This site is for a NZ-government agency, FEUT, which manages carbon emissions for government-owned forests.

The site design is by McGovern & Associates, and coded into a custom WordPress theme by Urban Legend web.

The site is coded in HTML5, and features some custom jQuery in the Licensed Crown Forests section, and on the contact page. It also gives its owners the ability to update a forests database from an uploaded Excel file using a customised WordPress plugin.

It uses modern @Font-face coding to render the desired font family across platforms.

We need your opinion! One of the features we’re adding to WordPress 3.3 (currently in beta 3) is intended to reduce widget pain. Say you’re using Theme A and you have a handful of widgets set up. You switch to Theme B, and it has different widget areas, so you add/remove/edit your widgets. Then you realize that you hate Theme B. “This theme doesn’t represent my innermost soul!” you cry to the heavens. You switch back to Theme A, but because it had different widget areas, now your widgets are messed up. Argh, right? Not for long!

Imagine being able to change themes and modify widgets as needed, and if you decided to go back to your old theme, it would return your widgets to how they were the last time you had that theme activated.  Sounds good, yeah? The problem we’re facing is deciding how long to save the old widget configuration, since there are so many potential workflows. If you changed From Theme A to Theme B and added more widgets over the next few weeks, if you switched back to Theme A after a month, would you still expect it to go back to the widgets from a month ago? At what point does it go from handy timesaver to unexpected widget mangler?  What do you think?

View This Poll

Today is the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the (20)eleventh year, and in several parts of the world, it is a holiday related to war. In the U.S., where I live, it is Veterans Day, which honors military veterans. In much of Europe, today is Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, commemorating the armistice signed at the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918 that ended the fighting on the Western Front in World War I.

Whether serving in the military, living in an area of unrest or attack, having friends or family in the fray, or just being human enough to think war sucks (there’s really no gentler way to say that, is there?), war impacts most people in the world today.

The mission of WordPress is to democratize publishing. Sometimes we’re fortunate enough for that to mean providing a platform for communication that helps people work toward peace in their communities and around the world. Sometimes it means providing a platform for keeping people informed and aware of the other things that are happening around the world, including the horror of wars and revolutions.

At WordCamp San Francisco in August, one of the most popular and well-respected sessions was led by Teru Kuwayama of Basetrack.org. On this day of remembrance, I thought it would be good to share the video of his presentation. Not only is it a very cool example of how WordPress can be used in unexpected ways (this is not your father’s Oldsmobile usual blog), it’s a reminder of how much work still needs to be done to move from war to peace. So here is Taking WordPress to War: Basetrack.org. Peace out, yo.


Wrote this quick WordPress code snippet at WordCamp Louisville. It makes a /random/ URL on your site which redirects to a random post. Thought some people might find it useful.

Not a perfect little snippet, but gets the job done. Note the use of the little-used 307 redirect for temporary redirection. This is to make browsers not cache the results of the redirect, like some of them might do with a 302.

add_action('init','random_add_rewrite');
function random_add_rewrite() {
       global $wp;
       $wp->add_query_var('random');
       add_rewrite_rule('random/?$', 'index.php?random=1', 'top');
}

add_action('template_redirect','random_template');
function random_template() {
       if (get_query_var('random') == 1) {
               $posts = get_posts('post_type=post&orderby=rand&numberposts=1');
               foreach($posts as $post) {
                       $link = get_permalink($post);
               }
               wp_redirect($link,307);
               exit;
       }
}

There’s plugins that do this sort of thing too, but this is such a simple little thing that it doesn’t really need a big amount of code to do.

Edit: Added get_permalink() optimization from @Raherian.

If you read “how-to” stuff for WordPress sites around the web, then you frequently run across what many people like to call “snippets”. Short bits of code or functions to do various things. I myself post snippets frequently, usually made up on the fly to solve somebody’s specific problem.

One question I get a fair amount is “where do I add this code?”

The usual answer to this for a lot of people is “in the theme’s functions.php file”. This is a quick solution, but it is often a problematic one.

The reason this has become the more or less go-to place to add these snippets is because it’s complicated to explain to a newbie how to make a plugin and activate it, or to point out the problems with modifying core code, or plugin code. Saying to look for a specific file in their theme, on the other hand, is quick and easy, and until recently theme upgrades have been fairly rare.

However, as themes get upgrades, it becomes more and more incorrect to tell people to modify them directly. And telling people how to create child themes is complex, even if it’s easy to do.

So I’d like to start a new trend, and recommend that people start making Site-Specific Plugins. Most people who run WP sites on a serious level do this in some way already, but if you make it sorta-standard practice, then it’ll make things simpler all around.

How to create a Site-Specific Plugin

1. Create a new directory in the plugins directory. Name it after the site in some fashion. For example, /wp-content/plugins/example.com or something like that.

2. Create a new php file in that directory. Name is dealer’s choice.

3. Put this in the file:

<?php
/*
Plugin Name: Site Plugin for example.com
Description: Site specific code changes for example.com
*/

4. Finally, go activate your new blank plugin on the site.

Now you have a simple and specific place to add snippets. It will survive upgrades of any sort, and you can edit it to add new code on an as needed basis. What’s more, it’s kinda sorta break-proof. If the user uses the built-in plugin editor to edit it, and they add code that breaks the site, then the editor detects that on saving the code and deactivates the plugin, preventing the “white screen of death” for their site.

This is a much better way to use “snippets” than the theme’s functions.php file, and we should really use it more often in our replies to users.

If you’re seeing this, then my site has been migrated to DreamHost.

Note that while I set things up, I fully expect the site to break from time to time. So… gimme time to get it working properly.

TODO Step 2: Switch to nginx. :)

Didn’t know about this one, but if you’re having a problem where the FB login buttons added by SFC don’t seem to do anything, try this:

  1. Go to https://developers.facebook.com/apps/ and click on the App in question.
  2. In the left menu, under Settings, click Advanced and look at the settings in the Migrations section.
  3. Switch the “Encrypted Access Token” setting to ‘Enabled’.

Might fix the issue.

 

newspapersIf you’re a blogger, a marketer, a business owner, a publisher, or have anything to do with written word, then I’m sure you’ve struggled before to come up with a great eye-grabbing headline.

There are many approaches to come up with such a thing, but there are two main paths you can follow: you can either pretend that you’re a great headline creator, or you can borrow a headline that has already proven to be effective. I like the latter far better.

Hence this list of 79 great headlines that changed the publishing landscape forever. Let’s start with my favorite type of headlines:

Outrageous Headlines

  • Man’s Head Explodes in Barber’s Chair
  • Double Your Appointments In 30 Days Or I’ll Pay You $500 Cash!
  • Pig-nosed Man Roasted Alive in Fire-walk Tragedy!
  • Now! The Miracle Gas-Saver That Europe Couldn’t Hide!
  • 18 Things You Never Knew About Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf!
  • It’s Ugly But It’s Beautiful
  • Skiing Squirrel Dies Trying to Break 196 m.p.h. Speed Record!
  • Half of U.S. Hookers are Space Aliens – and They Don’t Have Sex Organs!
  • Is Your Cat From Mars?
  • How To Rob Banks. It’s Fun, It’s Easy to Learn, You Don’t Need Much Capital, and You Can Now Do It in the Comfort and Safety of Your Own Home
  • Damn!
  • Supreme Court Judges are Naked Under Robes!
  • Nazi UFOs to Attack U.S.
  • Announcing The Chocolate Pie Diet

List-style Headlines

  • The 22 Best Relationship Tips Ever
  • 50 Idiot-Proof Ways To Make Money On The Internet!
  • 1,495 New Ways To Heal Yourself Now!
  • 10 Ways To Lose Extra Weight And Keep It Off!
  • 24 Techniques For Closing The Sale
  • His Secret Sexual Hot Spots – 9 Sizzling Places Men Love You To Touch
  • 9 Secret Ways To Save Big Money On Taxes!
  • Toxic People: 10 Ways To Handle People Who Make Your Life Miserable
  • 30 Days To A Low Fat Life!
  • 43 Tips For Smooth, Sexy Skin
  • 12 Proven Steps To Making Money On The Internet
  • 20 Top Running Tips

Secrets Revealed

  • Guys Spill: White Lies They Tell Women All the Time
  • Your Sexual Health: Crucial New Facts Your Gyno Forgot to Mention
  • A Shocking Thing 68% of Chicks Do in Bed
  • Best-Kept Secret In MLM Revealed!
  • What Credit Card Companies Don’t Tell You
  • The Three Little-Known Secrets To Bring Out Your Natural Beauty
  • The Secrets Of Successful Advertising By Mail
  • Tricks Of The Trade So Powerful They Can Change Your Life!
  • From One Woman to Another… Here’s One Fact of Life Your Mother Probably Never Told You!
  • Revealed… A 20-Year Old Secret To Lowering Your Insurance Premiums
  • Speed-Picking Secrets of the Pro’s. Don’t Spend Another Second Playing Guitar Until You’ve Read This!
  • The Most Powerful Wealth Secret In History

Challenging Readers

  • It’s Time to Break Up With Your Boss
  • Give Me One Evening And I’ll Give You a Push-Button Memory
  • When it Comes to Sex, You’ve Been Kept in the Dark for Too Long…
  • The Best Business Books Of 1998. How Many of Them Have You Read? Now You Can Read Them All – in Just 15 Minutes Each. Here’s How…
  • Are You Tired Of Living Paycheck To Paycheck?
  • My Chickens Eat Better Than You Do

Arousing Curiosity

  • Who Else Wants A Screen Star Figure?
  • Suppose This Happened To Your Car
  • Can We Talk? How To Make $20,000 An Hour Without A Gun!
  • They Laughed When I Sat Down At The Piano, But When I Started To Play!
  • They Laughed When I Sat Down at The Piano. They Stopped When I Picked It Up
  • Breakfast Of Champions
  • Would You Like To Save 45% On Your Next Vacation?
  • Announcing: The Weight Loss/Management Scientific Breakthrough Of The Century!
  • Why Do Chinese Women Have Such An Impossibly Low Rate Of Breast Cancer?
  • This is your window of opportunity. Open it
  • Unlike Any Steak You’ve Ever Tasted
  • Suppose This Happened On Your Wedding Day!
  • To People Who Want To Write – But Can’t Get Started
  • I’ve Got A Million-Dollar Idea – Now What?
  • You Get Two Magazines For the Price of One!

Personal Approach

  • Do You Make These Mistakes In English?
  • What Four-Letter Word Do You Use When You Have To Write A Check For Your High Healthcare Premium?
  • Had A Hunch Vending Was Lucrative? You’re Right!
  • You Honestly Tried To Quit… But Just Couldn’t! Don’t Worry. You’re Not Alone
  • Before We Tell The World, We Want To Tell You!
  • Thinking About Starting Your Own Business…?
  • Are You Ever Tongue-Tied At A Party?
  • Pros Want It, Newcomers Need It, You Can Test It – Free For 30 Days!

How-to Headlines

  • How To Win Friends And Influence People
  • How To Make Enormous Amounts Of Money Packaging & Marketing Information
  • How To Remove Carpet Stains In 10 Minutes
  • How To Grow A Business
  • How To Manage Stress, Reduce Anxiety & Stay Cool Under Pressure
  • How You Can Make $87,000 A Year As A Successful Magazine Writer!
  • How To Accomplish Anything You Want In Life
  • How To Make Maximum Money In Minimum Time!
  • How To Build A Multimillion-Dollar Business Without Spending Even A Penny On Advertising

Providing Social Proof

  • Always-Fresh Donuts – The Favorite Of Police Officers, Cabbies And All-Night Truckers
  • Why have over 200,000 people ordered Acu-Stop 2000?
  • The Place Where Truckers Come To Get Washed For The Long Haul

To learn more on writing headlines don’t forget to read these two posts at Copyblogger: 10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work and 7 More Sure-Fire Headline Templates That Work. And since we’re talking copywriting you might want to check this post too: The Modern Rules of Benefit-Driven Copy.

Feel free to shoot me a comment if you like to add more headlines to this list. I’d be happy to update this post with your input!

Related Posts:

Here in the U.S. we are observing Independence Day, and I can’t think of a more fitting way to mark a day that celebrates freedom than by releasing more free software to help democratize publishing around the globe. I’m excited to announce that WordPress 3.2 is now available to the world, both as an update in your dashboard and a download on WordPress.org. Version 3.2 is our fifteenth major release of WordPress and comes just four months after 3.1 (which coincidentally just passed the 15 million download mark this morning), reflecting the growing speed of development in the WordPress community and our dedication to getting improvements in your hands as soon as possible. We’re dedicating this release to noted composer and pianist George Gershwin.

Before we get to the release, in anticipation of the State of the Word speech at the upcoming WordCamp San Francisco (the annual WordPress conference) we’re doing a survey or census of the WordPress world. If you have a moment, please fill out this survey and we’ll share what we learn by publishing the aggregate results in August.

The focus for this release was making WordPress faster and lighter. The first thing you’ll notice when you log in to 3.2 is a refreshed dashboard design that tightens the typography, design, and code behind the admin. (Rhapsody in Grey?) If you’re starting a new blog, you’ll also appreciate the fully HTML5 new Twenty Eleven theme, fulfilling our plan to replace the default theme every year. Start writing your first post in our redesigned post editor and venture to the full-screen button in the editing toolbar to enter the new distraction-free writing or zen mode, my personal favorite feature of the release. All of the widgets, menus, buttons, and interface elements fade away to allow you to compose and edit your thoughts in a completely clean environment conducive to writing, but when your mouse strays to the top of the screen your most-used shortcuts are right there where you need them. (I like to press F11 to take my browser full-screen, getting rid of even the OS chrome.)

Under the hood there have been a number of improvements, not the least of which is the streamlining enabled by our previously announced plan of retiring support for PHP4, older versions of MySQL, and legacy browsers like IE6, which allows us to take advantage of more features enabled by new technologies. The admin bar has a few more shortcuts to your most commonly-used actions. On the comment moderation screen, the new approve & reply feature speeds up your conversation management. You’ll notice in your first update after 3.2 that we’ll only be updating the files that have changed with each new release instead of every file in your WordPress installation, which makes updates significantly faster on all hosting platforms. There are also some fun new theme features shown off by Twenty Eleven, like the ability to have multiple rotating header images to highlight all of your favorite photos.

There is way more, like our new freedoms and credits screens (linked from your dashboard footer), so for the full story check out the Codex page on 3.2 or the Trac milestone which includes the 400+ tickets closed in this release.

A Community Effort

We now finally have a credits page inside of WordPress itself (though a cool revision is coming in 3.3), but for posterity let’s give a round of applause to these fine folks who contributed to 3.2:

Aaron Brazell, Aaron Campbell, Aaron Jorbin, Adam Harley, Alex Concha, ampt, Andrew Nacin, Andrew Ozz, andrewryno, andy, Austin Matzko, BenChapman, Ben Dunkle, bluntelk, Boone Gorges, Brandon Allen, Brandon Burke, Caspie, cfinke, charlesclarkson, chexee, coffee2code, Cristi Burcă, daniloercoli, Daryl Koopersmith, David Cowgill, David Trower, demetris, Devin Reams, Dion Hulse, dllh, Dominik Schilling, Doug Provencio, dvwallin, Dylan Kuhn, Eric Mann, fabifott, Franklin Tse, Frumph, garyc40, Glenn Ansley, guyn, hakre, hebbet, Helen Hou-Sandi, hew, holizz, Ian Stewart, Jacob Gillespie, Jane Wells, Jayjdk, Jeff Farthing, Joachim Kudish, joelhardi, John Blackbourn, John Ford, John James Jacoby, JohnONolan, Jon Cave, joostdevalk, Jorge Bernal, Joseph Scott, Justin Sternberg, Justin Tadlock, kevinB, Knut Sparhell, kovshenin, Kuraishi, Lance Willett, linuxologos, lloydbudd, Luc De Brouwer, marcis20, Mark Jaquith, Mark McWilliams, Martin Lormes, Matías Ventura, Matt Martz, Matt Thomas, MattyRob, mcepl, mdawaffe, Michael Fields, MichaelH, michaeltyson, Mike Schroder, Milan Dinić, mintindeed, mitchoyoshitaka, Mohammad Jangda, mrroundhill, natecook, nathanrice, Niall Kennedy, Nick Bohle, Nikolay Bachiyski, nuxwin, Otto, pavelevap, pete.mall, Peter Westwood, Prasath Nadarajah, Ptah Dunbar, Rafael Poveda, Rahe, Ramiy, Rasheed Bydousi, Reuben Gunday, Robert Chapin, Ron Rennick, Ross Hanney, Ryan Boren, Ryan Imel, Safirul Alredha, Samir Shah, saracannon, sbressler, Sergey Biryukov, shakenstirred, Sidney Harrell, Simon Prosser, sorich87, szadok, tetele, tigertech, trepmal, Utkarsh Kukreti, valentinas, webduo, Xavier Borderie, Yoav Farhi, Ze Fontainhas, and ziofix.

Bonus: On their WordPress.org profiles over 20,000 people have said they make their living from WordPress. Are you one of them? Don’t forget to take a minute for our survey.

WordPress 3.2 is going to be released very soon, and we want you to be ready! Take note: the minimum requirements are changing.

PHP and MySQL

As of 3.2, you’ll need to be running PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0. As we mentioned almost a year ago when we announced that this change was coming, the percentage of people running older versions of PHP and MySQL is relatively low. With more than 45 million people using WordPress, though, even a small percentage can mean a lot of people! Don’t caught with your pants dashboard down — make sure you’re running compatible versions of PHP and MySQL before you update tomorrow when WordPress 3.2 is released.

Log in to your hosting account, and check to make sure you have at least  PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0. Most of the major hosts already default to these or newer versions, but there are some exceptions. Check to see which versions you are running, and if you’re still on an older version, it should be as simple as changing a dropdown menu and clicking Save to get up to date.

If you don’t know how to find this information in your hosting account or you don’t even know how to access your hosting control panel because someone else manages that for you, don’t fret. You can find out if you’re ready for 3.2 with the Health Check plugin. In your dashboard, go to Plugins → Add New and search for “health check” (it should be the first result). Install it, activate it, and it will tell you if you need to update anything.

If you need more help, contact your host’s customer service and use this email template to ask them to help you.

Hi there. I host my domain [example.com] with you, and I run WordPress on my site. The minimum requirements are changing to PHP 5.2.4 and MySQL 5.0, and I would appreciate your help in confirming that my site’s setup meets these requirements. If I’m currently running an older version of PHP or MySQL, could you update it for me, or tell me how to do it? Thanks so much!

If your host replies that they can’t update to these versions, it might be time to look for a new host.

IE6 and Outdated Browsers

With 3.2, we’re also dropping support for Internet Explorer 6, a 10-years-old outdated browser that even Microsoft is ready to leave behind. From now on, if you access your WordPress dashboard from an outdated browser, we’ll let you know. Why? Because as web technology improves, so does WordPress, as we build features to take advantage of these improvements. If you’re using an out-of-date browser, chances are you’re missing out.

If your browser is out of date, you’ll see a friendly orangey-yellow box in your dashboard letting you know you a newer version is available (which you can dismiss, of course). If you’re using IE6, though, the box will be red, and your dashboard will not function properly. If you’re stuck on IE6 because the computer you use is maintained by a business, library, school, or the like, and you are not able to download a newer browser, here’s a sample email you can use to ask your boss/administrator/IT guys to update the browser.

Hi there. The computer I use at [where you use the computer] is equipped with an out-of-date web browser. Internet Explorer 6 was created 10 years ago, before modern web standards, and does not support modern web applications. More and more sites and applications are dropping support for IE6, including the new version of WordPress. Even Microsoft, the makers of IE6, are counting down until IE6 goes the way of the dinosaur (see http://www.ie6countdown.com/ for more information). Can you please install an updated version of IE or any modern browser (see http://browsehappy.com for more information) on the available computers? Thank you very much.

Welcome to the future!