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WordPress Plugin: Simple Ajax Chat

Simple Ajax Chat displays a fully customizable Ajax-powered chat box anywhere on your site. SAC makes it easy for your visitors to chat with each other on your website. There already are a number of decent chat plugins, but I wanted one that is simple yet fully customizable with all the features AND outputs clean HTML markup for easy styling. Simple Ajax Chat is based on Jalenack’s Wordspew (aka AJAX Shoutbox), which I’ve been using on my sites since the plugin was released back in 2005 (ish). Wordspew works great even today, but it hasn’t been updated in seven years, […] Read more »

WordPress Plugin: Show Support Ribbon

Show Support Ribbon displays a customizable “show support” ribbon, banner, or badge on your site. Show support for your favorite cause, event, charity, political event, or anything else that’s awesome. Show Support Ribbon includes four built-in ribbon styles and makes it easy to customize with your own CSS. Read more »

Critical Review of Dyasonhat’s Premium Smart Sort WordPress Plugin

After hearing about the recently released “premium” version (404 link removed 2012/06/11) of Dyasonhat’s Smart Sort Plugin for WordPress (404 link removed 2012/06/11), I just had to give it a try. Occasionally working on projects requiring customized ordering of posts, I like to keep my utility belt well-equipped with any plugins or code techniques that will facilitate the process of man-handling post order. In this article, I discuss my experience with WP Smart Sort Premium. Read more »

WordPress Custom Fields, Part II: Tips and Tricks

As we have seen in our previous post, WordPress Custom Fields Part I, custom fields provide an excellent way to add flexible content to your posts and pages. By assigning various types of content to different custom fields, you gain complete control over when, where, and how to display the associated information. For example, sub-headings may be displayed in the sidebar, footnotes may be consolidated into a single region, post images may be displayed before the post title, and so on. In this follow-up article, we will review the basics of custom fields and then jump into a few custom-field […] Read more »

WordPress Custom Fields, Part I: The Basics

I recently developed a theme that makes heavy use of WordPress’ custom fields. The custom-field functionality of WordPress makes it possible to rig up just about any customized layout quickly and easily. Custom fields enable designers to organize post content into different sections, making it possible to create non-linear page layouts, with different types of content easily removed from the normal post loop and relocated to different parts of the document. This organizational and design flexibility has the added benefit of making it super-easy to update your content, redesign your theme, and handle blog maintenance in general. In the first […] Read more »

Custom HTTP Errors via htaccess

We all know how important it is to deliver sensible, helpful 404 error pages to our visitors. There are many ways of achieving this functionality, including the well-known htaccess trick used to locally redirect users to custom error pages: # htaccess custom error pages ErrorDocument 400 /errors/400.html ErrorDocument 401 /errors/401.html ErrorDocument 403 /errors/403.html ErrorDocument 404 /errors/404.html ErrorDocument 500 /errors/500.html ..and so on. These directives basically tell Apache to deliver the designated documents for their associated error types. Many webmasters and developers employ this trick to ensure that visitors receive customized error pages that are generally more user-friendly or design-specific than […] Read more »

WordPress Tip: Careful with that Autosave, Eugene

After upgrading WordPress from version 2.0.5 to 2.3.3, I did some experimenting with the “post autosave” feature. The autosave feature uses some crafty ajax to automagically save your post every 2 minutes (120 seconds by default). Below the post-editing field, you will notice a line of text that displays the time of the most recent autosave, similar to the following: Surely, this relatively new feature provides an added layer of protection against lost work, but all is not perfect (yet) in the world of automatically saved content. Several months ago, I lost several hours of work because the autosave feature […] Read more »

6 Ways to Customize WordPress Post Order

Recently, reader Luke Knowles asked how to customize the sort order of his posts in WordPress. Looking into a solution to this question proved quite enlightening. Within moments I was able to discern 4 methods for modifying post order, and then several days later I discovered 2 additional custom sorting techniques. After updating the reply to Luke’s comment, it seemed like some good information that other WordPressers may find useful. So, here are six ways to customize the sort order of posts in WordPress.. Read more »

Important Note for Your Custom Error Pages

Just a note to web designers and code-savvy bloggers: make sure your custom error pages are big enough for the ever-amazing < cough> Internet Explorer browser. If your custom error pages are too small, IE will take the liberty of serving its own proprietary web page, replete with corporate linkage and poor grammar. How big, baby? Well, that’s a good question. In order for users of Internet Explorer to enjoy your carefully crafted custom error pages, they need to exceed 512 bytes in size. Using proper doctype markup, your custom pages should include more than around 10 lines (roughly) of […] Read more »

WordPress Core Hacks Used at Perishable Press

One of the necessary evils associated with creating a highly customized WordPress-powered site involves the inevitable necessity to hack the WordPress core. WordPress is built for mass-consumption and tends to cater to the largest audience possible, making it necessary to bend and poke around the corners to get WordPress to function in a more specific or specialized capacity. Of course, there is a major downside to tweaking core WordPress files: upgrading. The overambitious WordPress peeps are constantly rolling out upgrade after upgrade, many of which are required security fixes, patches, or whatever. The point is that editing the WordPress core […] Read more »

Standards-Compliance Throwdown: MS-IE5/6 DNS/404 Error-Page Redesign

Default DNS Error page for Internet Explorer First of all, congratulations if you are geeky enough to understand the title of this article. Many would be like, "CSS, MS.. IE, error ..what..?" Whatever. If you get the title, you will get the point of this utterly pointless exercise. If that is the case, prepare for a delightful romp through geekland. Otherwise, save your precious time and stop reading here (exit strategy). Well, okay, for the seriously unenlightened, let us explain the object of our present focus: The default "DNS Error" page for Internet Explorer unfortunately remains a familiar sight for millions […] Read more »

Rename the Recycle Bin in WinXP

To rename the Recycle Bin in Windows XP, create a new text.txt file in your favorite directory and add the following lines: REGEDIT4 [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}\ShellFolder] “Attributes”=hex:50,01,00,20″CallForAttributes”=dword:00000000 Next, rename the file extension from ".txt" to ".reg" — the other part of the file name may be whatever you prefer (e.g., RecycleBin.reg). Then, double-click the file to have Windows import it into the Registry. Now go right-click your Recycle Bin and use the new option to Rename it. To remove renaming functionality for the Recycle Bin, replicate the same file you created initially, and replace the last line (i.e., the third line) with […] Read more »

Folder Background Images in WinXP

This brief tutorial explains how to add a background image to any folder in Windows XP. First, make sure all hidden files are visible on your system. Then, open the folder for which you wish to add a background image. Within the folder, right-click and select Properties » Customize tab » Customize. There, choose any icon, click Apply and OK. That process should have created a "desktop.ini" file. Open that file with a text editor and add these lines of code: [ExtShellFolderViews] {BE098140-A513-11D0-A3A4-00C04FD706EC}={BE098140-A513-11D0-A3A4-00C04FD706EC} [{BE098140-A513-11D0-A3A4-00C04FD706EC}] IconArea_Image=C:\path\folder\background.jpg To customize this according to your needs, edit the path in the last line to […] Read more »

WordPress Core File Edits at Perishable Press

Update: After upgrading Perishable Press in 2007, many of the hacks listed on this page are no longer applicable. Please refer to our new WordPress Core Edits for current information. Otherwise, this article remains online for reference purposes only. The folks developing WordPress are continually rolling out “upgrades”. While it is generally a good idea to stay current, it can also be a bit of a pain if you have made any changes to the WordPress core files. Our recommendation? Keep a log such as this one that either includes all edits or links to posts describing them. That way, […] Read more »

Customize Password-Protected Posts

To customize WordPress-powered password-protected posts such as this one, follow these simple steps. First open template-functions-post.php and find the function get_the_password_form, which is located near the top of the page. There are several aspects of this function that you may wish to customize. For example, the Perishable Press website requires several CSS attributes for stylistic control. Thus we simply added the class postpassword to the form input field, as well as the class passwordsubmit to the form submit button. This enabled full stylistic control over password-protected posts. You may also wish to modify the size of the input text field, […] Read more »

WordPress RDF Source Makeover

Beautiful Source-Code Output, Part 1: Whip your WordPress RDF Code into Submission Update: This article applies specifically to WordPress 2.0.2, but may be generalized to any WP 2.0+ version. I love looking at beautiful source-code output. However WordPress tends to spit code out in random chunks, often leaving spaces, line breaks, and tabs littered throughout the source output. This messes things up. Lists don’t look like lists and logically written code often appears scattered along the page carelessly. Often, this is the result of poorly written PHP, which can be manipulated to write beautifully aligned code that looks as good […] Read more »

Latest Tweets Taking some time at the end of the year to recharge, refresh, and renew. Gonna triple my efforts in 2015 :)