Category: WordPress

This morning I read a very good discussion on the usability of WordPress Core on the Post Status Slack, primarily focussed on the comparison with platforms like Wix (if you’re a member, I highly encourage you to read it). One thing that, once again, struck me was how we have the issue where developer expectations of WordPress vastly differ from user expectations – let me address this in just a bit. For the beginning I would like to quote something Helen Hou-Sandí said during the discussion:

WP does not currently exist as a good piece of software for “building a site”. It’s getting there, and I think the vision’s been there for quite some time, just that this particular dev-oriented audience gets lost in what we want to do with WP and pushes back against features that would move toward said vision in the first place, just because it’s not what we need to do client stuff.

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For this year, I wanted to take some time to write down some notes on things that I would like to prioritize in my life. Just as how WordPress is now putting the main efforts into three major focuses, I wanted to separate mine into three major focuses as well. For 2017, these are going to be health, contributing and relationships. This is the first post I have ever written like this, and for the most part it will be a list of things I want to pursue. I would like to be able to return to this post at any given time to remind myself of these things and also to write a summary by the end of the new year in relation to which of these goals I have accomplished, in which points I have improved and which I should probably put more effort into. (more…)

Improve your WordPress Plugin Deployment

We hate SVN. At least most of us do. We all love GitHub (or Bitbucket, GitLab or similar). Yet, we wanna do WordPress plugins and put them up in the plugin repository.

There comes a time when everyone needs to get in touch with SVN, which is not wrong. As a developer, you should be familiar with it so that you can contribute to WordPress Core. 🙂  But using SVN to manage your plugin is a pain, especially since you probably have all development happen on a platform like GitHub. Fortunately, it doesn’t need to be like that. There are ways to deploy new plugin releases without even knowing that SVN is being used. Even if you love SVN to death, a deploy script for your plugins is worth using – let me introduce one to you in this post. (more…)

Making Your Plugin Routines Multisite Compatible

If you’ve been getting your way around with WordPress, you have probably heard of that thing called Multisite. Multiple web sites in one WordPress installation, that is. You may also call it a network of sites. If you haven’t actually used it, that’s another issue – maybe you have not (yet) come across a project where Multisite would have been the right fit. (In any case, I would encourage you to try it out on your dev environment then.)

This post is not about Multisite though. It’s about how you can make your regular plugin that you would like to write or might have written years ago compatible with Multisite. Because even if your plugin does not do anything related to Multisite in any way, there are some things to take care of, in particular you need to take care of your plugin’s activation / deactivation / uninstallation routines (if you have something like it in your plugin). Otherwise you are locking out some users from using your plugin, and you certainly don’t want that, I’m sure. Now that you have read this, please don’t run away, it’s not something you need to spend days for – it might only take a few minutes, and if you don’t have any of these routines, there actually is nothing else to do to make the plugin compatible (at least not for the scope of this tutorial). But now, let’s get started! (more…)

WordCamp Europe 2016

WordCamp Europe 2016 is over – well, not quite for me, according to a saying that says it’s not over until you blog about it. A year after my first WordCamp, it was coming back to the continental WordCamp which certainly raised the bar for those to come.

WordCamp Europe (a.k.a. WCEU) this year was held in Vienna, Austria from June 24-26, with an announced attendance count of about 2400 people – the largest WordCamp yet. It also had Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little, both co-founders of WordPress, attend their first WordCamp together in years. And it also had all the six lead developers of the project as well. It was held only a few days before the first beta of WordPress 4.6. It also had Wiener Schnitzel and other Vienna gourmet food per the location. A lot of perks here, so the expectations were high, and they were certainly met, maybe even more. (more…)

Initiative for Standard WordPress Theme Hooks

A while ago I read this post by Yoast on implementing standardized theme hooks in WordPress so that plugin developers have a unified way to insert their content into a specific theme location. The ideas Yoast included there were, in my opinion, amazing – and I immediately thought that a thing like this should be pushed forward. I also found an interesting Github repository of a thing called “Theme Hook Alliance”, but unfortunately I was not able to contact anyone there and I had the impression that it is not maintained any longer. Although discussions exist about including standardized theme hooks in WordPress Core, it currently doesn’t look like such a feature could possibly be added soon. That’s why, based on the resources mentioned above, I took some time to figure out a set of guidelines that, like I think, would vastly improve the WordPress infrastructure if people maintained this standard: The “WP Theme Standardization Panel” defines these guidelines (in the Github repository you’ll find instructions and a reference file on how to implement them). There is no file that you must necessarily include in your theme, it is just a standard you should maintain in your theme. I hope that this makes its way around so that WordPress developers start discussing about it, adding useful ideas and (best case) implementing it into their themes. And this is in no way a finished set of ideas – please take part in improving as much as there is to improve!

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Improving WordPress workflow with YeoPress, Grunt and Bower

I’ve been developing for WordPress over a few years now. I love the simplicity of the system (compared to other content management systems) and that it is nevertheless as powerful as all of its competitors. However, one thing always annoyed me, and I bet everyone else too: Setting it up is just a pain. Not because it is in any way hard, but because it costs some time. It’s only about 10 minutes maximum, but I didn’t want to invest this time doing the exact same thing for any web site I set up. Yeah, it’s just 10 minutes – but you probably heard that developers are lazy. You probably set up WordPress sites as well, so I don’t need to tell you this. But there is another way which I’ll illustrate in this tutorial. I will explain how you can set up your WordPress installation by executing just one single script in Terminal (you should have a basic understanding of how to use it before reading this article). Furthermore you will learn how to include a WordPress starter theme that has all the important tools built-in. But now let’s get started in kickstarting your projects!

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Backup The WordPress DB To Google Drive For Free

Have you ever heard of IFTTT? It has become pretty popular in geeky Social Media circles, and if you’re not using it yet, I bet I can change your mind. But now let’s get to the actual topic.

After I had started developing stuff for WordPress, I have always looked for an easy-to-use solution to backup my WordPress sites that is reliable and free. There are tons of plugins that can handle that for you, backing up the database in intervals you specify – and we will use one of them – but the problem is where to store the backups. On the server, you might answer. But if you don’t have the money to afford a high quality dedicated server or something like that, some hosting providers, for example Bluehost, forbid storing additional data that is not directly part of your website on their server – so they might shut down your account if they realize you have been backing up your files there regularly. You could also send the files to you via email, but this would not be very efficient as you would have to browse through your mails for finding a specific backup. This article, though, tells you how to automatically send your backups to a cloud platform like Google Drive (or any other) for free. It’s easy to setup, but it’s even easier after it has been setup – you don’t need to do anything about it. It only requires that you use a free WordPress backup plugin like BackUpWordPress, that you have a Google account with Gmail and Drive and that you have a free IFTTT account.

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