Finishing Touches for Custom Post Types

Lately most client/Obox projects have involved custom post types of one kind or another. However one thing that has always bothered me is how these custom post types don’t show up in the Right Now Dashboard Widget. I know the widget only shows you how many posts (or post types) there are and many people simply turn it off but I still want my custom post types to be represented there.

After a quick Codex search I found this entry Right Now Dashboard Widget, which is really nice because it gives a ready to go example where all you need to do is change a few lines of code and you are in business.

What do you think? Is it worth the effort? Does anybody really care if your CPT’s are listed in the Right Now Dashboard Widget besides me?

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An example of this technique applied to a Custom Post Type

Cleaning up the Comment Form

While trying to help someone in the WP.org forums today I found a much better way to work with the WordPress comment form than I had been using in the past.

Here are two articles that I found that show how to implement it correctly.

Theming for the Masses

[wpvideo vyDjM104 w=500 h=280]

Really great video by Michael Fields that he gave at WordCamp Seattle 2011.

WordCampSF 2011: Part Three

Day 2: Saturday

Saturday was much less stressful for me. Since I had been there the day before I didn’t stress about getting on the right line or getting off at the right stop. On Saturday we made the opposite mistake of Friday we got there too early. The doors weren’t even unlocked yet. There was a small line of people when we got there but they weren’t there for WordCamp, they were there to sign up for swimming lessons, hehe. Once the doors were opened we helped carry the swag over to the swag table and get everything setup. I worked the swag shop while Chris worked the t-shirt redemption table. It was at the swag table where I heard the most amazing stories from Terry Chay. He is an alumnus of CalTech and he told all sorts stories about the nonexistant sports program and all about the epic pranks that have been pulled there. It was a lot of fun listening to them.

WordCampSF 2011: Part Three

WordCampSF 2011: Part Two

Day 1: Friday

On Friday me and Chris decided to try and get to the Conference Center early to see if they needed any help and to hopefully not get stuck at the end of a very large line of WordCampers. Unfortunately we got to the Montgomery Street station just as the car was leaving so we had to wait 15 minutes for the next one. Since I had never traveled on this line before I was a bit worried that we were on the wrong line but once I sat down and I saw Mark Jaquith I knew I was going to be just fine.

WordCampSF 2011: Part Two

WordCampSF 2011: Part One

This is part one of my wrap up series about my trip to WordCampSF. This is going to be mainly about my personal experiences so it probably won’t be all that interesting to most people but I really want to get all the details down so I can look back at it in the future and set some goals for next year.

Day 0: Thursday

When I first made the reservations for me and my brother a few months ago I was in conservation (cheap) mode so I choose the cheapest flights I could find. This meant that I had to get to the Sioux Falls airport at around 5:00 to make my flight leaving at six. This was a bit of a problem as anyone who knows me can tell you I am not a morning person. The first good surprise of the day was the flight to Denver. Before this trip my only other experience flying was going to Santa Fe for a school trip where we flew Southwest. This flight could not have been any more different. First off the boarding procedure was faster and more streamlined as United actually assigned seat numbers instead of the free for all system Southwest uses. Also once we got to our seats they were much larger and had much more legroom than Southwest.

WordCampSF 2011: Part One

Plenty of firsts

As the end of summer is drawing near I have started to look back at what I’ve accomplished the past few months.

  • Thanks to the guys over at Obox and Whitespace for the first time in forever I have zero credit card debt and I actually have some savings.
  • I’ve learn so much about WordPress and web development in general I could write about it forever. I am so happy to finally feel comfortable in what I am doing. I may not know everything but I think I have a good enough foundation to figure anything out.
  • Next week I am going to attend my first WordCamp, WordCamp SF, where it will be my first time west of South Dakota.

Better way to do Featured Posts

For as long as I can remember every commercial WordPress theme has had some sort of featured posts. Either in the form of a slider or a specific area of a home page. The usual method was to have a custom loop where you call either all the posts in a particular category or tagged with a particular tag. While this got the job done it is messy and required the user to remember what what special steps were needed to mark their posts are featured.

I recently read a post on the ThemeShaper blog written by the awesome Ian Stewart where he offered a different (& better) method.  Ian’s method involves using a hidden custom taxonomy instead. If you follow the code in his blog post you will end up with a nice checkbox option in the backend.

Finished Result

After setting up the backend option all you need to do it setup a custom loop that only includes posts that are in that custom taxonomy and you have featured posts without the messiness of using tags or categories. This method also adheres to the WordPress philosophy of “Striving for Simplicity”. Also if the user switches themes there will be less unnecessary things from the previous theme under this method as well.

What do you think? Is this the way to go?