WordPress is a great blog application, this page is for the tweaks and pluggins that I use and like to have around.


Arranging the navigation in a blog is something of an art form. A recent update (I think it is at least), it to allow the display of sub-pages in a section only.

SVN updates

I’ve found that updating by SVN is a real time saver, removing the whole FTP process. I leaves the wp-content directory alone, so once you’ve got it setup with:

svn co http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/tags/2.3.3/ .

(The dot at the end means the current directory, rather than creating a sub-folder.)

Updates are as simple as running this on the command line in the HTML root directory:

svn sw http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/tags/2.3.3/

(Where 2.3.3 is the latest version). Then you just run the upgrade script:


Getting 404’s to provide the correct header

For some reason wordpress’ default 404 page sends out a ‘200’ everything’s ok HTTP header. Not good. However, adding this to the head of the 404 template sorts it out:

<?php header("HTTP/1.0 404 Not Found"); ?>

Highlighting author’s comments

To add a class to your own comments, simply use an if statement in the class attribute’s value”, usually in comments.php in your theme. The whole li would then be (on one line):

<li class="<?php echo $oddcomment;
if ($comment->comment_author_email == "you@example.com")
echo ' author';  ?>"
id="comment-<?php comment_ID() ?>">

Note the space before the author class. (Originally found from a WordPress support post, but altered slightly.)

Changing the website domain

If you have a local version of your blog running, you can copy the files and database happily enough (e.g. with mysqlhotcopy), but WordPress re-writes all the links based on the database entry for your URL.

You could change that in the settings, but it’s really difficult to get to, I prefer to change it in the database. Log into MySQL (usually with mysql -u root -p), then do this:

mysql> use YourDataBaseName; mysql> select option_value from wp_options where option_name = 'home'; mysql> update wp_options SET option_value='http://NewLocation' where option_name = 'home'; mysql> update wp_options SET option_value='http://NewLocation' where option_name = 'siteurl';

NB: Change the value of NewLocation to your new URL. Those commands show you the current location, then set the base URL, then the homepage (which can be different, but usually isn’t).

The other way of doing it is in the wp-config.php, which overrides the database settings, which is probably a better option for transporting sites. Add these with the other ‘define’ statements:

define('WP_SITEURL', 'http://example.com'); define('WP_HOME', 'http://examples.com');

The codex page on wp-config is quite useful for this and other configurations.

Exporting the content as HTML

By default WordPress will export the content & excerpts as mark-down crossed with HTML, i.e. missing the paragraph tags. I wasn’t to keen on this, so found the function that displays the content in the site, and applied that to the export.

If you open the file /wp-admin/includes/export.php, look for two lines that begin with:

<content:encoded> <excerpt:encoded>

Then you are basically adding the function wpautop to that. In the last version of WordPress I used (around 3.0) I did that with:

 <content:encoded><?php echo wxr_cdata( apply_filters( 'the_content_export', wpautop($post->post_content) ) ); ?></content:encoded> <excerpt:encoded><?php echo wxr_cdata( apply_filters( 'the_excerpt_export', wpautop($post->post_excerpt) ) ); ?></excerpt:encoded> 

NB: The lines above are long so you can copy-paste, but you might need to scroll right to read it. That should make the exported XML file use HTML.

Making WordPress a library

Most of the steps in the codex (Giving WordPress its own folder) will do the job, however, there is one gotcha if you’d like to use WordPress as a library (i.e. run several blogs off one install).

If you put WordPress somewhere several sites can use and create a SymLink to WordPress, it will still look for the wp-config.php in the folder where WordPress is, not the folder your site is in.

To solve this, add your wp-config.php in your site’s root, and then create wp-config.php in your wordpress folder, and put this in it:

<?php include $_SERVER['DOCUMENT_ROOT'] . '/wp-config.php' ?>

The other gotcha is that you need to fill in the Misc settings, and put the full directory path to your uploads folder.

Styling your RSS feed

If someone clicks through to your RSS feed, it’s pretty confusing to see a straight XML file. You can use XSL to provide a nice page and instruction on how to use the feed.