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Zend Blog:
Developing a Z-Ray Extension
February 25, 2015 @ 11:54:41

Zend recently introduced their Z-Ray inspection tool that allows you to see inside your application and know what's happening in your code, your database and has support for major PHP projects. In this new post to their blog they show you how to develop a custom extension for the Z-Ray system.

One of the coolest features in Z-Ray is the ability to plug in your own extensions. Meaning, you can customize existing Z-Ray panels or add your own personalized Z-Ray panel for displaying information you think is important for developing your specific application. This short tutorial will describe how to write a basic extension for Z-Ray. More specifically, we'll be writing a Z-Ray extension for WordPress that extracts and displays a list of loaded WordPress plugins.

They give you a list of things you'll need to set up before you can get started including a simple WordPress installation on a Zend Server instance. With these in place they help you create the "zray.php" file to define the extension, how to enable it and setting up a "trace" on a function to hook it into the execution. They then dump the WP plugin information and reformat it a bit to show only the list of names and versions in the output panel. As a last touch, they add a logo to the panel to show in the bottom menubar with the WordPress logo.

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Link: http://blog.zend.com/2015/02/25/developing-z-ray-extension

NetTuts.com:
Using Plugins to Speed Up WordPress
February 23, 2015 @ 09:54:06

On the NetTuts.com site today they've posted the first part of their "Speeding Up WordPress" series - Using Plugins to Speed Up WordPress. In this start to the series, they show you how to use two methods to speed up your WordPress installation: using caching and database optimization.

One of the most popular talking points in the WordPress community is speeding up WordPress and optimizing web pages. I don't think there is a WordPress blog without an "X Tips to Speed Up WordPress" article. Don't get me wrong, it's a good thing. But we need better articles about this topic instead of dull plugin round-ups. This may look like yet another "tips for speeding up WordPress" tutorial, but in this three-part series, we're going to go through every aspect of optimizing and speeding up your WordPress website.

They start with caching and show how do both client and server-side caching using techniques both inside and outside of WordPress itself. They also link to two plugins to help with the server-side handling. Following the caching talk they look at optimizing the database. They point you towards the WP-Optimize plugin as the best way to squeeze the most performance from your database (without breaking how WordPress works).

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/using-plugins-to-speed-up-wordpress--cms-22055

NetTuts.com:
When You're Hacked in WordPress Staying Safe Later On
February 20, 2015 @ 14:19:00

NetTuts.com has posted the second part in their "When You're Hacked - WordPress" tutorial series today with this new article showing you how to stay safe once you've recovered from the initial attack.

n the first part of this series, we went through what to do when your website gets hacked. In this second part, we're going to learn about staying safe and being able to act quickly when another unpleasant incident happens.

They start by answering the overarching question everyone wants to know about WordPress (as it relates to security) - "is it safe?" They follow this with some recommendations to help keep your install safe including:

  • Staying Up to Date
  • Using Safe Plugins & Themes
  • Using a Security-Related WordPress Plugin

Check out the rest of the article for the full list and a quick summary of each, some with links to the actual tools and plugins to help you protect your installation.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/when-youre-hacked-in-wordpress-staying-safe-later-on--cms-22748

NetTuts.com:
When You're Hacked in WordPress Dealing With a Hacked WordPress Site
February 19, 2015 @ 10:50:30

On the NetTuts.com site today there's a new tutorial showing you what you can do when your WordPress site is hacked.

One of the worst things that can happen to your website just happened: It's been hacked. Somebody broke into your computer and got passwords, or your passwords were weak, or somebody exploited a security vulnerability caused by WordPress or your hosting provider, or something else happened that let a hacker hack your website...What do we do now? It's not the time to feel sorry for yourself, it's time to take action and bring back your website.

They start with a brief look at how a WordPress site might be hacked, not specific exploits, but topics and types of vulnerabilities. Following this they talk about thier recommended steps to do when the hack is discovered including:

  • Shut It Down NOW!
  • Contact Your Hosting Provider for Details
  • Find Out What Caused It and Take Action
  • Fix and Double-Check Everything and Go Live Again

Each step comes with a summary of the steps inside and even a "checklist" of things to verify before bringing the site back up.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/when-youre-hacked-in-wordpress-dealing-with-a-hacked-wordpress-site--cms-22747

NetTuts.com:
Installing and Using PHPMyAdmin with WordPress
January 06, 2015 @ 11:27:04

The NetTuts.com site has a new tutorial showing you how to get PHPMyAdmin and WordPress up and working together. They show how it can be used to aid in a low level kind of administration of the WordPress data not available through the WordPress interface.

PHPMyAdmin - or PMA - is an excellent free, open source web-based database client which can be used to interact more easily with MySQL and WordPress databases. I'll describe how to install it, secure it and some common scenarios with which it can assist you in WordPress administration.

They walk you through all the steps you'll need to get it up and running (and playing nicely together):

  • Installing PHPMyAdmin
  • Install apache2-utils to use htaccess/htpasswd
  • Change the Apache configuration's AllowOverride setting
  • Creating the database for the WordPress installation
  • Backing up the database

There's also some other helpful topics like doing a site migration, reset your administrator password and doing search and replace cross multiple records (posts).

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/installing-and-using-phpmyadmin-with-wordpress--cms-21944

NetTuts.com:
Using Google Two-Factor Authentication With WordPress
January 05, 2015 @ 13:38:39

NetTuts.com has a new tutorial for the WordPress users out there wanting to enhance the security of their application. In it they show you how to set up Google's two-factor authentication as a part of your standard login prompt.

Brute force login attacks targeting WordPress sites are quite common, such as in April 2013 when more than 90,000 sites were targeted. There are a handful of good ways to protect yourself against these attacks: choosing a strong administrator password and installing a plugin that guards against brute force logins, such All in One WP Security or BruteProtect Changing the default wp-admin url with a plugin such as HC Custom URL. However, I prefer to use a two-factor authentication method that requires a code from my phone to complete the login process.

Thanks to a handy WordPress plugin, adding in support is relatively easy. They walk you through the installation of the plugin, activation and how to set up your Google Authenticator (or similar) application on your mobile device via a scannable QR code.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/using-google-two-factor-authentication-with-wordpress--cms-22263

NetTuts.com:
Integrating Zendesk With WordPress
November 14, 2014 @ 11:31:41

The NetTuts.com site has a new tutorial posted today showing how to integrate Zenddesk with WordPress, making it easier to handle customer relationships directly from your WordPress applications.

Timely and efficient customer service is one of the core components of any successful business. With multiple customer touch points and interaction platforms like blogs, social networks, email etc., keeping track of what your customers are saying about your services is becoming harder by the day. For this reason, managing all your customer communication from a centralised platform has become a mandatory business requirement. Zendesk is one of the leading web based customer support and relationship management services with more than 40,000 companies as registered clients, including Shopify and Groupon.

They start with some of the benefits about using Zenddesk for those not familiar with the software (including email management, blog integration and live chat). From there they walk you through a few steps to get the integration up and running using the Zendesk WordPress plugin. They include screenshots of the setup and some of the configuration options you can use to customize the install.

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Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/integrating-zendesk-with-wordpress--cms-21411

Voices of the ElePHPant:
Interview with Andrew Nacin
October 14, 2014 @ 11:15:55

The Voices of the ElePHPant podcast has posted their latest community interview where host Cal Evans talks with Andrew Nacin, one of the core contributors to WordPress.

They talk about Andrew's work on WordPress and how he got into the project (and core development). They also talk some about the history of WordPress and the work being done to track it all down. There's also a mention of the "Modern WordPress" talk and the evolution of WordPress through the years.

You can listen to this latest episode either using the in-page audio player or by grabbing the mp3 directly and listening at your leisure. Be sure to subscribe to their feed to get the latest interviews as they're released.

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Link: http://voicesoftheelephpant.com/2014/10/14/interview-with-andrew-nacin/

NetTuts.com:
A Practical Use of WordPress Global Variables
September 23, 2014 @ 11:54:09

On the NetTuts.com site there's a new post (a part of a series) that introduces you to the global variables available in WordPress and provides a practical use for them.

In the first article in this series, we reviewed an introduction to WordPress global variables. Specifically, we said that they are variables that hold a variety information that can be accessed from anywhere in the WordPress page lifecycle. We learned how to access a global variable and display various details about the latest post using the $post global variable. In today's article, we will dive further into global variables by learning how to access them to display the author information.

In this post they focus on extracting user (author) data from the system via the "authordata" global variable. He shows an example of a print_r output of the data it contains and use this to filter posts, only showing three per-author.

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wordpress global variable author information authordata

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/a-practical-use-of-wordpress-global-variables--cms-20854

NetTuts.com:
Understanding and Working with Relationships Between Data in WordPress
August 01, 2014 @ 09:21:54

NetTuts.com has posted the second part of their series looking at the "guts" of a typical WordPress installation. In the first part they gave an overview of the structure and contents of the various database tables. In this second part they get more into the relationships between them.

In the first part of this series on data in WordPress, I gave an overview of the WordPress database tables, and which tables are used to store what kind of data. In this second part, I'll outline how WordPress manages the relationships between that data. As you'll see, WordPress uses three kinds of data relationship - one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many. I'll look at each of these and what they mean for your WordPress site.

He goes through each of the relationship types and includes examples from the WordPress database to illustrate them. He then gets into a bit more depth, talking about the specifics of some relationships like: posts-to-users, posts-to-comments, comment-to-comment and the structure of the many-to-many relationships too.

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wordpress series data database relationship tutorial part2

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/understanding-and-working-with-relationships-between-data-in-wordpress--cms-20632


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