Manchester WordPress User Group February

Here's my notes from Manchester WordPress User Group February. This month Mike is joined by Tony Scott and Daniel Pataki.

Manchester WordPress User Group

Before Mike kicked off I had a nice chat with Stuart Wider who runs: https://heatmaptheme.com/

Part 1

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.

Daniel Pataki

/bonsai-directory.com/directory/ (no longer online)

https://danielpataki.com/

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

Configuring Themes

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 https://mysite.dev to https://mysite.co.uk.

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.

Part 2

Technical News

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.

https://codex.wordpress.org/Plugin_API/Action_Reference/save_post

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.

WP-CLI

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:

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2
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wp core download
ls -l
wp core install
wp plugin is-installed limit-login-attempts

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:

A Special Post for Mike Little

WP Crontrol

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.

UK Postcodes

An API for UK postcodes: /www.uk-postcodes.com/api (no longer online)

Plugin Development

Getting bleeding edge versions of WordPress to make sure plugins still work is always a nice idea.

Tiny Mice

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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