Posts Tagged ‘php’

WordPress – Featured Articles with Excerpt and Read More Link

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

I’ve been rather busy lately, mostly with web work, so I’ve been manipulating the WordPress template tags with increasing frequency. I often come across an issue that I can’t find the answer to as quick as I like, or in this case at all, so I’m sharing my little code developments with you. It is rather simple, and highly customizable, so use and update it to your heart’s content.

The below code creates, in WordPress, an unordered list of the 5 most recent posted items with your custom crafted excerpt followed by a read more link which can be changed as desired:

<h3>Recent Articles</h3>
        <ul><?php $postslist = get_posts('numberposts=5&order=DESC&orderby=date');
 		foreach ($postslist as $post) : 
 		?>
   	<li><a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>">
              <?php the_title(); ?></a> - <?php the_excerpt(); ?> <a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>" class="more">More &gt;&gt;</a>
        </li>
	<?php endforeach; ?>
    	</ul>

Here we have the same general code, but with this the there is a specific category it is pulling from, so you would change the “category=3” to your category’s id number:

<h3>Featured Articles</h3>
        <ul><?php $postslist = get_posts('numberposts=5&order=DESC&orderby=date&category=3');
 		foreach ($postslist as $post) : 
 		?>
   		<li><a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>">
                      <?php the_title(); ?></a> - <?php the_excerpt(); ?> <a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?> "class="more">More &gt;&gt;</a></li>
		      <?php endforeach; ?>
    	</ul>

If you just want it to pull the first 55 characters from your entry, instead of a custom made excerpt, use the following:

<h3>Featured Articles</h3>
        <ul><?php $postslist = get_posts('numberposts=5&order=DESC&orderby=date&category=3');
 		foreach ($postslist as $post) : 
 		?>
   		<li><a href="<?php the_permalink(); ?>">
                      <?php the_title(); ?></a> - <?php the_content('<span class="more">More &gt;&gt;</span>'); ?></li>
		      <?php endforeach; ?>
    	</ul>

So, hopefully you WordPress users out there will find this useful. I’ll post a link to the site I’m currently using this on as an example, once the site is ready for public viewing.

Don’t Forget to Check the Checklist

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Even if you are making a theme for your own use, make sure you follow the theme development check list over on the WordPress Codex.

I’m working on revamping my portfolio section, and in the extensive troubleshooting process I came across a nice little plugin for Slimbox2. Which just like everything else I tried, failed to work. They appeared to have a nice little support forum so I posted my query and after much trial and error with the plugins creator (oddly enough I went to high school with his brother), I discovered the issue was with my theme.

I poked around and discovered that I was missing a small bit of quite important code for plugins to work:
< ?php wp_head(); ?>

This little line of code is essential for WordPress and its plugins to know where to add elements to the header.

With that mystery solved, expect a better portfolio section soon.

For an example of what the Slimbox2 plugin does, view this post of mine on the iPod case I made, and click on the image.

Andreas Tabor’s Aesthetic Literacy

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

I recently began a collaborative effort with a friend of mine, Andreas Tabor, redesigning his existing online portfolio, AestheticLiteracy.com.  Andreas is in the last few weeks of his undergraduate career as a graphic design student and needed a site that expressed his personality but was also easy to keep up to date.

We discussed his his options and it seemed that a custom WordPress theme with some instruction on maintaining his final site would be enough to meet all his needs. Andreas provided me with his desired aesthetics and layout as a Photoshop file which I then converted into code and implemented as a WordPress theme.

This was a unique experience for me as I was acting more in the role of a code monkey with less design power.  It was also a good learning opportunity as I was forced to think a bit differently than if I had created the layout from scratch.  Overall, working with a friend was a challenge, but I’m glad I could help him out while also gaining more knowledge and experience with the capabilities of WordPress.

Begining Web Designer Resources

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

I am often asked how I learned the skills needed for website design when my background is in print.  The very basics of HTML using Tables and Flash I learned at my alma mater, Marietta College.  Everything else I discovered and learned through the web, with a few books.

Helpful online sources of information on web design/coding:

Web Design from Scratch.com

Opera Web Standards Curriculum

Google’s SEO Starter Guide

Tizag.com – PHP

More advanced information:

A List Apart

Nettuts.com

456 Berea Street

Books I have found useful:

CSS Mastery

Rockstar WordPress Designer

In general, my best advice when learning to develop websites, just Google it, you will end up seeing some inspiring sites, finding some interesting mentors and finding a host of resources at your fingertips.