Archive

Posts Tagged ‘wordpress download’

WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

May 2nd, 2011 Comments off

WordPress is a powerful CMS tool not only powering blogs but countless forums and personal web pages. Many of the features offered are quite advanced for the market, yet their search still seems to be lagging. The functions offer a very simple solution for an extremely complex problem – finding the right content on your site!

Although the functions are great for searching out articles based on direct matches, the system falls short with many possible uses. More specifically the inability to search between all categories, tags, or even a specific category and/or tag. Similarly all posts are displayed on default by date, newest to oldest. This is a huge gap in UX, what about users who may be looking for popular articles with the most views or comments?

wordpress search WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

Below I’ve offered a brief look into WordPress’ search features and how they work within the system. Understanding how everything runs out of the box will make manipulating searches much easier. Additionally I’ve added a few powerful plugins and code snippets desirable for any WP website.

the Basic of WordPress Search

When running a search query through WordPress all results are returned based on publication time. This would include pages, which would be great, if WordPress has set the ability to do so. Two great plugins Search Unleashed and Search Everything provide fixes allowing users to search through pages and comments as well. One major problem is how WordPress ignores the power of keywords within search.

wordpresscom search WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

If an article was published a year or two ago the odds of it being found in a search are slim to none. This is unless the user is entering the keywords they want into a larger engine such as Google or Bing. When you search for “web design” WordPress is looking to match for exactly that. WordPress developers may be working on updates, but such a query would not return results containing simply design.

Similarly what about post categories and tags? These can be matched in keywords and throw off an entire search. The distinct functions behind WordPress’ search are prehistoric compared to most, which thankfully the system can be openly updated from within the development community.

WordPress Theme Files

Inside each WordPress theme folder is a set of search files. These appear to be useful for functionality and powerful search forms. Inside the root template file search.php you will find the general template for search results.

Many times I’ll hear developers fabricating the mistake of including their search.php inside another core file, such as page.php or single.php. This is a strong technique for building modular templates, however the straight search file is used for displaying pagination and results only. The standard file name searchform.php is what would include some basic PHP code for calling search query data. The rest of the file is a straight HTML form including one (1) input field and a submit button.

wp theme files WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

This file is often included in the heading or sidebar area of templates. It offers an elegant solution to include a ready-made form and users can take advantage of the many powerful search techniques offered in WordPress. From the many new attributes in HTML5 it’s possible to offer default text inside the input field such as “search…” or “enter terms here”.

When entering in data to display your search form, the simplistic routine may happily surprise you. There is a simple function written get_search_form() which can be added anywhere in your templates to display the contents of searchform.php. This is an internal function developed by WordPress and used to make development for search functionality easy as pie!

WP Query Function

There is a function written into WordPress’ backend which can be utilized for direct SQL queries. WP_query() has been used by WordPress developers and theme designers alike to create custom search queries more complex than WordPress’ default.

wp query codex WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

If you’re a developer I recommend reading through the function reference page for a bit of insight on the methodology. The documentation is very long and probably won’t be used by many. There are some real neat features such as pulling specific posts or categories based on which content is currently displayed in-page.

The Query function also allows for checking against the current page value. WordPress automatically gives a name towards each type of page on your site. Blog posts, pages, search results, and home are just a few examples. Below I’ve outlined a brief list of common page variables for those interested in examining beneath the surface.

  • $is_single – viewing a single post page
  • $is_author – viewing an author post directory page
  • $is_search – viewing a search results page
  • $is_category$is_tag – viewing a list of posts by category or tag
  • $is_404 – viewing 404 error page

16 Plugins to Enhance Search

Below I’ve included links to a few popular plugins related to search and queries. These are all free and offered for download from WordPress’ official extensions directory. I’d highly recommend against installing more than 2 or 3 of these at a time – read up on the descriptions and test one-by-one to see if there’s anything which perfectly suits your blog!

Google Custom Search Plugin
The default option for searching in WordPress isn’t really the best solution. Oftentimes webmasters would rather funnel their search queries through Google for quicker and more targeted results. After installation this plugin will automatically rewrite the default WordPress search form with a custom Google Search. Adopts a new set of friendly URLs on-the-fly!

Google Custom Search Plugin WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

Enhanced Search Form
By default the WordPress search form is a standard input field. This is great for basic queries involving specific keywords, but for advanced users the default options fall short. Enhanced Search Form will dynamically generate an XHTML form which accepts new search terms such as Boolean AND statements.

Enhanced Search Form WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

Search Everything
Search Everything is another great all-in-one plugin for supporting your advanced searching needs. A few of the most popular features include search highlighting, custom taxonomies, browsing approved comments and many more! The administration panel is very simple and setup is a breeze.

Search Everything WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

WordPress Sphinx Search Plugin
The Sphinx server can offload the heavy search queries from your server into other remote settings. Upon activation you’ll notice super-fast speeds and are able to sort results according to freshness and relevance. Additionally the plugin is capable of displaying a sidebar widget of most recent and top related search keywords.

WordPress Sphinx Search Plugin WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

Search Meter
Search Meter is a fascinating idea for those webmasters interested in tracking analytics. Every search query is stored and archived in the admin panel with extra details examining search analytics. You’ll be given data about how many searches were failed or turned up no results, as well as popular and recent search terms. The plugin will generate statistics which you can reset or export for examination.

search meter plugin WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

Fast WordPress Search
Fast WordPress Search is a basic replacement plugin for WordPress’ default engine. This will generally return more relevant pages and slightly speeds up the process. The process was written to work with WP’s vast library of functions to reduce database calls and return quicker results for intense queries. The install is also accompanied by benchmark tools to compare times.

fast wordpress search WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

Amazon Search Widget
If you work with Amazon’s affiliate program then you’ll love this next plugin. With a few simple steps and a single template edit it’s very convenient to implement a Flash-based search form. This will search within Amazon’s library to pull data about products and new releases. From here it’s a simple process of entering your affiliate ID to start earning money from your blog searches!

amazon search widget WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

Looser Search Plugin
Here we have a small plugin with great expectations right after install. The Looser Search Plugin modifies already built-in processes from within WordPress libraries to match keywords instead of full terms. An internal dictionary of common English words is skipped over to speed up the search process. If you’re looking for a basic plugin to install and get the quickest results I’d highly recommend this one.

looser search plugin WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

Dave’s WordPress Live Search
If you are a fan of Microsoft Live Search this simple plugin will amplify your blogging experience. Offering results from Live Search will mean higher relevancy and quicker load times than internal processing. The plugin is made to provide instant up-to-date results as the user types – all powered behind the scenes with jQuery and some basic CSS styles. Try installing and see if your blog can handle the page load, as it provides an amazing user experience to search results.

daves wordpress live search WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

Search Tag Cloud
This plugin provides you with easy access to develop a simple tag cloud. This will result in great rankings from Google as more in-links will be leading to your blog pages. Additionally the user experience is dramatically increased when you consider how many posts can be found with just a few clicks. The plugin requires standard installation steps and has been developed with SEO in mind.

search tag cloud WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

Highlight Search Terms
You may have seen this plugin being adopted in countless blogs today. Whenever a visitor finds your page through a major search engine (Google, Yahoo!, Bing, Lycos, Ask…) each of the keywords will be highlighted in your content. This helps visitors figure out where the page content is located and what reference frame it’s in. By default there are no core CSS styles, so you’ll have to design these yourself after activation.

wp highlight search terms WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

Better Search
Better Search, as the title implies, is a standard plugin to give your WordPress blog better search. Each results page is split based on keyword relevancy and advanced techniques for recognizing meta tags, post tags, and categories. When typing the new search form will display the most popular search terms being searched throughout your blog. This is updated frequently based upon how much traffic your search queries bring in!

better search options WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

Search Light
As you may have seen many places elsewhere the update-as-you-type functionality has exploded. Since the release of Google Instant many other search providers have been rolling out similar techniques. Search Light is a fantastic plugin which uses an Ajax dropdown interface to create dynamic menus of related queries. It’s also possible to tie in your post thumbnails and total number of results inside the search bar itself.

wordpress search light WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

WP Instant Search
This plugins requires a few external libraries, although offers similar functionality as the previous Search Light. If you really enjoy Ajax dropdown suggestions you’ll find plenty of the same features here with WP Instant Search. The plugin is updated to the most recent version WordPress 3.0.5 and will check against WordPress tags, posts, pages, and categories.

wp instant search WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

WP E-commerce Product Search Widget
This plugin supports widget displays for an e-commerce solution running over WordPress. When you’re selling items or even software online it’s important your e-commerce solution is simple to navigate and products are easy to find. With this nifty plugin we can replace WordPress’ stale search functionality to include a new query view. Results pages will list products in a grid-style layout and holds compatible up to the most recent release.

wp ecommerce product search WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

ThreeWP Ajax Search
A no-nonsense plugin for Ajax searches. Just download and install the plugin to get a sense of how easy the process will unfold! Default settings work perfectly with the Twentyten theme and all derivatives. One cool feature is how this plugin still works around WordPress’ default search engine. In this case you don’t lose anything from WordPress’ powerful library and instead only gain magnificent front-end experience effects. There are many options for customization including CSS styles and jQuery speeds and animation styles.

threewp ajax search plugin WordPress Search: Useful Plugins and Snippets

5 Useful Search Snippets

1. Exclude Post/Page from Search Results

The following function, allows you to exclude posts of any categories, or even pages out of the search results. (via wprecipes)

(functions.php)

function SearchFilter($query) { if ($query->is_search) { $query->set('cat','0,1'); } return $query;
} add_filter('pre_get_posts','SearchFilter');

2. Searching a specific Category

Return search results from a specific category.

(functions.php)

function SearchFilter($query) { if ($query->is_search) { // Insert the specific categories you want to search $query->set('cat', '8,9,12'); } return $query;
} add_filter('pre_get_posts','SearchFilter');

3. Searching a specific post type

Filter out all other post types and target your search to a specific WordPress post type. (via ashbluewebdesign)

(functions.php)

function SearchFilter($query) { if ($query->is_search) { // Insert the specific post type you want to search $query->set('post_type', 'feeds'); } return $query;
} // This filter will jump into the loop and arrange our results before they're returned
add_filter('pre_get_posts','SearchFilter');

4. Highlight WordPress Search Terms (jQuery)

Highlights search terms in WordPress result page. (via weblogtoolscollection)

(functions.php)

function hls_set_query() { $query = attribute_escape(get_search_query()); if(strlen($query) > 0){ echo ' <script type="text/javascript"> var hls_query = "'.$query.'"; </script> '; }
} function hls_init_jquery() { wp_enqueue_script('jquery');
} add_action('init', 'hls_init_jquery');
add_action('wp_print_scripts', 'hls_set_query');

(header.php), before </head>

<style type="text/css" media="screen"> .hls { background: #D3E18A; }
</style> <script type="text/javascript">
jQuery.fn.extend({
highlight: function(search, insensitive, hls_class){ var regex = new RegExp("(<[^>]*>)|(\\b"+ search.replace(/([-.*+?^${}()|[\]\/\\])/g,"\\$1") +")", insensitive ? "ig" : "g"); return this.html(this.html().replace(regex, function(a, b, c){ return (a.charAt(0) == "<") ? a : "<strong class=\""+ hls_class +"\">" + c + "</strong>"; }));
}
});
jQuery(document).ready(function($){
if(typeof(hls_query) != 'undefined'){ $("#post-area").highlight(hls_query, 1, "hls");
}
});
</script>

5. Display Search Term + Result(s) Count

Return search queries and number of results. Example – Search Result for twitter – 8 articles. (via wpbeginner)

<h2 class="pagetitle"> Search Result for <?php /* Search Count */ $allsearch = &new WP_Query("s=$s&showposts=-1"); $key = wp_specialchars($s, 1); $count = $allsearch->post_count; _e(''); _e('<span class="search-terms">'); echo $key; _e('</span>'); _e(' &mdash; '); echo $count . ' '; _e('articles'); wp_reset_query(); ?>
</h2>

(bellefoong)

Advertise here with BSA

A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

April 12th, 2011 Comments off

With WordPress releasing it’s third (3rd) major iteration to the open source platform, we’ve seen more developers joining the crowd to release plugins en mass. Although the free options for plugins may seem endless there are software firms offering concrete premium plugins at very affordable prices. These generally contain never-before-seen features and offer help documentation for those less tech-savvy.

But where is the market heading? Can we really expect to see any growth in this corner of the web over the next few months? Below we’ll examine the nature of premium WP plugins and hopefully answer a few of these questions.

wordpress logo shoes A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

I’ve also included a small gallery towards the end of this post. Included in the showcase you’ll find some of the most popular and well to-do plugins from our generation. These are mostly very cheap and only require a few steps for installation.

Premium vs. Free Options

When breaking the ecliptic ring of premium and free WordPress themes, there are a few barriers to cross. Many of the popular free options today fit well for some of the most basic solutions. These may include SEO, custom post options, or even in-page widgets.

Premium options step this up a notch with some fantastic additions. SEO has become one of the most important aspects in development. Well written articles and tags will only get you so far with blogging. Some of the most sophisticated plugins can develop a blog sitemap, ping RSS engines and web crawlers automatically. Others can work building meta tags and further behind the scenes techniques for a strong Search Engine presence.

There may be a slew of plugins which can replicate these tasks. But operating at that amount plugins can become tiresome. Generally, premium plugins will come included with forum support and documentation for those willing to spend some time researching. Although a bit convoluted at first, once you understand how to harness the power of premium WordPress plugins, your blogging experience may never be the same again!

The Shrinking Market

I’ve discussed many times whether the market for WordPress is currently shrinking. With the vast improvement of open source technologies it seems plugins are being developed quicker and with less resistance.

wp stickers banner A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

So as the digital markets adapting, there are still these two sides waging a war. Many developers fight for an open and free Internet where sharing is based upon the common good of everybody. Towards the other end of our spectrum, small development firms are releasing powerful WordPress plugins for dirt cheap price – many of which can turn a small profit given enough time.

It’s still much too early for predictions towards this market as a whole. If you’ve got strong ideas and notice a gap where nobody else has filled I encourage active development in these areas. Or even better, scour the web for an already-made solution. Premium or free, you may be pleasantly surprised with how active and thorough WordPress’ development community can be.

Along with plugins many development firms will offer great premium themes, too. WordPress’ theming engine is extremely powerful and demonstrates just what is possible behind a PHP/MySQL stack. Check out our small premium themes gallery if you’re interested in delving further here. Often times you’ll run into custom plugins pre-packaged with larger theme collections (a very nice added bonus!)

Exploring the Possibilities

WordPress is not any sort of magical content management system, although it does provide a slew of possibilities in the right hands. I will not recommend installing massive quantities of plugins just to ramp up your site. The effect will actually simulate quite the opposite – bogged down user experience with a cluttered administration panel.

wp mobile plugins A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

Consider perusing some of the many popular options of plugins mentioned in blogs and forum discussions. Not only the individual collections, but even larger categories such as admin widgets, sidebar panels, user management, e-commerce solutions… you get the idea!

The quality of premium plugins will stand for themselves. I find many of the best plugins on the market today will be offered at similarly low rates. You’ll certainly be paying less than custom template work.

These top-quality plugins will often include online demos and screenshots to get a taste of the software before you buy. As a webmaster, use your best judgement to gauge which functionality you really need to push your blog into the next level.

25 Premium Plugins Worth Knowing

Below is a small showcase of popular premium WordPress plugins. These range from a wide variety and could be found useful in almost any blogging situation. Even when installing WordPress as a community or static webpage, this collection is invaluable to those wishing to harness true power out of the CMS.

Scribe SEO

Scribe exist for one simple reason – to make search engine optimization easy for all your blog posts. It analyzes your natural, reader-focused content, and tells you how to gently tweak it to spoon feed search engines based on 15 SEO best practices.

scribe A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

Vaultpress

Vaultpress is premium backup service for WordPress, brought to you by Autommatic, creator of WordPress. Vaultpress backups your blog’s database, theme files and plugins, keeping multiple revisions (real time) so you can always revert back to any prefered copy.

vaultpress A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

Events Calendar Pro

Events Calendar Pro is a great plugin for developing a system of event-style posts. Once installed WordPress will create a custom Events post type for your new calendar system! Each scheduled object can connect into a location through Google Maps and offers support for multinational time zones and languages.

01 events calendar A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

Shortcode Kid

This premium plugin, onced installed, allows you to include more than 100 different design elements (buttons, text highlighting, image sliders, page formatting, etc) to your blog post on the fly with their ready-made shortcodes. For those of you who wants nice user interface but lack of design and coding experience, this is a pluign you might want to take a look at.

shortcodekid A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

BackupBuddy

The process of backing up your WordPress installation can be a pain. The default options are clunky at best and require a lot of attention to detail. With BackupBuddy you’re able to backup and restore features in the blink of an eye. Additionally there are menus for migrating your current theme and blog posts/pages from one database into an entirely new server environment! The software can also backup through FTP/SFTP and will run in the background while you work.

02 backup buddy A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

WP SEO by Yoast

WordPress SEO is an amazing plugin for those just getting started with WordPress. The features are very user-friendly and open to beginners. Among the features included are Robots meta information and details, .htaccess editing, RSS enhancement, XML sitemap generation, breadcrumbs, and so much more!

03 wp seo yoast A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

WordPress Mobile

PluginBuddy Mobile is a very straightforward plugin with an install-and-drop attitude. You are able to generate a brand new mobile template within just a few minutes of customizing settings. There are admin options for customization of mobile stylesheets and custom headers. Android devices, iPhones and iPads are just a few of the numerous supported devices.

04 mobile plugin A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

DDSlider

For just $20 the DDSlider plugin seems like a steal. You are able to implement custom jQuery effects within your page, no real CSS or JavaScript knowledge required! The plugin is great for creating dynamic slideshows and photos which can pan across your home page or a single blog post. The developer has also created a screencast for those lost during the install process.

05 ddslider wp plugin A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

OIO Publisher

OIO Publisher is possible the most complete ad manager for WordPress CMS. Whether you are running static pages of information or dynamic blog posts/videos OIO is easily customizable among many templates. You are given complete control for your ad space and can maneuver almost any style into your pages. Additionally there are a few specialized ad networks which tie in such as Google AdSense.

06 oio publisher A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

Billboard + Rotating Images

The name may not catch you, but the simple implementation of Billboard + Rotating Images would show just how powerful WordPress can be. This is a two-for-one plugin which you can use to dynamically generate in-page slideshows and image galleries. These could be set up specialized on your home or about page, or alternatively placed within a blog post template. You may also implement a gallery in your sidebar as a customizable widget.

07 billboard A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

Twitter Widget Pro

With new-age web designers growing in numbers, I’d argue Twitter is one busy social network. With the premium Twitter plugin for WordPress you’re able to link multiple Twitter accounts to display your latest tweets, favorites, or retweets. Additionally the plugin will display user avatars and links for hashtags if you so choose! A powerful caching system is running behind-the-scenes to reduce calls into Twitter’s databases.

08 twitter widget pro A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

WP Affiliate Pro

With WP Affiliate Pro it’s a simple process to track your internal affiliate links. There are plenty of ways to make money online and with WordPress it’s never been easier. Unfortunately it’s often difficult to find a closed analytics plugin which can report on everything you may need – pageviews, CTR %, ranking keywords, and much more.

 A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

Extended Google Analytics

Google Analytics is the beloved child in Google’s family amongst all web developers. Their free tools and graphs representing traffic data have revolutionized the webmaster’s job. With Extended Analytics you’re given Dashboard stats for key page events and traffic data. Additionally if you run an AdSense account it’s possible to tie in your earnings ID targeting keywords for ad links.

10 google analytics A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

phpBay Pro

eBay is still a great way to earn some extra affiliate income. Although the system has bogged down in recent years, the amount of visitors has been steadily growing with the company selling items in the hundreds of thousands daily. phpBay Pro will quickly add targeted advertising for products being sold in eBay stores. Based on your in-page keywords phpBay Pro can automatically derive useful product links with your affiliate ID attached! Talk about some serious convenience.

11 phpbay pro A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

WP Geo Tagger

From the release of Foursquare the geo tagging craze has been set ablaze. We can find fans across the globe who are hooked on these checkin services – and now you may implement these in your blog! WP Geo Tagger supports integration with Google Maps and will create a Master Map for your blog’s tagged locations. They also offer full support on their personal webpage.

12 geo tagger A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

Newsletter Plugin

Ever considered creating your own newsletter or e-mail publication? With tools such as Feedburner this has never been easier! WordPress Newsletter is a powerful plugin with options almost building into a new CMS. Within the Admin panel you’re able to create and save custom newsletter templates for your members. The plugin comes out-of-the-box with support for multiple mailing lists and may even tie into Google Mail’s SMTP servers.

13 wp newsletter A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

VidEmbed

Embedding video to posts has been a huge pain in recent years. With WordPress’ 3.0+ release we see the increase in custom post types which have tremendously helped move things forward. VidEmbed is a powerful 3rd party plugin with support for almost any video format. These include FLV, MP4 or similar mobile standards, YouTube, Vimeo, and even Amazon S3 hosted content. The player is fully open source and customizable to match your blog theme.

14 vid embed A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

WordPress Weather

Now this isn’t a plugin for everybody, but those who need it will be praising some form of God. The weather plugin for WordPress will display up to date weather conditions from any part of the world, on any page you wish! The weather data is pulled from Google’s weather API with dynamic updates based on your choosing (hourly, daily, etc).

15 wp weather A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

Filter Posts in Pages

By default after the installation of WordPress is complete your home page will display all recent posts in chronological order. This is great for most scenarios, but if you’re looking for a bit of customization I’d highly recommend this plugin. You are able to customize not just your home page but any dedicated URL to display filtered posts and pages. This can be done with specific categories, tags, or even a combination of many attributes.

16 filter posts A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

E-mail Encrypter

How many countless times I’ve hated finding a brand new e-mail inbox full of spam. This is all too common with today’s web as mailto links are frequently crawled through with bot software. With GWT E-mail Encrypter all your posts and page content will be parsed for e-mail addresses and switched up accordingly. You may choose to remove the @ symbol or implement spaces between lettering. The plugin is dynamic and will apply to all content past and future.

17 email encryptor A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

Gravity Forms

If you are not HTML/CSS savvy I would highly recommend Gravity Forms for your WordPress install. Through their system you are able to generate dynamic forms on-the-fly with no web development experience required! The admin system is very elegant and doesn’t require much work to implement. Their community is fantastic on support and FAQs, along with forum discussions on the most popular questions and topics.

18 gravity forms A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

WP Review Engine

Review blogs are the hottest craze today. Google rankings are powerfully geared towards some of the hottest and content-rich brands available. With WP Review Engine it’s a simple task to get your blog running with the latest reviews on movies, TV shows, video games, books, or anything you can think of! This is a truly dynamic plugin which creates a new post type and offers image uploads for in-post graphics.

19 wp review engine A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

Dynamic Step Process Panels

Dynamic Step Process Panels for WordPress is one of the more confusing plugins. It’s premium-themed base costs only $25 and allows you to generate dynamic AJAX content in tabbed form. This may include bulleted content, photos, videos, product descriptions, or anything else. It is truly a multipurpose plugin with resources available to those who understand WordPress’ systems.

dynamic steps A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

WordPress eMember

With WordPress eMember you can turn your blog or digital magazine into a membership service within an hour. The plugin comes integrated with PayPal support for the simplest of digital monetary transitions. You can limit user views based on Free, Basic, Premium, or Ultimate categories. Similarly you are able to restrict pages and post content from members with insufficient privileges on their account.

21 wp emember A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

WordPress WHOIS Plugin

WHOIS support can be found all over the web. Generally these scripts are few and far between since they aren’t exactly required for many to get work done. If you are a webmaster running tens or possibly hundreds of domains, this tool may come in handy in the strangest times. WordPress WHOIS allows you to check details on any domain registrant and even manipulate page templates and stylesheets.

22 wordpress whois A Look Into: Premium WordPress Plugins

Have we missed out any? Let us know in comments!

(bellefoong)

21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

April 5th, 2011 Comments off

There are so many premium themes out there, at such a low price that you’re just forbidden to have an ugly website anymore. More and more online companies start selling awesome wordpress themes, and, along with this raise in premium theme services, as a way to get more customers (or just for generating traffic and then selling advertising), some of these companies are offering free premium themes, and I must admit: gorgeous themes these are!

free premium themes 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

You could take a look at free premium themes since 2007 and you will observe how much things have evolved. We have now awesome designs and the choice to use them free of charge! Of course, chances are that more people will use a free theme than a paid premium one, but you still can customize it a little bit to express your own online personality.

Do you want to impress with a nice premium and free WordPress theme? Here are 21 choices you can make.

Sight

Demo | Download

sight 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Paragrams

Demo | Download

paragams 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Obscorp v2

Demo | Download

obscorp 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Newspress

Demo | Download

newspress 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Simplo

Demo | Download

simplo 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Designpile

Demo | Download

designpile 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Journal Crunch

Demo | Download

journalcrunch 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Boldy

Demo | Download

boldy 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

All Tutorials

Demo | Download

alltutorials 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Maimpok

Demo | Download

mainpol 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Rubidiumify

Demo | Download

rubidiumify 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Kryptonation

Demo | Download

kryptonation 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Arsenicity

Demo | Download

arsenicity 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Germaniumify

Demo | Download

germaniumify 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Heliumified

Demo | Download

heliumified 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Aparatus

Demo | Download

aparatus 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Monte Cristo

Demo | Download

montecristo 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Bueno

Demo | Download

bueno 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Placeholder

Demo | Download

placeholder 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Video

Demo | Download

video 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

Foliogrid

Demo | Download

foliogrid 21 Free Premium WordPress Themes to Impress

(bellefoong)

Beginner’s Guide to WordPress Plugin Development

March 31st, 2011 Comments off

The WordPress CMS has changed the face of our Internet and allowed a surge of new ideas to prosper and its open source movement holds a strong presence rooted in software and web development. WordPress is a blogging platform which has the ability to launch into many other scripts such as web forums, job boards, and even a classic webpage Content Management System.

wordpress plugin development Beginners Guide to WordPress Plugin Development

We’ll be going over a few ways to get started in plug-ins development for WordPress. The steps are fairly simple and don’t require a large dedication to study. Rudimentary knowledge of PHP would be useful even with a basic understanding of the WordPress file structure and Administration panel.

In this brief tutorial we’ll be going over the basic steps required to create a simple WordPress plug-in. The functionality will be used to create dynamic excerpts based on the number passed into our function call. You’ll need to upload the plug-in file and activate from the Admin panel, then follow up by calling our function from whatever pages we want the excerpt to appear. Links to completed plug-in source code is already added later in this article :)

Why Develop for WordPress?

Plug-ins are a great way to enhance the functionality of your blog by adding in extra features. These can be placed anywhere inside your template by function hooks. Over time the extensibility of WordPress’ plug-in system has allow tremendous growth and hundreds of developer-submitted pieces of software.

WordPress specifically offers such advanced features in its CMS that unique plug-ins are few and far between. As a developer you hold complete control over the backend specifics of your weblog. Hiring a PHP developer to create a system plugin would cost a lot more than you may imagine and the API is fairly easy enough to work with and learn yourself.

wordpress codes Beginners Guide to WordPress Plugin Development

As a secondary argument, developing over WordPress is great practice for tuning yourself into other areas. Building smaller plugins and sidebar widgets in WordPress will help you develop an understanding of how the backend system really works. This isn’t just limited to WordPress as you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the vast majority of Content Systems.

1. WP Folder Structure

An introduction into the WordPress folder structure will show the basic app directories. Inside wp-content you’ll find a plugins directory. In here is where all of your individual plug-ins will be housed, either single files or properly named sub-directories.

For smaller plug-ins which only require a single .php file you have the option to place this directly into the plug-ins/ directory. However when you start developing more complicated applications it’s much more useful to create a sub directory named after your plug-in. Inside you can house JavaScript, CSS, and HTML includes along with your PHP functions.

wordpress install dir plugins Beginners Guide to WordPress Plugin Development

A readme.txt file can also be useful if you’re planning on offering your plugin for download. This file should include your name and what the plugin does. As the author you may also consider including details about each revision and which updates have come out.

2. Starting your PHP File

When creating a new plugin you’ll need to start with a simple PHP file. This can be named anything but should generally reflect your plug-in’s official name. So for example I have created our base code and have named my file hongkiat-excerpt.phps.

The first lines of your plug-in must be comment information for the parsing engine. This is extremely important as WordPress will be unable to process your file without. Below is an example code snippit you can copy and mold towards your own.

<?php
/*
Plugin Name: Plugin Name here
Plugin URI: http://www.yourpluginurlhere.com/
Version: Current Version
Author: Name please
Description: What does your plugin do and what features does it offer...
*/
?>

The Plugin Name is what will show up in your Admin backend panel when you go to activate. Same with the URI which will be placed in the details pane inside the plug-ins panel. Although it’s not required to include a version or description it does make your plugin look much more professional.

3. WordPress Naming Conventions and Best Practices

There are a few ways to actually structure your plug-in. Many times PHP developers will create an entire class system in order to avoid collisions with functions and variable names. If you are unfamiliar with the advanced OOP functionality of PHP then it’s best to just write your code in sample functions.

So for our example code we will write a single function to house our data. We also need to define a few variables which are key to implement inside our template files. Below is an example bit of code taken from our plugin file with the core logic removed.

wordpress mobile utility Beginners Guide to WordPress Plugin Development

When writing your sample code it’s best to follow regulations and guides set up by WordPress. Since there are so many internal functions already defined you can avoid duplicates by prefixing a label to all your variables and function names.

<?php
define("exampleVariable", "this is a value"); function hk_content_example_function( $limit ) { // some code goes here
} ?>

In the above examples we prefixed all our setting names with hongkiat. This can be replaced with any keyword of your choosing usually related to your plugin name. The above code is just sample settings and shouldn’t pertain to our final plug-in. This is just to give you some insight into how your variable names and function calls should be written.

4. Diving Into Filters and Actions

There is another concept noteworthy of mentioning before we jump into our raw code. Actions and filters are two completely different concepts which relate deeply in the ways they manipulate plugin data.

These two bits of code come standard within the WordPress API. Filters and actions allow for plug-in developers to update bits of code throughout the WordPress admin panel pertaining to your new plug-in. This means you could add a new tab in the sidebar or additional settings links for your Plug-in options.

php codelobster ide Beginners Guide to WordPress Plugin Development

Understanding add_filter()

A filter is used on a bit of text or data being passed into WordPress. With filters you are quite literally able to filter content through your own custom written functions to change data in any way.

For example, you may create a filter to change $the_content which is a variable set by WordPress containing the entire post content of a WordPress article. For our plug-in we will be taking $the_content and shortening the length of characters into an excerpt.

Filters come in handy when you are writing plug-ins to customize the looks and feel of your blog. These are especially popular when writing sidebar widgets or smaller functions to change how a post should be displayed. Below is a sample line of code showing how to apply a filter.

add_filter('wp_title', 'hongkiat_func');

Here we are adding a filter into the WordPress page title. Note this code doesn’t relate to our official plugin and is only being used as an example here.

The add_filter function is native to WordPress and used to add a new filter to a variable found within page content. In the line above we’re targeting $wp_title which contains the title of our current page. We are then passing this variable into a fake function titled hongkiat_func() which could then manipulate and return a new title tag for whatever purposes.

iphone wordpress Beginners Guide to WordPress Plugin Development

Understanding add_action()

Actions are similar to filters in that they don’t work on bits of data but instead target pre-defined areas in your templates and admin panel. As an example you can apply an action whenever you update or edit a page’s content. WordPress offers a comprehensive actions list in their API documentation. Below is a small list of example actions for you to get familiar with some of the pre-defined target areas.

  • publish_post – called when a post is published or when status is changed into “published”
  • save_post – called when a post/page is created from start or updated
  • wp_head – called when the template is loaded and runs the wp_head() function
  • loop_end – called immediately after the final post has been processed through the WordPress loop
  • trackback_post – called whenever a new trackback is added into a post

Again we can see how simple this bit of code boils down to. If you can understand the difference between actions and filters you’ll be that much closer to building comprehensive, working WordPress plugins. Below is another line of code initializing an action function on the save_post hook. To clarify again this doesn’t pertain to our current developing plugin and is only used as a piece of example code to understand the add_action() function.

add_action('save_post', 'notify');

So here we see a similar setup to before with add_filter(). We need 2 variables, the first holds the name of our hook we’re targeting. In this case save_post which means whenever a new post is saved we’re going to call our function defined in the second position (notify()). You could obviously update notify to be whatever function name you’d want to run, however this isn’t required for our current example plug-in.

Finishing our Plugin Logic

Finishing up on our path we’ll be adding our final function right into our plug-in file. The API documentation is very specific and provides an excellent resource to developers who may hold advanced questions. The material may seem difficult if you are not familiar with PHP but take your time with the concepts and things will start to flow naturally!

The function below should be added directly after your plugin’s header comment. Alternatively this could also be placed inside your theme’s functions.php file. The code is used to create dynamic post content based on a limited range of characters.

So for our example we can limit story excerpts only 55 characters long with the hk_trim_content() function. You could easly call this bit of code from a sidebar widget or one of your theme files to replace $the_content.

<?php
function hk_trim_content( $limit ) { $content = explode( ' ', get_the_content(), $limit ); if ( count( $content ) >= $limit ) { array_pop( $content ); $content = implode(" ",$content).'...'; } else { $content = implode(" ",$content); } $content = preg_replace('/\[.+\]/','', $content); $content = apply_filters('the_content', $content); return $content;
}
?>

It shouldn’t be expected that you fully understand all internal variables or functions used here. Just getting a general understanding of how your functions should be written and what an example set would look like is a very good start.

You may also notice we’re using a call to apply_filters which is another WordPress-specific function. This is another aspect you don’t need to fully grasp but it does help with future programming over WP. Check out the apply_filters reference page for more details and FAQs on the subject.

The core function above is named hk_trim_content(). This only requires 1 parameter named $limit. This could also be shortened to $lim which should store an integer specifying how many characters to limit your excerpt to. The content is used on full post pages and also static pages (about us, contact).

Therefore, in order to call this function we would need to add the parameter into our template files. This would be placed somewhere possibly in your index.php or loop.php file(s) and will require you to install the plugin first. Example below:

<?php echo hk_trim_content(55); // display page content limited at 55 chars ?>

Installing and Running The Plugin

I’ve created a sample file for the plugin to demo if you’d like to skip the hard coding. Simply download this file (rename it to .php) or copy/paste the code into a new PHP document and upload this to your /wp-content/plugins directory.

hk demo plugin Beginners Guide to WordPress Plugin Development

Once completed you’ll want to access the WordPress administration panel and browse your current set of plug-ins for the demo just installed. Once you activate nothing new will happen, not until we manually add in our function call. To do this simply navigate Appearance -> Editor and look for single.php.

This file contains all the template HTML/CSS for your basic article post page. Scroll down until you find the_content() and replace with the example code above. This will limit all your article pages to 55 characters no matter what view is being used. You could also add in this function to similar pages in your templates directory such as search.php or archive.php.

Conclusion

These are some of the basics to get you started working within WordPress development. The plugin system is vast and contains a great deal of internal functionality. If you already have an idea for a plug-in try it out on a local installation of WordPress to practice these topics.

If you’re still confused by much of the information you can review the WordPress documentation and search for your answer there. The development community is full of helpful users and the forums hold archives with questions from years back.

(bellefoong)

Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress – Best of

February 20th, 2011 Comments off

Slideshow is a brilliant method to stack and present series of items (such as images) in your website especially when space is a constraint. It is also commonly used by webmasters and bloggers to showcase portfolios, artwork, products, latest posts, etc. It saves time and efficiently draw visitors’ attention.

shutter reloaded Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

In WordPress, installing and adding slideshow to posts can be done in a breeze, thanks to developers among the WordPress community. We’ve ran through all WordPress slideshow plug-ins we can possibly find and compiled this list of best and free WordPress slideshow plug-ins.

We hope it will come in handy for you whenever you feels like putting up one. Full list after jump!

NextGEN Gallery

Full integrated WordPress Image Gallery plugin with tons of interesting features like uploading images via compressed zip file, able to import meta files (EXIF, IPTC or XMP), watermaking images, thumb generating and more. Add-on: NextGEN-FlashViewer – Adobe Flash Plugins from for NextGEN Gallery, NextGEN-ImageFlow- picture gallery for NextGEN Gallery.
Demo | Download

NextGEN Monoslideshow Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

Page Flip Image Gallery

Image gallery with page flip effect.
Demo | Download

page flip gallery Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

Featured Content Gallery

Creates an automated rotating image gallery of your posts or pages for use anywhere within your theme.
Demo | Download

Featured Content Gallery Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

kPicasa Gallery

Displays your Picasa Web Galleries in a post or in a page simply by creating a post or a page with a special keyword.
Demo | Download

kPicasa Gallery Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

Shutter Reloaded

Image viewer for WordPress that works similarly to Lightbox, Thickbox, etc. Supports all standard features like image resizing, preloading images, etc. Does not require any external libraries.
Demo | Download

shutter reloaded Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

Grand Flash Album Gallery

Full integrated (flash skin based, slideshow) Image Gallery plugin with a powerfull admin back end.
Demo | Download

Grand Flash Album Gallery Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

Yet Another Photoblog

Convert WordPress blog into full feature photo blog with easy usable photo management system. Comes with several additional plugins to enhance your photoblog.
Demo | Download

Yet Another Photoblog Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

Dynamic Content Gallery

Creates a dynamic gallery of images for latest or featured content selected from one or more normal post categories, pages, Custom Post Type posts, or a mix of these.
Demo | Download

Dynamic Content Gallery Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

WordPress Content Slide

Create fully customizable jquery Fading image slideshow anywhere within your WordPress site.
Demo | Download

WordPress Content Slide Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

Lazyest Gallery

Upload your images via FTP, and Lazyest Gallery will index your images automatically.
Demo | Download

Lazyest Gallery Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

Meteor Slides

Create slideshows with WordPress by adding a custom post type for slides.
Demo | Download

meteor slide Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

Lightview Plus

Seamless integration of Lightview to create a nice overlay to display images and videos
Demo | Download

Lightview Plus Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

Slideshow Gallery

JavaScript powered slideshow gallery that is flexible with all aspects can easily be configured
Demo | Download

Slideshow Gallery Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

Cleaner Gallery

Integrate with many Lightbox-type scripts (Lightbox, Slimbox, Thickbox, Lightview, Shutter Reloaded, prettyPhoto, etc) and allow you to do much cooler things with your galleries using the shortcode.
Demo | Download

Cleaner Gallery Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

Lightbox Gallery

Turns all gallery photos into lightbox view.
Demo | Download

LightBox Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

DM Albums

Displays images and thumbnails perfectly sized to your blog. Allow visitors to view entire album without leaving the post.
Demo | Download

dm albums Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

SlideDeck Content Slider

Create managable dynamic content slider in WordPress template or post easily without writing a single code.
Demo | Download

slidedeck Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

Slideshow Gallery Pro

Photo and image viewing plug-in that integrates seemlessly with the WordPress image upload and gallery system.
Demo | Download

slideshow gallery pro Free Slideshow Plugins For WordPress Best of

More

  • WP SlideshowPhoto slideshow player that can be used on any kind of WordPress blog, including photographer and designer portfolios, real estate and other business websites, all sorts of picture galleries and product pages. (premium)
  • Fotobook – Link to your Facebook account and import all of your photo albums to WordPress.
  • Picasna – Create gallery from your Picasa album with ease.
  • Flickr + Highslide – Displays your flickr photos using Highslide JS.
  • Flickr slideshow wrapper – Yet another plugin that calls Flickr albums into your content.
  • Slideshow – A plugin previously developed for New theme, that pulls image attachments and formats them into slideshow.
  • SuperSlider-Show – A gallery plug-in powered by Mootools, build upon Slideshow2 that is highly customizable.

Did we missed any good WordPress slideshow plugins? Let us know in comments!

(bellefoong)

45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

January 10th, 2011 Comments off

Vibrant and complex design is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. Some of us may prefer it clean, simple and straight forward. In another word – minimalist. You are probably wondering, clean and simple, how hard can it be? But the truth is – cleans and simple does not make them any easier to design. In fact, they are potentially a tougher job as precise thoughts are required to eliminate redundancies and stripping things down to fundamentals.

Given that “less is more”, the simplest design tends to deliver greater user experience.

preview 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Minimalism has become one of a popular trend in today’s web design. Today’s post is dedicated to WordPress bloggers who appreciate plainness. We are going to show you a list of 45 uncluttered WordPress themes that practices simplicity. Without further ado, here is the 40 beautiful Miminalist WordPress themes. Full list after the jump!.

Aligned

Demo | Download

aligned 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Basal

Demo | Download

basal 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Carrington

Demo | Download

carrington 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Clean Home

Demo | Download

clean home 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Clean Minimal

Demo | Download

clean minimal 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Clear

Demo | Download

clear 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Doc

Demo | Download

doc 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Documentation

Demo | Download

documentation 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Enkelt

Demo | Download

enkelt 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Enormous

Demo | Download

enormous 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Fotofolio

Demo | Download

fotofolio 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Fifty Fifth Street

Demo | Download

fifty fifth street 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Jasov

Demo | Download

jasov 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Just Lucid

Demo | Download

just lucid 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Lead

Demo | Download

lead 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Magzine

Demo | Download

magzine 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Manifest

Demo | Download

manifest 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Min

Demo | Download

min 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Minimal Gray

Demo | Download

minimal gray 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Modern

Demo | Download

modern 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Modern Clix

Demo | Download

modern clix 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Modio

Demo | Download

modio 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Nameless

Demo | Download

nameless 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Neutra

Demo | Download

neutra 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

New York New York

Demo | Download

new york new york 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

No Frills

Demo | Download

no frills 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Oulipo

Demo | Download

oulipo 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Pure II

Demo | Download

pure II 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Quickchic

Demo | Download

quickchic 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Sans Serif Racer

Demo | Download

sans serif racer 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Sharpfolio

Demo | Download

sharpfolio 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Simpla

Demo | Download

simpla 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Simplr

Demo | Download

simplr 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Smooth

Demo | Download

smooth 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Stilbruch

Demo | Download

stilbruch 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Tarski

Demo | Download

tarski 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Textback

Demo | Download

textback 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

The Daily Grind

Demo | Download

the daily grind 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

The Journalist

Demo | Download

thejournalist 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

The Seven Five

Demo | Download

the seven five 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Ultralight

Demo | Download

ultralight 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Undedicated

Demo | Download

undedicated 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Upstart Blogger Modicus

Demo | Download

upstart blogger modicus 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

WP Candy

Demo | Download

WPCandy 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

Hybrid

Demo | Download

hybrid 45 Clean and Beautiful Minimalist WordPress Themes

(bellefoong)

WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions – Best of

November 5th, 2010 Comments off

If you are a WordPress user, then you definitely know the importance of keeping backup copies of our files and database because there is always a risk of losing your data. How? your site might get hack (WordPress security level or server security level). What’s worst? You could lose all the files and databases. There are a lot of ways to strengthen your WordPress blog’s security but we still think one of the best way is to backup regularly so that you can re-install your files or content and roll backed to your post in no time if the site is compromised.

dbc backup WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

Here, we have chosen some of the plugins and services which can be helpful in terms of backing up your WordPress files and databases. Full list after jump.

WordPress Plugins

These plugins are used to take a back up of your critical data, files, tables and save them to your archives or any of the online storages for free or for a nominal price. Schedule the storage automatically and manage your entire database with these.

WP-DB-Backup

WP-DB-Backup plugin creates a backup of your core database tables and also other tables in the database and gives you an option of saving your back up data either to your server or download to your computer or save get you backup file e-mailed to you.

WP DB Backup WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

Bei Fen – Backup plugin

Bei Fen backup plugin gives you the choice of taking a backup of either your complete WordPress installation or only the files or only your database and the backups can be restored with a single click.

Bei Fen WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

WP Time Machine

This plugin creates an archive of your files and uploads and data and provides a connection to any of the free online storages like Dropbox, or Amazons AWS S3 and also to an FTP. You could exclude your cache directories or some of your MySQL tables which don’t start with your table prefix.

WP Time Machine WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

WordPress Backup

WordPress Backup plugin is used to zip your back up your images, current theme directory and your plugin directory.

wordpress backup WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

WP S3 Backup

With WP S3 Backups take a backup of the parts automatically and install them to Amazon S3, a service to safeguard your important files at a comparatively lesser price.

WP S3 Backup WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

WordPress DB Manager

A complete plugin to optimize, repair, backup, restore, and delete the backup database and also to run your queries is offered by WP-DB Manager. Also manages the automatic scheduling of the back-up and manages your whole database.

WordPress DB Manager WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

WordPress EZ Backup

An administrator plugin WordPress EZ Backup create backup archives of your entire site, archives of any MySQL database chosen by you. You can view the Live log file of your backup procedure. Has an interactive Help & Auto Settings of your web server configuration.

wordpress ez backup WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

DBC Backup plugin

DBC Backup plugin schedules daily database backups with the wp cron system where your backup file is protected by a small hash key and are transferred to an export directory, .ht access and an imdex.html file. You can compress your backup as Gzip or Bzip2.

dbc backup WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

BackWPup

Other than taking a backup of your WordPress Blog database and files, BackWPup plugin optimizes checks & repairs the database, stores the backup either to Folder, FTP Server, Amazon S3, RackSpaceClous and sends a log or backup via e-mail.

backwpup WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

Online Storages

Taking a backup of your data means storing it in a secure place which should also retrieves your data at a much faster rate. These online storage options helps you keep a check on your data where you can share, upload and edit your files.

Dropbox

Sync your files or your WordPress data of any size online automatically and also when new changes and files are detected and store them on Dropbox’s secure servers. Share and control the access of your files with other people. Get a storage space of 2GB for free and up to 100 GB for premium usage.

dropbox WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

IDrive

IDrive offers you the facilities of Automatic and Continuous Backup, True Archiving, Versioning, Mapped Drive Backup and more with an online backup space of 2GB for free in IDrive Basic Package and a space of 150 – 500 GB for premium users and a 50GB pack for multiple users for Business under the IDrive Pro package.

idrive WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

Humyo

Humyo offers a free online storage space of 5GB for media files and 5GB for non-media files where you can access these via web only, but once you upgrade your account to Premium one, you get 100 GB storage along with automatic backup, sharing, uploading & downloading files, access via web, phone, PC, extra secure SSL encryption at a price of $69.99 per year.

humyo WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

Binfire

Binfire offers File hosting, Collaboration and Project Management site in its free version with 10GB storage space, file uploads of 200 MB, Private & Project web folder, File locking, Member permissions, Whiteboards, Status reports, Intuitive tasks & Milestones for projects and more.

binfire WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

Backup Services

The Backup services take a backup of your blog, and store them securely and restore them in case of a crash and provide you with many other services like upgrading your versions, giving you the authority of controlling your data, migrating to a new server and more.

blogVault

blogVault creates a backup of your blog which includes the full posts, comments, images, plugins, themes and style sheets by copying them into its secure and robust servers which lets you restore the contents any time easily.

blogvault WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

Backupify

Backupify is a service to backup your archives, cloud accounts, SaaS data, WordPress data and social media files on a daily basis to the Amazon S3 cloud with great security and a data duplication policy. You could not only backup your data but also control your data independently.

backupify WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

Backup Buddy

Backup Buddy schedules and backs up your data to Amazon S3 server or an e-mail or an FTP / FTPS account, Restore your WordPress site with your themes, widgets, plugins etc., on the same server or migrate it to a new server with a new name and domain like Sandbox or Playground site.  Upgrade your newer versions of the plugin in WP Dashboard

backupbuddy WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

Online backup for WordPress

Backup Technology specializes in online backup and disaster recovery and provides on-demand backup through an enterprise level backup service where the data is highly encrypted and compressed and stored in a secure data centre. Provides you an online backup of 50 MB for free with the facilities of locked and email backups.

online backup for wordpress WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

VaultPress

VaultPress safeguards everything from our plugins, themes, comments, post-revisions with WordPress multi-cloud backups. Updates your blog with hot – fixes and protects them with zero-day vulnerabilities.

vaultpress WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

myEASYBackup

myEASYbackup plugin performs a backup by creating a single file called dataset which compresses the data in a .zip file format and saves them outside WordPress installation directory. You could download, upload and delete your data sets.

myEASYbackup WordPress Database and Files Backup Solutions Best of

(bellefoong)

40+ Beautiful “WordPress 3.0 Ready” Themes

October 5th, 2010 Comments off

WordPress was once a simple blogging platform but it has now evolved. Today, WordPress is used as foundation of corporate website, photo gallery, portfolio site or Content Management System (CMS) and its undertaking in the future is limitless.

As a WordPress user, we understand that it is important to keep up with its latest version. On 17th June 2010, WordPress launches 3.0 and took a significant leap from its previous 2.9. It has made tons of changes and added new features such as custom fields, custom post type, taxonomies and a lot more. Therefore by updating your WordPress, you can experience new functions that are included in the new version and most importantly it also ensures you safe from security flaws and exploits.

preview 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

If you are hosting your own WordPress blog, to ascertain your theme is WordPress 3.0 ready is necessary because it is stressful and extremely agitating to know that the plugin you intend to install is not functional or incompatible. Now that WordPress made such drastic changes, the task to make a theme compatible with plugins will not be easy. We are here to share WordPress 3.0 ready themes with you. You can now enjoy the convenience and beauty of these ready themes without frying off your brain.

Company Style

Corporate style theme for your corporate website. This theme can impress your visitors with it’s slick design.
Demo | Download

company style 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

The Morning After

From banner to templates, everything is strategically placed in this theme. Simple and clean.
Demo | Download

morning after 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Mystique

Light background for the content and dark background for the page give a good contrast for this theme. It has a nice tooltip in the background of actived link.
Demo | Download

mystique 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Orsted Theme

Creative theme which mainly uses green, black and white colors. Image slider is very eye catching because it has green background and white frame around every image. All design elements fit very well together because they have a great color balance.
Demo | Download

orsted theme 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

AnimeStar

A dark theme with glimpse of green color effectively draws out a modern design using basic color tricks. A picture slideshow in the middle gives a perfect solution for different information to be shown in one place. Appropriate to anime, cartoon, game blogs.
Demo | Download

animestar 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Black Motion

A black and white theme design never gets old and Black Motion themeis the living proof. A white color background is used for convenient content reading. This theme is efficient yet catchy because of its widgets.
Demo | Download

black motion 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

AutoFocus

Simplicity is the key of this theme. The only complicated thing in this theme is javascript action when you hover over the image.
Demo | Download

autofocus 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Gadget

Design elements, such as gradient in the header and shadow in the background make this theme elegant.
Demo | Download

gadget 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Akylas

This theme is divided in four parts – top navigation, logo and banner, slider, page content.
Demo | Download

akylas 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Structure Theme

A theme with its own style. Simple, but clean. Everything is in black & white, except the image.
Demo | Download

structure theme 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Damla

A multicolor background with a dark header backround, creates a good color combination. It is fast and easy to look through information with many widgets.
Demo | Download

damla 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Suffusion

A simple design with some cool features. White and grey is a perfect combination to create neat and sophisticated look. This theme is good for different blogs where colorful pictures are used.
Demo | Download

suffusion 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Funda

Black and white color combination never gets old. But this theme brings it to a higher level. Vertical stripes in the background helps to highlight the page content. Adequited for informational blogs.
Demo | Download

funda 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Mansion

A theme with unique style. Blog posts and images are arranged as in newspaper and magazine. It also has a javascript action when you hover over the blog posts or images.
Demo | Download

mansion 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Magazeen

Magazeen always has been very popular theme for early WordPress versions, and it still saves its popularity. Simple and clean with style, these are the right words for this theme.
Demo | Download

magazeen 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Moda

If your website is about fashion then this theme is for you. Dark logo on light grey background looks very good.
Demo | Download

moda 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Leander

A conservative and simple theme with many widgets. Main attention is drawn to a page content.
Demo | Download

leander 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Coral

Orange color of this theme makes this theme very unique. Orange, grey and white colors match very well together and they make this theme brilliant looking.
Demo | Download

coral 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Shaken Grid

This theme’s content is arranged as in newspaper – in 3 separate columns. Good way to arrange your information.
Demo | Download

shaken grid 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Side Blog

First attention goes to logo because it is big enough, it has free space around and background is dark. Rounded corners for content’s background give a good look.
Demo | Download

side blog 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Simplo

According to theme’s name, this theme really is simple, without any unnecessary things. This theme would fit for blog very well.
Demo | Download

simplo 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Titan

Simple and elegant theme for your blog. Brown color in header’s background gives a nice style. Gradient for navigation looks elegant as well.
Demo | Download

titan 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Oxygenous

A very simple grey design but it is taken to a new level. Red and orange colors are used to display some words or phrases. It has good widgets that create this theme look easy to navigate.
Demo | Download

oxygenous 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Dimenzion

Dimenzion is really dimensional. Backgrounds of header, navigation and content are twisted so they give a dimensional look. Main colors for this theme are light blue, yellow and brown. Very colorful theme.
Demo | Download

dimenzion 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Channel

This theme looks like a design for news portal. Good for blogs which are updated regulary.
Demo | Download

channel 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Fashion Press

A good theme for news blog. It has a blue background which attracts attention and light blue borders around blocks.
Demo | Download

fashion press 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Capella Theme

A simple theme which main color is blue. Blue is used for header and for links. This theme is for people who don’t want any flashy and shiny themes.
Demo | Download

capella theme 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Carbonified

Good looking corporate style theme for your company. Very simple but top image and logo draw all attention.
Demo | Download

carbonified 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Boronic

Boronic is another simple theme but with a little bit of its own style. Everything has its own place and free space around.
Demo | Download

boronic 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Graphene

This theme best fits for a simple blog. It doesn’t have any cool or shiny design elements and that’s why it’s good for non-designer blog.
Demo | Download

graphene 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Stargaze

Stargaze is very cool theme because it consists of many colors and it has some life in it.
Demo | Download

stargaze 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Photoblog

If you are a photographer and you’d like to publish your photos or publish some blog posts then this theme is for you. Your photos will draw more attention because of dark background and also white border around photos highlights them.
Demo | Download

photoblog 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Freshblog

Freshblog is a simple theme for a blog which doesn’t contain any shiny design elements but has a big simplicity.
Demo | Download

freshblog 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Animes

If you are creating a blog about Anime then you have, probably, found the right theme for your blog. This theme is all about Anime.
Demo | Download

animes 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Perfecta

Perfecta is very general theme, but it has a style.
Demo | Download

perfecta 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Magazine Basic

If you are planning to create a simple blog then this theme is for you. It doesn’t look like a mount of creativeness, but it’s simple and that means that it will load very fast.
Demo | Download

magazine basic 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Brillyant

Nicely combined dark color in gradient makes this theme look stylish and neat. A picture slideshow in the middle is great for showing pictures. Widgets on the right helps to oversee all latest information. This theme is good for photo, cartoon, design blogs.
Demo | Download

brillyant 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

The Seven Five

The Seven Five is very simple theme, but with its style – rounded navigation links and rounded borders for images.
Demo | Download

seven five 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

iBusiness

Great theme for your company website. It is very clean and at the same time very stylish to make a good impression.
Demo | Download

ibusiness 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

HydroGenize

This theme has a style. Image slider which draws attention, blue and grey colors for backgrounds.
Demo | Download

hydrogenize 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Voidy

Rounded corners, small shading at the background and a simple white design is for those who want to have a traditional design with some modern features that bring this theme to a new level.
Demo | Download

voidy 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Boldy

Very elegant theme. Good for corporate style website. All attention goes to image in the middle of the page.
Demo | Download

boldy 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

MobileWorld

MobileWorld uses mainly cold colors with red accents. Blue color gives people trust.
Demo | Download

mobileworld 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Papatya

A dark gradient background creates a perfect opportunity to highlight a logo and articles. Good for news, informative blogs.
Demo | Download

papatya 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Gamepro

A dark background, an image slideshow and this theme has appropriate header image for game blogs and sites.
Demo | Download

gamepro 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

Studeno

Green and black color combination that looks very good together. Great for blogs that want to emphasize “green design” importance in our time. Blocks make this theme user friendly because it is easy to view the newest information.
Demo | Download

studeno 40+ Beautiful WordPress 3.0 Ready Themes

(bellefoong)

Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

September 29th, 2010 Comments off

Writing for a website used to be simple where all you need to do is produce high quality articles and your site will usually be noticed, rewarding you with a good amount of traffic and eyeballs. However, this could be an expiring ideology. Today, without a good amount of social marketing effort, chances are people will not come across your website because you are basically free from acknowledgment. To be fair, not everyone is a social media genius but there are definitely tips and tricks to utilize social marketing tool on your website and blog to increase attention for your articles.

sexybookmark 02 Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

It is pretty common to see sharing and voting buttons of Facebook, Digg, Twitter, StumbleUpon or others social marketing tool in a website. If you are yet to have any of these install in your website, you are potentially missing out tremendous amount of traffic your website may deserve. However, these buttons are not magic buttons. In order for them to unleash their functions, your site must have put in enough effort to at least write a good article and they will make promoting and sharing convenient for you.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of popular and commonly use WordPress social media plugins that you can use in your WordPress blog. Hope it will help to increase attention your website deserve.

Plugins: WordPress 3.0 Compatible

Sharebar
Sharebar adds a dynamic and fully customizable vertical box to the left of a blog post that contains links/buttons to popular social networking sites.

sharebar Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

Follow Me
For people who have more than one social media profile, Follow Me allows you to display links to all your social media profiles in one, easy-to-access button. [Read More]

followme Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

Knxdt bookmarks
This plugin inserts a friendly bar at the bottom of your blog entries. A list of social tagging services are there like Meneame, Digg, Delicious, Fresqui, Technorati, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Newsvine, Wikio, FriendFeed and Twitter. Wikio, FriendFeed, Twitter and you can also send an email to recommend the post using an online service Feedburner. [Read More]

KnxDT Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

SexyBookmarks
Adds an attractive social bookmarking menu to your posts, pages, index, or any combination of the three.

sexybookmark 01 Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

sexybookmark 02 Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

Share and Follow
Designed for developers and average users this plugin gives links to share and follow the most prominent social networking sites like digg, twitter, facebook, stumble, reddit, delicious, hyves, myspace, linkedin, rss, mixx, email, print, google buzz, yahoo buzz, tumblr, orkut, deviantart, youtube, yelp, flickr, feedback, lastfm, newsletter, xfire, foursquare, vimeo, dailymotion, plaxo, coconex, soundcloud, xing, gowalla, itunes.

share and follow Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

Simple Facebook Connect
Connect Facebook functionality to your WordPress with this series of plugins which lets you have an integrated site and also customise according to your likes.

simple facebook connect Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

Get Social
This plugin adds a floating social media sharing box on your blog posts. Can easily add any number of additional social media sharing buttons, a plugin with minimal settings. [Read More]

getsocial Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

Tell A Friend
Adds a tell a friend, Share/Bookmark/Email/Social Bookmarking button.

tell a friend Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

More:

  • Social Bookmarking Re-loaded. This plugin adds a page in the WordPress admin section that lets you customize itadds the social bookmarks services’s icons to your articles in your blogs in order to submit them easily. Makes it easy for the visitors with the graphic links at the end of the posts.
  • Referrer – Detector. Welcome your visitors or referrers with greeting message which reminds them to digg your story or bookmark you in Del.icio.us.
  • Digg Digg. All-in-One social shared count / vote buttons – Digg, Reddit, dDone, Twitter, TweetMeme, Topsy, Yahoo Buzz, facebook share, facebook like, Polladium.

Plugins: WordPress 3.0 Non-compatible

These plugins are still not WordPress 3.0 compatible when this article is written. They may work, or they may not. But still, they are some social bookmarking plugins worth knowing.

Add to this
Automatically adds Stumble, Technorati, Digg and De.licio.us below your post just by activating this plugin. Bookmarking is implemented with huge images increasing the chances of this getting bookmarked. Compatible up to: 2.5

addtothis Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

Social Grid
A WordPress plugin which adds a nice grid of social media icons which links to the your various profiles on the web. Has been expanded to offer links to over 25 different social networks including LinkedIn, Vimeo, and now Posterous. Compatible up to: 2.9.2

sociagrid Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

Sociable
Sociable plugin makes it quite easy for you to add links or buttons at the end of your posts make it user friendly for your readers to share your posts with others. [Read More] Compatible up to: 2.8.5

socialable 01 Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

socialable 02 Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

BookMarkify
A plugin which includes more than 50 social bookmark sites, gives you subscription to your blog, still works as a WordPress plugin and does not require WordPress. Compatible up to: 2.9.2

bookmarkify 01 Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

bookmarkify 02 Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

Hey Social
Makes use of Javascript effects with the latest Web 2.0 and is the coolest way of interacting with your visitors so that thsy can submit yuor posts to Digg, Twitter, De.licio.us and so on. Compatible up to: 2.6.1

heysocial Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

ComplexLife
A powerful lifestreaming plugin which provides a historical views of your activities online by aggregating it from any service you use. Compatible up to: 2.6

complexlife Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

Light Social
The plugin is implemented using the most simplistic html code to ensure fast load and minimal impact on your blog. Inserts the links at the bottom of each post and lets you enable or disable to show your links. Some of the list of used social sites are Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Facebook, DotNetKicks, Google Buzz and many more. Compatible up to: 2.9.2

lightsocial Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

More:

  • I Love Social Bookmarking. You are sure to love this plugin which runs in minimal system resources and features attractive icons in a simple drop-down list quite easy to customise and SEO optimised Compatible up to: 2.3.3
  • BookMark Me. Here is a plugin which focusses only on non-english bookmarks site. Already has russian, italian, french, german, arabic, sweden and espanol to its cresits and still growing. Compatible up to: 2.7.1
  • obsocialbookmarker. Social bookmarking plugin which adds user-submission links at the bottom of each post for various social bookmarking sites. Compatible up to: 2.7.1
  • Google Buzz Button for WordPress. This plugin adds the Google Buzz Bookmark button to your WordPress pages orr posts. Can be inserted manually before or after the content. Compatible up to: 2.9.2
  • Add Me Dichev. Simply renders social bookmark buttons with icons after the post body. The plugin generates automatic bookmarks links for more than 60 social networks. Compatible up to: 2.7

Social Bookmarking Web Services

Add to Any
Add to any as the name goes lets your share your content in 8 different platforms just at the click of a button. Quite easy and time saving.

addtoany Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

Share This
Now share your content in 3 easy steps and get your tweets, multi channel buttons and many more instantly. Just choose your website, style buttons and immediately start off to get instant traffic.

share this Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

Meebo for WordPress
This plugin installs a Meebo toolbar on your website. Meebo bar consist of various social networking buttons that you can customized via Meebo dashboard. It also allows images to be shared via Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo Buzz or email.

meebo bar Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

Wibiya
Wibiya is another web toolbar; very similar to Meebo. But in terms of customization leve, Wibiya has more.

wibiya Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

Free Tell-a-Friend
Sharing cant become much quicker than this, Tell-a-Friend allows the visitors to tell about your site in just a click, Place this button in you page and see the difference.

freetellafriend Top Social Bookmarking Plugins For WordPress

(bellefoong)

How to Display WordPress Sidebar on Other (Non WP) Sites

August 16th, 2010 Comments off

wp sidebar How to Display WordPress Sidebar on Other (Non WP) Sites

While working on my latest project, DevGrow Discussions, I came across the need to embed my entire WordPress sidebar on a non-WordPress site – specifically a bbPress forum. Since I make use of various widgets to display popular posts and other dynamic content, simply copying and pasting the HTML would not suffice. In the end, there are really only two ways of going about this:

  1. Include your wp-load.php file in your application and in effect load the entirety of WordPress to get access to the plugin functions
  2. Use simple caching to store the sidebar in HTML format and include it in any other application, then rebuild it as necessary when new content is published

If it’s not obvious enough, the first option is very costly in terms of database queries and can significantly slow your site down. The second option requires a little effort in implementation but performance wise there is no competition.

Caching Your WordPress Sidebar

Before we can write our function, we need to understand exactly what we’re trying to do. Our goal is to cache our sidebar to a text file and update that cache whenever we publish a post, change our theme or make changes to the sidebar widgets. Since we’re planning on using our cache to display the sidebar on a different application, we need to be able to easily delete the cache without any ill-effects (we don’t want our sidebar broken at any time).

To accomplish this efficiently, we’ll also create a log of our cached files and use that to determine whether the cache should be cleared. If so, the actual cache file will be overwritten the next time someone visits the WordPress site, ensuring a proper sidebar is always rendered on both applications.

Creating the Functions

To get started, open up your theme’s functions.php file and add the following functions to it:

function cache($task, $cacheFile, $cacheTime = 21600){ global $cache; // Configure files and directories: $cacheDir = TEMPLATEPATH."/cache"; $cacheFileName = $cacheDir."/cache-$cacheFile.txt"; $cacheLogFile = $cacheDir."/cache-log.txt"; // Make cache directory if it doesn't exist if(!is_dir($cacheDir)) mkdir($cacheDir, 0755); // Make a log of the cache files with their current status if(file_exists($cacheLogFile)) $cacheLog = unserialize(file_get_contents($cacheLogFile)); else $cacheLog = array(); if($task == 'start'){ // If cache exists, is less than 6 hours old and is not in deletion queue, keep it - otherwise rebuild cache if(file_exists($cacheFileName) && (time() - filemtime($cacheFileName)) < $cacheTime && $cacheLog[$cacheFile] == 1){ $cache = false; } else { $cache = true; ob_start(); } }elseif($task == 'end' && $cache){ // If caching, save file contents and update log file_put_contents($cacheFileName,ob_get_contents()); ob_end_flush(); $cacheLog[$cacheFile] = 1; file_put_contents($cacheLogFile,serialize($cacheLog)); }elseif($task == 'purge'){ // Set cache to delete and update log $cacheLog[$cacheFile] = 0; file_put_contents($cacheLogFile,serialize($cacheLog)); } }
function cache_purge(){ $cacheDir = TEMPLATEPATH."/cache"; $cacheLogFile = $cacheDir."/cache-log.txt"; if(file_exists($cacheLogFile)) $cacheLog = unserialize(file_get_contents($cacheLogFile)); else $cacheLog = array(); foreach($cacheLog as $key=>$value) $cacheLog[$key] = 0; file_put_contents($cacheLogFile,serialize($cacheLog));
}

These first function, cache, is the key to getting our cache to work. Depending on where in your file you call it, the function will set up the correct files and directories, verify a cache needs to be built and if so, will save the output and update the cache log. The function uses PHP’s output buffering to save any HTML generated into a text file.

The second function is used to purge all cache files and is useful for adding to existing WordPress hooks. With it, we can make it so our cache is cleared every time our theme is updated, a post is saved or our sidebar widgets are updated by adding the following at the end of functions.php:

add_action('switch_theme','cache_purge', 10);
add_action('publish_post','cache_purge', 10);
add_filter('widget_update_callback','cache_purge', 10);

For a full list of hooks, check out the WordPress Plugin API Reference.

Configuring Your Sidebar

Now that you have the functions ready, you can begin caching your sidebar. Open up your sidebar.php and add this line to the beginning of the file:

<?php cache('start', 'sidebar'); ?>

This function will start caching the sidebar it needs to, otherwise it will do nothing. Because of the way the PHP output buffering function works, we also need to close off the buffer at the end of the file as well. Add this line to the very bottom of the same file:

<?php cache('end', 'sidebar'); ?>

After you’ve added those two lines, refresh your blog. You won’t see anything in your browser but check the /cache directory in your theme folder and you should see two files starting with cache-.

Using Your Cache

Now that you’ve created your cache file, you can use it in any application that has access to it. You can easily do this using the include_once function but I also like making sure the file exists, just to be safe:

<?php $myCachedFile = "/path/to/cache-sidebar.txt"; if(file_exists($myCachedFile)) include_once($myCachedFile); else echo "Cache doesn't exist.";
?>

Just be sure to double-check your file path is correct. If you want to set your cache to delete from an external application, you’ll have to include the cache_purge function in your script somewhere and simply call that whenever necessary. After that it’s simply a matter of calling the function:

<?php purge_cache(); ?>

Conclusion

This technique is really useful for any PHP application, especially when you want to display dynamic content without having to sacrifice performance. Use it to speed up your WordPress install or be able to use useful bits (like the sidebar) on any other website or application.

wp sidebar2 How to Display WordPress Sidebar on Other (Non WP) Sites