My notes from this month's "WordPress Sampler" meeting of WPJax
at Modis. Folks in our group range from business
owners and students to advanced developers. Here are some of their
recommendations and insights, primarily from Elizabeth,
Clint, and Jonathan.
Themes and Development
What WP Theme is That? is
especially useful when dissecting what other webmasters have done
in building their themes.
BluChic has WordPress themes for sites,
intended for a more feminine look.
Creative Market is
WordPress themes: Hundreds, nay thousands! At reasonable prices.
The Avada multi-purpose, responsive theme.
Comes highly recommended as being one of the most easily
customizable and dependable. This is Theme Forest's best-selling
"flagship" theme. Somewhat pricier than the other themes we
discussed, this one is just as easy, but a little better for folks
who aren't afraid to write just a handful of PHP statements to
tweak the perfect theme's functionality.
Cobalt Apps promises to break down some
of the barriers that normally require a bit of coding. It builds
child themes for the Genesis
theme without having to dig too deeply into PHP or HTML / CSS.
Stock Photos and Shopping
Death to the Stock Photo sends
you free, royalty-free photos. you receive an monthly email. Or
subscribe to their entire library for a small fee.
The Dollar Photo Club has
High-resolution and vector images, royalty-free, always $1.00 USD
Embed items in your marketplace from "Square" (using an
Cafe bon Appetit is a site partly
coded by Jonathan, showing how something built for large
institutions like a university can still be attractive and
appealing. The main page operates several sites inside, each
catered to a college or corporation cafeteria. This ties together
databases, design, and working through procedural and regulatory
Jonathan also showed us the behind-the-scenes operation of a new
site for a major office furniture designer/manufacturer. The site's
theme and plugins enable functions in the WordPress admin screens
that permit building nested database-driven detail boxes in the
post/page composition process without any coding whatsoever.
Jonathan also shared his experience finding, tracking, and repairing a
bug in the WordPress Core that has existed for years.
I encourage you to contact Clint, Jonathan,
or Elizabeth for your WordPress
design needs. And thanks again to Modis and to Tim and Rebecca for the
venue and the refreshments!
Good questions and a bunch of tips from everyone else attending rounded
out this excellent session. We've got a great group going, and much
talent on the move here in the "Bold New City of the South!"
When installing a new plugin, or upgrading an existing theme,
plugin, or WordPress itself, you may be asked for FTP details. But, you
say, I thought I had this configured to update directly. Here's how to
force WordPress to upgrade without FTP.
wp-config.php file, add a line near the top:
This forces WordPress to write to files directly. Once this is done,
you will get error messages that better explain what isn't working.
For example, you may need group write privileges on the
chmod g+w wp-content/upgrade
If you get this error:
Could not remove the old plugin.
you will also need to ensure there is group write on all the plugins
chmod -R g+w wp-content/plugins
I had already downloaded and installed Flash for Firefox,
following these instructions
but could not get it to work as a plugin on Chromium.
Success is yours when you type "about:plugins" into the location bar of
Chromium and the Flash player appears.
Fortunately, it turned out to be pretty simple to just link Firefox's
plugin into Chromium: As root, do this:
ln -s /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins-wrapped/nswrapper_32_64.libflashplayer.so .
After reading Justin Tadlock's excellent writeup of Wordpress 3.0
(nav-menus), I am seriously disappointed and annoyed at this new
A nightmare to maintain, spaghetti bowl of desynchronization, is what
these new menus are. They statically replicate what we already had
dynamic widgets for. In database lingo, they violate third normal form.
Post and page descriptions are computed from the page content AT ADD
TIME; if you update a post or page, its description is not updated, so
you have to remember to manually edit each menu entry each time you
edit something. Adding pages, or changing a page’s Order, or changing a
page’s Parent, does not change the menu, you have to manually go
replicate all your changes in two places.
Nor can I find any way to write a widget that creates menu items, like
, which would solve the above problems by creating menus on the fly,
based on your current page location, the N latest posts, or other
In short, the new menus should have been a widget, that could be
inserted anywhere, instead of a whole new structure. What a mess.