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Advance Praise for Head First WordPress “There are a lot of WordPress books out there, but Head First WordPress once again proves that [this] series is the gold standard for smart, readable, easy-to-use reference guides for creative web users everywhere.” — Paul Andrews Blogger, author, and journalist; editor of bikeintelligencer.com “This friendly book offers tips that I haven’t seen in other books, and features useful, real-world scenarios to help get you up to speed with the latest version of WordPress quickly. ” — Jim Doran Software engineer at Johns Hopkins University “Administering and managing a WordPress blog can be daunting for the uninitiated. Head First WordPress walks you through the basics to help you ramp up your WordPress site quickly. ” — Ken Walker Business analyst Praise for other Head First books “Building websites has definitely become more than just writing code. Head First Web Design shows you what you need to know to give your users an appealing and satisfying experience. Another great Head First book!” — Sarah Collings User experience software engineer “Head First Web Design really demystifies the web design process and makes it possible for any web programmer to give it a try. For a web developer who has not taken web design classes, Head First Web Design confirmed and clarified a lot of theory and best practices that seem to be just assumed in this industry.” — Ashley Doughty Senior web developer “I Y Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML—it teaches you everything you need to learn in a ‘fun- coated’ format!” — Sally Applin UI designer and artist “The Web would be a much better place if every HTML author start off by reading Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML.” — L. David Barron Technical Lead, Layout & CSS, Mozilla Corporation “Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML is a thoroughly modern introduction to forward-looking practices in web page markup and presentation. It correctly anticipates readers’ puzzlements and handles them just in time. The highly graphic and incremental approach precisely mimics the best way to learn this stuff: make a small change and see it in the browser to understand what each new item means.” — Danny Goodman Author of Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Guide “Oh great, you made an XHTML book simple enough a CEO can understand it. What will you do next? Accounting simple enough my developer can understand it? Next thing you know we’ll be collaborating as a team or something.” — Janice Fraser CEO, Adaptive Path Praise for other Head First books “Behind the Ajax ball? Get out of the shadows with Head First Ajax. You’ll wrap your mind around the core concepts, and have some fun in the process.” — Bear Bibeault Web application architect “Ajax is more than just revisiting existing technologies, making some small changes to your web application and then delcaring it Ajax-enabled. Rebecca M. Riordan walks you through all of the steps of building an Ajax application in Head First Ajax, and shows you that Ajax is more than ‘that little asynchronous part’, but a better approach to web design altogether.” — Anthony T. Holdener III Author of Ajax: The Definitive Guide “Head First Design Patterns manages to mix fun, belly laughs, insight, technical depth and great practical advice in one entertaining and thought-provoking read.” — Richard Helm Coauthor of Design Patterns “Head First Design Patterns is close to perfect, because of the way it combines expertise and readability. It speaks with authority and it reads beautifully. It’s one of the very few software books I’ve ever read that strikes me as indispensable. (I’d put maybe 10 books in this category, at the outside.)” — David Gelernter Professor of Computer Science, Yale University “Head First Rails continues the tradition of the Head First series, providing useful, real-world information to get you up and going quickly. [It] is an excellent book for people learning Rails, as well as those brushing up on the latest features.” — Jeremy Durham Web developer “Head First Rails is a great, broad introduction to iterative Web 2.0 development. This book will show you how quick and easy it is to develop robust, next-generation websites.” — Matt Proud Systems administrator and developer Other related books from O’Reilly Learning Web Design Website Optimization CSS: The Definitive Guide Creating a Web Site: The Missing Manual Other books in O’Reilly’s Head First series Head First C# Head First Java Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design (OOA&D) Head First HTML with CSS and XHTML Head First Design Patterns Head First Servlets and JSP Head First EJB Head First SQL Head First Software Development Head First JavaScript Head First Physics Head First Statistics Head First Ajax Head First Rails Head First Algebra Head First PHP & MySQL Head First PMP Head First Web Design Head First Networking Beijing • Cambridge • Kln • Sebastopol • Taipei • Tokyo Jeff Siarto Head First WordPress Wouldn’t it be dreamy if there was a book to help me learn how to build WordPress sites that was more fun than going to the dentist? It’s probably nothing but a fantasy… Head First WordPress First Edition by Jeff Siarto Copyright 2010 Jeff Siarto. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Published by O’Reilly Media, Inc., 1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472. O’Reilly Media books may be purchased for educational, business, or sales promotional use. Online editions are also available for most titles (http://my.safaribooksonline.com). For more information, contact our corporate/ institutional sales department: (800) 998-9938 or corporate@oreilly.com. Series Creators: Kathy Sierra, Bert Bates Editors: Courtney Nash Cover Designer: Karen Montgomery Production Editors: Kristen Borg, Scott Delugan, and Rachel Monaghan Indexer: Julie Hawks Proofreader: Nancy Reinhardt Page Viewers: Henry and Romulus Printing History: July 2010: First Edition. The O’Reilly logo is a registered trademark of O’Reilly Media, Inc. The Head First series designations, Head First WordPress, and related trade dress are trademarks of O’Reilly Media, Inc. Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book, and O’Reilly Media, Inc., was aware of a trademark claim, the designations have been printed in caps or initial caps. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and the author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions, or for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein. No blogs were harmed in the making of this book. ISBN: 978-0-596-80628-6 [M] Henry, Jeff’s nephew Romulus To Allie, for putting up with the late nights and busy weekends. This would not have been possible without you. viii Jeff Siarto is a user experience and web designer currently calling Chicago home. He has two degrees from Michigan State University and was a student of the standards-based web design movement—aspiring to the likes of Cederholm, Zeldman, and Meyer. Jeff is a die-hard coworker and helps organize Jelly Chicago, a coworking group that meets twice a week in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. When Jeff isn’t pushing pixels, he enjoys cooking and eating (OK, mostly eating) and spending time with his wife on Chicago’s west side and in Michigan with friends and family. the author Jeff ix table of contents Table of Contents (Summary) Intro xix 1 Getting started: WordPress from scratch 1 2 Changing your blog’s look and feel: A question of style 43 3 Content management with WordPress: Beyond the blog 89 4 Users, categories, and tags: Keeping things organized 131 5 Video and plug-ins: Getting things moving 167 6 Podcasting and syndication: Spreading the word 199 7 Securing WordPress: Locking things down 239 8 Making WordPress fast: Time for the passing lane 273 Leftovers: The top ten things (we didn’t cover) 311 Table of Contents (the real thing) Your brain on WordPress. Here you are trying to learn something, while here your brain is doing you a favor by making sure the learning doesn’t stick. Your brain’s thinking, “Better leave room for more important things, like which wild animals to avoid and whether naked snowboarding is a bad idea.” So how do you trick your brain into thinking that your life depends on knowing enough to create your own WordPress site? Intro Who is this book for? xx We know what you’re thinking xxi Metacognition: thinking about thinking xxiii Here’s what YOU can do to bend your brain into submission xxv Read me xxvi The technical review team xxviii Acknowledgments xxix x table of contents WordPress from scratch 1 You’ve got something to say.Whether it’s just you and your desire to let everyone know about your growing collection of hand-crocheted Star Wars figures, or a big company with hundreds of products, blogging let’s anyone publish online without having to be a genius about HTML, CSS, or any other programming. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to get hosting for your blog, install WordPress, and create and publish your first blog post. getting started Web publishing for the masses 2 How WordPress works: the 30,000-foot view 3 The lifecycle of a WordPress blog post 4 The Acme Bit and Pixel Company 6 Download WordPress 7 The “famous” 5-minute WordPress Install 8 Upload your WordPress files to the web server 10 FTP client options 11 WordPress installation step 2: Configuration 13 WordPress stores all your stuff in a database 14 Create a new database from your hosting panel 15 Every blog needs a title 19 Pilot your blog with the WordPress dashboard 20 Create your first blog post 22 Use both editors when creating new posts 25 Use Preview to check your post before you publish 27 Remove or replace sample posts before you go live 29 You don’t need Photoshop to edit an image 31 Add an image using the media library 33 Update group permissions to get image uploads working 35 Adjusting images within the post editor 38 Edit your post to move the text down a line 39 Welcome to the Bit Blog 40 Your WordPress Toolbox 41 videos, images homepage.php style.css database xi table of contents A question of style You’ve finally got your own blog. But it looks so...generic. Time to make it your own. WordPress comes preloaded with lots of themes you can apply to your blog, but we’re going to go one step further and make our own custom theme. Along the way, you’ll learn some basic HTML and CSS to really make your blog look exactly how you want. We’ll also delve into CSS rules, which allow you to quickly change how your blog looks, and take advantage of WordPress widgets to easily add sidebar content to the blog.. changing your blog’s look and feel A tale of two sites 44 The Acme Bit Company home page 45 Anatomy of a WordPress theme 51 WordPress themes are a collection of template files... 52 ... all working in concert 53 PHP is the logic behind your theme 54 Always use the .php extension for WordPress theme files 56 Create a new theme 60 Stylesheets dictate the look and feel of pages in WordPress 62 Rules do a lot of work for you 63 WordPress uses stylesheets two different ways 65 Stylesheets identify elements in your HTML 70 Putting it all together 71 Everything looks good but the sidebars 76 Update your sidebar content with widgets 77 Drag and drop widgets where you want them 78 One theme to rule them all 86 Your WordPress Toolbox 87 2 Template Files Up Close #header { background: #ddd; height: 50px; } #nav ul { float: right; margin: 17px 0 0 0; } xii table of contents 3 Beyond the blog You’re starting to outgrow the blog. Maybe your business is growing, maybe you need more control of what shows up where on your blog, and when. Luckily, WordPress handles a lot more than just chronological blog posts. We’ll start to tap into its content management system capabilities by creating static pages like on a regular website, adding navigation for the new pages, and changing the home page of your new site so it isn’t your blog. Get ready to build a full-fledged website practically without writing a single line of HTML or CSS. content management with wordpress WordPress is a content management system 92 WordPress has three main management sections 93 WordPress pages are just posts “outside” the blog 94 Pages are the backbone of your CMS 95 Adding a new page is just like adding a new post 96 Make your URLs manageable with permalinks 100 Permalinks are handled by the web server 101 Page Not Found? 102 Minding your .htaccess file 103 Build your pages with the visual editor 106 All pages are not created equal 112 Build navigation using the WordPress menu system 117 Modify your theme to enable the navigation menu 119 Use CSS rules to control what shows up in the menu 120 WordPress has different home page options 123 No more blog... No more home page either? 125 Add HTML to your new home page template file 126 Then add the Acme site style rules to your CSS file 127 Your WordPress Toolbox 129 xiii table of contents 4 You’re the new editor of Thanks for Mutton 132 WordPress user roles 134 The anatomy of a WordPress user 135 A sample user profile 136 Match users to their appropriate roles 139 Avoid chaos with an editorial workflow 141 Review pending posts from the admin dashboard 142 Categories are big buckets for your content 144 Categories help organize your content 145 Content is key when creating category structures 146 Leftover categories often make good tags 149 Writers want their pictures next to their posts 154 Gravatar makes user pictures easy 156 Gravatar works with your email address 159 Gravatar supports WordPress comments out-of-the-box 160 Your WordPress Toolbox 165 Keeping things organized It’s time to invite some friends to the party. Blogging (or managing a WordPress site) doesn’t have to be a solitary venture. Loads of well-know blogs out there feature multiple user roles, from writers to editors and administrators. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to get multiple people posting on the same blog, manage the workflow across all those people, and put categories and tags to work in organizing your site’s content. users, categories, and tags We all use the same login because it’s easy—you never forget the password! xiv table of contents 5 Getting things moving Video can add a whole other dimension to your blog. For nearly any kind of content, video makes your site more engaging, and gives you readers plenty more to comment on and share with their friends. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to host your videos online and include them (along with other downloadable files) in your blog posts. We’ll introduce plug-ins, which do a lot of heavy lifting (and coding) for you, and use categories to create a consistent, easy-to-find home for all the videos on your site. video and plug-ins Adding video to Thanks for Mutton 168 Host your videos outside WordPress 169 Hosting with Vimeo 170 Upload your video to Vimeo 172 Plug-ins make working with other web services easier 178 Find a plug-in for almost anything in the Plug-in Directory 179 Browse and install plug-ins from within WordPress 181 Add additional content and files to your post 188 Use the media gallery to attach other files 189 Use categories to create a video section 192 Use the “more” tag to clean up your home page 195 Plug-ins Up Close xv table of contents 6 Spreading the word It’s time more people knew about your awesome site. Your blog is humming along, and you’ve already figured out how to expand WordPress to manage an entire website. Now that you’ve got video playing there too, why not expand your audience base? In this chapter, we’ll discover how to distribute videos through Apple’s iTunes store as podcasts, and how to syndicate your content so that a ton more people will find out about your site (and keep coming back for more). podcasting and syndication The Thanks for Mutton podcast 200 WordPress is your hub for content distribution 201 The anatomy of a podcast 202 RSS is one way the Web syndicates content 203 The lifecycle of an RSS feed 204 WordPress publishes an RSS feed automatically 208 Vimeo doesn’t work well with podcasting 211 Where’s the video? 215 WordPress embeds its own videos too 216 Add some info to your iTunes feed 219 Use a plug-in to build a special feed for iTunes 220 TSG Podcasting Plug-in 221 Use the Podcasting Plug-in to embed videos for podcasts 224 Feedburner gives you podcast stats 231 Override feeds in the header of our theme 234 Welcome to the Thanks for Mutton podcast 236 feed.xml xvi table of contents 7 Locking things down Not everyone on the Internet is nice. It’s a fact of modern life on the Internet: there are people who spend their time trying to break into, or hack, other people’s websites. Some do it just for the thrill, others to cause chaos, and some are simply after sensitive information like credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other personal information. Now, you’ll learn how to make your WordPress site more secure, with unique usernames, strong passwords, and more. You’ll also kick off automatic backups of all your WordPress files so you can restore your site if it ever does get hacked, or goes down for other reasons. securing wordpress Something’s not right here... 240 You’ve been hacked 242 Keep your WordPress installation and plug-ins up-to-date 244 Avoid file uploads with automatic updates 245 Use FTP to update WordPress if automatic updates don’t work 246 Secure users make secure websites 248 Edit your database to change usernames 250 Databases are made up of tables 251 Add more security to WordPress by protecting wp-admin 255 Create a new authentication realm 256 Security by obscurity 259 You can learn a lot about a site by looking at its head 261 Back up early, back up often 265 Use plug-ins for remote, automated backups 267 Don’t store backups on your web server 268 Connect automated backups to Amazon S3 269 Restoring your backups 269 Import a backed-up database using phpMyAdmin 270 Your WordPress Toolbox 271 xvii table of contents 8 Time for the passing lane making wordpress fast Not again... 274 Keep an eye on your traffic with Google Analytics 276 Integrating Google Analytics with WordPress 277 Your site traffic has a lot to say... 278 You’ve been Dugg 279 The anatomy of a web page request 280 WordPress performance checklist 283 Speed up WordPress with caching 284 Start caching with the WP Super Cache p


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