Choosing WordPress: “She’s got guts”

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Wordpress as a CMS

In the previous article in this series I introduced the first reason for why I chose to use WordPress as the engine for three CMS-like sites that I designed recently. I wrote about the theming/template system in WordPress – the “looks”. In this article I’m going to talk about the “guts” of WordPress.

Why I chose WordPress

2. The Guts

When I refer to guts, I mean the following things that are “inside” the WordPress engine:

i. File Structure

From the perspective of a newbie developer, the WordPress file structure greatly aids in comprehending where things are and what files need to be edited/looked at in the development process. The fact that directory trees and file names are descriptive of their function cuts down on a lot of the guesswork into where things are located.

Here’s the layout of the directory tree structure:

/wordpress (root): You’ll find all the main configuration and base level files such as config.php (database settings), wp-blog-header.php (calls necessary includes and header information), and various feed related files among others. I’m not going to go into detail about each of the files but I’ll just mention that for the most part, the files in the root wordpress directory are what WordPress accesses when initializing.

Organize Series Bug Fix: Disappearing Content

Thanks to Thomas Sutton, I became aware of a bug in the plugin that caused the post content for all posts to disappear when the auto-tag toggle for the series-meta was disabled. I’ve updated the .zip file for the download – which you can get quickly here. The only file that needs to be replaced is orgSeries.php.

Or if you are comfortable editing .php files do the following in the orgSeries.php file:

Find,
if($settings['auto_tag_seriesmeta_toggle']) {
$content = wp_seriesmeta_write($postID) . $content;
return $content;
}

which is at about line 375 (to 378)

ADD (at line 379 right before the })
return $content;

That’s it! I really apologize for that bug. It is something I should have noticed earlier. Thanks Thomas for pointing it out!

What Happens When Children Lead – Christianity.ca

Reading the article, What Happens When Children Lead by Patrice Wheeler was exciting for me because it matches the desire I have for children in my own church (and of course my own kids).? Patrice writes about taking some children from the children’s ministry at her church (Scarborough Gospel Temple) on a Short Term Missions trip to Trinidad.? The team consisted of five children aged 11 to 13 and two other adults and as Patrice writes in her article, the children were very involved in the actual ministry on the trip.? Not only that but the preparation leading up to, and the followup afterwards involved not only the children on the team but other children from the church as well in various support activities for the trip.

What excited me in reading this article is to see these young children not only encouraged to be involved in ministry but also released to serve in ministry.? In other words, this church didn’t only talk about wanting to see their kids doing ministry but they actually equipped them and released them into opportunities to serve.

Save Time on Passports

This entry is part 4 of 27 in the series Zimbabwe 2007 Project

Yesterday I made the journey to the Canada Passport office in Kitchener with one of the other team members, Alex Pendergast, so that we could get our passport applications handed in and begin the processing. Ordinarily I wouldn’t post something as mundane as this but we learned something that I think will be beneficial for anyone looking to get their Canada Passport in the next few months and so here’s the post.

Due to a recent U.S. Law entitled the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), Canadians who want to travel to the United States are now required to have their passport (currently only required if traveling into the U.S. by air, but in 2008 will be required for border crossings as well). As a result the passport applications have skyrocketed and the wait time for getting passports has gone up as well. Not only that, but you can expect when going to a passport office to deliver the application in person (which speeds up the actual processing time vs. mailing in the application), that there will be a long waiting line for that as well.

Choosing WordPress: “ooo doesn’t she LOOK fine?”

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Wordpress as a CMS

In the previous article in this series I gave a summary of some of the core differences between a CMS (content management system) and a blogging engine. I talked about some of the cases where one system is more preferable over the other when designing websites. In the conclusion to the article I mentioned that in light of what I had just written, it would have made more sense for me to go with a CMS for the website designs of Hanover Pentecostal Church, UnashamedSermons.com, and VigliottiWoodworking. Yet, as can be observed from the title of the series I obviously used WordPress instead. This article will focus on the first reason for why I made that choice.

But before I get to that I’ll give a quick rundown of some of the requirements that needed to be considered for each site.

UnashamedSermons.com
UnashamedSermons.com UnashamedSermons.com is where I host all the various sermons I have (and still am!) written and preached while pastoring at my church. There were predominately two purposes for me creating UnashamedSermons. One, I wanted a place where I could archive all my messages and access it for personal reference. Two, I wanted to make available to as many people possible these messages in the hopes more people would be impacted.

The dreaded needle…

This entry is part 3 of 27 in the series Zimbabwe 2007 Project

Well today I got my (hopefully only round) first round of shots in preparation for traveling to Zimbabwe. Even though the actual journey is still nearly 4 months away I want to make sure I get any necessary medical stuff out of the way. Did I tell you I hate needles yet? Well then, let me tell you, I HATE NEEDLES. But I was surprised, it didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought it would. At least not as much as getting bloodwork done. When I visited the lab due to doctor’s orders to get my blood checked out for who knows what, I didn’t think they were going to take THAT much blood! Did I tell you I hate needles yet? Yeah I hate needles. I nearly passed out when they stuck that instrument of torture into my veins…at least the kind nurse found my vein on the first try! (clump, the sound of my body passing out and hitting the floor).

Organize Series 1.5 Released!

I just can’t get away from working on this plugin – I find it too useful for the various websites I write and I keep tweaking it to make it easier for me to write posts that are a part of a series and display the information that I want to display. The problem is, I’m spending so much time on developing this plugin that I have little time to actually write articles 😆 !

Anyway, this release of the Organize Series WordPress Plugin is chock full of great enhancements and minor bug fixes including the following:

  • Added a function/tag for counting the number of posts in a series. (tag returns a value). See usage instructions below for manually placing this tag (it is automatically included in the auto-tag insertion for series meta information)
  • Added a function for writing series meta information (?This entry is part x of x in the series, ?The name of my series?) to the posts that belong to a series. This is automatically added by default to your blog but it can be disabled for manual insertion via the new option on the options page for the plugin. See usage instructions below for manually placing the series meta tag.

Debate anyone?

Convince Me – Debate Online is a new site I came across that provides a forum for debates to take place.? In their words,

Convinceme.net is the ultimate debating website. First off it’s free to join. You can create any number challenges, and compete in any number of debates that other users create as challenges. Compete for votes, a winning record, and points. It’s your chance to convince the world that you are right! If you get a certain number of points, and have a winning record, you can also have the chance of competing in our Debate Playoffs, with a chance to win a grand prize in the Super Bowl of debating!

If you don’t want to compete, and are just interested in debating your opinion along with others, you can create open debates. These have no winners, losers, or points but the general public can still vote on the subject.

It’s an interesting concept, albeit one that’s existed in a limited fashion ever since the first online forum hit cyberspace.? What’s unique about convince me however is the way its formatted so there’s a way of tracking “winners” or “losers” in debates.

Zimbabwe 2007 makes front page news

This entry is part 1 of 27 in the series Zimbabwe 2007 Project

Our local newspaper carried a front page article covering the Zimbabwe 2007 project that I’m a part of.? It’s exciting seeing the word of this project being spread throughout the community.? We really hope that people catch the vision for helping these children who have been orphaned by AIDS and the opportunity to give the people of Zimbabwe hope.? It is our prayer that when we go, we will be able to take along a great contribution that will help towards the building of this community.