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15 Essential Steps- WordPress Quick Fix for Functions.php

When designing WordPress themes, I always add a common set of custom functions to the theme’s functions.php file. This speeds up development time because I don’t have to hunt for and individually copy the same slew of functions for every theme. I just drop in a copy of my functions.php template and build up from there. This takes care of all those little things that always need to be done for every theme. You know, things like:

  • Include jQuery
  • Enable threaded comments
  • Add feed links to the header
  • Disable unused widget areas
  • Adding Google Analytics to the footer
  • Stop the “Read More” link from jumping to the middle of the next page
  • Callback function for a custom comments loop
  • Automatic content insertion in posts and feeds
  • Spam and delete links for comments when logged in
  • Buffer period before new posts are added to your feeds
  • Including an Admin link to the “All-Settings” page
  • Removing the version and generator information from your site and feed

One of the things that I like about these functions is that they’re all so concise, simple, and effective. The functions.php template file currently contains 15 different functions and is a continual work in progress. Not everyone is going to need or use everything in the file, but the idea is to modify and customize this template into something that works for you. It’s a starting point with some really useful functions. In this article, we first provide an explanation of each of the 15 functions and then bring them all together into the working functions.php template. Just copy and paste the template code at the end of this article or grab a copy of the zipped functions.php file and enjoy a custom collection of functions that will help you optimize your development process while enhancing WordPress with essential functionality.

Add feed links to header

Since version 2.8, WordPress can add all relevant feed links (main, comments, categories, et al) to your  area. It doesn’t happen by default, however, because you have to add the following snippet to make it work:

This will check to see if you’re using a version of WordPress that is compatible, and then enable the automatic feed links. A couple of notes: first, this method assumes that you are not manually including any feed links in your . Also, I read a recent Trac ticket that looked like this functionality was being integrated with add_theme_support, so keep your eyes open for that.

// add feed links to header
if (function_exists('automatic_feed_links')) {
	automatic_feed_links();
} else {
	return;
}
// smart jquery inclusion
if (!is_admin()) {
	wp_deregister_script('jquery');
	wp_register_script('jquery', ("https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1/jquery.min.js"), false);
	wp_enqueue_script('jquery');
}

Automatic jQuery inclusion

We’ve discussed how to include jQuery the right way by placing a little snippet in your document head, but here is a way to do it from your theme’s functions.php file:

This code ensures that only one copy of jQuery is included, and calls it from Google’s servers to save bandwidth and take advantage of any primed caches that happen to be visiting. Note that this function needs to be located before the threaded-comments function in order for it to work.

Enable threaded comments

As we explain in the book, enabling threaded comments requires adding a snippet of code into your <head> area just before the wp_head tag. After a little experimenting, I discovered that you can include this snippet from the functions.php file:

This helps keep your document <head> a little cleaner. Note that this function needs to be located after the jQuery-inclusion function in order for it to work.

// enable threaded comments
function enable_threaded_comments(){
	if (!is_admin()) {
		if (is_singular() AND comments_open() AND (get_option('thread_comments') == 1))
			wp_enqueue_script('comment-reply');
		}
}
add_action('get_header', 'enable_threaded_comments');
// remove junk from head
remove_action('wp_head', 'rsd_link');
remove_action('wp_head', 'wp_generator');
remove_action('wp_head', 'feed_links', 2);
remove_action('wp_head', 'index_rel_link');
remove_action('wp_head', 'wlwmanifest_link');
remove_action('wp_head', 'feed_links_extra', 3);
remove_action('wp_head', 'start_post_rel_link', 10, 0);
remove_action('wp_head', 'parent_post_rel_link', 10, 0);
remove_action('wp_head', 'adjacent_posts_rel_link', 10, 0);

Remove unwanted crap from the head section

As we’ve mentioned before, WordPress spits out a ton of crap in the document <head> – stuff like the version number and WLWRSD, and index links. To clean things up, we add this nice little snippet into the functions.php template:

Add Google Analytics to the footer

Another annoying task that has to be done for all of the sites I create is adding Google Analytics code to the footer.php file. Recently it occurred to me to just add the code to my functions.php and never worry about it again:

A couple of notes here: first, obviously you want to replace the “UA-123456-1” with your actual GA code. Second, you may want to check out the three currently available Analytics options and modify the code accordingly. Currently, this function is using the newer “ga.js” tracking code, but that is easily changed to either of the other methods.

// add google analytics to footer
function add_google_analytics() {
	echo '<script src="http://www.google-analytics.com/ga.js" type="text/javascript"></script>';
	echo '<script type="text/javascript">';
	echo 'var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-XXXXX-X");';
	echo 'pageTracker._trackPageview();';
	echo '</script>';
}
add_action('wp_footer', 'add_google_analytics');
// custom excerpt length
function custom_excerpt_length($length) {
	return 20;
}
add_filter('excerpt_length', 'custom_excerpt_length');

Custom excerpt length

Instead of using the default 55-word limit, this function enables you to specify any length for your excerpts. Just set your preferred number of words by editing the “20” to whatever.

Custom excerpt “continue” string

Or whatever they call that funky bracketed ellipses thing “[...]” that is appended to your post excerpts by default. I like to remove the brackets, but with this functions.php snippet you can change it to anything: As you can see, there are two different versions of this code, depending on your version of WordPress. We like to stay current, so we commented out the older method but left it there in case you need it. For either version of this technique, just replace the “...” with “pants on the ground” or whatever happens to suit your needs.

// custom excerpt ellipses for 2.9+
function custom_excerpt_more($more) {
	return '...';
}
add_filter('excerpt_more', 'custom_excerpt_more');

/* custom excerpt ellipses for 2.8-
function custom_excerpt_more($excerpt) {
	return str_replace('[...]', '...', $excerpt);
}
add_filter('wp_trim_excerpt', 'custom_excerpt_more'); 
*/
// no more jumping for read more link
function no_more_jumping($post) {
	return '<a href="'.get_permalink($post->ID).'" class="read-more">'.'Continue Reading'.'</a>';
}
add_filter('excerpt_more', 'no_more_jumping');
add_filter('the_content_more_link', 'remove_more_jump_link');

No “more” jumping for the “read more” link

One of the weirdest things that WordPress does is “jump” the reader to the location of the “<!--more-->” tag on the single-post-view when the “read more” link is clicked. It’s just awkward — if the jump was on the same page, it would make sense, but to load a new page and then take the reader halfway down without explaining anything is just wrong. In any case, here is a nice little function that will stop the jumping once and for all: Nothing else needs to be done for this to work – just plug it in and enjoy your new “jumpless” functionality. Note that this is a convenient place to customize the “read more” link with any custom attributes or text.

Add a favicon to your blog

You just gotsta have a favicon for your blog, and this code makes it super easy to do. Just create your image and upload to site’s root directory. The following code in your functions.php file makes it so by adding the required line to your <head> area: Feel free to change the directory to whatever you desire. Also make sure that the wp_head is present within your theme’s header.php file.

// add a favicon to your 
function blog_favicon() {
	echo '<link rel="Shortcut Icon" type="image/x-icon" href="'.get_bloginfo('wpurl').'/favicon.ico" />';
}
add_action('wp_head', 'blog_favicon');
// add a favicon for your admin
function admin_favicon() {
	echo '<link rel="Shortcut Icon" type="image/x-icon" href="'.get_bloginfo('stylesheet_directory').'/images/favicon.png" />';
}
add_action('admin_head', 'admin_favicon');

Add a different favicon for the Admin Area

While we’re here, let’s add a unique favicon to our Admin pages, so that they are easier to recognize when bookmarked or working with tabs. Just create a favicon and upload to your theme’s /images/ directory. Then add this code: As before, feel free to change the directory to whatever you desire. It might be best to keep your admin favicon in a separate directory than your blog favicon. Just sayin’.

Custom Admin Login logo

You know that snazzy blue WordPress logo that is branding your various login pages? Yeh, you can change that to whatever you want. Just create your custom login image, name it “custom-login-logo.png”, and upload it to your theme’s /images/ directory. This code will take care of the rest: The key here is to make sure that the path and image names match that of your setup. Also, when creating your image, you may want to keep in mind the properties of the original: 30px length, 31px height, transparent GIF format, and header background color of #464646 (for the image matte).

// custom admin login logo
function custom_login_logo() {
	echo '<style type="text/css">
	h1 a { background-image: url('.get_bloginfo('template_directory').'/images/custom-login-logo.png) !important; }
	</style>';
}
add_action('login_head', 'custom_login_logo');
// disable all widget areas
function disable_all_widgets($sidebars_widgets) {
	//if (is_home())
		$sidebars_widgets = array(false);
	return $sidebars_widgets;
}
add_filter('sidebars_widgets', 'disable_all_widgets');

Disable unused widget areas

Justin Tadlock shares this handy function for removing unwanted widget areas from our theme – a must for customizing existing themes: This code is plug-&-play – no other modifications need to be made. Note: if you only want to disable widgets on your Home page, then remove the two comment slashes (“//”) from the third line.

Kill the WordPress update nag

This is one of my favorites, but I know it’s not for everyone. In any case, you know that “Please update now..” message that appears on every page in the WordPress Admin when new versions are available? This sweet little function kills it dead (or disables it, actually): Feel free to comment this one out or remove it if you rely on the Admin nag to keep you informed of changes.

// kill the admin nag
if (!current_user_can('edit_users')) {
	add_action('init', create_function('$a', "remove_action('init', 'wp_version_check');"), 2);
	add_filter('pre_option_update_core', create_function('$a', "return null;"));
}
// category id in body and post class
function category_id_class($classes) {
	global $post;
	foreach((get_the_category($post->ID)) as $category)
		$classes [] = 'cat-' . $category->cat_ID . '-id';
		return $classes;
}
add_filter('post_class', 'category_id_class');
add_filter('body_class', 'category_id_class');

Include category ID in body_class & post_class

By default, WordPress body_class and post_class do not include the ID of the category of the current post. This custom function changes all that: Even if you aren’t using it, it’s a nice function to have around, which is why it’s included here for this custom functions.php template of essential functions. Keywords in the house because we can.

Get the first category ID

Another useful function when working with different categories is the ability to get the first category ID of the current post. This function makes it happen: Strictly plug-&-play: just use <?php get_first_category_ID(); ?> in your theme template file to access the data.

// get the first category id
function get_first_category_ID() {
	$category = get_the_category();
	return $category[0]->cat_ID;
}
// add custom post content
function add_post_content($content) {
	if(!is_feed() && !is_home()) {
		$content .= '<p>This article is copyright &copy; '.date('Y').'&nbsp;'.bloginfo('name').'</p>';
	}
	return $content;
}
add_filter('the_content', 'add_post_content');

Insert custom content after each post

If you look at the different things contained within a typical post, you will find many common and repetitive items, such as feed links, copyright information, and social-media bookmarks. While there’s nothing wrong with inserting this content into your single.php template, it is sometimes easier to manage things from the functions.php file. For example, at Perishable Press, I include a brief copyright statement at the end of each post. By including the following code in my functions.php template, it’s something that happens automatically: The trick here is an old one, but it’s extremely useful. By changing the line beginning with “$content.”, you can add just about any content you like.

Insert custom content in your feeds

Just as with the previous method, this function makes it possible to automatically add any content to your feeds. Yes, I know there are plugins that will make your feed footers do backflips, but for a simple copyright message or other info, I think it is easier and more efficient to simply toss a few lines into your custom functions.php template: As before, you can change the added content to whatever you want by editing the “$content” variable. Once in place, this will append a dynamic copyright message to each post in your feed. Note: if you happen to be adding the same content to your web pages (using the previous method) and your feeds (using this method), you may combine the two functions like so: Remember that if you use this combined function that you should remove or comment out both of the individual ones to avoid duplicate output. It will be included but commented out in the complete functions.php template file.

// add custom feed content
function add_feed_content($content) {
	if(is_feed()) {
		$content .= '<p>This article is copyright &copy; '.date('Y').'&nbsp;'.bloginfo('name').'</p>';
	}
	return $content;
}
add_filter('the_excerpt_rss', 'add_feed_content');
add_filter('the_content', 'add_feed_content');
// add custom content to feeds and posts
function add_custom_content($content) {
	if(!is_home()) {
		$content .= '<p>This article is copyright &copy; '.date('Y').'&nbsp;'.bloginfo('name').'</p>';
	}
	return $content;
}
add_filter('the_excerpt_rss', 'add_custom_content');
add_filter('the_content', 'add_custom_content');

Putting it all together..

As promised, here is the full-meal deal – the entire collection neatly organized into a single chunk of code:

<?php // custom functions.php template @ digwp.com

// add feed links to header
if (function_exists('automatic_feed_links')) {
	automatic_feed_links();
} else {
	return;
}


// smart jquery inclusion
if (!is_admin()) {
	wp_deregister_script('jquery');
	wp_register_script('jquery', ("https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1/jquery.min.js"), false, '1.3.2');
	wp_enqueue_script('jquery');
}


// enable threaded comments
function enable_threaded_comments(){
	if (!is_admin()) {
		if (is_singular() AND comments_open() AND (get_option('thread_comments') == 1))
			wp_enqueue_script('comment-reply');
		}
}
add_action('get_header', 'enable_threaded_comments');


// remove junk from head
remove_action('wp_head', 'rsd_link');
remove_action('wp_head', 'wp_generator');
remove_action('wp_head', 'feed_links', 2);
remove_action('wp_head', 'index_rel_link');
remove_action('wp_head', 'wlwmanifest_link');
remove_action('wp_head', 'feed_links_extra', 3);
remove_action('wp_head', 'start_post_rel_link', 10, 0);
remove_action('wp_head', 'parent_post_rel_link', 10, 0);
remove_action('wp_head', 'adjacent_posts_rel_link', 10, 0);


// add google analytics to footer
function add_google_analytics() {
	echo '<script src="http://www.google-analytics.com/ga.js" type="text/javascript"></script>';
	echo '<script type="text/javascript">';
	echo 'var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-XXXXX-X");';
	echo 'pageTracker._trackPageview();';
	echo '</script>';
}
add_action('wp_footer', 'add_google_analytics');


// custom excerpt length
function custom_excerpt_length($length) {
	return 20;
}
add_filter('excerpt_length', 'custom_excerpt_length');


// custom excerpt ellipses for 2.9+
function custom_excerpt_more($more) {
	return '...';
}
add_filter('excerpt_more', 'custom_excerpt_more');

/* custom excerpt ellipses for 2.8-
function custom_excerpt_more($excerpt) {
	return str_replace('[...]', '...', $excerpt);
}
add_filter('wp_trim_excerpt', 'custom_excerpt_more'); 
*/


// no more jumping for read more link
function no_more_jumping($post) {
	return '<a href="'.get_permalink($post->ID).'" class="read-more">'.'Continue Reading'.'</a>';
}
add_filter('excerpt_more', 'no_more_jumping');


// add a favicon to your 
function blog_favicon() {
	echo '<link rel="Shortcut Icon" type="image/x-icon" href="'.get_bloginfo('wpurl').'/favicon.ico" />';
}
add_action('wp_head', 'blog_favicon');


// add a favicon for your admin
function admin_favicon() {
	echo '<link rel="Shortcut Icon" type="image/x-icon" href="'.get_bloginfo('stylesheet_directory').'/images/favicon.png" />';
}
add_action('admin_head', 'admin_favicon');


// custom admin login logo
function custom_login_logo() {
	echo '<style type="text/css">
	h1 a { background-image: url('.get_bloginfo('template_directory').'/images/custom-login-logo.png) !important; }
	</style>';
}
add_action('login_head', 'custom_login_logo');


// disable all widget areas
function disable_all_widgets($sidebars_widgets) {
	//if (is_home())
		$sidebars_widgets = array(false);
	return $sidebars_widgets;
}
add_filter('sidebars_widgets', 'disable_all_widgets');


// kill the admin nag
if (!current_user_can('edit_users')) {
	add_action('init', create_function('$a', "remove_action('init', 'wp_version_check');"), 2);
	add_filter('pre_option_update_core', create_function('$a', "return null;"));
}


// category id in body and post class
function category_id_class($classes) {
	global $post;
	foreach((get_the_category($post->ID)) as $category)
		$classes [] = 'cat-' . $category->cat_ID . '-id';
		return $classes;
}
add_filter('post_class', 'category_id_class');
add_filter('body_class', 'category_id_class');


// get the first category id
function get_first_category_ID() {
	$category = get_the_category();
	return $category[0]->cat_ID;
}

?>

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