Change WordPress Mail Sender

WordPress makes it easy and fast to add new users in the backend. Since version 2.8 of WordPress, it can send the access information via email. A nice feature, with no additional settings to change the sender of this email. For example the email should be send from the administrator instead from WordPress.

Nevertheless, there is a possibility and with the help of two hooks, the sender can be changed. I created a small Plugin, where you can easy and simple adjust the sender name and sender email.
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Join To Design A Graphic For The New Maintenance Mode Plugin

The Maintenance Mode Plugin "!Wartungsmodus" is a very often used Plugin but I hardly changed it for a long time. But not long ago David Hellmann came up with a wonderful design proposal and I created the Plugin completely new with different options. From now on you can pick the design for the maintenance page. Also, you can choose various options without changing the code.

A short description of the Plugin:

It adds a maintenance-page to your blog that lets visitors know your blog is down for maintenance. User with rights for theme-options get full access to the blog including the frontend. This Plugin writes nothing in your database! Activate the Plugin and your blog is in maintenance-mode. Nevertheless, it was important to me that it is simple and easy to use, and so there is no separate page in the backend just for the settings. You can adjust the settings right below the Plugin in the Plugin list.

maintenance-mode-backend

Where you can come in!

Also, I built the site so it is quite simple to add new designs, which brought me to the idea: Send me your design proposals to info [at] wpengineer.com, and I build them into the Plugin.

Aktiv Maintenance-Mode with Theme "The Truck" and german language

How does it work?

To create new designs for the maintenance mode, I need the stylesheet from you and the relevant images, if necessary. If the text "Maintenance Mode" is an image, I also would need the image in PSD format so I can change it to English and German as an image (PNG or JPG), because the Plugin should work multilingual.

But if you are just a designer with no CSS knowledge, we are also happy if your provide us a cool design without the CSS.

Now, however, to write the CSS, it is necessary to follow the markup. Based on this markup, I would like to get a stylesheet from you.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="de" lang="de" id="wartungsmodus" >

<head>
    <title>Blogname - Maintenance Mode</title>
</head>

<body>

    <div id="header">
        <p>WP Dev</p>
    </div>

    <div id="content">

        <h1>Maintenance Mode</h1>
        <p>Sorry for the inconvenience.<br />Our website is currently undergoing scheduled maintenance.<br /><strong>Please try back in 231 weeks.</strong><br />Thank you for your understanding.</p>
        <div class="admin"><a href="http://example.com/wp-admin/">Admin-Login</a></div>
    </div>

    <div id="footer">
        <p><a href="http://bueltge.de/">Plugin by: <img src="http://bueltge.de/favicon.ico" alt="bueltge.de" width="16" height="16" /></a></p>
    </div>

</body>
</html>

But as a normal user you can also add your own stylesheet and add the URL of this style to the options of the Plugin. Write your style according to this markup and upload to your webspace; after that add the URL including http:// to the settings of this Plugin and change the theme to "My Theme":

What are the benefits to provide a design?

I'm sure many will ask. I just hope that you recognize the value for you and the community. You get recognition by our readers and users of this Plugin. In addition, I will of course list the authors of the designs on the Plugin page at wordpress.org. Optional is a link on the site, if the maintenance mode is active, so depending on the design, the favicon of the designer is listed. Since the Plugin is under GNU license, it is possible to disable the link in the backend of WordPress.

Last but not least not to forget it is fun and should not be difficult to create a graphic or CSS for the design.

Active Maintenance-Mode with Theme "The Sun"

Time frame?

Basically, you can always send me new designs info [at] wpengineer.com, I will install them after review. But beginning of September we will let our readers vote for the best Maintenance Mode design and the top 10 designs will be included in the Plugin. It would be great if you can send your designs by August 31st!

Please send your design as ZIP file with all the data to info [at] wpengineer.com. We really appreciate your contribution!

I'm anxious to see your ideas and creativity!

Joomla Fireboard to WordPress WP-FORUM Converter

Not long ago, we introduced a script by Marco to convert your Joomla content to WordPress. Now Marco from solariz.de adapted the script to convert your content of Joomla Fireborad to WordPress WP-Forum.

It works exactly like the Joomla converter, it is also not a "click & ready" script, basic knowledge of PHP are needed in order to achieve the conversion. It is important that the WP-Forum is empty before you start to convert.

Short instructions:

  1. Install WP-Forum in your WordPress system
  2. Create categories and sub-forums
  3. Download script, unpack and upload to the server
  4. Adjust the accompanying config.php
  5. Go through the settings in config.php step by step and set the preferences
  6. On line 37 / 38 enter the source ID of the Fireboard forum and the ID of the WP-Forum
  7. Execute the converter

After a successful conversion you should see something like this:

  • Converting Category 5 to 3
  • Processing 17 Threads
  • Inserted 17 Threads
  • Inserted 84 Posts

If it was successful, please repeat step 6 and 7 with all your forums.

Then you should be done!

You can download the script at the bottom of his German article.

WordPress Updates via FTP on Windows XAMPP installations

Sometimes I have the need to simulate an ordinary hoster environment that behaves the same way as a real one would do. This also includes the automatic update behavior WordPress shows for Core, Plugins or Themes. In most cases this is useful for testing purpose but also to create tutorial screencasts like "How to use WordPress."
But if you ever tried Windows XAMPP installations, you may know, that you are not able to show the FTP update mask like your hosting would do.

That's why I was searching a solution and was ending up with writing a new Plugin for internal testing purpose.
It extends the "Dashboard" -> "Settings" -> "General Settings" with following option:
admin-general-settings-extension

If you enable this option, your local Windows based installation of XAMPP (WordPress) will ask you now at every update with the well known FTP update mask about your credentials. But it's not done by enabling this option, you will need at least a well configured FileZilla FTP Server doing the required work for you too.
Once you have configured a user, his/her home dir and access rights, WordPress will update from now on all affected components as expected but now using FTP.

The Plugin has been tested only a few days, so we are still at QA phase, but we would share this, if there is any demand for it.
Please let us know, if you are interested in. If we get a significant amount of requests, we (or especially I) will publish it on my blog Code Styling Project. This would include also a complete description, how to configure the FileZilla Server based on a simple example.

This is my first article at WP Engineer as new member. It may be a bit technical but my main work is normally developing solutions. I hope, it's interesting for you nevertheless.

Warning Message For Self Customized Plugins

Now and then you have to modify an existing Plugin for your own special needs. But you still get a message if an update exists for the original Plugin. If you modified the Plugin several month ago and you forgot about it, so you update the Plugin and all your modifications are gone. Most of the time you have a backup, but even though it's annoying to upload the customized Plugin again after you realized the original Plugin is not exactly what you want. Therefore you can paste a little function in the specified Plugin to display a warning right after the update message. So you won't forget, that you modified this Plugin a while ago.

plugin-modified-warning-small

function my_update_notice() {
	$info = __( 'ATTENTION! Plugin was modified.', MY_TEXTDOMAIN );
	echo '<span class="spam">' . strip_tags( $info, '<br><a><b><i><span>' ) . '</span>';
}

if ( is_admin() )
	add_action( 'in_plugin_update_message-' . plugin_basename(__FILE__), 'my_update_notice' );