Tag Archives: Custom Programming

Used Car Database

For quite some time now I have needed and wanted to make a database listing of Used Cars by Year, Make and Model.

I finally have the used car database complete. The result is a database that should help any programmer needing the same information for their used car project.

The Used Car Database currently has over 5,200 cars listed by Year, Make and Model, from 1989-2009.

The data matches what is listed in the Kelley Blue Book which has been the nation’s number-one-selling automotive book, I did this to have a good reference point for data validity.

The file download includes 2 file formats of the database. A CSV file and a MySQL export file. Between these 2 formats, most programmers should be able to incorporate this data into a project easily.

Here is a random sampling of the data.

2002 Saturn SC2
2009 Chevrolet Colorado
1992 Mercury Sable
1994 Dodge Viper
2007 Chevrolet Equinox
1994 Suzuki Samurai
1999 Lexus LS 400
1999 Dodge Durango
2001 Ford Mustang
1992 Buick Riviera

Buy Now

Add to Cart

Basic WordPress Theme

Since I started working on a Basic WordPress Theme last month I have had a few request to release what I have for others to experiment with.

So here it is. CyberCoder Basic WordPress Theme (Zip File)

If you have any interest in learning to create new WordPress Themes I would highly recommend downloading this theme to play with. It is about as basic as you can possibly make a theme. One of the best ways to learn is to try a few things and see what happens. If you have the ability to setup a sub domain it makes it very easy to experiment with things like this.

I host on Dreamhost which allows me to have unlimited sites. Doing it this way allowed me to purchase and setup a couple domains just for the learning experience and I have never seen a better way to learn. And if you want to sign-up with Dreamhost use the Promo Code (CYBER30HOSTING) without parenthesis for $30 off of the One Year plan.

This Basic WordPress Theme has very little styling with a single sidebar on the right hand side. As usual I have set it up to be fluid width, which is just my personal preference. If you would like to see what it looks like I have it installed on CyberCoded.net as a test site.

Feel free to drop me a comment either here or on CyberCoded and let me know what you think.

WordPress Template Hierarchy

The WordPress Template Hierarchy is a critical part of truly understanding how your WordPress blog works.

Have you ever wondered why some WordPress themes have certain files while others do not?

A WordPress theme requires only two files as I have discussed before, the index.php and style.css. If you took a basic WordPress Theme and deleted all the files except those two in the theme folder, it would still work. However, the pages would basically look the same.

Now the question is, where do these other files come from? And how does WordPress know which ones to look for? This is actually a very simple process. WordPress uses a page hierarchy to choose which files to use for each type of page.

As an example if there is a single.php file, WordPress will use that for the individual (single) post, if that file does not exist, it will use the Index.php file.

There are 10 basic WordPress Theme pages, these are:

  • 404 (Not Found) page
  • Attachment page
  • Author page
  • Category page
  • Date page
  • Search Result page
  • Single Post page
  • Tag page
  • The Main (Index) page
  • WordPress Page

This gives us the ability to customize each type of page. This WordPress Codex page explains the Hierarchy.

Let’s look at the Tag.php page as a more specific example.

The Tag page hierarchy goes like this.

  • The Tag Template with a matching slug. If the tag’s slug were sometag, WordPress would look for tag-sometag.php
  • tag.php
  • archive.php
  • index.php

So if your WordPress theme does not have a Tag.php page you can easily copy the archive.php page to create a custom tag page, if you do not have a archive page, you could copy the index page to start your tag page.

To help you I have created a simple text file that lists the WordPress heirarchy that you can download here.

So with just a little thought and practice it is very easy to create very unique pages for your WordPress Theme.

WordPress Plugin versus Custom Programming

I have not been listening to my own advice again.

Why do something that someone else has already done, and especially if it is actually easier to use their program than it is to do it myself?

The best example of this is WordPress Plugins. For the longest time I would code everything myself. As an example I did my own SEO programming and it worked well, but, I discovered as I moved from blog to blog I had to do a lot of extra work that I would not have to do if I had used a WordPress Plugin. So I started looking to replace all my custom programming with WordPress plugins, and I can not tell you how much easier it is to manage my blogs now.

I also found that in some cases the plugins were better than what I had done myself, ouch. But hey, that is the idea, use the software that gets the job done and is the easiest to maintain. I will say that in some cases I think a particular WordPress plugin can be improved, in that case I try to do one of two things, improve it and send it to the originator, or comment on the originating blog and give them my idea.

Here is a list of my current favorite WordPress plugins I am using on the majority of my blogs.

Akismet

All in One SEO Pack

Custom Query String Reloaded

CyberExcerpt

Get Recent Comments

Google Analytics

Google XML Sitemaps

Recommended Tags

Show Top Commentators

WP-ContactForm

Using WordPress Plugins can certainly help you manage your blog better without all the additional work. Just make sure to test each plugin carefully before rolling out in full production. I have found some plugins may cause problems with other plugins and that even the order in which you install them can sometimes cause issues. The best thing to do is setup a sub domain with WordPress that is not indexed in the search engines and use it as a test site.