Right or Wrong, Open Source Needs Opinionated Leaders

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There is a lot of debate going on right now in the WordPress world about the WordPress Foundation barring all ThemeForest/CodeCanyon (Envato really) authors from speaking at WordCamp events.

I don’t want to rehash the argument here; the best place to get it is in the original post, and the comments on it.

Instead, I want to make a different point: Regardless of whether he is right or not, it’s good for WordPress that Matt makes these bold choices.

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Authenticate Your Twitter API Calls Before March

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Twitter API OAuth

On the 5th of March, Twitter is going to retire version 1 of its API. The replacement, version 1.1 is very similar, but with one major difference; every single call must be authenticated.

This means that come March, your existing API calls will break; including simple things like displaying tweets on your site. To fix this, you need to move to the new v1.1 API, and authenticate with Twitter.

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How to Add a “Reading Mode” to Your Posts

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Reading Mode Preview

In this post, I will show you a simple way to add a distraction-free “Reading Mode” to your blog. You can see the end result on this Reading Mode demo site (Click the highlighted “Reading Mode” link).

The purpose of adding a feature like this is to enable a visitor to remove all the clutter of your site, and focus solely on the post itself.

In an ideal world; there would never be a need for such a feature. In reality though, sites have numerous other goals to achieve, such as brand building, serving ads, promoting other content etc. In this way, you can compromise between the two. Do what you need when the user first arrives, but get out of the way when they decide what to read.

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7 Plugins to Save Time With the Dashboard

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As bloggers, we spend a lot of time working on a range of different tasks. This includes things like checking stats, monitoring ad revenue, and interacting on social media.

That leaves us with a lot of sites to log into. But by adding a few WordPress plugins, you can pull some of this data back into the WordPress dashboard, which saves you time by giving a quick snapshot overview of everything.

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CSS & JS Auto-Refreshing with Live.js

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Live.js and WordPress

I want to share a fantastic little tool that I’ve only recently come across; Live.js, written by Martin Kool.

This JavaScript file automatically checks for changes to your CSS and JavaScript files, and refreshes them.

That means you can have your text editor in one half of the screen, and a web browser in the other. When you save changes in the editor, the updates are reflected immediately in your browser. It really helps to speed up your development time.

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WordPress Development: Bypassing the Settings API

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Bypass the Settings API

The following is a guest post by Andy Walpole.

There are many parts of the Wordpress API which are fantastic but there are also other parts which, I would argue, are lacking.

The Settings API was introduced in version 2.7 to allow the semi-automation of form creation. All credible Content Management Systems and frameworks have their own set of functions or classes for the same purpose. Drupal has a multitude of hooks which can be leveraged, while CodeIgniter uses a combination of the Form Validation Class and the Form Helper .

When creating a Wordpress plugin recently I wanted to create a dynamic form to insert data into a field in the option database table. I decided to create a class for this purpose with the intention of creating reusable code for future projects.

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How to Install and Customize Varnish for WordPress

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Varnish and WordPress

The following is a guest post by Austin Gunter of WPEngine.com.

If you’re looking to boost performance for a content-heavy WordPress installation, adding a cache like Varnish is a great way to boost your site’s performance.

NB – This is an advanced topic, and only relevant if you have full control over your server (e.g. you’re on a VPS). It does not apply to regular webhosting.

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