The Sweet Plugin: CSS by Daryl Koopersmith

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The WordPress theme customizer is without a doubt one of the most important new features to be added to WordPress in a long time — possibly ever. If you haven’t used it since WordPress 3.4 came out, you really should.

Daryl Koopersmith was one of the developers who worked on the theme customizer, and he recently released a plugin simply called “CSS”. The plugin adds a box for CSS to the theme customizer panel. So if you want to, while customizing or previewing a theme, you can drop in CSS and watch it update live on your site.

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Clark Wimberly publishes ebook for devs called Meta Valuables

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Clark Wimberly, a WordPress developer living in Austin, has released an e-book called Meta Valuables.The book focused on meta data, or the extra information that WordPress allows you to attach to posts, pages, and users. The book includes samples and real-world examples of meta data in practice.

At 45 pages, the e-book — in DRM-free PDF form — is a bargain at $2 (or more, if you wish). Wimberly explains on his blog that the book is best for the learning WordPress developer:

These lessons are meant for the learning WordPress developer, someone familiar with editing template files, basic PHP functions, the template hierarchy, etc. You’ll need a test or local install to follow along in code, but don’t let that scare you. Getting dirty with your WordPress templates is something every developer should look forward to.

Wimberly began the book as a supporting text for his class in Austin, Texas on the same topic, and then expanded it into a book all on its own. Wimberly’s wife is a designer, and worked on the layouts of the publication.

For a closer look at the book and what to expect, check out the book’s page. I haven’t read it yet, so if you did please leave a note in the comments and let us know what you think.

Official Facebook WordPress plugin makes your site social in a couple of clicks

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Facebook has developed and released a new official WordPress plugin called (not surprisingly) Facebook. The plugin’s short description says “Make your WordPress site social in a couple of clicks, powered by Facebook.”

The new plugin is available now on the WordPress.org plugin directory, and based on the initial offering it could very well be the definite Facebook plugin for WordPress.

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How to publish professional podcasts using WordPress (and a few other tools)

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A long Internet Time ago I wrote a tutorial that briefly explained how to publish a podcast with WordPress. Today I’d like to revisit the topic with a lot more information, and hopefully provide the perfect launchpad for those wanting to get rolling with a podcast of their own.

Since writing that last tutorial I’ve been a part of a handful of WordPress podcasts here on WPCandy with some great co-hosts, experimented with some others in my free time, and discovered answers to a lot of questions I had back then. In this post I will cover the WordPress side of things thoroughly, but I’ll also dig into everything else you will want to know to properly podcast professionally.

Enough foreplay. Let’s talk about podcasting.

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Make the P2 theme even more useful with plugins built for it

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The version 1.4 release of the P2 theme brought one intriguing feature: the ability to add to-do items into update messages by starting a line with an “x” (for a checked item) and an “o” for an open item. While crazy useful in and of itself, it got me thinking about plugins made specifically for the P2 theme again.

P2 theme, if you haven’t checked it out before, is a theme from the folks at Automattic made specifically for collaboration and team communication. It’s a bit like a private Twitter, really.

It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone, really, that I’m a big fan of plugins made just for a certain theme. Plugins are the most natural way to expand upon WordPress itself, and it shouldn’t be any different for WordPress themes too. Below I’ve put together a small (but hopefully growing!) list of plugins made specifically for P2, as well as a few non-P2-specific plugins that I find particularly useful when used along with the theme.

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WP Late Night #10: “I don’t commit to core”

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The infamous Otto Wood joined the WP Late Night crew this week to discuss WordPress.org, WordPress plugins, PressNomics, Code Poet, and all sorts of other stuff. If you enjoy WordPress discussion, particularly if you’re a WordPress developer, this is an episode you don’t want to miss.

This week the show had no sponsors. If you’d like to support WPCandy podcasts, and get your message out to thousands of interested WordPress users and developers, see the advertising page for more information.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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WordPress.org plugins can be favorited, improved forum integration

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If you spend any time on the WordPress.org plugin directory (or heard us talking about it on any of WPCandy’s podcasts last week) then you likely noticed a few updates. Matt Mullenweg described the tweaks himself over on the WordPress.org news blog, which is worth reading if you want to know the thinking behind the changes.

Briefly, the updates included:

  • Support forum threads are now pulled into their own tab, complete with the plugin’s header graphic at the top (assuming your plugin uses one of these).
  • Logged in users can now favorite plugins, which will display on their WordPress.org profile page.
  • Plugin authors are back in the right sidebar, and styled a bit nicer than before.
  • The plugin sidebar also includes the number of forum threads resolved in the last couple of weeks to help and point out active plugins.

If you’d like to take a look at these updates in action, check out the BuddyPress plugin page for an example, complete with header image.

The WordPress.org team completed the updates last week (along with the latest addition to Audrey Capital) during a BBQ week in Memphis. As Matt said in his post:

This is why WordCamps usually have BBQ – it imparts magical coding powers.

Had you noticed the updates to the plugin directory before seeing the announcement, or this post? Let us know what you think of them in the comments.

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WordPress theme SEO marketing gimmick

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Developer Jason Bobich:

Why should you be limited to whatever features the theme author has stuffed in that may or may not be relevant to you? You should be able to choose your own SEO plugin to accomplish what you want.

A couple of months old, but still worth linking up. It’s great to see theme sellers on ThemeForest speaking out against others there following bad practices.