WordPress 3.8 Quick Tips

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Published December 27, 2013 by Brad Knutson
WordPress 3.8 Quick Tips

WordPress 3.8 has been out for a little while now, and so far it’s been a huge success. The admin interface and design are flawless, and even responsive. WordPress runs fast and more efficient, and has closed some security holes. I know that many consider the jump from 3.7 to 3.8 a “minor” update, but I think WordPress and the developer community responsible for it’s launch really outdid themselves.

With the new features in WordPress comes the desire to modify some core features. I’ve put together a short list of WordPress 3.8 specific “hacks” that will help out rookie designers and seasoned WordPress developers alike.

How to Set the Default Admin Color Scheme for Specific Users

Have I mentioned how awesome the admin interface is? I love the flat design, it looks really modern and user friendly. WordPress lets you select your own color scheme to match your WordPress admin to your personality.

Set Admin Color Scheme for Specific Users in WordPress

Personally, I’m sticking with the Default selection (what can I say, I like darker/black-and-white sites), but you might want to change the theme. What if you wanted to change the default theme selected for newly created WordPress users? Perhaps you want a more inviting color scheme for your less WordPress-handy co-workers?

Enter this function into your themes functions.php file, or a functionality plugin:

function set_default_admin_color($user_id) {
	$args = array(
		'ID' => $user_id,
		'admin_color' => 'coffee'	);
	wp_update_user( $args );
add_action('user_register', 'set_default_admin_color');

Other color scheme options that you can enter into the admin_color are default, light, blue, ectoplasm, midnight, ocean, and sunrise.

How to Disable Users Ability to Change Admin Color Schemes

Perhaps you want to disable your authors and users ability to change their admin color scheme. This is the type of tyranny I can get behind!

Add this short function to your themes functions.php file, or a functionality plugin:

if ( !current_user_can('manage_options') )
remove_action( 'admin_color_scheme_picker', 'admin_color_scheme_picker' );

How to Modify the Scheduled Maintenance Message

With WordPress 3.7 came automatic updates. WordPress installations will now automatically install minor updates and patches behind the scenes, without any user intervention.

When your site decides it’s time to update, it will briefly go into maintenance mode, and display a message on the screen in place of your website:

WordPress Quick Tip - Modify Scheduled Maintenance Message

In theory, this message should only display for a moment or two, but what if you’d like to modify it?

Create a new PHP file and name it maintenance.php. Paste the following code into the file:

$protocol = $_SERVER&#91;"SERVER_PROTOCOL"&#93;;
if ( 'HTTP/1.1' != $protocol && 'HTTP/1.0' != $protocol )
    $protocol = 'HTTP/1.0';
header( "$protocol 503 Service Unavailable", true, 503 );
header( 'Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8' );
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<h1>We're taking a moment to clean things up, check back in a moment!</h1>
<?php die(); ?>

You can modify this file in any way you’d like, including styling it with CSS.

How to Disable Automatic Updates

Want to disable the auto-update feature altogether? You have that option available to you!

Add the following line to your wp-config.php file in your WordPress root directory:

define( 'WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false );

By disabling the auto-update feature, you will still be notified of any minor updates for WordPress, and have the option to manually run them as you see fit.

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Founder at Inbounderish
Brad Knutson is a Web Developer in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. He has experience working with WordPress and Drupal, and also has an interest in SEO and Inbound Marketing.

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