Well, I haven’t done one of these in a while, and the last comment on the previous WordPress Quick Tips #4 was a congratulatory message on my wonderful tutorial on colon cleansing. Ah well…
But there is one very quick tip I want to pass on (there used to be two, but just discovered that WordPress 2.7 broke the other one!), which will save you lots of time when your tweaking the settings your blog.
Many settings pages are quite long these days (the one for AZIndex is no exception), and how often do you find yourself going into the same settings page, tweaking something, then scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the page to click on the “Save” button, over and over again until you get the settings just right? It’s a real pain, isn’t it?!
Well, in many of the settings pages, you can avoid all that scrolling to the bottom of the page simply by pressing the Enter key when you’re done changing the settings. If you have just typed into a text box, or just clicked on a checkbox or radio-button, then pressing the Enter key will often save the settings immediately and take you back to the previous admin page. If you are changing a dropdown list/menu or typing into a multiline text area, you will have to click on a nearby text box (taking care not to change anything in it) before you press the Enter key, but it’s still a lot more convenient than scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the page and clicking the “Save” button.
Sure, it doesn’t save you a lot of time if you only change your settings occasionally, but many bloggers are notorious tweakers and spend a lot of time inside settings pages until they get their blog just right. If you’re one of those people, the time you save will soon begin to add up!
Have you ever slaved over the formatting of particularly tricky blog post then forgotten how you did it? Ever gone back and edited an old post to hunt down the fiddly HTML you wrote so you can use it again in a new post? Well, I have, and I just found out something that makes the whole process easier and quicker.
Are you thinking of using a plugin that uses shortcodes? (Shortcodes are tags in square brackets like [az-index id=”1″ escape=”true”] that some plugins use to embed content into posts and pages.) Do you want to be able to use a shortcode in your blog’s sidebar instead of your post or page?
Well, if the answer to both those questions is “Yes” then you have come to the right place!
I have just added the beginnings of an AZIndex User Guide to the blog. The first installment is mostly a “Getting Started” guide for those who are just starting to use the plugin, but I hope to add full documentation for the plugin and all its many settings by the time it’s complete. Unfortunately, since there are a lot of things to talk about with AZIndex, that is going to take some time — probably a few months — but I will continue to add new sections as I write them.
Feel free to comment on the AZIndex User Guide if you spot a mistake or if you find it too confusing in places.
High time for another Friday funny — this time my all-time favorite Doctor Who sketch, The Web of Caves. I never tire of watching this one. Anyone who remembers watching the old Jon Pertwee or Tom Baker episodes will appreciate all the little observations they put into the sketch, especially the way they pronounce the word “Dok-tor” in such mock menacing tones. (Yes, the enemies of the Doctor really did say it that way in those days!).
You may not recognise him under all that makeup, but the Doctor’s main protagonist in the sketch is David Walliams, later of Little Britain fame (and fortune).
Phew!! The latest and greatest version of AZIndex is now available. As I mentioned in a previous post, the main enhancement this time is caching. Large indexes will load much, much faster in this version when they are being cached. Adding or modifying posts will cause AZIndex to check to see if the index has been changed as a result, but it will only invalidate the cache if a post should be added to, deleted from, or must change position in the index. Kind of cool, really.
Anyway there was a little hiccup getting 0.5 out into the WordPress repository, which might have caused one of two people to download a bad version. But I’ve sorted out the problem, so it’s safe to upgrade to 0.5.1 when you’re ready.
(Update: Changed to version 0.5.1 after I fixed a minor bug — that produced a scary but inconsequential error message when creating a new index.)
This tip similar to Tip #1 in that it will help you add HTML styling to parts of your blog that the usual HTML styling doesn’t reach! Last time it was post headings, this time we’re targeting your blog’s tagline.
While it’s perfectly possible to style your blog’s tagline using a CSS stylesheet, that method only allows you to modify the styling of the whole tagline. If you want embolden one word, or italicize one phrase, then you’re out of luck. If you try adding <strong> or <em> tags, they just appear in the tagline. So, what to do?
Well, the solution is a little bit more involved than last time, which is why I’ve designated this article for tweakers as opposed to regular bloggers, but in most cases it only requires a one line change to your theme’s header file to do it.
So, if you’re ready, let’s go…