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The 5 Best WordPress Add-Ons for Business

I work as a contractor for several companies, one of which has been using a couple of Ruby on Rails web applications. I worked with a small team of developers to write them: a payment site, and the actual product/service site. As time went by, I became the only developer doing the maintenance and building additions and since software applications take so long to be bug free, these two are far from it. After over a year and more than 1000 users, we are scrapping the Rails apps and replacing them with other options.
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Don’t show a WordPress category on posts page

Have you ever used WordPress posts for something other than a blog post? I use them for FAQ pages, but I don’t want the FAQs to show up in the main blog, so I added this into the theme functions.php. It can also be used in a new plugin.

(?? = category id number)

function exclude_category($query) {
  if ( $query->is_home )
    $query->set('cat', '-??');
  return $query;
add_filter('pre_get_posts', 'exclude_category');

The minus sign in front of the category id means don’t include.

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Display Widgets WordPress Plugin

September 2017 Update: Major security vulnerabilities have been added to this plugin since we turned it over. If you are still using it, update to version 2.7. This plugin will not receive any updates in the future. The WordPress plugin team has shut it down, but added one last version so you can safely update to get rid of the malicious code. 2.7 is exactly the same as the last version we released before selling the plugin (v2.05).

Since the WordPress plugin team has taken it over, there will be no updates in the future. If you’re looking for an alternative, try Widget Options. They have even built a migration tool to move seamlessly from Display Widgets to Widget Options.

May 2017 Update: This plugin has been purchased by another company. If you’re looking for support, you can contact them at

Change your sidebar content with each page. Avoid creating multiple sidebars and duplicating widgets by adding check boxes to each widget in the admin (as long as it is written in WordPress version 2.8 format) which will either show or hide the widgets on every site page. Great for use with Thesis theme, or just to avoid extra coding.

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Update: Please post issues and questions in the support forum

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Contact Form 7 Widget WordPress Plugin

UPDATE: You can now use the Contact Form 7 shortcodes in text widgets. This plugin is no longer needed. If you’re looking for an easier alternative to Contact Form 7, try Formidable. If you’re using this widget for the styling, please note you can also use the Formidable shortcode in place of the Contact Form 7 shortcode.

The Contact Form 7 Widget plugin includes many widget options and must be used alongside either Formidable or Contact Form 7 plugin. We only support the widget plugin and Formidable, but not Contact Form 7. For help and support for the Contact Form 7 plugin, click here.
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When MAMP servers won’t stop/start

  1. Start the MAMP application. The start page will open a new web browser page, but will fail to connect, which is expected since the server isn’t really running although MAMP seems to think it is.
  2. Click the Preferences button.
  3. In the Preferences window, don’t make any changes. Just click the OK button.
  4. Results: The Apache and MySQL servers will stop and restart. Correctly, this time, rather than spinning infinitely. To make sure things are working, click the Open Start Page button; the MAMP start page should then load in a new browser page.
  5. If the Dashboard widget still continues to spin, just click its Stop Servers button, wait for the servers to stop completely, then click Start Servers.

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