Themes – closingtags </>
Categories
Plugins Programming Themes WordPress

WordPress + Docker

Dear Vagrant,
You’ll always hold a special place in my heart but there comes a time when we have to put the past behind us. We grow, change, and you and I aren’t what we used to be. We’ve grown apart and become so different. There is no doubt that someone out there will love you, but for me; well I’m done with the days of an upgrade to VirtualBox breaking my virtual environment. I’m saying goodbye to your virtual machines taking a whopping 7 seconds to start. Vagrant, I’ve found someone else, and yes; it is Docker.
ūüíĒ
If you’ve read any recent posts of mine, you’ll have noticed a distinct lack of information regarding WordPress. It’s not that I dislike WordPress now but given the option of developing with WordPress or not-WordPress, I’d choose not-WordPress. Remembering all of the hooks, the cluttered functions.php files, and bloated freemium plugins has all become so tiresome. That’s not to say that I’ll never work with it again, after all; this blog is powered by WordPress as is more than 1/3 of the web as we know it. Since I’ll never officially be done with WordPress, I should at least find some more modern ways to manage development with it.
Dockerize It
To get WordPress development environment up and running quickly, I use docker-compose. I’ve written about it before over here. It’s incredibly simple since the docker community maintains a WordPress image.
docker-compose.yml
services:
db:
image: mariadb:10.6.4-focal
command: ‘–default-authentication-plugin=mysql_native_password’
volumes:
– db_data:/var/lib/mysql
restart: always
environment:
– MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=somewordpress
– MYSQL_DATABASE=wordpress
– MYSQL_USER=wordpress
– MYSQL_PASSWORD=wordpress
expose:
– 3306
– 33060
wordpress:
depends_on:
– db
image: wordpress:latest
ports:
– “8000:80”
restart: always
volumes:
– ./:/var/www/html
– ./uploads.ini:/usr/local/etc/php/conf.d/uploads.ini
environment:
– WORDPRESS_DB_HOST=db
– WORDPRESS_DB_USER=wordpress
– WORDPRESS_DB_PASSWORD=wordpress
– WORDPRESS_DB_NAME=wordpress
volumes:
db_data:
For the most part, this file is the same as the one taken from the docker quick start example. Here are couple directives that I made changes to:

ports: I changed these around as I had some other services running from different programs
depends_on: Telling WordPress not to start until the DB has started also prevented some issues where I was seeing the famous “white screen of death”
volumes: set the current working directory to be the WordPress instance as well as created a custom PHP ini file to fix upload size restrictions

uploads.ini
file_uploads = On
memory_limit = 1024M
upload_max_filesize = 10M
post_max_size = 10M
max_execution_time = 600
Placing this uploads.ini file in a directory accessible by the docker-compose.yml let me fix problems with large file uploads.
I got 99 problems and they’re all permissions
This is all well and good but there are some issues when trying to develop locally. For instance, after running docker-compose up -d, I noticed that all files belong to www-data:www-data. This is necessary for the web server in the container to serve the files in the browser at http://localhost:8000. But then I didn’t have write permission on those files so how could I manage them?
I came across a couple of solutions but they each have their drawbacks. For instance, if I set the entire WordPress instance to be owned by my user, then the web server won’t have permission to read or write to files. I could also add my user to the group www-data but even then, I won’t have write permissions until I run something akin to sudo chmod 764 entire_wordpress_dir which isn’t desirable (but is probably the best option so far). The compromise I came up with was setting myself as the owner for all of the WordPress install, and giving WordPress ownership of the uploads directory. It seems that for now, I’ll just have to flip permissions via the CLI.
If you have ideas on how to resolve the permissions issue with WordPress and docker-compose, leave a comment below!

Categories
Plugins Themes WordPress

Deployments w/Git

FTP sucks. I mean, it’s fine. Whatever. But moving code with FTP sucks. You have to make sure you’ve downloaded the latest version, and you have to be careful not to overwrite or delete other files. One missed click, and you can have a long evening ahead of yourself. Because of the issues I’ve had with FTP in the past, I’ve been on the lookout for better ways of getting my code to my applications. You might remember that I previously posted about deploying a web app using Capistrano and while Capistrano is really cool, I still suck at Ruby. So when confronted with yet another deployment problem, I wanted to use Capistrano, but I didn’t want to have to butcher someone else’s deployment recipe again. And I really, really didn’t want to FTP my code up to the server again.
In comes Git; not just for version control. You’re already using it to keep your code safe. Why not use it to securely push your code to your server? In my case, I needed to push a plugin that contains custom features. So how do you use Git to deploy your code?
I’m going to operate off of the assumption that you’ve already got your code in a repository. If you haven’t done that, do it now. Once you have done that, then SSH into your server and create directory to store a remote repository.
ssh [email protected]
mkdir repo_title && cd repo_title
git –bare init
You’ve now got a bare repository to host your code. The next step deals with the hooks in the repo.nano hooks/post-receiveIn that file, drop this code:
#!/bin/sh
GIT_WORK_TREE=/var/www/public_html/wp-content/plugins/custom_plugin git checkout -f master
Obviously, change that path to whatever the path is to your plugin location on the server, save it, and then run:chmod +x hooks/post-receiveso that your code has execute rights.
Now exit your SSH connection, and go back to your local repository. You’ll now need to create a remote in your local repository for your server.
cd your-project
git remote add myserver ssh://[email protected]/~/repo_title
git push myserver +master:refs/heads/master
To deploy your code, just rungit push myserverAnd that’s it! Now, you can move code without ever having to write a Ruby script or open an FTP client.
Thanks to Matt Banks over at mattbanks.me for his excellent write-up. I recommend you go check that out seeing as how that’s where I found this.
Source: Managing WordPress Theme Deployments with Git – Matt Banks
Update: It’s become popular to rename the master branch to main. If that is the case for you, simply replace all instances of “master” in the code with the branch you would like to use.

Categories
Plugins Themes WordPress

VVV

As far as¬†development goes, it feels like if you aren’t using Vagrant, you aren’t doing it right. And if you’re doing WordPress development (themes, plugins, or even Core), you’re behind the curve if you haven’t started using VVV (Varying-Vagrant-Vagrants). VVV let’s you spin up another development instance relatively easily, but apparently, it can be even easier with vv (Variable VVV).
Damn, that’s a lot of V’s.
But seriously, this tool makes it even easier to create another development instance. If you haven’t checked it out already, I definitely recommend it. Use the command¬†create to spin up another instance, and get a few questions about the kind of instance you want to create. This stuff is magical.

Categories
Plugins Themes WordPress

Checking WordPress with WPScan

If you use WordPress regularly, you know that it is often the target of hacking attempts, and rightfully so. It accounts for nearly a quarter of all websites! Why wouldn’t a hacker want to target WordPress? That, plus the plethora of amateur developers releasing plug-ins and themes with gaping security flaws, makes WordPress an easy win for someone with malicious intent.
You probably already know about the vast list of security plug-ins, that you shouldn’t write down your passwords, that you should use different passwords on every site, etc. I’m not going to list all of those things, because it’s boring and repetitive. I am going to tell you about WPScan though. WPScan does exactly what it sounds like. Scans your WordPress site. Boom. That simple. It’s backed by the guys over at Sucuri so you know it’s legit.
Do yourself a favor and check out WPScan either on their website or just go to the Github repo¬†and clone it. It doesn’t work on Windows, so sorry about that. But it should work with a Mac or Linux machine. The install is pretty simple too. Here’s what I did:
sudo apt-get install libcurl4-gnutls-dev libxml2 libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev ruby-dev build-essential
git clone https://github.com/wpscanteam/wpscan.git
cd wpscan
sudo gem install bundler && bundle install –without test
Also, it’s nice to set an alias so you don’t have to be in that directory to run it all the time:
alias wpscan=”ruby /home/USERNAMEHERE/Documents/wpscan/wpscan.rb”

That way, you just run¬†wpscan –update or whatever command you want and it works. It’ll give you a nice big list of things that you should look into, and tell you a few things you probably didn’t know.

Categories
PHP Plugins Themes WordPress

SSL with VagrantPress

I’m trying to be a better developer. And somewhere in the vastness of the internet, someone told me I should be using Vagrant. So I did. It was cool and I liked it, but then I found out about VagrantPress¬†and it got even easier. You just clone that repo, and start working. Pretty simple really.
But the other day, I was working on something that required an HTTPS connection, and I thought you should know how to do this with VagrantPress.
Firstly, startup your machine and login via SSH:
vagrant up
vagrant ssh

We’re going to need to do a few things with the SSL certificates, but I promise it’s painless.
sudo make-ssl-cert generate-default-snakeoil –force-overwrite
sudo a2enmod ssl
sudo a2ensite default-ssl.conf
sudo service apache2 reload
Credit for these handy commands goes to vtalbot here. Then, we need to edit a few files.
sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/default-ssl.conf
Change the DocumentRoot /var/www/html to /vagrant/wordpress. Then we need to tell apache that it’s ok to share that directory so run this command:
sudo nano /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
and scroll waaaay down to all of the directives that look like
<Directory /var/www/>
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride None
Require all granted
</Directory>
and create another one that looks like this
<Directory /vagrant/wordpress/>
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Require all granted
</Directory>
After all of that, run
sudo service apache2 reload
Also, you’ll want to make sure your .htaccess file looks like this:
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} !=on
RewriteRule ^ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]

</IfModule>
The final step then is to navigate to your WordPress settings > General, and change both URLs to be HTTPS instead of HTTP.
And that should be all there is to it! You should now be able to access https://vagrantpress.dev/ and¬†https://vagrantpress.dev/wp-admin/ problem free. Of course, your browser will probably tell you the connection isn’t trusted, but that’s just because you’re not using a signed SSL certificate.
The next step might be to go and change the URL in the WordPress settings, fiddle with your .htaccess if you want to force the SSL connection but for basic development purposes, this should get you where you need to go.

Categories
CSS Themes WordPress

Custom WordPress Admin Login Logo

If you want to replace the WordPress logo on your admin login page with your own custom image, you can do it with just a couple simple lines in your functions.php file.
add_action(“login_head”, “my_login_head”);
function my_login_head() {
echo “<style>
body.login #login h1 a {
background: url(‘”.get_bloginfo(‘template_url’).”/images/logo_login.png’) no-repeat scroll center top transparent;
height: 181px;
width: 269px;
padding:0 25px;
}
</style>”;
}
Simply upload your file to the proper path and adjust the CSS accordingly.

Categories
CSS Themes WordPress

Shortcodes for Custom Column Sizes

WordPress is great, but sometimes, when you’re writing a blog post, the WSIWYG is just lacking certain features. Say you want to format your content and make things a little cleaner. Like this:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed vel urna ut elit faucibus semper. Morbi dignissim ex enim, et consectetur justo blandit vel. Etiam lobortis nulla vel tellus dictum dignissim. Fusce purus lectus, luctus vitae imperdiet ac, lobortis quis urna. Integer id venenatis quam. Cras ac neque sit amet urna consequat pellentesque.

Nunc vitae laoreet purus. Ut egestas, metus eget accumsan fringilla, erat justo congue tellus, pulvinar vehicula nunc enim nec augue. Praesent gravida blandit risus dapibus pharetra. Proin consequat et nisl quis tincidunt. Proin at massa odio. Cras malesuada porta ultricies. Fusce tristique blandit leo at tempus. Curabitur tincidunt ex quis lacus sodales ornare.

By the way, you can get copy/paste lorem ipsum from http://www.lipsum.com/feed/html
Well, if this is something you’d like to be able to do, you can make a couple quick edits in functions.php and style.css of your theme. The CSS code looks like this:
/*
* Fluid Columns
* —————————————————————————-
*/
.one_half{ width:48%; }
.one_third{ width:30.66%; }
.two_third{ width:65.33%; }
.one_fourth{ width:22%; }
.three_fourth{ width:74%; }
.one_fifth{ width:16.8%; }
.two_fifth{ width:37.6%; }
.three_fifth{ width:58.4%; }
.four_fifth{ width:79.2%; }
.one_sixth{ width:13.33%; }
.five_sixth{ width:82.67%; }
.one_half,.one_third,.two_third,.three_fourth,.one_fourth,.one_fifth,.two_fifth,.three_fifth,.four_fifth,.one_sixth,.five_sixth{ position:relative; margin-right:2%; padding-right:2%; float:left; }
.last{ margin-right:0 !important; padding-right:0 !important; clear:right; }
.clearboth {clear:both;display:block;font-size:0;height:0;line-height:0;width:100%;}

And this is what you will put in the functions.php:
function columns_one_third( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”one_third”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div>’; } add_shortcode(‘one_third’, ‘columns_one_third’);
function columns_one_third_last( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”one_third last”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div><div class=”clearboth”></div>’; } add_shortcode(‘one_third_last’, ‘columns_one_third_last’);
function columns_two_third( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”two_third”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div>’; } add_shortcode(‘two_third’, ‘columns_two_third’);
function columns_two_third_last( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”two_third last”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div><div class=”clearboth”></div>’; } add_shortcode(‘two_third_last’, ‘columns_two_third_last’);
function columns_one_half( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”one_half”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div>’; } add_shortcode(‘one_half’, ‘columns_one_half’);
function columns_one_half_last( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”one_half last”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div><div class=”clearboth”></div>’; } add_shortcode(‘one_half_last’, ‘columns_one_half_last’);
function columns_one_fourth( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”one_fourth”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div>’; } add_shortcode(‘one_fourth’, ‘columns_one_fourth’);
function columns_one_fourth_last( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”one_fourth last”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div><div class=”clearboth”></div>’; } add_shortcode(‘one_fourth_last’, ‘columns_one_fourth_last’);
function columns_three_fourth( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”three_fourth”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div>’; } add_shortcode(‘three_fourth’, ‘columns_three_fourth’);
function columns_three_fourth_last( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”three_fourth last”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div><div class=”clearboth”></div>’; } add_shortcode(‘three_fourth_last’, ‘columns_three_fourth_last’);
function columns_one_fifth( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”one_fifth”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div>’; } add_shortcode(‘one_fifth’, ‘columns_one_fifth’);
function columns_one_fifth_last( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”one_fifth last”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div><div class=”clearboth”></div>’; } add_shortcode(‘one_fifth_last’, ‘columns_one_fifth_last’);
function columns_two_fifth( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”two_fifth”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div>’; } add_shortcode(‘two_fifth’, ‘columns_two_fifth’);
function columns_two_fifth_last( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”two_fifth last”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div><div class=”clearboth”></div>’; } add_shortcode(‘two_fifth_last’, ‘columns_two_fifth_last’);
function columns_three_fifth( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”three_fifth”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div>’; } add_shortcode(‘three_fifth’, ‘columns_three_fifth’);
function columns_three_fifth_last( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”three_fifth last”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div><div class=”clearboth”></div>’; } add_shortcode(‘three_fifth_last’, ‘columns_three_fifth_last’);
function columns_four_fifth( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”four_fifth”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div>’; } add_shortcode(‘four_fifth’, ‘columns_four_fifth’);
function columns_four_fifth_last( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”four_fifth last”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div><div class=”clearboth”></div>’; } add_shortcode(‘four_fifth_last’, ‘columns_four_fifth_last’);
function columns_one_sixth( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”one_sixth”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div>’; } add_shortcode(‘one_sixth’, ‘columns_one_sixth’);
function columns_one_sixth_last( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”one_sixth last”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div><div class=”clearboth”></div>’; } add_shortcode(‘one_sixth_last’, ‘columns_one_sixth_last’);
function columns_five_sixth( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”five_sixth”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div>’; } add_shortcode(‘five_sixth’, ‘columns_five_sixth’);
function columns_five_sixth_last( $atts, $content = null ) { return ‘<div class=”five_sixth last”>’ . do_shortcode($content) . ‘</div><div class=”clearboth”></div>’; } add_shortcode(‘five_sixth_last’, ‘columns_five_sixth_last’);

function columns_formatter($content) {
$new_content = ”;

/* Matches the contents and the open and closing tags */
$pattern_full = ‘{(\[raw\].*?\[/raw\])}is’;

/* Matches just the contents */
$pattern_contents = ‘{\[raw\](.*?)\[/raw\]}is’;

/* Divide content into pieces */
$pieces = preg_split($pattern_full, $content, -1, PREG_SPLIT_DELIM_CAPTURE);

/* Loop over pieces */
foreach ($pieces as $piece) {
/* Look for presence of the shortcode */
if (preg_match($pattern_contents, $piece, $matches)) {

/* Append to content (no formatting) */
$new_content .= $matches[1];
} else {

/* Format and append to content */
$new_content .= wptexturize(wpautop($piece));
}
}

return $new_content;
}

// Remove the 2 main auto-formatters
remove_filter(‘the_content’, ‘wpautop’);
remove_filter(‘the_content’, ‘wptexturize’);

// Before displaying for viewing, apply this function
add_filter(‘the_content’, ‘columns_formatter’, 99);
add_filter(‘widget_text’, ‘columns_formatter’, 99);

Now to use this handy feature, you basically say:

Your content goes here…..

Your content goes here…..

If you wanted three columns, you’d replace ‘one_half’ with ‘one_third’, four columns, you’d replace ‘one_half’ with ‘one_fourth, and so on. Just make sure your last column has the ‘_last’ appended to both opening and closing tags.
Mobile
This is a pretty great feature, but it does break down on mobile devices. So in the¬†media queries of the¬†theme, I find it best to simple break the columns, and set each section to full width. The .clearboth class in the CSS code has pretty much everything you need (but also some extra) so we’ll take a piece out of that and do this in our media queries.
@media screen and (max-width: 758px) {

.one_half,.one_third,.two_third,.three_fourth,.one_fourth,.one_fifth,.two_fifth,.three_fifth,.four_fifth,.one_sixth,.five_sixth {
clear:both;
display:block;
width:100%;
}
}
This way, when the device screen gets to a smaller size, your columns will break into full width divs.
Source

Categories
Themes WordPress

Disabling Comments In WordPress

Sometimes, WordPress is used for websites that are not blogs. And sometimes, those websites don’t want to hear back from people on the internet, because; let’s face it, people on the internet can suck. So if you want to make sure those sucky people don’t comment on your site, don’t try and delete the wp_comments table from the WordPress database like this guy thought he could do. That’s just going to cause problems. Instead, try this code.
// Disable support for comments and trackbacks in post types
function df_disable_comments_post_types_support() {
$post_types = get_post_types();
foreach ($post_types as $post_type) {
if(post_type_supports($post_type, ‘comments’)) {
remove_post_type_support($post_type, ‘comments’);
remove_post_type_support($post_type, ‘trackbacks’);
}
}
}
add_action(‘admin_init’, ‘df_disable_comments_post_types_support’);

// Close comments on the front-end
function df_disable_comments_status() {
return false;
}
add_filter(‘comments_open’, ‘df_disable_comments_status’, 20, 2);
add_filter(‘pings_open’, ‘df_disable_comments_status’, 20, 2);

// Hide existing comments
function df_disable_comments_hide_existing_comments($comments) {
$comments = array();
return $comments;
}
add_filter(‘comments_array’, ‘df_disable_comments_hide_existing_comments’, 10, 2);

// Remove comments page in menu
function df_disable_comments_admin_menu() {
remove_menu_page(‘edit-comments.php’);
}
add_action(‘admin_menu’, ‘df_disable_comments_admin_menu’);

// Redirect any user trying to access comments page
function df_disable_comments_admin_menu_redirect() {
global $pagenow;
if ($pagenow === ‘edit-comments.php’) {
wp_redirect(admin_url()); exit;
}
}
add_action(‘admin_init’, ‘df_disable_comments_admin_menu_redirect’);

// Remove comments metabox from dashboard
function df_disable_comments_dashboard() {
remove_meta_box(‘dashboard_recent_comments’, ‘dashboard’, ‘normal’);
}
add_action(‘admin_init’, ‘df_disable_comments_dashboard’);

// Remove comments links from admin bar
function df_disable_comments_admin_bar() {
if (is_admin_bar_showing()) {
remove_action(‘admin_bar_menu’, ‘wp_admin_bar_comments_menu’, 60);
}
}
add_action(‘init’, ‘df_disable_comments_admin_bar’);
Just take the code snippets you want from this, and drop them into the theme’s functions.php file to disable comments site wide.
 

Categories
Plugins Themes WordPress

Custom Admin Toolbar in WordPress

I spend a lot of time on StackOverflow, as most people in any programming field do. Well, when I get time, I like to try and answer questions to give back to the community. Sometimes, I can be helpful. Not always, but sometimes.
Yesterday was one of those days. A question came up, about creating a custom interface with the WordPress admin bar. Seeing as how I’d never tried this, I thought I’d give it a shot and figure it out.

After being sidetracked by actual work, I finally got to work on the question and came up with a solution.
add_action(‘wp_before_admin_bar_render’, ‘change_admin_bar’,999);

function change_admin_bar() {
global $wp_admin_bar;
$wp_admin_bar->remove_node(‘edit’)

$args = array(
‘id’ => ‘edit’,
‘title’ => ‘Edit Backend’,
‘href’ => get_edit_post_link(),
);

$wp_admin_bar->add_node($args);
}
This code, when placed in the functions.php file of your theme, will remove the ‘Edit Post’ button from the admin bar, and then replace it with a button labeled ‘Edit Backend.’ It’s a super simple piece of code and there’s tons more that can be done with this kind of thing. You can tweak your admin toolbar to your heart’s content.
If you’re looking to do more than this, you can always go to the Codex¬†to get more info or here.
Oh! And this is the link to Stack Overflow thread.

I don’t get to be useful on that website too often as there are so many brilliant minds, it’s easy to get cluttered.

Categories
Plugins Themes WordPress

What is WordPress?

WordPress. You’ve heard about it but you’re not entirely sure what it is. You’ve seen it online while searching for an easy way to setup a website for your business. Well, this is what WordPress is: a Content Management System (CMS).
What is a CMS?
A Content Management System is a platform that is designed to make handling a website easier. They can vary in how they work, but the general idea is that it gives the website owner a simple and easy way to update the website without a lot of technical knowledge. The owner simply logs in to the admin interface of the CMS, clicks a few menu items, and makes the appropriate changes. Simple as that. So where does WordPress fit in?
WordPress is quite possibly the most popular CMS available. This means that it has a large, supportive community. It also has the added benefit of many easy to use features because of this community.
Plugins
If there’s a feature your website needs, and you’re not sure how to program, it’s not a problem. Someone else has probably already thought of it and done it. With WordPress, you can simply install plugins created by developers. Plugins have been created for just about anything you can imagine. Features range from sharing blog posts to Facebook and Twitter all the way to keeping your site as secure as possible. Plugins are there to make your life simple and they can be installed and setup with a few simple clicks.
The Blog
The blog is actually where WordPress got it’s start. It was developed as a blogging platform in 2003 but it’s become so much more than that since then. Now, it’s a CMS, but the blogging features still remain. Publishing a new post to your blog is just as simple as a few clicks and it allows any company to keep their website up-to-date with the latest information. There is nothing more infuriating for as a potential customer than seeing a website that hasn’t been updated in years. By using the blog, you can keep your customers (and potential customers) informed about what’s been going on lately.
Themes
Themes are another huge part of WordPress. They allow you to change the entire look and feel of your website in a matter of minutes. Themes can be downloaded from a number of sites including themeforest.net, wordpress.org, and even from the theme’s creators’ sites. Some of the most popular themes are free while some other less widely used (but higher end) themes are pay-to-use. The advantage of paying for a theme is that fewer other website will be using that same theme, you’re likely to get many more customization options, and you’re supporting a developer’s work.
But what if you can’t find the style you’re looking for in a theme? Just because you can’t find the look of your site in a theme, doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Many people (including myself) develop websites exclusively on top of WordPress. This allows you to have complete control over what is put onto your website. By hiring a developer, or building your website with an underlying WordPress framework, you can take advantage of WordPress’s powerful back-end while controlling exactly how your site is designed and laid out.
Security
You may have heard about security flaws within WordPress itself, most recently, the 160,000 websites that were exploited to attack other sites. Some people claim that WordPress is more vulnerable to attacks than other platforms but their reasoning doesn’t quite hold water. Because WordPress is the largest and most widely used CMS available today, it stands to reason that anyone wanting to attack some websites, would go after instead of the smaller, lesser known sites. Take Microsoft’s Windows OS for an example. Why do so many Windows computers get viruses and not Apples? The chances of an attack being more successful on that platform are much higher, because it is so much more abundant. But Mac computers aren’t invincible either. So this same logic applies to websites as well. What it all comes down to, is being smart about keeping your website safe. After all, your wallet, bank account information, social security number, etc are all only as safe as you make them. By keeping your WordPress site up-to-date, not installing suspicious plugins, and being smart about your passwords, you can keep your WordPress site just as safe as any other site.
So now you know just enough about WordPress to be dangerous. There are infinitely many more resources out there and this blog is still young. For some ideas on how to get a quick site setup, you can check out wordpress.com or wordpress.org