Introduction to Hooks: a basic WordPress building block

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WordPress hooks are arguably the basis of WordPress development, forming a large part of the core functionality and used by almost every plugin and theme available to date. The concept of hooks can also be somewhat daunting for users who are starting out with developing for WordPress. Today, we’ll jump in and find out a bit more about just what exactly WordPress hooks are and how they can help you on your way to WordPress rock stardom.

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Beginner’s Guide: How to utilize Google resources in WordPress

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There are many ways to utilize the seemingly endless resources of Google in WordPress. The following list includes what I consider to be the most important Google tools, some others nearly every web developer uses, and hopefully even some that you don’t know about yet.

In this post we’ll be looking into 18 Google services and applications, including:

  • Google Analytics
  • Goo.gl url shortener
  • Google Chrome/Developer Tools
  • Google Website Optimizer
  • Google Docs
  • Google Custom Search
  • Google Maps
  • Google Reader, and
  • Google Adsense/Adwords

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How to create your own Powered By system like ours

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Instead of taking advertisers at WPCandy, we use a Powered By system. By powering WPCandy, members of our community can directly make the content we produce possible, and receive linked credit for doing so. This system is one of the things that brings in a lot of questions and interest from folks in our community. People ask how we do it, why we do it, and how they can emulate it. In this post I hope to answer those questions.

In this post I’ll go over:

  • the philosophy behind our system,
  • tools and code you’ll need to do what we do,
  • the marketing/design side of things, and
  • what regular upkeep and maintenance looks like.

I hope it answers the questions you have about our system, but if it doesn’t just toss a question or two into the comments below. Let’s get to it.

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Beginner’s Guide: Common sense WordPress SEO strategy

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WordPress SEO tutorial

It seems there is an epic, never-ending battle out there in the interwebs between those that argue Search Engine Optimization Matters and those that preach that Content is King. Of course, as in most things, the truth is likely somewhere in the middle.

You don’t need to waste precious hours on complex SEO tactics that provide little benefit. You also don’t want to ignore it altogether.

Let’s take a bird’s eye view and walk through some common sense steps to conquering SEO for WordPress.

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Beginner’s Guide: How to install WordPress manually

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There are a couple of ways to install WordPress, and you should do it in a way that works for you. Some hosts have “one-click” installs via applications that install WordPress without you getting your hands dirty. You can also install it manually with an FTP client or Shell access. We’re going to go the manual route with FTP in this tutorial for a couple of reasons:

  • There are simply too many hosts with different variations of automated installation processes.
  • We want to know what’s going on, so we’re going to “get our hands dirty”, if you will. Don’t worry though, we won’t get too terribly dirty — one of the best things about WordPress is how easy it is to work with.

Now hold your horses, we need to make sure you have the few tools and some information required to perform a manual install.

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How to find WordPress themes, quickly and easily

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If you’re using WordPress, odds are you have started exploring the wonders that are WordPress themes. The right WordPress theme can make your blog pop, and while that won’t make or break your blog it might give you the inspiration to continue blogging and making a great site.

Sometimes it’s not easy to find the perfect WordPress theme. There are a lot of WordPress themes out there, but the perfect theme can at times seem like a needle in a haystack. To help you in your searching, we’ve put together the following guide to finding WordPress themes. If we’re missing a solid method, feel free to add your own tips in the comments.

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How to improve local WordPress development on a Mac

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I love tweaking my workflow. I’m sure I’m not alone in that. When it comes to building things online, I’m always curious whether the way I’m doing things could be improved and better thought out. In the past I’ve shown how to set up a local WordPress development environment on a Mac. That tutorial is still solid, but I’ve made some additions to my setup this week that some of you may find interesting.

I have to credit my inspiration to seeing Ptah Dunbar and Andrew Nacin’s individual setups, very briefly, during their presentations at WordCamp Miami last weekend. They are both very accomplished developers, so of course my eyes are way open when they start navigating their desktops. Elements of their setup that I saw and liked I’ve used here, so thanks guys!

In this tutorial I will show you how to set up WordPress installs using MAMP in your Mac /Sites directory, how to set up multiple localhost aliases, and briefly talk about the various versions of WordPress I keep on my Macs.

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How to create attractive post images on your blog

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I have made an effort to keep high quality post images a priority at WPCandy. You won’t find a post here, since the relaunch, lacking a bright, mostly relevant image at the top.

I make sure posts always have them because I like them. I like looking at them, and I think they provide the right energy as you’re starting the post. I like when we can use a large, high quality logo. I like when we create one specifically for the post. I really like it when an image is only parallely connected to the content, but that adds something to it in its own way. It’s our own form of art direction.

After receiving some positive comments here and there about our post images, I thought I would share some of my own techniques and advice for creating them.

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How to organize your content with WordPress custom taxonomies

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Organizing content can be a lot of fun. Well, it can be a lot of fun if you’re a crazy blogger/librarian-at-heart, like many of us are. When you have a good deal of content it can quickly become more than you can handle, if you don’t have a decent system in place. I would even argue that unless you have a handle on your content, no one else can be expected to either.

Well organized content could just make the difference between someone browsing your site or leaving right away.

In this tutorial I’ll give my own recommendations on how to organize your content first, and then how to actually create any necessary taxonomies for your organizational system.

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How to install and get started with SVN (Subversion) on Windows

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The purpose of this tutorial is to install and get started using TortoiseSVN, a popular Subversion client for Windows.

Why do I want SVN and what are we going to do with it?

There are many reasons why you may want to use SVN (Note: I may use SVN and Subversion interchangeably throughout this tutorial) in WordPress applications:

  1. to contribute to WordPress you need access to the code
  2. you develop themes and plugins and want to test the latest changes
  3. to interact with your theme provider’s updates (i.e. “checkout” themes)
  4. to keep track of your own changes to themes
  5. probably a lot more I can’t think of right now

Personally, I’m playing around with Justin Tadlock’s Hybrid Core and need to keep track of what I am doing myself in my theme files.

So today we are going to install TortoiseSVN and also perform a couple basic tasks that you may use. This tutorial only scratches the surface of what you can do using Subversion, and is meant to just get us started and comfortable with the idea.

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