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WordPress Year in Review: The Best Tutorials of 2011

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2011 has seen a lot of changes in WordPress with loads of new features and updates. We also saw WordPress grow as a CMS. It has taken over other CMS platforms like Drupal and Joomla to become the top most CMS platform used in the world. It has a content management system market share of around 54.3%. Well, other than fact that WordPress itself is brilliant, another major reason of this growth and popularity is the awesome WordPress development community that we have. Here is a round up of some of the the best, unique and useful WordPress tutorials written this year.


Theme Development Related Tutorials

Deploy Your WordPress Blog to the Cloud

For the last decade, hosting a large scale web application has been a daunting task, reserved only for experts. Not anymore; when Amazon opened its server architecture, everything changed. Computer hardware moved to the cloud, and became available to any and all developers. In this tutorial, we will install WordPress in the cloud.

Tutorial Link


User Friendly Short Codes with TinyMCE

WordPress short codes are everywhere: in practically every theme and many, many plugins. They are extremely useful and provide huge amounts of extra functionality. With all of their greatness, however, there is one major problem with them: they are not very user friendly, particularly for users who are not familiar with programming, especially when a short code accepts more than one parameter. So, in order to help the non-programmer users, we need a new solution.

Tutorial Link


HTML5 WordPress Music Player & Settings Page Integration

The Author will be showing how to integrate an HTML 5 Music Player into WordPress. After that how to add a Settings Page ("theme options") so one can allow easy player customization!

Tutorial Link


How To Create Tabs On WordPress Settings Pages

Using tabs in a user interface can help you better organize content, so it’s only natural that WordPress themes that have a lot of options would benefit from tabs on their settings page. In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a tabbed settings page, and you’ll get to download a WordPress theme that implements the code.

Tutorial Link


Load Next WordPress Posts With AJAX

The author teaches how to replace the standard "Older Posts" links on your blog. The plugin will create a button to instantly load the next page of posts, without reloading the page (Similar to what Twitter used to do at the bottom of profiles)

Tutorial Link


Building Your WordPress Website with iPad in Mind

How can you make your website look good on an iPad? Arguably, one could be looking at all sorts of tablets. One could be a little more encompassing and look at Android as well. However, the iPad’s market share makes it the device to be adapting to right now. The author shares some best practices and tips on how to make your WordPress site iPad ready!

Tutorial Link


How to Display an Admin Notice For Required Theme Plugins

The problem is that when you require 3rd party plugins for your themes to function properly, you will run into several end users who simply do not read the setup or usage instructions. In those cases, don’t be surprised if you get overwhelmed with support related questions regarding the installation of 3rd party plugins. In this tutorial, the author teaches how to alert the user on installation of the theme.

Tutorial Link


Customizing the WordPress Dashboard For Your Clients

Have you recently started using WordPress for your client's project and want to further impress your client with better packaging? This article will focus on packaging WordPress so that, in just few minutes after completion of a project, it will feel more unique to the client and not have the generic feel.

Tutorial Link


Create Perfect Emails For Your WordPress Website

Whatever type of website you operate, its success will probably hinge on your interaction with your audience. If executed well, one of the most effective tools can be a simple email.

WordPress users are in luck, since WordPress already has easy-to-use and extendable functions to give you a lot of power and flexibility in handling your website’s emails.

Tutorial Link


WordPress Custom Fields 101: Tips, Tricks, and Hacks

The author shares a step by step guide to use WordPress Custom Fields which should get beginning developers or DIY users very excited. Furthermore, the author compiles a list of cool things you can do with WordPress Custom Fields in this article, so this will really show you how custom fields can extend the power of WordPress.

Tutorial Link


Add a Customizable Header image to your WordPress Theme

WordPress 3.0 brought a host of new features with it and one was the ability to change your theme header from within the admin panel, under the "appearance" tab and was built into the TwentyTen theme. What if you want to add this functionality to your own theme ? Thankfully it's pretty easy to do by adding some custom code to your theme's functions.php file.

Tutorial Link


Build a Short URL Service with WordPress Custom Post Types

WordPress is normally used as a blog engine or as a content management system (CMS), but those are not the only things it can be used for. With a little imagination, you can do virtually anything you want with it! In this tutorial the author teaches you how to build a shortened URL service, write some plugin code using object oriented techniques, and deal with WordPress routers and custom error messages.

Tutorial Link


Useful and Time Saving WordPress Code Snippets

Coding in WordPress is pretty state of the art and the code and logic behind the wp theme is much the same. So you can use many source codes and snippets to save your time while coding for WordPress. The author shares with you some useful WordPress code snippets to save your time and you can design a great WordPress theme with these handy and ready to work code snippets. So build your WordPress plugins or theme with these ready made code snippets.

Tutorial Link


How to Display Ads Only to Search Engine Visitors in WordPress

Coding in WordPress is pretty state of the art and the code and logic behind the wp theme is much the same. So you can use many source codes and snippets to save your time while coding for WordPress. The author shares with you some useful WordPress code snippets to save your time and you can design a great WordPress theme with these handy and ready to work code snippets. So build your WordPress plugins or theme with these ready made code snippets.

Tutorial Link


Killer hacks to enhance WordPress editor

When you’re a blogger, the editor is indeed something very important because it is the tool used to write your posts. In this article, the author shows you some hacks and tips to enhance WordPress editor. Enjoy!

Tutorial Link


Turn your commenters into subscribers!

Only a small percentage of your visitors leave a comment. This group of people is probably also interested in subscribing to your newsletter, if you have one. So the author teaches you how to create a method to add a "subscribe to my WordPress newsletter" checkbox to my comment.

Tutorial Link


Increase your WordPress Blog Performance by using Google App Engine

In this article the author shows you how to use Google App Engine to act as a CDN. Since Google data centers are distributed all over the world, this is a great free service to use with a limit of 1GB/day.

Tutorial Link

"Use Google's App Engine to act as a CDN for your website"


Hosting Client Sites on a WordPress Network

The flipside of regular updates is the maintenance of WordPress installs. Once you start maintaining more than a few installs for your clients, keeping both plugins and WordPress up to date can become a bit repetitive.

Setting up a WordPress Network, using the multisite feature, reduces maintenance time. Upgrading all your sites becomes almost as easy as upgrading it for one.

Tutorial Link


How to Add "delete" and "spam" Buttons to Your Comments

Comment section in a site is really important. It represent interaction between you and your readers. It also keeps posts alive and is an important indicator of a popular post.

Often, We need to edit, delete or mark certain comments as spam. Yes, You can delete or mark them as spam via admin panel, but it would be really nice if We can do it from the blog. By default, WordPress shows the “Edit” link on comments (using the edit_comment_link() function) but not "delete" and "spam" links/buttons.

Tutorial Link


Move WordPress Admin Bar to the Bottom

Not everybody likes the WordPress Admin Bar, which exists since WordPress 3.1, at the top of the browser. With just a bit CSS you can change it. The author provides a function which provides CSS directly in the footer of backend and frontend. It displays the Admin Bar at the bottom.

Tutorial Link


20 Helpful WordPress SQL Queries Snippets

WordPress keeps every single scrap of information that is fed into it in a MySQL database, whether that be posts, pages, comments, blogroll, the plugin settings… everything. Here is a collection of 20 helpful SQL Query snippets to get the best out of WordPress.

Tutorial Link


Speeding Up Your WordPress Website: 11 Ways to Improve Your Load Time

"How can I speed up my WordPress website?" It's an important question, particularly for businesses who want to scale their website. Here are 11 awesome tips on how to do it

Tutorial Link


How to Embed Google Talk Chatback on Your WordPress Site for Live Support

Making live chat available on your website is a strategy that has been shown to dramatically increase sales. Customers appreciate the ability to get in touch with you instantly.

Google Talk is a great tool for getting chat support added to your website in a matter of minutes. The visitor doesn’t have to have a Google account themselves to chat with you. Users not signed into their Google accounts will appear as unidentified users. Here's how you can add the chat badge to your WordPress site.

Tutorial Link


Comment Form Hooks Visualized

Most themes (e.g. TwentyTen) use the comment_form() function to insert the comment form after posts. There are quite some hooks inside the function but they are hard to localize. The codex documentation isn't too helpful, neither.
To give you an easy overview the diagrams visualize the points where the various hooks are anchored. The number of available hooks depend on the discussion settings and the user's capabilities.

Tutorial Link


Admin Bar Tricks

Already there are many awesome ways to make the admin bar do virtually whatever you want. In this article, the author rounds up a ton of tips, tricks, and plugins for ultimately mastering the WordPress Admin Bar

Tutorial Link


How to Add Post Thumbnails to the WordPress Post and Page Management Screens

If you're producing a lot of content on your WordPress site, it can be handy to see the main image associated with each post when viewing the post or page listing screen. Adding in the post thumbnail creates a visual association for each post or page.

Tutorial Link


Adding Input Fields To Comment Form

Most comment forms contain the same input fields: Name, Email, URL and the comment text field. This is sufficient for most use cases but there are situations where you might want to know a bit more about your commenter: their age, the city they live in, or the color of their underwear. This article explains how to add an input field, store the data in the database and how to display the additional data in your blog if your theme uses the comment_form() function provided by WordPress.

Tutorial Link


How to Sync A Local & Remote WordPress Blog Using Version Control

Ever wondered how you might use Version Control with WordPress? If you prefer to work on your WordPress projects locally but have to get them to sync remotely, this tutorial is for you. You have probably tried to synchronize between the two setups by manually uploading the changed files and using PHPmyAdmin to export and import your database once changed, and (very likely) broke something in the process. In this tutorial, we are going to automate the syncing process; so you can concentrate on what you are supposed to do instead of wrestling with never-ending migrations.

Tutorial Link


Plugins Related

WordPress Essentials: How To Create A WordPress Plugin

WordPress plugins are PHP scripts that alter your website. The changes could be anything from the simplest tweak in the header to a more drastic makeover (such as changing how log-ins work, triggering emails to be sent, and much more).

Whereas themes modify the look of your website, plugins change how it functions. With plugins, you can create custom post types, add new tables to your database to track popular articles, automatically link your contents folder to a "CDN" server such as Amazon S3… you get the picture

Tutorial Link


How to Convert Plugins to Use Custom Post Types

If you’re a plugin developer whose been using custom tables for storing information in WordPress the transition to custom post types may be daunting. However, It's really simple, and the author explains the two steps;

Tutorial Link


Ten Things Every WordPress Plugin Developer Should Know

Plugins are a major part of why WordPress powers millions of blogs and websites around the world. The ability to extend WordPress to meet just about any need is a powerful motivator for choosing WordPress over other alternatives. The author lists out some points which he thinks every plug-in developer should know.

Tutorial Link


How to: Create a Dashboard Feed Reader for Your WordPress Theme or Plugin

This tutorial teaches you how to create a Dashboard Feed Reader, which is quite a simple widget hanging in your admin dashboard screen, showing the latest stories from your blog. Such widgets often drive more traffic to your website and gets people to read (at least) your headlines directly from their WordPress admin panel. A dashboard reader is a great way to announce new versions of your themes or plugins, as well as promote your new products.

Tutorial Link


Essential Plugins for Every WordPress Installation

One of the reasons why people gravitate toward WordPress is the seemingly unlimited numbers of open source plugins available. In this article, the author goes over a few plugins that he thinks absolutely warrant your attention.

Tutorial Link


How to create your own WordPress functionality plugin

This tutorial seemed to be pretty interesting and also put out a valid point, which all the theme and plugin developers should consider before developing. As per the author, a common, yet unfortunate practice in the WordPress community involves filling theme functions.php files with tweaks and functionality that is key to a site. The reason this is a bad idea, in short, is that it will tie your critical site functionality to a theme that will eventually change. Good news, though: there is a much better, smarter alternative. It’s called a functionality plugin.

Tutorial Link


How To Improve Your WordPress Plugin's Readme.txt

If you’re a plugin developer and you just love to write code, then writing a readme.txt file for a plugin in WordPress’ repository might be your idea of hell. When you’ve written all of that lovely code, why must you spend time writing about how to use it?

In this article, the author discusses in detail, the best practices to write the readme.txt file after developing the plugins.

Tutorial Link


9 Ways of Showing WordPress Plugin Authors our Gratitude

The plugin developers work so hard to keep the WordPress community attractive and also provide us various options and functionalities. I had to include this article because the author discusses how we can show our gratitude towards the plugin developers.

Tutorial Link

"Always try to show your gratitude to the plugin developers for making the WordPress universe so awesome."


WordPress Security Related

How to protect your WordPress site as hackers exploit TimThumb security hole

This article explains how you can find out if your site has a serious security whole in popular image manipulation script in WordPress called TimThum

Tutorial Link


Is Your WordPress Website Distributing Malware in Google Image Search?

It turns out that thousands of hacked sites are infecting Google image search results with images redirecting to Fake AV sites. And, unfortunately for you and for me, WordPress sites are a prime target for this kind of attack. A PHP injection into a WordPress site can generate spammy websites, hijack Google Image SERPs and result in your WordPress website tossing unsuspecting Google Image searchers to a FakeAV site.

Depressing, right? Might be time to check your website to see if it’s been hijacked in this way.

Tutorial Link

Cleaning up an infected website – Part I: WordPress and the Pharma Hack

We get to deal with infected web sites on a daily basis and the most common question we get is how do we clean websites. What steps do we take? What should you do if you want to clean up your site if it gets infected? This article deals with these questions

Tutorial Link


6 .htaccess Tricks for Better WordPress SEO & Security

In this tutorial, the author shares with you six htacccess tricks that will help improve the security and SEO quality of your WordPress-powered site.

Tutorial Link


How to Automatically Backup Your WordPress Site to Dropbox

Last year Dropbox announced that they have 4,000,000 users, a number which is likely to double very soon. In case you're out of the loop, Dropbox is a cloud-based storage and file sharing service. It’s become very popular, due to its ease of use and the basic offer of 2GB of free storage space.
A new plugin is available that gives you the opportunity to put Dropbox to work for the security of your WordPress site.

Here's how you can set up automatic backups of your WordPress site to Dropbox

Tutorial Link


8 Tips to Secure a WordPress Site

Security is one of those topics that comes up time and time again. You hear the advice, you know you should do it, but somehow, you never get around to it.

The tips in this post are designed to help make your WordPress installation safer and less likely to be hacked or spammed. If your'e short on time, just start at the top and work down. The author ordered them so that the most important tweaks come first.

Tutorial Link


Quick Tip: Backing Up Your Blog with VaultPress

As with almost every other web app, WordPress stores information in a database. There’s always a chance that your data could be lost or corrupted, and it’s wise to have a solid backup strategy in place. This is where VaultPress enters the scene to save the day, providing complete backup and security for your WordPress site.

Tutorial Link


11 Quick Tips: Securing Your WordPress Site

WordPress is the most used open-source platform nowadays for any type of websites: whether it is blog, CMS or any other custom solution. WordPress is naturally based on PHP (among other languages), so, as a PHP developer the author always makes sure to cover/apply some tips for WordPress to make secure and speedup the site which he develops. In this WordPress tutorial you will find tips and tricks for securing WordPress and optimizing your WordPress blog.

Tutorial Link


Securing Your WordPress Website

Security has become a foremost concern on the Web in the past few years. Hackers have always been around, but with the increase in computer literacy and the ease of access to virtually any data, the problem has increased exponentially. It is now rare for a new website to not get comment spam within days of its release, even if it is not promoted at all. This tutorial goes over the basic steps to properly secure your website.

Tutorial Link


10 Steps to Securing Your WordPress Installation

WordPress is open source which means that everyone, including hackers with a malicious intent, can scour the source code looking for holes in its security. That is why the author shows you some good precautionary steps to take to protect you, your WordPress and most importantly, your users.

Tutorial Link


Data Analysis

Displaying WordPress Site Data Via jQuery Charts

In this tutorial the author uses the jQuery Charts Plotting plugin, JQplot, to create a new WordPress plugin which can display some of your blog’s traffic, popular categories, and more with some beautiful visual charts. Looking for a way to pimp out a client’s dashboard (or your own!) with some useful infographics? Look no further… the tutorial shows you how it's done right here.

"Custom jQuery charts can be a good substitute to Google Analytics, for displaying data to your clients."

Tutorial Link


How to Get Facebook Insights for Your WordPress Site

More than 10,000 new websites integrate with Facebook every day by using one of their social plugins. However most sites that we see are not taking full advantage of what Facebook has to offer. Were you aware of the fact that you can get Facebook insights for your WordPress site? This tutorial teaches you how to integrate it with your WordPress website.

Tutorial Link


How To: Display your Google Analytics to the Public

Have you ever wanted to show off your Google Analytics data to your blog visitors? If you sell advertising on your site then this is a very handy metric for advertisers to base their buying decision on. This tutorial teaches you how to do that using the Google Analytic plugin

Tutorial Link


Troubleshooting and Debugging WordPress

Your Complete Guide to Troubleshooting WordPress

Before you start tearing your hair out, before you start posting frantically on support forums, you can follow this guide to get a handle on what’s gone wrong and how you can fix it.

Tutorial Link


Troubleshooting WordPress: Common Fatal Error Messages and How to Fix Them

There are some WordPress problems that crop up again and again. And there are few people better equipped to deal with them than the many Support Pros across the WordPress Universe. This article looks at some of the common error messages that appear repeatedly on general WordPress websites.

Tutorial Link


WordPress Post Management Related

How to Post From Google+ to Your WordPress Blog

Want to bypass the WordPress post editor and publish posts directly from your Google+ account? If you find yourself gravitating more toward posting on Google+ than to logging into your WordPress blog’s dashboard, then this might be the solution for you. Save yourself a few steps and start posting your Google+ content automatically through to your WordPress blog

Tutorial Link


Three Ways To Display Your Latest Google+ Updates On WordPress

The Google+ Project has been growing rapidly since it’s launch. Many are tipping the service to steal a huge chunk of Facebook's traffic. In this tutorial, the author shows you three ways to can show your latest updates from your Google+ profile on your WordPress website.

Tutorial Link


Looking forward to 2012

This year saw a lot of HTML5, Cloud and Ajax integrating itself with WordPress. No doubt, cloud is the future where web services are heading and HTML5 is slowly taking websites to a whole new level. But in the coming year, WordPress has a lot to look forward to:


WordPress Version 3.3 and Beyond

WordPress version 3.3 is soon going to release this December to the general public. The final
release candidate is already out. This
version is going to see a lot of new features, which are going to increase the user friendliness and flexibility of WordPress to greater heights. Some of these new features are as follows:

  • New media uploader (Plupload)
  • Improved Toolbar (formerly admin bar)
  • Implement language packs for core, plugins, and themes
  • Drag and drop multi-file uploading (except older IE)
  • Admin doctype changed to HTML5
  • Switch admin menus to flyouts from dropdowns
  • Introduce help tabs and WP_Screen
  • Merge media buttons into one

Integration of Social Media

Nowadays leading mobile operating systems are coming out with integrated social media features like Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Given the role social media played this year people's movement, social media is obviously going to go even more advance in the coming here. I believe, that sooner or later, Social media is going to be an integral part of the WordPress System.

Going Mobile

WordPress has seen so many plugins which help convert your blog to a seamless mobile website. There are existing plugins such as

Am sure there are going to be many more mobile oriented plugins in the coming future and also core Wordpress integrations to make the blog Mobile friendly are going to be implemented too. At present there is an App for Wordpress in almost every mobile platform out there.


Writing WordPress Guides For The Advanced Beginner

Most importantly, the year is 2012 is again going to see tons of awesome WordPress tutorials. So here is a tutorial on how to write proper tutorials so that a user of every level can understand it with complete ease.

In this article, the author will explore how to create clear easy-to-navigate tutorials, and tailor them to the under-served "advanced beginner" Web developer. The entire goal of this article is to make sure we see many more tutorials written for budding new coders who are ready to jump to the next level.

Tutorial Link


Conclusion

2011 saw tons of WordPress tutorials coming out almost every week. It's obvious that I may have missed out many good tutorials or articles as it was very difficult for me to pick these from such a vast collection. If you think I have missed one of the good ones, then please feel free to share with us. Together, lets make this the best collection of the best 2011 WordPress tutorials out there. :)

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