Category Archives: WordPress

Resolving WordPress Twenty Thirteen Disqus Plugin placement issues

WordPress’ new 2013 theme is fantastic, but if you’re also using the Disqus plugin, it’s quite likely you’ve noticed an issue with its placement.

Rather than sitting nicely under the main content, it spreads out and occupies the space visually reserved for the sidebar. forum thread details some fixes, but I found a quick CSS addition fixed the problem.  Simply add this to the bottom of the 2013 Theme’s stylesheet:

#disqus_thread {
    max-width: 1040px;
    padding: 0 376px 0 60px;

This should push the area under the left column and respond appropriately.

I also made a small change to the single.php file, because I feel the ‘post nav’ is better suited to being placed after the comments.  Simply modify the loop of that file to this:

<?php while ( have_posts() ) : the_post(); ?>
  <?php get_template_part( 'content', get_post_format() ); ?>
  <?php comments_template(); ?>
  <?php twentythirteen_post_nav(); ?>
<?php endwhile; ?>

I swapped the order of the comments_template() and twentythirteen_post_nav() function calls.

Hope this helps!

Moving over to Disqus

A quick post to say that I’ve just migrated my blog’s comments over to Disqus; the whole thing was a lot less painful than I imagined, and I wished I’d done it ages ago.

If you’ve been living in a cave for a while, you’ll not know that Disqus is an online discussion and commenting service for websites. It powers the comments systems for many popular blogs as well as CNN and The Daily Telegraph, so the only thing holding me back was the thought of problems.

I needed a couple of links to get what I needed:

The first was an idiot’s guide to the migration, whilst the second was a useful tip to get rid of those ads (that appear by default.)

WordPress Plugin Development – Book Review

WordPress Plugin Development

WordPress has gone from strength to strength since it was released in 2003, and much of its success is due to the open source community’s commitment to plugin development. Take a look at the WordPress Plugin Directory, and you’ll see thousands of plugins that extend the WordPress core to do almost anything you can imagine.

Packt Publishing‘s WordPress Plugin Development is written by Vladimir Prelovac, a WordPress expert and developer of WordPress plug-ins such as Smart YouTube and Plugin Central. Part of Packt’s Beginners Guide series, the book focuses more on experimentation and learning by doing, and develops 6 real-world plugins throughout its 270 or so pages.

Chapter Overview

  1. Preparing for WordPress Development
  2. Social Bookmarking
  3. Live Blogroll
  4. The Wall
  5. Snazzy Archives
  6. Insights for WordPress
  7. Post Types
  8. Development Goodies

Aimed at developers who are familiar with PHP, the book wastes little time getting straight into coding. Chapter 1 gives an overview of plugin development, and details the six plugins that are developed throughout the course of the book.

  1. Digg This

    The first plugin simply shows a Digg button in blog posts. It’s a good first plugin, since it shows the reader the fundamental Plugin concepts such as the WordPress API, filters and actions.

  2. Live Blogrool

    This plugin works at making the basic Blogroll a little bit more exciting. I enjoyed this chapter since it talked about integrating jQuery and AJAX into plugins.

  3. The Wall

    The Wall is a plugin that creates a shoutbox on your blog’s sidebar, where users can leave comments and shouts. This chapter introduces widgets and the WordPress database.

  4. Snazzy Archives

    This plugin beautifies blog archives, and hooks into posts and the administration panel.

  5. Insights

    The insights plugin increases blog post writing productivity by offering quick access to common information in the Write Post screen.

  6. Post Types

    This plugin works closely with the WordPress back-end, and extends the platform’s CMS capabilities. Despite WordPress 3.0′s core functionality being extended in this area, it’s still a useful chapter.

As fantastic as WordPress is, a real sense of power can be gained from extending it. I particularly enjoyed this book, since it got straight ‘down to business’ and focused on the core concepts and practices that enable developers to create reliable, useful plugins.

WordPress 2.7 Cookbook – Book Review

WordPress 2.7 Cookbook

Packt Publishing’s WordPress 2.7 Cookbook has been out for while now, but I still thought I’d pick up a copy and give it the once-over. Rather than being a reference guide, Jean-Baptiste Jung‘s book is very much like his very own website.

The book is organised into 11 Chapters:

  1. Getting Ready to Cook with WordPress
  2. Finding and Installing Themes
  3. Get the most out of your WordPress Theme
  4. Doing anything with Plugins and Widgets
  5. Displaying Posts
  6. Managing and Enhancing Multi-Author Blogs
  7. Securing your WordPress Blog
  8. SEO Tips and Tricks to Get More Visits
  9. Making Money with WordPress
  10. Enhancing User Experience
  11. Make your Blog stand out

Some of the recipes include integrating twitter on your theme using the Twitter Tools plugin, accessing post data outside the WordPress loop and securing your plugins directory. The recipes are generally between 1 and 4 pages in length, and there is lots of useful information in the book’s 280 or so pages of content, but it’s just the sort of thing that’s freely available on the website and other popular sites such as Smashing Magazine.

If you are after a large collection of recipes in a single package, this is the book for you, but if you’re happy reading WordPress blogs about WordPress such as website, you may feel a little short-changed.

Digging into WordPress – version 2.0 released

If you haven’t read my review of Digging into WordPress, you may not know that I think it’s currently the best WordPress book available.

One thing I didn’t mention in the review is that when you buy it, you’re entitled to free PDF updates for life. Perhaps I left out this because I thought it would amount to the odd grammar correction and so on. Worthwhile, but not that exciting. How wrong I was, because as co-author Chris Coyier announces on the Digging into WordPress site, version 2.0 has been released and it promises an extra chapter dedicated to WordPress 2.9, as well as one called ‘Bonus Tricks’, which focuses on ‘some cool new tricks for your themes’. Included with the download are six WordPress themes too! I’ve only skimmed through the new pages, but the high quality writing and content is preserved.

If you haven’t already grabbed yourself a copy, you should do yourself a favour and buy it!