One of the biggest, and most useful additions to WordPress in recent years has been the introduction of Custom Post Types. Before CPTs, all the content in your site needed to either be in pages or in blog posts. If your site needed a lot of different types of data, you’d typically use categories (or even tags) to tell them apart. I’ve seen (and probably built) examples where “products” and “news” were post categories, and the site’s front-end would continuously filter out one of the two. In hindsight: madness.
Since the introduction of Custom Post Types, it makes sense to declare separate types for different types of data. When doing so, there’s a crucial argument (passed to the register_post_type function) called “supports”. This argument tells WordPress which post features should be available for the new post type. This allows you to mix and match various features. No need for an excerpt? Require a “featured image”? Need custom fields? No problem. But there’s a catch.
More Custom Post Features could make WordPress even more flexible
This week, some of the brightest minds in WordPress – and me – are co-working in Sitges, Spain. As I wrote before, I’m part of the first WP On Tour, organized by Karim Osman of Automattic. We’re in a very nice villa and, compared to back home, the weather is excellent here. But more importantly, it’s really nice to be surrounded by fellow WordPress users and devs for a change.
We’ve set up a Flickr group, but at this time there’s very little in there. On Twitter, we’re using the #wpontour hashtag.
WordPress has recently been described as “the dark matter of the web”. It’s absolutely everywhere. The WordPress ecosystem is probably bigger than Facebook. But at the same time, most of the WordPress people I know are “flying solo”. There are a lot of freelancers out there who work with a small team, or none at all.
More WordPress On Tour
It’s spring again. Temperatures are on the rise, trees are blossoming and birds are tweeting. Time for another WordPress meetup. Just like last year, Kaj Rietberg and I will be putting together a meetup in Amersfoort. If you’re a WordPress fan and you’re not too far from the geographical center of The Netherlands, please join us on the 10th of May.
More Join us at the WordPress meetup Amersfoort 2011!
I’ve been promising a new version of WP-Cumulus for a long time. I’ve tried working with more experienced PHP developers, but it’s been hard to find a really good one who’s able to devote time to the project. I still think a plugin like this should be a team effort, but for now I’m going to kick things back into motion again myself.
What’s ready at this point is a much cleaner rewrite of the plugin files, with the display logic in a neat little class that port authors will hopefully be able to reuse. I’ve also got a Flash movie that uses a user-defined system font, as a result is much smaller, and supports unicode tags.
More WP-Cumulus 2.0 is finally in development (again)
The great thing about WordPress is that there’s a huge, active and helpful community of users and developers. There have been WordCamps organized all of the world, as well as many smaller meetups. Last week, Kaj Rietberg and I put together just such a meetup in the Dutch city of Amersfoort.
The event was sponsored by open source development company 4WORX and hosted at the neighboring Dara restaurant (recommended!). Kaj and I were happy to welcome around 25 WordPress enthusiasts, a couple of whom had been tricked beforehand into preparing presentations. Kaj has written a more detailed account over at the WordCampNL website (in Dutch) which includes the slides from two speakers.
More WordPress meetup Amersfoort
The templating system in WordPress is very flexible, and there’s rarely something you can’t do or that doesn’t work as you’d expect. A notable exception however is
the_date. Its purpose is simple enough. It displays the current post’s date of creation. But on pages with more than one post (such as on many blog home pages), something weird happens. If a number of posts on any given page were created on the same date,
the_date will only show that date for the first of those posts.
In the early days of blogging, posts were usually listed by date, much like a regular, paper diary. In the old default theme that comes with WordPress a big date title is used to separate posts into days. That’s what
the_date was created to do, and so it makes sense it only displays the same date once. In most modern themes however, people like the date to be among the meta data for each article, so
the_date falls short.
More How to show each post’s date in WordPress
I’ve been working on yet another upgrade to my WP-Cumulus plugin. It looks like it’s become a pretty major update with a couple of exciting new features, but as a result it will probably no longer support versions of WordPress prior to 2.5. One of the things I want to introduce is proper shortcode support, and that API was introduced in 2.5.
Does anyone still use 2.3.x? Or even older versions even? I’ve not been able to find any statistics on this, but I assume most people keep their installs up to date, right?
I don’t like ‘re-blogging’. I try and write original stuff and not point to other people’s posts. This video however is essential if you’re serious about SEO and WordPress, and you haven’t seen it already you really should. My fellow countryman Joost de Valk talks about SEO and shares some great tips. The video is after the break.
More Joost de Valk on WordPress SEO
I changed themes mid December, and according to googlebot’s stats, pages have been taking twice as long to load since then. This got me thinking. What was it I added that caused this? Surely I didn’t make the pages twice as heavy?
More What’s slowing down my blog?