the built-in filter. If you don’t have a search engine, get one.

3 Set up a preferred canonical URL for your homepage

Step 3, and yet again, this one’s easy. If you’ve got WordPress SEO installed, this’ll have already been done for you. If you don’t have it installed, you’ll realize after reading this that now is as good a time as any to get it done.

If all is done and your site is eligible, you should be seeing something like this in the search results:

emerce search in sitelinks

Conclusion: we’ve got your back

As I said in my post about Google moving back to 10 blue links:

When we were discussing these changes with some SEO friends, one of them said “it’s awesome, it’s a chance to be the first movers on another new thing”. That’s one thing you can be sure of: we’ll be there helping you make the most of it!

That’s what we’re doing. Thanks for using our WordPress SEO plugin!

This post first appeared on Yoast. Whoopity Doo!