#WRK6: The WordPress University

Sunday, October 7th, 2012

Stephanie Leary @sleary

103 A & B, Frontier Airlines Center

Is WordPress the right CMS for your department, or even your whole institution? How do you sell your colleagues on WordPress? What kinds of sites can you build with WordPress? We will discuss how WordPress’s theme system is uniquely suited for campus-wide branding initiatives, and how you can create a single theme that allows your users to customize their own sites to the extent you allow. We’ll do a quick walk through of installation process and the administration features, including some issues specific to campus networks. We’ll talk about how to navigate the vast plug-in ecosystem, and how non-developers can evaluate plugins and themes.


Yes, I sat in on her workshop last year. However, due to a bad flight, I missed the first half of the session.

Her old office was only 6 people. Was using Joomla, but no one was comfortable using it.

Lots of upside to using wordpress, but there are some downsides:

  • Lacks native reusable content
  • Heavy use of pages can be a problem
  • Limited roles and process

You ever try to add a rich text editor to Drupal? That’s a week of my life I won’t be getting back.

Paste from MS Word is a lifesaver – very true. Right next to it is the eraser.

The next version changes the media uploader. The images editor is more like the post/pages editor. You can now use rich text in your captions.

A bit about custom post types. Stephanie suggests using Gravity forms to make this really easy.

In 3.5, custom taxonomies will automatically create to columns for you in the custom post type editor.

Lots of hidden feeds are available.

  • author
  • post type
  • taxonomy
  • search term

WordPress domain mapping.

Entire college site

  • bates college
  • university of Arkansas in little rock – Aaron baker
  • harvard law

How to break it up for a huge site

  • break into units, not by people people may change

Downside to cas – bypasses used db… Never uses password, but still stored in DB. Mobile app won’t use CAS credentials…

LDAP plugin might be better.

Hove posts?

Let’s see everything:
global $wp_query;
var_dump( $wp_query);

Editor styles allows you to change the styles inside of the editor! That is way cool.

Child Themes

  • This is the way that you are going to enforce your branding guidelines
  • Anything not in the child theme is imported form the parent.
  • Import parent styles then add overrides.
  • Great for networks!
  • Both functions.php will be used. If you need to override use “if function exists” in parent.
  • No grandchildren. If you buy a theme – take the code and make it your parent theme, rather then starting as a child theme.
  • Genesis is a great option: http://www.studiopress.com/themes/genesis

Underscores is a good theme to start with.

Warnings: define(‘WP_DEBUG’, true);
Or, debug bar plugin. And view hooks plugin.

When writing secure plugins:

  • Use settings API
  • Check the user capabilities
  • Check nonces and referrers
  • Validate user input
  • Escape output

Recommended text: Professional WordPress Plugin Development

Plugin: backupbuddy – lets you keep development and production servers in sync

BootstrapWP – nice responsive design.

Ask her about the HTML importer for pages in Dreamweaver templates.

Cool plugin she wrote : content audit.

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