iThemes, WordPress, and the GPL

Since starting iThemes back in early 2008, one thing Cory, and I when I joined the team, were justifiably concerned with was protecting our products, and of course our hard work, from being stolen or used without permission. This was our livelihood, so we couldn’t fool around.

Even though we both believed that we would have been within our rights to copyright the entire work, we decided that we would license all WordPress code in our themes (function calls, loops, etc.) as GPL, and protect our images, stylesheets, etc., under a copyright. We felt it was a good compromise. [Read more…]

An Introduction to WordPress Action Hooks

If you’re going to be doing any level of WordPress development, themes or plugins, you will invariably run into the need to take advantage of the WordPress Action Hook system. But the more I am able to talk to people in the community, the more I realize that people simply don’t understand the concept very well, or at all.

In fact, one of the biggest barriers to using what is referred to as a Theme Framework or creating their own plugins is the fact that they rely heavily on Action Hooks to function properly.

Understanding this concept accelerated my level of development skills immediately after I figured out what hooks were, and how they worked. And today, I want to help you find that path too. [Read more…]

How To Redirect a Page Using Custom Fields in WordPress

Today, I wanted to share a very quick tip that will allow you to insert an internal or external URL in a custom field for a page, and when a user visits that page, they will be redirected to the URL you put in the custom field.

Why would you need to do this? Well, if you want to add a link to your navigation menu, instead of editing code, you could just create a new page, and have that page redirect your users to the URL you specified. I’ve had clients in that situation before, and this code has come in pretty handy for them. [Read more…]

5 Useful WordPress Functions You Didn’t Know Existed

Deep within the source code of WordPress lies an endless list of useful functions just waiting for you to use them in your theme or plugin. The problem is, most people don’t know they exist, probably because the Codex is ridiculously underdeveloped, and most people hate looking through source code. Luckily for you, reading the WordPress source code is a hobby of mine.

So, I compiled a list of some of my favorites. Some are simple and can be used by pretty much everyone; others have less common uses; but, all of them are incredibly useful. [Read more…]

WordPress 2.8 and the body_class() Function

Back on February 7th, I was casually browsing the WordPress trunk code, and discovered a very cool new function in the wp-includes/post-template.php file.

Beginning in WordPress 2.8, themes will be able to take advantage of the body_class() function to place location-specific classes on the opening <body> tag, usually located in the header.php file of most themes.

Why is this significant? Easy … this opens up the ability to change the look of nearly everything with CSS only.

Before we get into the application of the body_class() function, let’s cover some technical details first. [Read more…]

Is My Theme 2.7 Compatible?

Let me go ahead and answer the question that a LOT of people are going to be asking over the next several weeks as the release of WordPress 2.7 draws closer. Yes. Your theme, more than likely, will be compatible with WordPress 2.7.

That is to say, it won’t break under 2.7. However, this latest version of WordPress does add a good many NEW features to themes that, unless properly accounted for, your theme probably won’t be taking advantage of immediately. [Read more…]

Community, Self-Respect, and Free WordPress Themes

If you would like to know more about Elevate Themes, or would like to stay up to date with the launch schedule and FREE theme releases, please follow @elevatethemes on twitter

I’m convinced the worst feeling in the world is when you know you could have done something, yet you chose to do nothing. Over the last several months, it has become increasingly clear that my self-respect was waning, and an intense desire to do something special was overwhelming me.

You see, I’m grateful for the community that supports free software like WordPress.  It’s that community that has given me the ability to work full-time from home, enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, and make some of the best friends I’ve ever had. WordPress has dominated my life for the better part of two years, which is shocking conisdering WordPress is just blogging software.  The fact that it supports hundreds, if not thousands, of people is shocking as well.

And to that end, I’ve been feeling dissatisfied with ONLY releasing themes that cost money.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m no zealot.  I’m as capitalist as they come. But something has been bothering me lately — it just didn’t seem right that a free program, supported by a team of volunteers, was severely lacking in quality themes that were also available for free.  It seems wrong — you can get a great piece of blogging softare for free, but almost all the good themes cost money. [Read more…]

Ultimate Guide to WordPress SEO – Deep Linking

You might have noticed that throughout this series on WordPress SEO, I’ve been doing something rather peculiar.  I’ve been linking to my own content far more than I’ve been linking out.  Now, this isn’t because I’m a stingy linker.  I just happen to have a goal in the methodology I’m using in this series with links.  That strategy is called deep linking, and it is one of the best ways to not only increase SEO, but also drive visitors deeper into your blog or website.

Deep linking is the art of linking relevant keywords to related content within your own site. Essentially, you are leveraging your own site’s equity for gain.  What gain? In order to understand what is to be gained, one must first understand how links affect SEO. [Read more…]

Ultimate Guide to WordPress SEO – Keyword Density

I’ll admit that I’m no SEO expert.  When I started this series on WordPress SEO, my goal was to outline steps that I have taken in my web experience that have helped me rank for target keywords time and time again.

In reality, SEO is a lot bigger than just making a few theme modifications and optimizationKeyword density is one of those things that I understand very little about, but am very aware of its importance. [Read more…]