Fetching entries from your Blog’s feed

Here’s another article that covers the process of installing Feed2JS. Feed2JS is a script or tool that uses relies on an RSS feed to fetch a number of entries from that weed. This isn’t specific for any software. It can be used by any, even custom ones which support RSS.

The script works client side which is the opposite of server side. In layman’s term, a server side script does the required processing on the server where as a client side scrpt does it on the local computer. So basically what happens is that, you will be adding a script generated by this tool and you’ll be pasting it somewhere on your site. And on that location, you’ll see a bunch of posts from your blog. Cool, isn’t it?

And you wouldn’t have to worry about search engines either. Nor about adding no-follow tags to everylink. Because JavaScript is client side, google nor any other related services parse the content. As far as they are concerned, there are no links from your blog on that site. Isn’t that cool?

Using WordPress as a Content Management System

This article shows new WordPress users how to create and maintain a website by using it as a Content Management System rather than a blog publishing software. It doesn’t show you how to install WordPress but instead demonstrates its features and advantages. However if you are looking for comprehensive instructions on installing WordPress then you are in luck because I have already written a guide which covers all the details required for installing it on a website. It was written for the MadMouse blog and a link to it can be found on the following post.

Most people tend to think of WordPress as a software used only by blogs. That is far, far from the actual truth. WordPress per se is a very powerful Content Management System and not just a blogging software. If you want to create a site and you are looking for a Content Management System then its very likely WordPress will meet all your requirements. It’s well suited for most kinds of sites. Having being a WordPress developer from the past 3 years I have seen various websites of businesses and organizations being powered by it.

The main advantage of using WordPress is that it’s free to use and is released under the GPL so that means you can modify it to suit your needs. Other than that there are over 3,500 plugins available which can be used to extend its functionality. Examples of such plugins include Photo Gallery plugins, plugins to integrate a forum right into the website, Search Engine Optimization packs and more. And if you cannot find a plugin you are looking for or the ones you have found aren’t exactly what you are looking for, you still have an option of hiring a plugin developer to modify an existing plugin or create a new one from scratch. Another key factor of WordPress is its ease of use and the amount of documentation available for it. It offers superior built in features like a WYSIWYG editor, ability to upload and manage various types of media like Images, Video and Audio, assign multiple tags and categories to posts, widgetized sidebars, a plugin loader which lets you install any number of plugins, let’s your create users and assign permissions, let’s you automatically upgrade the version of the script you are currently using and many more. Also there are many companies and individuals who specialize in WordPress development.

Turning WordPress into a CMS

To make WordPress look like a CMS instead of a blog publishing software, the idea would be to remove the blog-related features of WordPress. This is not done by modifying the core files of WordPress. You will never find the need to modify any of WordPress core files even to extend its functionality. WordPress is an advanced system and lets its users extend its functionality using plugins. A plugin is independent of the core files used by WordPress. The look and feel of a WordPress site revolves a lot around the theme it uses. So basically to achieve what you want, you will need a theme created which changes the look of WordPress by removing elements like posts, comments etc. If your site will be publishing news then you can use the posts feature to maintain the news section and organize the posts into relevant categories.

By default WordPress displays your posts on the homepage but this can easily be changed from the administration panel. You can assign a static page as the Front page and if you want the posts to be shown on a different section, say under a page named Latest News, you can set the posts page to Latest News. This is done from Settings -> Reading. You’ll first need to select the radio button labeled “A static page” and then choose a page as the Front page and Posts page.

Conclusion

If you are considering about using a Content Management System for your website then it’s safe to consider WordPress as an excellent choice. There is no reason for you to spend hundreds of dollars getting a custom CMS developed. Using WordPress will save you a lot of money. All you need is a qualified professional who specializes in WordPress development so that he can create a theme for you which will transform WordPress into a CMS.

Links to pages of interest

http://wordpress.org – Home to WordPress
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ – The official WordPress plugin repository
http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/ – The official WordPress theme repository. Let’s you preview and see a demo of a theme so that you can decide which one you like before downloading it
http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Development – Instructions on developing a WordPress theme. The best resource for those of you looking to develop a custom theme

Posted on: 8th January 2009 | Comments (4)
Under: Wordpress | Tags: , ,

Dummies guide to installing WordPress

Here is a WordPress installation guide that I wrote for the MadMouse blog which covers all the details required for installing WordPress. You can read it at: Guide to installing WordPress

It covers each and every thing that is required for installing WordPress viz. downloading and unpacking WordPress to setting up an FTP connection to your website, uploading WordPress to it, creating a MySQL Database and User. By the time you are done reading this guide, you’ll have a working installation of WordPress on your website.

I’ll be writing more guides like these for the MadMouse Blog so be sure to check this site often if they will be of interest to you. You can also subscribe to my RSS feed to receive updates automatically.

Posted on: 6th January 2009 | Comments (1)
Under: Wordpress | Tags: , ,

A new year, a new look

I have just finished upgrading WordPress from the previous version to the latest i.e. 2.7. Those of you who had visited this site in the past will notice I have also changed the theme.

I was never happy with the previous design of the website and because of my busy schedule I was unable to find time to work on a new design. But finally I got some time to spare so I have given it a new look! You will clearly notice the new theme is by far more advanced than the previous one. As a matter of fact, the previous design didn’t have anything that I could refer to as advanced or complex. Let me in brief introduce the new theme to you. The homepage of the blog displays a bunch of posts using a 3 column row. And an excerpt of the content is shown instead of the regular content. It’s done like this only on the homepage. On the category page you’ll notice the posts are displayed in a regular fashion. I wanted to do something unique so that the layout looks different than most ordinary themes. Then there is the comments form which is based on the latest release of WordPress. The latest release includes a lot of new functionality that wasn’t found in the previous versions of which one is the built in support for nested comments. The other small factors I took care of are very subliminal to document or explain.

I hope all of you enjoy the new look. And don’t forget to leave a comment if you like the new design.

Posted on: 6th January 2009 | Comments (0)
Under: News, Updates and Announcements | Tags: ,