Professional WordPress Plugin Development review

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed books on this blog and I think it’s about time to start doing that again. And I couldn’t have chosen a better book to start with then “Professional WordPress Plugin Development” written by Brad Williams, Ozh Richard and Justin Tadlock.

This is the book I’ve been waiting for ever since I started to work with WordPress 3 years ago. As a theme designer and developer you really have a lot of documentation online. However, the instance you need to do some wild things with WordPress you realize there just isn’t enough information to go on. I’m talking about stuff like plugin security, proper way of handling plugin settings, ajax in WordPress, cron, the rewrite API and developing for multisite.

Read more

wp_nav_menu shortcode

Along with WordPress 3.0 we now have access to the really useful wp_nav_menu functionality. We can now create our own menus without resulting to several plugins or tricks.

Another cool thing we can do with this new menu is build the sitemap. I was in need the other day of a plugin that would generate a sitemap page (something like an archive page). Not an xml sitemap, just a standard page from where the visitors of the site could navigate more easily. The best solution appeared to be an WordPress menu shortcode.

Since I couldn’t find something like this I realized that I could use the wp_nav_menu function and built a shortcode to insert it into my page.

Read more

The new Smarter and WordPress 3.0

As you all know, WordPress has made the 3.0 transition, which brings the long-awaited merge of MU and WordPress and a lot of new features to the table.
Trying to keep up with the goodies we developed a new version of Smarter, which runs smooth on 3.0 and takes advantage of the new feature list.

A Smart WordPress 3.0 Theme

As mentioned before Smarter theme was designed as a powerful CMS for company websites. It’s a business wordpress theme, with a SEO friendly structure.

This being said, here are some of the new things that Smarter 2.0 has to offer.

The News Items was implemented using the custom post type feature from WP 3.0. Now, adding and editing news is simple and straight forward, leaving no room for confusion.

The custom navigation menu has been set as the theme default menu, so now you will be able to insert and organize things like pages, categories, news or custom links in your theme menu.

Smarter also comes with a big package of different color child themes, giving you the option to choose the right color range for your business.

In case you’re aiming for a multilingual website, Smarter 2.0 has been tested and works great with WPML plugin.

Smarter Theme Options, which let you customize your site looks, comes with a lighter interface which includes all the options from the previous version. So you have options like: selecting between multiple theme layouts, uploading a header image, editing the featured slider page etc.

To find out more about Smarter 2.0 and it’s new features check out the screencast below:

Pricing

For 25$ you can purchase Smarter 2.0, which includes all the functionality of the old version, plus the new features mentioned before. The zip also includes the psd files and the color child themes. Being released under a GPL license, Smarter can be used on an unlimited number of websites.

previewAdd to Cart

Support

If you have any suggestions or questions regarding the new version of this theme, please visit our forums (http://cozmoslabs.com/forums/).

Cozmoslabs forums

It’s been really difficult to keep track of bugs and requests for the free Themelets I’ve released. There are over 380 comments related to the free themes and since I have plans in the future to release more a forum sounded as a good idea.

Besides support for the themes I hope to discuss any issues you might have with the code snippets found on the site.

So without further ado I here by present you the Cozmoslabs Forums.

jEdit – Programmer’s Text Editor

jedit

Since version 2.0 Aptana stopped supporting their own fork of the Eclipse PDT I’ve been searching for another editor. I got feed up with how slow it is, all the bloatware, installing the PDT was made me loose an entire day and I honestly believed there had to exist a better editor for Windows.

I must have lost several days searching and testing different editors!

Read more

How To Create a WordPress Theme – a tutorial series by Ian Stewart

Have you ever wanted to create your own WordPress theme? If yes then you must know of all the tutorials out there. The problem is that most of them are incomplete. But not any more!

Ian Stewart from ThemeShaper released, what I consider, the best step-by-step tutorial series for those who want to learn how to build their own WordPress theme from scratch.

In only 11 individual lessons this WordPress Themes Tutorial is going to show you how to build a powerful, up-to-date, WordPress Theme from scratch. As we go along I’ll explain what’s happening including (for better or worse) my thinking on certain techniques and why I’m choosing one path over another.

Here’s the list of features your finished theme will have:

  • All the search-engine optimization you’ll really need
  • Including google-supported Microformat markup
  • Valid and logical semantic markup structure than can be used to create ANY layout
  • Smart default CSS layouts
  • Dynamic Body, post and comment classes
  • Separated trackbacks and threaded comments
  • 2 widget areas coded to disappear when they’re empty
  • And all the typical WordPress stuff you expect from a theme

If you’re still not convinced… well…you should still read them. Here are all the links to the tutorials!

When in doubt blog about your Author’s Block!

what_now

I have Author’s Block. I doubt it’s contagious so if you’re reading this no need to worry. Now to the mater at hand, why blog about it?

For some particular reason I don’t want to write that much stuff anymore. My fear is that I don’t write enough interesting posts! Why write about something that dosen’t resonate with me? Sure some people might find my articles useful, but will they return for more?

So I’m writing about web-design and developing. This is far from being a niche. Not in the internet world at least. I tried to focus my attention to WordPress and in particular Thematic since I’m using both in my business. It helped me differentiate from other blogs out there and some even found my WordPress category interesting. But I feel I need more. I want more variety in my articles. I could write about every WordPress and Thematic trick and post short pieces of code but I wouldn’t be any happier.

Next on my agenda? Short 4 day Easter Vacation :) Hopefully I’ll have a clearer head when I get back! I already have “some” ideas of what to do next (starting with a redesign) so I’m not completely in the dark.

And you know what? I already feel more confident now that I’ve shared this with the world (theoretically at least). Suggestions welcomed :)

Drop Down Menu for Thematic

Version 0.9 of Thematic was launched a few days ago. Because of this the PageDrop Theme is no longer useful and will be discontinued since Thematic now offers an out of the box drop-down menu.
If you’ve been working with Thematic and your not really into HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and everything related (I guess the only thing missing from that list was MySQL :) ) you probably know that Thematic just doesn’t support drop-down menus out of the box.

After quite a success with my CatDrop Childtheme that replaces Thematic’s the main menu with a drop-down menu of categories, I promised a post and childtheme in the future that will do the same with the pages menu. Although a bit late on my promise here is PageDrop Childtheme!

Demo

In order to install it you have to download the Thematic Theme (from which this child theme inherits all of the functionality), upload both themes (PageDrop and Thematic) to your server in the themes folder AND THEN ACTIVATE the PageDrop theme.

I hope that this will help you with your Thematic installation!