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In WordPress: Creating Custom Widgets and Plugins with PHP, Drew Falkman teaches PHP developers how to create custom functionality for WordPress 2.0 through 3.0 using widgets and plugins. This course starts by installing and setting up WordPress 3.0 on both Mac and Windows, then provides an in-depth look at tasks related to these WordPress add-ons: installing and administering, building and customizing, creating editable options and database tables, working with posts and pages, and utilizing jQuery and AJAX. There are also tutorials dedicated to promoting a widget or plugin, adding security, and localizing the interface. Exercise files are included with the course.
WordPress 3.0, also known as Thelonious-- named after Thelonious Monk--is the first full-numbered WordPress release since 2.0 came out back in 2005. And there is a good reason for that. WordPress 3 has a ton of new fixes and enhancements. There's over 1,200 total. One of the main things they did was they added a new redesign of the interface. They also added a new default theme, and they added a merge with WordPress MU, which essentially allows you to have not just one blog for your site, but you can actually manage 10 million blogs from the same installation.
So let's take a look at some of these new installations. First of all, just a note: keeping up with new versions of WordPress--when you become a plugin developer-- it becomes more and more important, because every time a new update comes out, some things that used to work may be disabled, and there will also be new ways that you can do things. So it's very important to keep up with the new functions and the new hooks and all that kind of stuff. And we'll get into those--what's new in 3.0--as we go throughout this course. From a high level, some of the new things they added, the new Admin is a big piece of it.
As you can see, it's a little bit lighter weight, if you're familiar with previous versions. There is actually a super admin that can be available if you flag the wp_allow_multisite in your config file, in the wpconfig. That will essentially allow you to have a super admin, from which you can go into different admins from different blogs; it's a very neat feature. The install process is a little different. You can actually walk through a wizard to set up your config file and get all your secret keys from the wizard.
The Twenty Ten Theme is a new addition. As you can see, it looks a little different from what was called Kubrick, which was the previous theme that they had, and it integrates some of the new features that come with WordPress 3, including the ability to have custom menus. You can add your own menus and customize them. You can also use customized post types. Before, pages and posts were used; now, you can use the same database that stores posts to have whatever you want.
You can add contacts, you can add a product database, all that kind of stuff. In addition, there's some short link support, there's a new update process for WordPress, as well as for plugins, and overall things seem to work more smoothly. So we're going to look throughout this course on how we can use these new features, as well as the features that already existed, to make WordPress a great tool for you to use. So overall, WordPress 3 has brought a number of new features. It brought multi-site functionality, it has a new lighter weight Admin, it has custom post taxonomies, it has the ability for customized menus, and a number of other fixes that overall should make our lives easier as WordPress users.
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