Batch Plugin-Update in WordPress 2.9

In the past we have already informed you a little bit about the new features of the upcoming 2.9 version of WordPress - the development does not stop and the next version has many minor changes. Improvements in security, administration.

WordPress 2.9 will have the possibility to update all your Plugins, which have an update available, in one step.
That makes maintenance work with customer's and on your own blog more simple and faster. As a little insight, here is a screenshot of the current beta.

plugin-update-29

Check If Required Plugin Is Active

It might be, that your own written Plugin requires another stand alone Plugin to be active. For example if you like to offer a version with enhanced functionality of a Plugin. There are certainly a variety of usage and the implementation is not difficult.

For the implementation, we need the active Plugins, which are found in the database, table options, the active_plugins. Afterwards, I will simply look in the array, which contains the active Plugins, whether the required plugin included and active or not:

$plugins = get_option('active_plugins');
$required_plugin = 'debug_queries/debug_queries.php';
$debug_queries_on = FALSE;
if ( in_array( $required_plugin , $plugins ) ) {
	$debug_queries_on = TRUE; // Example for yes, it's active
}

Change the WordPress Message

The notifications of WordPress for the author of an article or comments are not always right on the spot according to the needs. WordPress also knew that and created these functions so that it's easy to adapt notifications to your needs or can completely be replaced. Therefore, I will briefly show how to adjust the mails to your needs.

The two functions wp_notify_postauthor() and wp_notify_moderator() are used to send messages, but can be replaced. You can find these two functions in wp-includes/pluggable.php and there are all the functions included, which WordPress queries (if ( !function_exists('set_current_user') )), so that you can replace it easily. Therefore, it is a simple task to adjust the notifications in your WordPress installation.

wp-mail
Continue reading …

Use WordPress Cache

WordPress has an internal cache, also for extensions can be used. There are various functions available and you don't have to create something new, you can easily use the cache functionality of WordPress.
To get to know and understand the features a little bit, I use a small example, therefore I cache in the following tutorial a feed, which should be displayed in the frontend.

All functions of cache are in the Codex by WordPress listed, so a look at the Codex is worthwhile if you deal with the syntax.

The first cache solution came with WordPress 2.3 and was file based. The cache was optional and had some parameters to configure.
You were able to activate via following constant: define ( 'ENABLE_CACHE', true);
Continue reading …

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.
Continue reading …

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!