Add Parent Page Slug and Parent Template to WordPress Body Class

Add CSS body classes for the parent page on all child pages and the parent page template on of a WordPress site with this body_class filter. Ever need to style all child pages of a parent page in the same way or have you wanted to access every child page of a parent page via css selectors for styling? What about selecting all pages that are descendants of a page which is using a specific template?

body_classes_htmlBuilding large websites gets complicated, even in WordPress. Large sites usually mean there are many subpages and sections to the website that may need to be styled similarly. I’ve found it helpful to add a page’s parent page slug to the body class to allow me to alter or target the page or group of pages via css. By default the themes I’ve used have been generous in adding classes to the html body element for easy css selection rules. Things like the post slug, page template, logged in status, page vs post (or custom post type), post id, author… you get the idea. While half the time I don’t need half of this and the other half the time I find myself needing more.

Place this code into your functions.php file and your html body element will have a couple additional classes if they apply. It will have a class delineating the slug for the parent page on all child pages as well as a class delineating the template used by the parent page. This lets me apply styles to a whole sibling-section of a site pretty easily by just targeting the parent-slug on the body. Also adding the template of the parent in case I needed to use that.

post_parent_classesWalking through the code here we’re filtering the body_class function is how we are able to add this. We name our own function and give it a $classes parameter. Then throughout our function we can add classes to this $classes array and they will be output with the rest of the body classes. We need to hook into WordPress at the body_class function with add_filter and specify the hook and specify our own function to be called. In this case we grab the page properties of post_parent and the template of that parent. First set the post variable to reference the global scope, and then check to see if the post is a page with is_page. Then if the post object has a value for the parent (post_parent) we add the parent’s name to the classes array. Then we get the _wp_page_template meta data from the parent to find the template it’s using (if there is no template specified, then it returns default). This is added to our classes if it exists and then we return the classes array to the original body_class WP core function.

[cc lang=”php”]
// Body class adding page-parent
function cc_body_class( $classes ) {
global $post;
if ( is_page() ) {
// Has parent / is sub-page
if ( $post->post_parent ) {
# Parent post name/slug
$parent = get_post( $post->post_parent );
$classes[] = ‘parent-slug-‘.$parent->post_name;
// Parent template name
$parent_template = get_post_meta( $parent->ID, ‘_wp_page_template’, true);
if ( !empty($parent_template) )
$classes[] = ‘parent-template-‘.sanitize_html_class( str_replace( ‘.’, ‘-‘, $parent_template ), ” );
return $classes;
add_filter( ‘body_class’, ‘cc_body_class’ );

There are many more classes we can add to the body_class and like I said, sometimes you need more than what’s already provided and sometimes you need nothing. It all depends on the theme you’re using, what it provides and what your specific site and design require. What other classes have you wanted to see here? How have you filtered body_class to fit your site’s needs?

Set Default Terms for your Custom Taxonomies

Custom Taxonomy Default Term(s) for when it’s left blank

After looking through the WP codex and various plugins, I couldn’t find anywhere to set a custom taxonomy default term. WordPress has allowed us to create custom taxonomies for a while. Before we only had categories and tags hard coded in core. One feature from those days that didn’t seem to make it to the custom taxonomies of today is the possibility to select a default taxonomy term if none are selected. Did you know about this feature? Odds are you did, even if you didn’t realize it. Have you ever seen that ‘uncategorized’ category? That was the default category added for any content that didn’t have a specific category and was left, well, uncategorized.
An annoying feature if you weren’t expecting it, but nice to have if you took the moment to actually set up your default properly. I was working on a project recently with custom post types and custom taxonomies and suddenly needed this feature, but it didn’t seem to exist, so a few google’s later I found this nice snippet from Micheal Fields. Adopting the hook and adding some to allow for custom post types I wanted to share it here for my own safe keeping as well as the benefit of the community.

To Code Custom Taxonomy Default Terms

[cc lang=”php”]
* Define default terms for custom taxonomies in WordPress 3.0.1
* @author Michael Fields
* @props John P. Bloch
* @props Evan Mulins
* @since 2010-09-13
* @alter 2013-01-31
* @license GPLv2
function mfields_set_default_object_terms( $post_id, $post ) {
if ( ‘publish’ === $post->post_status && $post->post_type === ‘your_custom_post_type’ ) {
$defaults = array(
‘your_taxonomy_id’ => array( ‘your_term_slug’ )
//’your_taxonomy_id’ => array( ‘your_term_slug’, ‘your_term_slug’ )
$taxonomies = get_object_taxonomies( $post->post_type );
foreach ( (array) $taxonomies as $taxonomy ) {
$terms = wp_get_post_terms( $post_id, $taxonomy );
if ( empty( $terms ) && array_key_exists( $taxonomy, $defaults ) ) {
wp_set_object_terms( $post_id, $defaults[$taxonomy], $taxonomy );
add_action( ‘save_post’, ‘mfields_set_default_object_terms’, 100, 2 );
This code hooks to ‘save_post’ and fires when the post is saved. It will check the post status and only execute if the post status is set to publish. My addition will also check the post type against your custom post type. Then it sets the default for any taxonomy that you want to set a default for. Either a single term or multiple terms can be set as the default taxonomy term. If you want multiple default terms then you just use a comma separated list. This hook will then load the existing taxonomies and if they are not yet set on the post it will set them to your designated default(s). It’s nice and flexible as you can have multiple taxonomy defaults set quickly in the defaults array. Thanks Michael!

Set Default Terms for your Custom Taxonomies via Michael Fields » Set Default Terms for your Custom Taxonomies.

A More Interactive Portfolio

I think a portfolio is something that should be very interactive and intuitive. Check out what that has led to: circlecube’s interactive pog portfolio. I’ve been toying with trying to get something that was fun to look at, but also showed some work. Here is a first look at my Interactive portfolio of work which includes physics simulations and many options to play with the presentation of the body of work. Showing it to a friend he said it made him think of pogs (since the thumbnails are round and moving everywhere).

Well, enough, I’ll let you see what you see… Interactive POG Portfolio

The details

Well, if you’re interested, this is the same portfolio that is listed statically on my website. That’s because I’m using amfphp to read my wordpress database and get the custom post type of portfolio and access all the tags, images and details of each portfolio item. I’m using TweenNano from greensock for some of the motion but all the physics is coded in as3. I’m using the slider and switch from Nick Jonas.

Enjoy playing with the settings!

Now I’m thinking of other ways to implement it: specifically hooking into API services like, dribbble or twitter. Or rebuild it with jQuery and html5!

Video Player 4 introduces interactive playlists, social sharing and more

video player 4 hero shotI’ve been busy hardening and improving my video player lately and had so many updates for it I decided to upload it to activeden as a new file altogether. After some final bug fixes and testing it’s been approved for sale. I think it’s a huge improvement over the last video player. The video playing part is mainly the same (with a few small adjustments for better usability), but I’ve added tons to this update. It’s online at activeden for live preview and purchase.

An extensively customizable yet simple video player. Create and manage play lists for you video delivery as well as allow viewers to share and socially bookmark the video. Integrate the video into your user experience with javascript integration as well as Google Analytics tracking on the video interaction! Control functionality, layout and colors of the player easily! Plus don’t sweat the embed codes – an embed code generator included!

Check out the legend graphic for some views of the player and the different panes. There is the full video view, the playlist, share and detail panes. You can also view them all in fullscreen mode.

circlecube video player 4 legend

This new player has the following updates:

  • Includes an embed script generator built specifically for this video player! Embed script generator with a Live Preview!
  • Use an external xml playlist or set playlist values in flashvars settings. (No need for xml if you don’t want it)
  • Social Bookmarking with facebook, twitter, delicious, google buzz & linkedin
  • Send emails through the player to share the video with friends
  • Google Analytics Integration (event tracking) – Uses your analytics account on a per video setting in flashvars.
  • All colors fully customizable in flashvars or xml
  • Display video title and description – html content (may contain links) in the detail pane.
  • Video controls also in context menu (right-click menu)
  • Loop the video once, twice however many times you wish and even infinitely!
  • Disable tooltips completely if you wish
  • Keyboard shortcut integration! Press the space bar to pause/play the video just like in most video playback programs.
  • Volume setting cached across sessions for a better user experience
  • Double click video for fullscreen

As well as all that made version 3 video player great as well:

  • Supports flv, f4v and any container format using H.264: mp4, m4a, mov, mp4v, 3GP, 3G2.
  • All images and video loaded externally
  • Run this player without additional files, just pass in the flv path.
  • Supports most image file types: jpg, gif, png.
  • Google Analytics Integration (event tracking) – Uses your analytics account on a per video setting in flashvars.
  • Load any dimension video. Completely resizable
  • Set player width and height
  • Set video width and height
  • Full screen capabilities
  • All colors fully customizable
  • Use a preview/thumbnail image.
  • Auto play option
  • Auto load option – in case you had a bunch of video on one page you wouldn’t want them all to auto load.
  • Video scale/stretching options: none, exact, uniform, fill.
  • Javascript callback functions for loading video and finishing video playback.
  • Show/hide a big play button over the video option
  • Show/hide “vcr” video player controls or have them auto-hide
  • Advanced volume controls, click to mute or drag to desired volume. Volume fades rather than cuts.
  • Support for a logo
  • Controls auto-hide
  • Time code display in current time or elapsed time. click to toggle
  • Tooltips for controls
  • Send video files to player dynamically with javascript integration (with an html link on a page send a video to play)
  • Replay video after complete
  • Progressive play and load displays. Watch as the video loads and see the scrub bar update as you watch.
  • Scrub bar is interactive click and drag. Tooltip to display hovered time.
  • Animated play controls.
  • Buttons states & tooltips.
  • All player graphics are vector shapes and very small in size.
  • Fully rearrange player controls
  • Option to disable fullscreen
  • Display video title and description – html content (may contain links)

Here’s a screenshot of the embed code generator:

embed generator preview

cache woes, how to force an image to refresh or load fresh

The simple trick here is to make the browser think that the image file is new. Most web professionals know that browsers will cache and image and remember it’s url and then if you try to access that url again it will show you the image you already downloaded rather than getting a new copy form the server every time. This is great and helps us surf the web faster overall. Sometimes this can bite us though, specifically when you are trying to show someone an image which you just updated and all they see is the old one. If you are in the business of creating things online and having them approved online, you could run into this situation multiple times before lunch every day. Raise your hand if you’ve had to walk a client though how to clear their cache, fun times right? One more situation when this is helpful is I’ve noticed some browsers (firefox) caching animated gifs, and they will not replay the animation if you refresh the page. But for banners and such sometimes you will want the animated gif to replay on reloading the page. I’ve started using this little trick to keep my pages from caching the images and saving me and clients confusion.

So the browser remembers the url and if you try to get that same url later, it will just display what you’ve already downloaded. The trick is to make the browser think it’s a new url. You can do this pretty easily by adding a query string to the end of the url. Those are the urls that have the file name and then it’s followed by a ‘?’ and some jibberish, for example: my-image-i-dont-want-cached.jpg?version=something. This will work once, but the real trick is to have a unique query string every time. I’ve seen this done with random numbers and a number of other things, but my favorite is to add the date to the url. With the date you know that it will always be unique (as it includes seconds).

There are a couple different ways we can append this to the url. They depend on which technologies we have available to us. It can be done with php or javascript. I prefer the php method because it is created as the page is delivered from the server, while the javascript version is set as the image loads, but either one works and I wouldn’t do this in a production since in that case, we want the cache to lighten the load on our servers.

As long as you understand what cache is and why it’s a good thing to have in most scenarios and you are in one of those exceptions where it’s best not o have it, here’s how to do it.

JS Method

[cc lang=”js”]
function freshimg(image){
if (image.src.indexOf(“?”) == -1)
image.src = image.src + “?v=” + Date();
[cc lang=”html”]

JS reload append to img src


PHP Method

[cc lang=”php]

PHP append to img src

” width=”160″ height=”600″ border=”0″ />


wideskyscraper from dummyimage.comHere’s some reference for the Date in javascript and php. Now to see it in action: here are a few examples, although this isn’t the best scenario for them, since these images won’t be changing. I’m just using some and an animated gif inspired by the same.

Link to view example of how to force a fresh image to load.

circlecube Relaunch

Not just a redesign but a whole new site and location! After having built loads of sites for clients/friends I kept learning things I wanted to employ on my own site, but the cobblers kids are always barefoot right? I kept implementing new things and knew that they were making my clients lives easier and I wanted it easier as well.

circlecube logo
I’d already updated my logo a number of times since my last redesign and I wasn’t happy with how my collection of sites all looked different and required repetitive work to maintain. circlecube-sketch-3Well, I did some sketches and committed to working on it just a few minutes a day. I really work best as I visually think through a design so sketching is always the first step in my designs. After I nailed down the basic elements and concepts I needed in the site through sketches I installed a new wordpress site, the thematic framework and then got started on a child theme. I really surprised myself and in a mere couple weeks I had a short list of things to do before I could “flip the switch”. The hardest part by far was trying to do 301 redirects from all the old posts which lived on either my blog or portfolio sub-domains. But thanks to my friend we were able to iron that out and I learned more than I ever wanted to know about mod rewrites and such. I was able to combine my blog and portfolio and my home page all into one site. I always felt weird pushing friends/potential clients and everyone else to my blog or my landing page or portfolio… but now they can all simply go to the same place!

circlecube-sketch-1My goal was to enable all content to be updated in the back-end, I didn’t want any content in the theme. And I didn’t want to have to redo the css or layout to move something from the header to the footer or sidebar for example. I placed a lot of content in widgets and a few pages that were wholly widget areas. I also needed a portfolio section that displayed a little gallery of images and possibly flash content automatically. It needed to be easy if I were going to ever update the portfolio, so I used custom post types and custom fields to attach images and other data to each portfolio item. Then one of my favorite pages is the social page, it’s just a collection of my social feeds all displayed neatly in one place.

While I’d love to release the theme for everyone, I cheated and used quite a few plug-ins to accomplish my designs so the theme itself doesn’t include all the functionality and I’m pretty sure it’s bad for to require plug-ins and set up to get a theme functional, but if you’re interested, let me know.

As usually happens though, I learned some more tricks as I built this site. So I have a list of things I’m ready to write and share about on the blog: custom post types, custom taxonomies, thematic customizations, css tricks, fancybox, custom fields, jquery, widgets, htaccess, importing/exporting wordpress, new favorite plug-ins and more… So be excited!

My only regret so far is the lack of texture on the site so I may come back and apply slight noise to the site background to make it more tangible. But I also like the clean look. Well, to see snapshots of the site I added the circlecube redesign to the portfolio section of this site (cheesy to include my own site in my portfolio? yep, but I’m excited to use the feature and I always retrospectively wish I’d documented site updates).

Still, there may be a few things that don’t fully connect, so please, please let me know if you see anything broken or experience a broken link. But stay tuned for some posts since I’m not spending time building the site I’ll put a little time each day into putting content on the site again.

Update a thematic child-theme for wordpress 3.0 menu

The new menu system in wordpress, while not perfect (yet), is a huge step in the right direction. I have had to update many old themes to support this feature, and as most of my theming is down with thematic, I finally got a standard block of code together to add to a functions.php file of a child theme to add theme support for menus and add them to the theme. Here is the code, all you do is add it to your functions file and then you can manage menus thorugh the new menu page in your pw dashboard! Enjoy!
[cc lang=”php”]
//// Add support for new menu in WP3
// declare that our theme supports wp_nav_menu()
add_theme_support( ‘menus’ );

// Register the a new menu for the theme called “Primary Menu”
function register_primary_menu() {
register_nav_menu( ‘primary-menu’, __( ‘Primary Menu’ ) );
add_action( ‘init’, ‘register_primary_menu’ );

// Remove the standard Thematic menu
function remove_menu() {
add_action(‘init’, ‘remove_menu’);

// Create the new wp_nav_menu called “Primary Menu” in theme
function new_access() { ?>

Adding a header widget in your Thematic child-theme

I’ve been building lots of wordpress sites lately and have been loving the thematic framework. I install the theme and then make my edits in a custom child theme. I’ve begun seeing a few things I end up doing in nearly every site and I wanted to share them because finding out exactly how to do it was a bit like finding a needle in a haystack.

The first one I’ll share is related to creating an extra widget area. I know thematic already has a ton of widget areas. I needed a spot in the header to easily update and add elements. It’s a place that commonly holds links, search boxes, phone numbers etc, and normally it’s ok hard coding that into the theme. But what about when it changes? I always try to empower my clients with the option of making tweaks like this on their own. I have found that it keeps them happy, as they don’t get billed or have to wait for me, and it keeps me happy, since that’s really not what I want to spend my time doing. I try to make my sites the kind that I need to do the heavy lifting and some instruction at launch, but then the client is in control and can maintain the site. Of course I explain that if they break it and I have to come in to fix it, then those are billable hours, anyways… that’s another post for another day. I wanted to give the header area (normally to the right of the logo but above the navigation) a widget area. It turns out that it is really a simple few lines of code put into the child-themes functions.php file to do it!

[cc lang=”php”]
// Add Widget area in header
function add_header_aside($content) {
$content[‘Header Aside’] = array(
‘args’ => array (
‘name’ => ‘Header Aside’,
‘id’ => ‘header-aside’,
‘before_widget’ => thematic_before_widget(),
‘after_widget’ => thematic_after_widget(),
‘before_title’ => thematic_before_title(),
‘after_title’ => thematic_after_title(),
‘action_hook’ => ‘thematic_header’,
‘function’ => ‘thematic_header_aside’,
‘priority’ => 0,
return $content;
add_filter(‘thematic_widgetized_areas’, ‘add_header_aside’);

// And this is our new function that displays the widgetized area
function thematic_header_aside() {
if (is_sidebar_active(‘header-aside’)) {
echo thematic_before_widget_area(‘header-aside’);
echo thematic_after_widget_area(‘header-aside’);

I know I got this code from someone in some forum somewhere, but it was a long search, and I couldn’t find it again when I looked, so whoever you are, thanks! I usually end up putting a search widget in the header and a phone number or other contact links or rss links and it’s become pretty standard in my toolkit. Hope it helps!

Cornerstone Media Group | Atlanta Web Design

csmediagroup redesignI’ve joined Cornerstone Media Group of Atlanta as the Senior Web Designer and Front-End coder! A bit stale as far as news goes, I’m going on 6 months already. The reason I bring it up now is that we’ve just relaunched our website. This new look is not just about new appearances and aesthetics, it is about a new approach. The redesigned website has new features that make the user experience easier and more intuitive. There is a dynamic portfolio and the company blog is tied more into the site and more into the business. Most employees are signed on as an author on the blog. We’ll do our best to flood the inter-web with good content related to what we do and our expertise. Three of our most popular business solutions now are highlighted buttons that can take you straight to landing pages with more in depth information on each solution; SEO, Web Design and E-Commerce. The redesigned website offers a freshness that comes with change. We hope you enjoy your new experience at cornerstone. If you’re in need of any web services chances are we’ll have a solution at CSMediaGroup.

StomperNet FormulaFIVE Launch Web Design

StomperNet relaunched the popular FormaulFIVE and I was responsible for the design of the landing pages. Here are screenshots from the launch, FormulaFIVE was teased with a couple video trailers and even packaged with some bonus videos called the Cash Booster series.
Aviary stomperf5-com Picture 2Aviary stomperf5-com Picture 1Aviary-stomperf5-com-3a
Go to to view the page.