Not too long ago I wrote “Stuff I Like About My Mac“, and it was well received based upon Google Analytics. So, this will be my second “Stuff I Like” post with more to come on appropriate topics.
I have been using WordPress for about four years now. Early on I was simply an author on a system one of my team members built for me. As time went on I started installing WordPress myself and adding plugins and sometimes even hacking PHP or CSS code to do what I needed to do.
Now, this site and ColorMetrix both run on the latest and greatest versions of WordPress (no, I’m not telling that a security no no) with several spiffy plugins and several hacks of my own creation. I plan to get more detailed in subsequent posts, but here are the basics of what I like about WordPress.
- Ability to install and upgrade using Subversion. In my opinion if you are running on your own server and have command line access it is the only way to go.
- A HUGE user community that writes all kinds of how-to articles. I have yet to Google the problem or issue I am trying to resolve and not find multiple articles that at least lead me in the direction of solving the problem.
- Thesis Theme. After four years of struggling to make WordPress sites look the way I want, it is now pretty darn simple. The entire look and feel of this site is pure thesis theme right out of the box. I did use the Thesis interface to tweak a few things to achieve my look and feel. Over on the ColorMetrix site I got a bit more involved but Thesis makes that easy as well by keeping all customer PHP and CSS in two files so upgrading is a snap. Thesis is a premium theme and worth every single penny I paid for it. Disclaimer: I purchased my copy of thesis with my money. The link above is an affiliate link. If you click on the link to check Thesis out and then purchase I will be compensated. Let me say thank you in advance should you choose that route. This is the first and only product I have taken the time to sign up for an affiliate marketing program. As of today it’s the only possible way I can generate dime one on this site, I feel that strongly about Thesis.
- For locking down your WordPress install I strongly recommend these plugins; WP Security Scan and Login LockDown. It is also critical that you protect your wp-admin folder with an .htaccess file. For security reasons I am not going to tell you how mine is configured but again, Google it. Please do not ignore this point in my list, hackers are out there and they do want to attack your WordPress site (Yes, I unfortunately, have first hand knowledge).
- For social media interaction I use Twitter For WordPress which allows me to display my recent tweets over there in the far right hand column.
- Social bookmarking of all posts on this site (including this post) is accomplished via Tweet This. Very cool way to get your post mentioned on Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Shopp e-commerce plugin. Because it’s not for the WordPress beginner I have left this plugin for last. The Shop over on ColorMetrix is powered by Shopp which is a robust powerful e-commerce engine that like Thesis you have to pay for. This is NOT a plug and play plugin like most of those listed above. It took me the better part of four days to learn, tweak and configure Shopp the way I wanted it.
There you have what I like about WordPress and what makes WordPress work for the sites I build and maintain. I am by no means a WordPress expert but I am a practitioner of the craft that has found the above ideas and tools useful.