WordPress Development

How to Add Shortcodes to Your WordPress Plugin

WordPress shortcodes provide an easy way to insert complex content into your posts. Content generated by plugins might be a complex HTML table, a video and playlist, some fancy jQuery interface elements–the possibilities are endless. Shortcodes empower the author to say “put that generated content right here in my post,” and then not worry about it.
Shortcodes for our Simplenotes plugin
Recently I wrote a tutorial showing how to add WordPress Pointers to your plugins. As part of the tutorial, I included a little dummy plugin so people could see the fully-working code. The plugin, called Simplenotes, does the following:

WordPress Shortcodes-Cover of an old-school secret code club book

Read more »

The Lost Commandments: Applying the Five Ws to Your WordPress Theme

When was the last time you considered “The Five Ws of Cyberspace?” Perhaps you applied them over a decade ago, when you were cranking out your first HTML site and wondering if folks would “surf your page.” Modern webmasters, on the other hand, may have never heard of them. Since the days of static websites, content management systems like WordPress have emerged and simplified the process of web development.Turnkey solutions, while convenient, typically promote ease-of-use at the expense of thought and intelligent practice.

Validating Your WordPress Theme

Read more »

Cut custom query_posts time in half with pre_get_posts

A Day in the Life of WordPress
Let’s have a look at a typical day for Mr. WordPress–hereafter referred to as “Big W.” Usually, Big W gets requests from web visitors, figures out what they want, fetches the right information from the database, and then serves it up in the right theme template. The scene goes something like this:

Web Visitor: I’d like to see http://yourdomain.com/good_page/, please.

Big W: Sure, let me get that for you.

Big W steps away to:

Parse the request to figure out which post to fetch.


Read more »

Shortcodes: Should They Be Done Differently?

Shortcodes were introduced in WordPress near the beginning of 2008, and ever since then blogging has never been the same (well, sort of). From dedicated plugins to built–in generators for themes, they have become ubiquitous with WordPress.

But, is that a good thing?

Most themes and plugins offer some sort of input mechanism to enter custom shortcodes to display content, it is then stylized with CSS and/or jQuery effects like tabbing, slides etc…

More often than not, your shortcode will look like this, in the most simplest of examples as provided by the default WordPress gallery function -



Read more »

WordPress Post Formats: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Microblogging gets a nod from WordPress core team
When I first saw the post formats feature in the works for WordPress 3.1, I was in the middle of building a live action scavenger hunt site based on the P2 theme. P2—a microblogging theme—makes it easy to add short posts to your blog from the front-end, classifying them as “Status update,” “Blog Post,” “Quote,” or “Link.”
Post formats work for me

Post Formats angry mob of lego people descends upon the post formats Codex page

Read more »

Is Your WordPress Website Just Another Business Card?

Business and entrepreneurship have fascinated me since my early teenage years. Long before I learned the mechanics of what it takes to launch a successful business, it seemed as if it was an easy feat. I have witnessed many try their hand at entrepreneurship, starting what they believed was an actual business. They’d get a really awesome idea, come up with a clever name for it, and then RUSH to have business cards printed.

Your Wordpress Website is More Than a Static Website

Read more »

Stop it with the Email! How to actually manage your WordPress project the right way…

“Hi Max. Last night, whilst watching Game of Thrones, I had this awesome idea for a new WordPress project. What I’d like you to do is…”

And so it begins…
And so it begins
You and your developer, Max, shoot a few emails back and forth and then you both realize that you’re going to need some UI/UX work done. You forward on the email trail (well, most of it, because you ended up having more than one email thread) to Kit, your UX go-to gal, to bring her up to speed.


Read more »

DesktopServer version 3.4.0 new features and bug fixes

DesktopServer is computer software that makes WordPress development on your local computer quicker, easier, and more feature-rich. Version 3.4.0 (they like to copy the WordPress Core version numbers) was released June 18, 2012, with a pleasing list of new features and bug fixes.

For those already using DesktopServer, notice the download page no longer has separate installation files for “new install” and “upgrade install”. Instead, there’s just one installation file per operating system (Windows or Mac) per version (Premium vs. Free version). This new installer gives you the option to upgrade or install a fresh version.

Some other great new features include:

ServerPress DesktopServer blueprints for local WordPress development

Read more »