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How I Built the “WordPress: Year in Review” Website

Earlier this month I launched WordPress: Year in Review, a content project where I’m wrapping up everything that happened with WordPress and in the community this year through an eBook, podcast, and video series. It’s an immense undertaking, so I decided to seek community support through sponsors and crowdfunding. We’re 3 weeks into September and I’m nearly 2/3 of the way to my crowdfunding goal which is exciting! I thought I’d take some time here and explain how I built the site.

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I Have a New Podcast: Creator Toolkit

I’ve been mulling this idea in my head for about a month now. See, in the last 2 years running How I Built It, a podcast that has gained some shocking popularity, I’ve realized something. Podcasting is the most fun part of my day. I love interviewing people and publishing to such a great medium. I’m good at talking and have been since I was a kid. I want to keep podcasting, and I have other ideas. One is Creator Toolkit, a show I think would compliment How I Built It very nicely.

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Not Everyone Needs a $10,000 Website (and that’s OK)

Let’s set the stage. You want to take a trip to the Grand Canyon with your family of 4, but plane tickets cost $1000 each. Plus there’s the hotel for a week and food, not to mention other expenses. Instead, you decide to take a few extra days off work and drive there because it would save you literally thousands of dollars. What if someone told you that if you can’t afford to fly, you shouldn’t go? Now think about this: you just started a business and you know you need a website but you can’t afford a $5-10K one. Someone you know says they can make a website for $500 using WordPress and a page builder. Are you wrong for accepting that? I say no.

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Quick Tip: Use Post or Page Slug as CSS Class in WordPress

I don’t know why, but for some reason, I thought WordPress already included the slug of a post or page in either the function body_class() or post_class(). Doing some work over this weekend I realized that’s not the case, but luckily, it’s very easy to do.

The functions body_class() and post_class() serve as a way for you to easily customize a page’s CSS based on attributes of the page being viewed. They will output things like the post ID, the custom post type, if the page is the blog, home, or front page, and more. One thing it does not include, however, is the post slug. This could be useful if you want to style each of your posts a certain way, or in a more likely scenario, style each page a certain way. If you want to do this, the code is fairly straight forward; both functions accept an option argument: a string of your own classes. We use that combine with the $post array, like so:

<?php body_class($post->post_name); ?>

or, if you want to do it on a post-by-post basis:

<?php post_class($post->post_name); ?>

Note the latter must be used inside the Loop. Using this, if you have a page named, “Services” with the slug services, the output would look something like this:

<body class="page page-id-108 page-parent page-template-default services">

Now you can use the .services (or whatever) class name to do some custom stuff instead of needing to know the page or post ID.


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Favorites of 2012

I’m going to be honest here. 2012 was a pretty great year for me. A lot of amazing things happened in both my personal and professional life; most publicly, I got my first book published, and I hope do the same in 2013. While I don’t have too many traditions on this blog (something I hope to change in 2013), my Favorites of the year post has been a pretty good staple.

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Links Round Up for 03/28/11

Links Round Up for 03/20/11

Links Round Up for 02/27/11

Also, I’ve created a Delicious account for Manifest Development. I’ll post tech/web dev/business related links there. Check it out. They also get automatically posted to @manifestdev on Twitter.

Links Round Up for 02/6/11

Some other news:  Today is Super Bowl Sunday (go Pack!), as well as Ronald Reagan’s birthday. Also, I worked on a simple Reading List plugin for WordPress this week. You can see it in action on my blog here, though I have made some changes that I will release this week.