Welcome to the Automator World FAQ. This page should (hopefully) answer some of the, well, frequent questions that arise. The bulk right now concern the site design and coding, but others will be added as need be. But enough of my yackin’…

Q: What ass-kicking CMS do you use to drive Automator World (AW)?
A: WordPress, of course.

Q: Coolness. I love your site theme, any chance you can make it available for others?
A: I’d love to, and I have vague plans to make it available. The problem is, there is a lot of customized code and plug-ins hanging on WordPress like barnacles to make it work, and it would take considerable time to make a concise, reusable theme package.

Q: How did you do the cool resizable rounded-corners boxes that permeate the site?
A: Transparent custom corners and borders from 456 Berea Street.

Q: Ok, what about the paginated comments? That’s pretty slick…
A: I use the wonderful plugin WordPress Paged Comments.

Q: Those were softballs, tough guy. How about the download counts for the files?
A: This is the trickiest one of them all. At it’s core, I use the plugin Download Manager. This is a great plugin that allows an admin to track specific file downloads from their site. The problem is, it has no public reporting. Therefore, I had a custom php script written to track it. This script is very specific to how AW is managed, so I don’t know how valuable it would be to other people. The dev has mentioned he wants to add reporting to the plugin, but no word lately. Send him feedback!

Q: So what are all the plugins you use for the site? There must be a lot, right?
A: Not as many as you would think, really. Here they are:

  • Ad Rotator – Rotates Ads randomly. Helps with the revenue to keep this site alive.
  • Akismet – Free, amazing, everyone has it and should use it.
  • Category Image(s) – Displays image for each category associated with a post.
  • Customizable Post Listings – Used for comment counts.
  • Download Manager – Detailed above
  • Markdown – Not included by default anymore, for some reason, but the best way to write for the web, not code
  • Paged Comments – Detailed above. Simple, powerful.
  • Post Templates by Category – Load custom single post templates in specified categories. I use this so that my news-related posts have different layout than workflow/action posts.
  • Drop Down Categories – Extends WPs drop-down categories with more options.
  • WP Paginate – More customized pagintion of category listings than WPs built-in.

I should note that AW can –and probably should– be more efficiently written. I’m sure some of these plugins are out-of-date with WP 2.0, and the templates a bit more efficiently written, but if it ain’t broke, etc…