KillerSites Blog

Blogs and CMS

Building a CMS from Scratch

November 22, 2011

Every so often people ask about building a CMS (content management system) and so, I decided to included a snippet from an email I recently sent. One point I want to make clear; you can build a CMS using any server side programming language (PHP, Ruby, Java etc …) I just recommend PHP because I think that for most people out there, PHP makes sense.

From the email:

Before you can Build a CMS, you need to understand PHP basics … I would recommend either you get some of the basic PHP courses or you get our Complete Programmer package:

… I can almost guarantee that PHP and JavaScript will sink in after doing these courses. We don’t have the fanciest graphics but we do have the easiest courses to understand out there.

To be clear, to tackle the CMS course, you don’t need to do everything in the Complete programmer package … these should get you there:

PHP Basic – 274min
PHP Misc. – 141min
PHP and MySQL Basics – 105min
PHP CRUD + Pagenation – 90min
Beginners Javascript – 301min
PHP and Javascript Form Validation – 60min

… And that is probably overkill. I just want to be sure.

It may seem daunting, but you will find that it moves fast once you get into it. And of course, we have our active web community ready to help should problems occur.


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New Video: Build A Content Management System with PHP

June 1, 2011

I am happy to announce yet another screencast tutorial for all you nerds out there: Build A Content Management System.

OK, not the most exciting title, but still an exciting course for those PHP nerds who want to go from PHP basics and get into building a full-fledged PHP application from scratch.

Learn how to build a content management system that provides a website all the tools needed to allow basic web users to manage the website content with ease. Over 6.5 hours of tutorials over 41 videos!

Here are some details about the video tutorial:

This course is aimed at intermediate level web developers, demonstrating how to build a basic PHP based content management system that uses object oriented programming techniques and implements the MVC pattern.

Along the way, I cover a wide range of technologies, including HTML and CSS, a bit of javascript/jQuery/AJAX and PHP/MySQLi. I also show how to integrate Colorbox (a jquery plugin) and TinyMCE (for the WYSIWYG functionality.)

Read more: Building a PHP based CMS

Check out the CMS course sample videos


Stefan Mischook

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New WordPress 3.x Videos out and on the Way.

December 4, 2010

We have the following WordPress videos coming out, which are based on the current version – WordPress 3.0.2:

– Custom Taxonomies in WordPress
– Working With Custom Post Types in WordPress

… Both can be found on the Killersites video tutorial subscription service.

WordPress and Dreamweaver CS5

We should have a the first free sample videos out this coming week from a new series that teaches people how to work with WordPress via Dreamweaver CS5.

… This latest version of Dreamweaver, has a bunch of tools specifically for use with WordPress. Our video course will not only teach you Dreamweaver’s WordPress tools, you will also learn a lot about WordPress theme creation along the way.


Stefan Mischook

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WordPress Privacy Settings and the Search Engines.

June 16, 2010

Over time, as you learn more and more, you’ll soon find that knowledge that you once had, will slowly seep out of your brain (through the ears I think …) and soon stupid mistakes will be made.

Being an old time nerd, much has slipped away over the years – too much. Recently I relearned a basic setting in WordPress that controls whether or not the search engines will read and index your site – an important thing for most websites out there!

Anyway, watch the video and learn to not make the same stupid mistake I made with WordPress:

As some of you may know, I am a big advocate of WordPress (or some other blog or CMS) in day-to-day web design work. You can learn more about WordPress on


Stefan Mischook

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The WordPress Web Design Strategy

May 8, 2010

In the last couple of years, a new type of web designer has emerged: the WordPress web designer.

What is a WordPress web designer?

In a nutshell: smart, forward thinking web designers that base most if not all of their web design work off of WordPress. That means the entire web site is built using WordPress.

Why build all your sites using WordPress?

For the very same reason you don’t go the woods to kill a turkey for Thanksgiving (you go to the grocery store) … is why WordPress web designers don’t build static HTML websites – why would you not take advantages of all the things that WordPress does for you for free!

… Some nerd details:

When basing your web site off of WordPress, you get all this functionality for free:

  1. Advanced templating for easy site wide updates.
  2. Built-in SEO
  3. Automatic search and categorizing of your content.
  4. Built-in image upload and insertion.
  5. Built-in text editor and the ability for non-nerds to add, edit delete pages.

… And that is just scratching the surface!

The economic advantages of using WordPress

If you haven’t guessed it already, using WordPress in your day-to-day web work WILL have major economic advantages – in a nutshell, you will be able to provide a lot more for your clients for a lot less work! This will lead to you landing more web design contracts and making more cash because the extra WordPress skills will allow you to charge more for your time.

I’m such a big believer, I’ve even created a few video courses on WordPress.

Until next time nerds!

Stefan Mischook

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WordPress Updates: constant and annoying!

February 20, 2010


Anyone who knows me, understands that I think learning and using WordPress is pretty much a must for web designers – WordPress is a key tool in the web design toolbox. That said, WordPress does have it’s failings (though not many) and one of them is the seemingly constant stream of upgrades.

What!? Aren’t upgrades a good thing?

Normally sure. But it seems to me that just as soon as you’ve gone through the trouble of installing the latest WordPress upgrade … you get another dashboard message saying it’s time to upgrade, again!

Of course these days, WordPress now has an ‘Upgrade Automatically’ button that should do it all for you … but I confess, I’m old-school and I’ve never used it. I do it the old fashion way and download the new WordPress files manually, upload them to my server etc …

All my complaining aside, one option is to not upgrade all the time.


Stefan Mischook

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Scheduling your WordPress Post

February 11, 2010


WordPress allows you to schedule your post in advance so you can say, write up a bunch of articles and then schedule them to be published over a period of days (weeks or months .. whatever) while you are say … sitting on the beach.


The video (try watching in 720p and go fullscreen … it’s cool):

Actually, this very post was scheduled for publication the next day, while I was at the movies watching Avatar on the iMax.

… It could be, that you are watching this video at the very moment, that I’m actually watching Avatar and spilling my Coke on the person sitting next to me!


Thanks for watching,

Stefan Mischook

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Is Drupal too hard to skin?

January 1, 2010


I occasionally use email questions sent to me as the basis for a quick article; this time around I had a question about Drupal:


Just enjoyed your website introduction video. I am a senior but am still a regular producer of ads books and booklets for my church, having been a printer all my life. A member has set up a Drupal site – I have been asked to ‘smarten it up’ – I am new to it but I don’t see to prospect of arriving at a graphically attractive site from that program. I think I would be better suggesting we start afresh and build our own site.

What do you think?

Kind regards

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WordPress 2.9 is Out

December 20, 2009


I am a big believer in WordPress as a platform for web designers to build off of … why only give your clients a simple static site, when you can for the same price, provide them with all the bells and whistles that a WordPress based site can give you:

wordpress logo

  • built-in search.
  • ability for non-nerds to upload images and add new pages.
  • built in password protected pages.

… And man, there is much more.

Anyway, you ought to learn how to use this blog engine (like creating WordPress templates) … or any other, if you want to beat the competition these days. Other WordPress like blog engines/CMS’ you may want to consider include:

– Drupal
– Joomla
– Movable Type

… There are many others out there, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. I chose WordPress a few years back because it was powerful enough for my needs and it had a huge community to lean on – and it still does.

WordPress 2.9 just released

The nerds in charge of WordPress seem to have no lives … they just keep coming out with new versions it seems like almost every three weeks! OK, it is isn’t that often but it still is moving along at a pretty faced pace.

Some of the new features in these release:

1. Global undo/”trash” feature, which means that if you accidentally delete a post or comment you can bring it back from the grave (i.e., the Trash). This also eliminates those annoying “are you sure” messages we used to have on every delete.

2. Built-in image editor allows you to crop, edit, rotate, flip, and scale your images to show them who’s boss. This is the first wave of our many planned media-handling improvements.

3. Batch plugin update and compatibility checking, which means you can update 10 plugins at once, versus having to do multiple clicks for each one, and we’re using the new compatibility data from the plugins directory to give you a better idea of whether your plugins are compatible with new releases of WordPress. This should take the fear and hassle out of upgrading.

4. Easier video embeds that allow you to just paste a URL on its own line and have it magically turn it into the proper embed code, with Oembed support for YouTube, Daily Motion,, Flickr, Hulu, Viddler, Qik, Revision3, Scribd, Google Video, Photobucket, PollDaddy, and (and more in the next release).

You can read more about it at the WordPress site.


Stefan Mischook

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Speeding up WordPress with Google Gears

September 1, 2009


As you may know, I am a big WordPress fan and I use it on a few of my ‘killer’ sites. Anyway, I just discovered that the WordPress nerds have used the Google Gears project to speed up the WordPress admin user interface.

What is Gears?

Gears is basically a browser add-on that allows Javascript code to run much faster. To use Gears, you as a programmer, has to build it into your Javascript code (as the WordPress people did ..) and for people to benefit from Gears, it has to be installed into their browsers.

.. You can learn more about this in this video I just created:

You can install Gears (into your web browser) here:

Please note that Gears works with Firefox and Explorer only.

I hope you guys find this useful.

Stefan Mischook

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