Plugins 016 – Interview Paul Kehrer Part 1 CDN Tools & Fidgetr

This episode we interview Paul Kehrer, a WordPress user and plugin developer. Paul has written 4 plugins, 2 of which are publicly available called CDN Tools and Fidgetr plugins, both available at wordpress.org.

In part 1 of this 2 part interview we talk about developing plugins, web development, HTML5, as well as discussing open source software. Paul is an open source veteran and co-developed the popular MySQLTuner application written in Perl.

We discuss other plugins such as WP Super Cache, WP-Syntax,

Near the end of part 1, Paul discusses tips for other WordPress plugin developers.

Part two will be available next week, stay tuned

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Plugins 014 – NextGEN Gallery Plugin

Today we’re covering the  NextGEN Gallery WordPress plugin.

The NextGEN Gallery plugin adds image gallery functionality to your WordPress blog. Click here for a demonstration.

Features include:

  • Flash Slideshow
  • Flash Viewer (as an additional addon)
  • Templates
  • CSS styling
  • Watermarks
  • JavaScript Effect (Web 2.0 feel)
  • Custom Media Gallery RSS feed
  • Sidebar Widget
  • Tag images
  • Detailed descriptions
  • Multi-language support
  • Administration
    • Copy/Move images
    • Upload zip file of multiple pictures
    • Integrates to Post/Page editor (TinyMCE)

The NextGEN Gallery plugin makes it easy to add a modern gallery to your blog. Users knowledgeable in CSS and HTML can take further advantage of this plugin, though knowledge of CSS and HTML is not necessary to use this plugin.

Plugins Podcast Skill Level: Any

To learn more about the NextGEN Gallery plugin, please go to http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/nextgen-gallery/.

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Plugins 012a – MailPress Plugin

MailPressToday we’re covering the MailPress plugin to quickly add a newsletter mailing list to your blog.

Features include:

  • Newsletters for (users can subscribe to)
    • Each post
    • Daily (digest of posts each day)
    • Weekly digest
    • Monthly digest
    • Comments
  • Manually send newsletters
  • Detailed logging of sent messages
  • Themes for Email newsletters
  • Add-ons (Sort of like plugins for this plugin)
    • Bulk import tool (comma separated list of addresses)
    • Import data (csv, XML sample, other WordPress plugins from database)
    • Mailing lists manager
    • Newsletter categories
    • Synchronize WordPress accounts with MailPress Users
    • Add roles and capabilities (Special User Roles to apply to WordPress accounts)
    • Custom Fields

The plugin is very powerful which makes it very complicated to setup and configure. It definitely helps to read all of the documentation and have previous knowledge of how to edit source code before attempting to use this plugin.

Plugins Podcast Skill Level: Advanced

To learn more about MailPress, please go to www.mailpress.org.

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Plugins 011 – Search And Replace Plugin

Today we’re covering the Search and Replace plugin to find and replace text in your blog.

The plugin allows you to find and replace text found in many of the database fields including:

  • Content Body
  • Titles
  • Excerpts
  • Meta Data
  • Comments
  • Tags
  • Categories
  • Category Descriptions

The plugin permanently changes text in the database. It is highly recommended that you first backup your database using the WP DB Backup plugin before proceeding with this plugin.

Show Feedback

Gene inquired about using the Google XML Sitemaps plugin (covered in episode 5) for multiple WordPress blogs located in sub folders on one web site domain. By default the Google XML Sitemaps plugin will create the sitemap within the root folder of the WordPress installation. Since Web Crawlers look for the sitemap.xml in the root folder of your web site, Gene was wondering if the plugin was intelligent enough to merge each blog’s sitemap into one in the root folder.

Unfortuantely, the Google XML Sitemaps plugin isn’t designed for managing multipe blog installations. Luckily, there is another solution to this problem. Setup a sitemap index as your root sitemap.xml file that links to other sitemaps on your web server. Here is an example:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<sitemapindex xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">
   <sitemap>
      <loc>http://www.example.com/blog1/sitemap1.xml.gz</loc>
      <lastmod>2008-10-01T18:23:17+00:00</lastmod>
   </sitemap>
   <sitemap>
      <loc>http://www.example.com/blog2/sitemap2.xml.gz</loc>
      <lastmod>2009-01-01</lastmod>
   </sitemap>
</sitemapindex>

More details on sitemaps is available at www.sitemaps.org.

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Plugins 008 – WP-DB-Backup plugin

Today we’re covering the WP-DB-Backup plugin and touching on a few other backup tips. With just a few simple steps, you can keep backups of your blog so you can feel confident you’ll never loose data.

Key features in the WP-DB-Backup Pack include:

  • Complete database backups
  • Exclude post revisions
  • Exclude comment spam
  • Backup to folder on server (not recommended)
  • Email backup as attachment
  • Save backup on your computer
  • Schedule backups

To learn more about the WP-DB-Backup plugin, please visit the WordPress plugins WP-DB-Backup page, http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-db-backup/.

Some other backup tips include:

  • Keep a backup copy of your wp-config.php and .htaccess file on your local computer
  • Occasionally backup the entire wp-content/uploads folder and all of its contents
  • Keep a list of your important plugins handy in case you need to re-install them
  • If you modified your theme, backup the entire theme folder and its contents, typically found in the wp-content/themes/your_theme/

PodCamp Toronto This Weekend

I will be attending PodCamp Toronto this weekend. On Saturday between 2-2:30pm I will be speaking in room 357 on “Setting up WordPress for Podcasting”. If you can make it out to PodCamp Toronto, please feel free to say hello.

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