Creating PokerChipTricks.com

First I’d like to thank my friend Dave for his help with most of the videos you’ll find at Poker Chip Tricks. Without his help, all of the great footage would not have been possible and the site wouldn’t be up yet.

Now for the topic at hand…using WordPress to manage the new poker chip tricks site.

I chose to use WP to manage the entire site because of it’s flexibilty and customization. I can easily post a new page, categorize it, and update it any time I want with only a few mouse clicks. I also wanted to be allow comments on pages, which WP does well. WP is primarily known as a piece of software for bloggers, but since it’s so powerful, it can be used for many other types of sites.

The design is based on Root‘s Gemini WordPress Interface, which was a great starting point for my layout. The menu rollovers are also using some of Root’s code.

One of the first things I did was set the opening page of the site to only display posts from the Announcements category. I didn’t want any other types of posts displayed here so that visitors would have to go through categories to see the posts.

Most pages generated by WP displaying more than one post are typically called “archive” pages because they show posts in a particular category or those written in a given time period. I didn’t want these “archive” pages to display the actual posts, so I simply display a list of links to the posts.

I’ve also removed the dates that posts are created because they don’t have any bearing on the purpose of the site. Instead, I display the date that each post was last modified using a plugin that I created a few weeks ago. For those posts that are written and never touched again, this date will be the same as the creation date. Dates are still used in comments though.

Now, something in WP I’ve never understood. If a post doesn’t have any comments, there is still a header for the comments section and the message, “No comments yet.” Why? Obviously if you don’t see any comments, there aren’t any. I’ve removed this section when the post doesn’t have any comments and simply display the “Leave a comment” section of the page. It saves on space and makes more sense if you ask me. When the post has comments, the header is displayed again.

The beauty of WP is that I only had to edit two files to make all of these changes, index.php and wp-comments.php. I LOVE WP!

The video player is Wimpy AV. For $29.95 I can use it as many times as I want on a single domain name. Exactly what I wanted. You can setup playlists, use a MySQL database, or simply allow the software to play all files in a particular directory. The player is actually a Flash program witch will only play MP3, SWF, and FLV files. I created SWF files using Flash to import the videos and export them as Flash movies.

All of the screenshots of each trick were created from the video files by using the Export feature in Quicktime. The thumbnails of each image were done in a batch using the Web Gallery Automation in Adobe Photoshop.

If you have specific questions about any of this, just let me know and I’ll be happy to help out.