Wordpress

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Wordpress is the most known blog sofware, written in PHP. We have to distinguish two sites where we can browse information:

  • www.wordpress.org : scripts and the software to download.
  • www.wordpress.com : a site to create your blog.


'Blog' means 'web log' (in catalan: bitàcora). Log="registre".


Wordpress quick reference

Some tricks to quick edit your wordpress:

  • Main config file: wordpress/wp-config.php (not created by default).
  • Admin panel: http://yourdomain.com/wordpress/wp-admin
  • Link to subscribe RSS feed: (in the target website)
    http://domain.com/wordpress/?feed=rss
  • Plugin directory: wordpress/wp-content/plugins
  • Skin directory: wordpress/wp-content/themes
  • Widgets: amdin panel -> Appearance -> Widgets


Blog contents

The main contents in WP are:

  • Posts: the essential blog articles in a timeline basis. They can be categorized (classified) and reviewed by date.
  • Links: to link to other related pages. Really imporant to make social network and increase positions in the search engines.
  • Pages: classical web pages (also with media contents).

Using extensions we can have additional information and data into the blog such as YouTube videos, maps, RSS, etc.

WP structure

Wordpress has different structure depending on the skin. But generally we use to have:

  • Theme image and blog title in the top.
  • Navigation bar over or under the image: selector for blog (home) and pages.
  • Content area in the center (blog or page).
  • Sidebar widgets.
  • Footer widgets (4 areas, just after 3.x versions).

Wordpress-exemple.png


Widgets (Ginys)

There are several content that we can put in small boxes in the sidebar and footer: the widgets. The most important are:

  • RSS feed: you can syndicate and embed contents (posts or news) from other websites that are updated automatically. Read about it in Wikipedia.
  • Text: a text box with whatever you want. Static content.
  • Calendar: appears a calender with your blog activity (if you want to put events you have to install a scheduler extension).
  • Tag Cloud: a cloud with the keywords of your site.
  • Categories: lets you browse your posts by category.
  • Links
  • Pages
  • Archives


You can add other widgets by installing extension such as:

  • Twitter Goodies: connects to your twitter posts.
  • Stout Google Calendar: lets you show Google Calendar information.
  • ...


To add a widget just go to the admin menu and Appearance -> Widgets. You have several positions to place the boxes:

  • Sidebar (may have 1 or 2 bars)
  • Footer: 3-4 columns (just in some themes as the default twenty ten).
    If your theme doesn't have footer widgets you can follow this article to add footer widgets to your skin.

Installing wordpress

As in many CMS the procedure to install WP is:

  1. Download tarball (or zip or subversion check-out), preferably latest version from www.wordpress.org
  2. Unpack all the contents of the package.
  3. Rename the WP root directory (initially "wordpress" but you may prefer another name).
  4. Upload the entire directory to the public_html folder on your server (via FTP using Filezilla and taking care of changing max number of "simultaneous file transfers" to 5, otherwise it will take a long time to finish). If you are working with a SSH connection directly into the server you don't need this step.
  5. Create database (and maybe new user too) in the server. Remember user and password of your DB user and DB name.
  6. Copy or move the file wp-config-sample.php into wp-config.php
  7. Edit wp-config.php and configure the parameters to suit your system.
  8. Upload wp-config.php to the server if you are not working directly on server.
  9. Point your browser to the root of your installation and follow instructions: TAKE CARE REMEMBERING ADMIN USER AND PASSWORD!
    http://yourdomain.com/wp/
  10. Go to the admin panel and start configuring WP.


Themes (Skins)

The usual manual procedure to install a new theme/skin is:

  1. Download and unpack the tarball package in your local machine.
  2. Upload files via FTP to your server to the wordpress/wp-content/plugins directory.
  3. Go to the admin panel in wordpress/wp-admin, section Appearance -> Themes.
  4. Select your skin from the list.
  5. Customize image, logo, etc. in section Appearance -> Theme Options.
  6. Customize CSS to fit the final result.

Pay attention in the Theme Options, it is quite common to need to tune the CSS to fit the logo/title and/or other content to be modified. You can use the box at the end to add CSS code inCustom CSS, instead of modifying the skin files (this way you can keep a safe version of your skin).

The options available under that "Theme Options" menu depends on each skin.


Installing plugins

The usual manual procedure is:

  1. Download and unpack the tarball package in your local machine.
  2. Upload files via FTP to your server to the wordpress/wp-content/plugins directory.
  3. Go to the admin panel in wordpress/wp-admin, section Extensions
  4. Activate your extension.

Adding widget areas to footer

That's an advanced hack, is good to have a copy of a not-modified skin just in case something goes wrong and cannot go back.

The procedure is described in that article. Anyway, we have to add some things to make it work.

  • Change permission to 666 (write-enable to all users) to the following files:
    • style.css
    • functions.php
    • footer.php
  • Go to theme editor: Appearance -> Edit
  • Modify the files as described in this article.
  • Take care when editing footer.php. It will appear 3 blocks (as many as columns we want) like this one:
<div id="footer-sidebar1">
<?php if ( !function_exists('dynamic_sidebar') || !dynamic_sidebar(3) ) : ?>
<?php endif; ?>
</div>


Take care in the marked line with the funcion dynamic_sidebar(3). The name has to be correlated with our sidebar number. The example in the article supposes you just have 1 single sidebar and the numbers for the dynamic_sidebar are 2, 3 and 4. If we have 2 sidebars the numbers will have to be 3, 4 and 5.