WordPress: Create a Custom Meta Box

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This is the second entry of my WordPress development series, providing tutorials on specific things you can do in WordPress. Stay tuned for more!

This tutorial is going to show you how to add your own Custom Meta Box to your posts, pages, or your own custom post types. Custom meta boxes allow you to save additional information. Continuing on from the previous tutorial, I am going to add a custom meta box to my custom posts type “Cats”, which I will use to save the cat’s age and favourite toy.

For simplicity, we will create our custom meta box in our functions.php file. You can edit this file by going to Appearance > Editor in your WordPress admin panel, or using a text editor with FTP.

To begin, we first have to create the custom meta box. We do this by using a function we have used already, add_action().

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WordPress: Create a Custom Post Type

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This is the first entry of my WordPress development series, providing tutorials on specific things you can do in WordPress. Stay tuned for more!

I have been working with Custom Post Types recently, so I want to start off the series with them. Custom Post Types are just like Pages and Posts, but you can call them whatever you like. They can be used for a variety of content such as Events, Bands, a Book database, Cars, Recipes… if you can think of it, it can probably be a Custom Post Type! They are handy because you can separate them from your regular blog Posts, they can be integrated into your themes and plugins, and even created just by using functions.php.

For simplicity, we will create our Custom Post Type in our functions.php file. You can edit this file by going to Appearance > Editor in your WordPress admin panel, or using a text editor with FTP. I’m going to be creating a post type called Cats.

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The Vendor Prefix Debate

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There has been a lot of discussion lately on blogs and Twitter about the use of vendor prefixes, and I’d like to add in my two-cents.

I initially came across the whole thing from Chris Coyier at Css-Tricks.com, followed by tweets from various web professionals on Twitter. Essentially, Mozilla (those behind the Firefox browser) wants to provide support for Webkit’s -webkit- prefix (that is used by browsers like Safari and Chrome that use the Webkit engine). A lot of people are saying this is a bad idea. Others are also saying we (the designers/devs) have gotten ourselves into this mess. I think it really comes down to all of us – the browser vendors, the W3C, and the web designers/devs.

The browser vendors have their own set of prefixes that they use for experimental purposes – it is pre-standardized code, and prefixes are not spec. Firefox uses -moz-, Safari and Chrome use -webkit-, Opera uses -o-, and Internet Explorer uses -ms-. Apparently, web designers/devs are using the -webkit- prefixes only, to use properties we call “CSS3”, because they either don’t know about the equivalent prefixes for other browsers, or don’t bother (sometimes, though, they don’t exist). Technically, some of these fancy schmancy techniques we use with prefixes aren’t really CSS3 – yet, anyways depending on how far along they are towards W3C recommendation. Many of these techniques are kind of like previews, and allows the browser vendors to test stuff out (as well as designers/devs too, who can provide feedback). Some browser vendors are already supporting standardized CSS3 properties. But the support varies with each browser vendor, and some browser vendors are using their prefixes to test things, and not all are testing the same things.

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Keep Your WordPress Blog Secure

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As users of the web, we have to be careful with security and make sure hackers do not get into our bank accounts, emails, and our websites/blogs. Here, I outline some simple things that you can do to make sure your WordPress blog/website isn’t the next one that gets hacked.

The Basics:

Don’t use a simple, short password!

This is probably one of the most simplest things you can do to make sure your blog is safe. Using a combination of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols is going to make your password harder to crack – and the more, the merrier! I would recommend using a password no shorter than 8 characters long, and try to make it as long as possible. Most websites allow long passwords, so don’t be shy!

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I’m back! And Happy Holidays!

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I think it has been sufficiently long enough between my last post and this one. Though, some of you may or may not know, I have been on an exchange in Australia for the past 4.5 months, so I think that is a good reason! I had an amazing experience in Australia. I met a lot of great people, and I saw a lot (even got to pop over to New Zealand for a week!), but there is just so much more to see. Australia is a massive country, and though I was there for 4.5 months, I was at uni. So, I did have school work to do, but I managed to see as much as I could, with good grades to boot! I will definitely be heading back at some point in the hopefully not-too-distant future. I know what I want to see still, and what I want to go back and see more of!

Now that I am back, I have some plans for my online portfolio coming up!

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Keep Your Browser Up-To-Date!

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The web, and technology in general, is changing rapidly. Shiny new technologies are emerging, updates are more frequent, and it’s a whirlwind of activity that we are all trying to keep up with.

One piece of technology that is always improving is the internet browser. Though there’s a handful to choose from – Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, and others – many people stick with what’s pre-loaded onto their PC or Mac, and don’t bother to look at what is just out there.

And unfortunately, overtime old browser versions become out-dated, and they are unable to support the new web technologies that are available to users today. A specific one that comes to mind is Internet Explorer 6.

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