Here's my notes from Manchester WordPress User Group February. This month Mike is joined by Tony Scott and Daniel Pataki.
Before Mike kicked off I had a nice chat with Stuart Wider who runs: https://heatmaptheme.com/
WordPress 3.9 is still underway.
Tony Scott coordinator of WPUK gave an intro to a project he's working on (I'm not sure I can mention at this time).
Next Mike introduced Daniel Pataki.
/bonsai-directory.com/directory/ (no longer online)
Daniel is writing a book about WordPress and WordPress plugins with Smashing Magazine.
He explains that when selling themes, users and developers can get frustrated with restrictions when it comes to adding content in certain scenarios.
Daniel's plugin is still in development but is looking great as he shows some of things it can do. It ties in with Advanced Custom Fields and allows easy customisability without the need to write any code.
Questions and Answers
On the subject of themes, with lots and lots (200+) of configurable options, although this may seem great at first if you're new to WordPress and not familiar with code there are drawbacks. Having many configurable options often means there's much redundant code and generally be harder to update as each configurable option will require maintenance. If some code doesn't get updated this could later down the line also cause security issues.
Mike mentions that writing content and having it easily viewable is much more important than a lot of these configurable options and advices concentrating on good content rather than heavy customisation.
Choosing a Theme
On the official WordPress site it's possible to search themes using the tag filter:
/wordpress.org/themes/tag-filter (no longer online)
Update Database from Local to Live
A question I asked, I've recently noticed that when working locally and then putting a site live all the data in my custom menus had gone. I asked Mike why this was.
Previously I'd used: https://github.com/interconnectit/Search-Replace-DB
On this occasion however I did a find and replace on the url in the database. For example changing
What happens when using this method is that the url character string length has changed and it's this that breaks the data.
To prevent this issue from happening it's possible to use: https://github.com/interconnectit/Search-Replace-DB
Mike also recommended another way to get around it is when working locally just change one character of the url.
Where to Learn WordPress
A great place to start is the WordPress codex.
There's a section with lessons for learning WordPress, from beginners, designing and further development: https://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Lessons
WordPress Contributor Day
As mentioned last month, WordPress contributor day is happening in Manchester 1st March. http://www.wpcontributorday.com/
You don't need to know code to be able to help. Knowing a second language, finding bugs and suggesting improvements are just a few of the other ways where it's possible to contribute.
I didn't quite get this, but I gather from 3.8 for plugins / extra fields you can hook on a post action to capture extra information, custom post types and check if the post type is correct.
Jetpack - Let users showcase their posts with featured content: https://jetpack.me/2014/02/18/featured-content/
Some of these new features are not only available in the 2014 theme, but also in WordPress itself.
Mike shows us some of the things you can do with: https://wp-cli.org/
WP-CLI is for the more geeky at heart and allows you to use the command line to manage WordPress.
Some of the commands you can use:
wp core download
A full list of commands: https://wp-cli.org/commands/
A list of commands the community have contributed: https://github.com/wp-cli/wp-cli/wiki/List-of-community-commands
It's also possible to use with ssh: https://github.com/x-team/wp-cli-ssh
Whilst doing the demo I spotted something interesting in Mike's notes and sent him a reminder to update his password just in case anyone else saw it:
WP crontrol can also be used with WP-CLI. https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-crontrol/
Someone had an issue with a cron job and Mike recommended checking out the WordPress developer plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/developer/
This plugin can help identify issues and suggest improvements.
An API for UK postcodes:
/www.uk-postcodes.com/api (no longer online)
Getting bleeding edge versions of WordPress to make sure plugins still work is always a nice idea.
Tiny mice (as Mike calls it!) also know as tinymce has been updated in 3.9.
And that's a wrap, so you next month folks!
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