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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.
If you've never done so, installing WordPress is a pretty straightforward process, although having said that, I have had some times in the past that have been difficult, but things have gotten easier on the way and hopefully, walking through this with you, I can help you to avoid any potential 'gotchas' that might come up. I am assuming that you have already installed MAMP or WAMP, which have the underlying PHP and MySQL Server. If you have not, there are videos in how to do that you can go through. A good place to start, in terms of reference, is in the Codex of WordPress, which is their documents.
There is a page at codex.wordpress.org/ installing_WordPress that can help you with any 'gotchas' that might come up or if you have an environment that's different than the one we're using. On Mac, the first thing you are going to need to do is install the database. In MAMP, the main MAMP screen has a link to the phpMyAdmin, which allows you to access your database. We are going to need to create a new database where all of our WordPress data is going to be stored. So on the main screen, there is a Create new database dialog.
So you can type in 'wp_test,' and you can keep these defaults. Go ahead and click Create. So now our database has been created. So, we're ready to install WordPress. So we have downloaded the ZIP file, which contains all of the WordPress files, so you can go ahead and double-click and extract those. We are going to move these into the root of our web directory. So in Mac, it's in the Applications directory, in the MAMP directory, and there is a folder in there called htdocs, where all the HTTP files are stored, and you can drop it in.
If you want to name it something different, you are more than welcome to. The default name is WordPress; you may want to call it whatever the name of your blog is. Just keep note that this will be part of the URL, when you go to access your web site. The next step will be to go to that installation. An easy way to do this is actually to have this create a configuration file for you; however, it's probably in your best interest to learn how to create it on your own. So if you look in your installation, you can see there is wp-config-sample.php, and we are going to want to edit this file.
Let's go ahead for now and just open it in TextEdit and yes, you can open it. There is just a few configurations that you need to set here. The first one is the name of your database. So, I called mine wp_test; whatever you called yours, you'll enter there, and then access to the database. By default, if you have the default installation of MAMP, you are going to have root for the username and root for the password, and that will be just fine. Everything else you can leave for the default, and then you're going to need these secret keys.
These are used for the cookies to essentially validate to your domain. There is an easy way to get these. You can go to this web site that's listed in the document, go ahead, and copy it, and then go back to your web browser, open a new tab, and paste it in. When you load this, you will then get all of your keys, which you can then highlight, copy, and go back to TextEdit and just paste it over these samples here.
So now you are all set. You want to save this as wp-config and you save it as .php. When you're finished, go ahead and save the file as and remove the sample, and save it as wp-config.php. Now, we can go back to our browser and our install page, which is whatever your install directory is /wp-admin/install.php.
If you reload it, you will see that it detected your config file, so now it's ready to set you up. So you're going to give a name for your site, which you can call 'WordPress plugins,' or whatever you like, a username and a password--make sure to pick something that you can remember and that also, especially if you're up live, is secure-- and then in e-mail, this is going to be the default administrator e-mail that's going to be used by your web site. Don't worry; you can change all of these things later in the admin. And then we are going to uncheck this which determines whether or not search engines are going to look at your web site.
When you are done, click Install WordPress. WordPress has now been installed, so you can go ahead and log in with your username and password, and here we are in the WordPress 3.0 dashboard. One other note that I wanted to go over: if you're not installing something on your local development server, that's okay; you can do this all via FTP. The directories will basically be the same with wp-admin and all that, and the installation process will, for the most part, be the same.
But most likely, the database is going to be configured by your hosting provider. Other than that, everything is going to work pretty much the same, only you are going to be uploading it, instead of just saving it to the local file. So that's the basic process of installing WordPress. It's definitely to your advantage to have a local version of WordPress, so that you can back things up and break things and undo things and not have to worry about being in the live environment and that kind of thing. So I highly recommend this part of the process, and let's go on to develop some plugins.
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