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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.
When you are working with WordPress, it's a good idea to create a local development environment, so you can code, test, and even break things without bringing down your web site. The main requisites you need to do this are a web server, a MySQL database server, and the PHP application server. The easiest way to do this is to do it all at once. Microsoft now has this all available through the WPI installation package. You can find the WordPress specific one, if you go to microsoft.com/web/gallery/WordPress.aspx. When you get there, go ahead and click Install. This will bring into the installation screen.
You can click Install Now, which will start the installation process. Go ahead and accept Run for all those, because we are just going to run the installation right away. When you get this prompt, your browser is going to say, "Would you like to run the web platform installer?" Go ahead and click that yes, you want to run it. It's an ActiveX control, so you have to approve it to run inside of your browser. And yes, you can allow this web site to open a program on your computer. When you download it, you can look and see what options you want to install in addition to WordPress.
It will default to WordPress, and any of the other things that are required, but there is also some other software that you may want to include. When you're ready, you can go ahead and click Install. Notice it will tell you that it's going to install WordPress, but then it also is required to install some other tools, including PHP, a web server, and MySQL. Once you've reviewed this, go ahead and accept the License Terms, assuming of course, you agree with them. Whatever your password that you would like to have for MySQL, go ahead and enter it here.
You're now going to wait for it to download and install each of the different components. Once you've completed the installation, the web platform installation is actually going to prompt you for some configuration for your WordPress site, so you can determine how you want to set it up. New Web Site is just going to be the default web site, et cetera. In this case, I am going to keep the WordPress installation and everything else to be the default.
You are going to choose your database, which is going to default to MySQL, which is correct. Then you can decide whether you want to create a new database or whether you want to use an existing database. Since we just downloaded and installed it, they are no existing databases, so you can leave it to create a new database. You are going to need to define which username you're going to use to access the database. If you don't have administrator access, just use your database username, but since we've just installed it, you are going to have set up the root password. So make sure to enter what you put for the root password.
The database server is going to be located in localhost; you can keep this the same. If you want to change the name of your database, you can do this here. You can enter a unique key for passwords and secure passwords, authentication if you like. Even if you are using root, you are going to have to create a new username, so go ahead and put a password in, and if you want to change the user, you can do that as well, and then continue when you are ready to go.
Once you're done, it will give you this 'success,' and you can go ahead and launch WordPress. So now you can see it's loaded up WordPress at your localhost, in the WordPress directory or whatever directory you decided. You can now set it up just as we do any other WordPress web site.
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