Release of VoodooChild 2010 Theme and VoodooPress Plugin

Well, WordPress 3.2 is right around the corner. And with that release comes the new 2011 theme. And when that happens we will be switching VoodooPress over, and working on a new batch of tutorials. I figured that since we wouldn’t be working on twentyten any more, it would be good to release the VoodooChild 2010 theme for everyone to check out. We’ve got 2 files here for you to play with. One is the actual VoodooChild 2010 theme. It is a twentyten child theme with some modifications doen to it. The other file is the VoodooPress functionality plugin. Just recently we pulled all of our non-theme specific functions out of our theme and put them into a functionality plugin. If you want to actually use the plugin or theme, that’s perfectly cool. But I figured you’d be more interested in just seeing the source code to compare it to the tutorials we have on the site.

Note that if you were to use the theme, the plugin would probably need to be activated first. I didn’t really use function_exists in the theme for my custom functions, as I knew they would exist because I would always have the plugin active. Probably not the best coding in hindsight. But, like I said, I’m really releasing this more for people to look at and learn from rather than to just use.

Hopefully you can find some cool functions in these files to grab out for your own theme. Now stay tuned, we start on VoodooChild 2011 very soon!

Adding Google's +1 Button to a Twenty Ten Child Theme

Google recently let their +1 button loose upon the masses. I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to implement it here on VoodooPress. We already have everything in place that we need. If you followed along with this tutorial you are already all set up too! If not, check it out. You don’t need to do exactly what we did there, just follow along with the concept. We’re just going to insert the +1 button into the code to display it at the bottom of our posts.

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Testing bbPress With the VoodooPress Forums

For those that haven’t heard, bbPress released a new plugin. I hadn’t used bbPress before, even though I wanted to. It was just too hard to get working the way I wanted. But it’s new and fresh, and built to work great with WordPress. In the spirit of testing it out, I’ve added it to VoodooPress. Feel free to sign up and chat away, we have a new Forums tab up top now. It’s far from ready for showtime, but it works. Feel free to shoot some suggestions my way, on ways to make it look or act better, or just on new sections that you think we need.

Making a Basic Plugin and Widget to Display Followers, Fans and Subscribers

I’ve never made a plugin before. I really never thought I had a need. But recently I changed my way of thinking. So I decided to learn how to make a plugin to display my followers, fans and subscribers in a widget. Now this widget is about as basic as possible. But it’s a starting point. I learned something, and maybe you can too! Let’s take a look at the why and how.

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Get WordPress.com Functionality With the Jetpack Plugin

This is an awesome plugin just released for WordPress.org. Check out Jetpack (JetPack?). It brings over all sorts of functionality which exists from WordPress.com by default. Such as:

  • Simple, concise stats with no additional load on your server. Previously provided by WordPress.com Stats.
  • The WP.me URL shortener.
  • Hovercard popups for your commenters via Gravatar.
  • Easily embedded media from popular sites like YouTube, Digg, and Vimeo.
  • For the Math geeks, a simple way to include beautiful mathematical expressions on your site.
  • A widget for displaying recent tweets. Previously provided by Wickett Twitter Widget
  • Your readers can easily share your posts via email or their favorite social networks. Previously provided by the Sharedaddy WordPress plugin.
  • Your writing will improve thanks to After the Deadline, an artificial intelligence based spell, style, and grammar checker. Previously provided by the After the Deadline WordPress plugin.
  • and many more to come!

I know for me, this can get rid of several plugins I have installed. And it looks like a lot more functionality is to come. Give it a go!

Modify Header.php to Get the Most Out of Yoast's SEO Plugin in a TwentyTen Child Theme

I have taken a liking lately to Yoast’s SEO plugin.  So far, it just plain works.  Now I am not the type of guy to worry too much about this stuff.  I apply little tweaks here and there and maybe it helps.  But the plugin offers a lot of things I like, like bread crumbs, and easy access to my .htaccess file, and robots.txt.  Only a few things have to change to enjoy this plugin.  Let’s dig in to this.

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Adding Content Under Your Post in a TwentyTen Child Theme

Over the weekend I installed Simple Twitter Connect (STC) and Simple Facebook Connect (SFC) here on VoodooPress.  They are my favourite plugins for total integration with each service.  And out of the box they work great.  You can have them just plop the ‘Like’ and ‘Tweet’ buttons under all your posts, and it works, and looks good.  But I’m picky.  I really only want my buttons manually placed exactly where I want them.  I’m using a twentyten child theme I made, and I wanted to insert the buttons only on single post views.  But I didn’t want to copy single.php from twentyten to use my own for just this.  I prefer to keep the original templates in use from the parent, and place any extra stuff through functions.php whenever possible.  I ran across several options, all of which worked in some fashion.  So let’s check out various ways to get content added under your post.  You can use the techniques here for pretty much any post, I’m just focusing on a twentyten child as that’s what I’m using.

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Configuring Contact Form 7 to Work Perfectly With a Twentyten Child Theme

I needed a contact form for VoodooPress.  Normally I use cforms.  It’s very powerful, but it seemed like too much for a simple form.  I decided to give the Contact Form 7 plugin a try this time.  I came across a few challenges getting it set up perfectly with my twentyten child theme.  But it was a cool learning experience.  Let’s take a look at what I did.  A lot of this information may help you on themes besides twentyten as well, it’s just focused on that.

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Install the Essential Hotfix Plugin

This is a very cool idea.  A brand new WordPress plugin, from Mark Jaquith and WordPress.  I highly recommend you install this plugin now, and keep it active and updated.  The point of the plugin is not to negate the need to update WordPress itself.  You still need to do that.  Rather, this plugin provides an avenue for quickly applying patches to WordPress before an upgrade is available.

You can check out this thread on the forums to see one of the conversations that may have lead to this idea, or at least show a situation the plugin remedied.  I think this plugin can be a very valuable tool if it remains active.  And considering who is working on it, that looks like a very positive thing.