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A Redesigned WordPress Template Hierarchy

WordPress Template HierarchyWordPress offers a very useful Codex that I typically refer to multiple times a day while developing and designing WordPress websites.  One of the most valuable pieces of info that I’ve found in the Codex is the graphical representation of the Template Hierachy.  This graphic lets you know which files in your theme are used to display different post types and data (ie. Blog Posts, Custom Posts, Pages, Home Page, 404).  Unfortunately, what is there, while very useful isn’t the prettiest or easiest graphic to understand.

Luckily, one of my good WP Friends, Michelle of Marktime Media, took it upon herself to redesign the Template Hierarchy graphic with a focus on making easier to read and scan quickly so it can be more easily understood.

I urge everyone to use this great WP Resource.  Michelle did an awesome job of transforming this already useful resource into something even more valuable to the greater WordPress Community.

Check out the Redesigned WordPress Template Hierachy.

My First WordPress Plugin – WP-AntiSpambot

I’ve been making WordPress sites and plugin functionality for some time now, but have yet to make anything to release to the public.  I’ve been thinking about making something to submit to the WordPress plugin repo for some time and finally figured out I would do it.  I just wanted to see the process and get something up there, so I started out very simple.

I decided I’d create a plugin using the built-in WordPress antispambot() function.  This function will take a plain text email address and encode it into HTML entities so spambots can’t read it.  I don’t know how, but I didn’t actually know about this function until about a a month or two ago.  I figured I’d create a shortcode that takes advantage of this function in the WordPress editor.  You just have to wrap up your email address the shortcode as shown here to make your email address hidden to spammers (remove the spaces, of course).

[ email ]yourname@yoursite.com[ /email ]

I say the plugin is simple.  How simple you ask?  Well, it’s only four lines of code, save comments:

function df_antispambot_shortcode( $atts, $content = null ) {
 return '<a href=mailto:' . antispambot( $content ) . '>' . antispambot( $content ) . '</a>';
}
add_shortcode( 'email', 'df_antispambot_shortcode');

Yep, pretty simple.

I end up making some future improvements.  I had a suggestion to parse the editor to detect emails and automatically add antispambot.  I also could add a TinyMCE button to create the shortcode.  Maybe we’ll see these in future versions.

The submittal process to the WordPress plugin repo was pretty simple and straightforward.  How long does it take to get a plugin approved in the WordPress repo?  I submitted the plugin on February 28th and it was approved on March 6th.  Not too bad.  I encourage anyone to try your hand at a plugin.  It’s a fun experience.

Download my WP-AntiSpambot plugin here »

Change ALL the WordPress URLs for Site Migration, the Easy Way

At some point during the development of your website you are going to need to move it to a different server. You may start out working on your local machine using MAMP or XAMPP or you may work on a staging server before pushing your site live. Someday, you may even need to change the URL of your website altogether.

Now, you are working with WordPress and you know that WordPress stores the Site URL and Blog URL in the database and uses this to provide the URL to the enqueued CSS and JS files and for your menu, among other things. You go and change this, but you see that there are other URLs in your content or plugins that have not been changed. How can you be sure that all of your URLs are changed without having to sift through each and every page and post or having to install yet another plugin?

Enter the Search Replace DB PHP Script. This is a PHP script that uses your WordPress wp-config file to gather your database information then searches your database for any string of text you’d like and replaces with another string of text. This can be done to replace any information into the database, however, it is extremely useful for replacing all of the URLs on your site. Continue reading

Talking WordPress on WPWatercooler

I use WordPress for all of my web work now and make a living from the product. Because of this, I like to give back to the community in different ways. WordPress is a great free product, so I feel I should do my part to promote it. This is why I am an organizer for the Milwaukee WordPress Meetup and WordCamp Milwaukee. I also regularly give WordPress training and have spoke at the meetup, WordCamp Milwaukee, and WordCamp Chicago.

Today, I came across a twitter conversation between Patrick Rauland (@bftrick) and Jason Tucker (@jasontucker) about the Podcast WPWatercooler. Patrick is a regular on the show and wasn’t able to make it today. I responded back asking about the topic and Jason had invited me to be on the show. I was glad to find another way to give back to the community by participating in this podcast.

Our topic was support services for our WordPress customers. We talked about a myriad of products we have used including ManageWP, Maintainn, and ZenDesk. We also shared some of our practices while dealing with support requests. Check it out for yourself by watching the video below. (Link to Video Page). I’ll definitely look to participate in more podcasts in the future.

New Milwaukee Tech Group – The Milwaukee JavaScript User Group

Milwaukee JavaScript User Group

The Milwaukee tech community is a great place and it has been growing by leaps and bounds.  There are numbers of super smart and ambitious people that have helped me in feel at home in the community and in turn grow my career in tech and development.

In talking with many of them, we felt there was a big lack of a JavaScript group in the city.  I decided to take it upon myself to start up the group and see what it can become.  I even made up a nifty retro-looking logo for it.  What do you all think?

We are still figuring out the details, but we know that it will be hosted at Bucketworks.  We tentatively have speakers lined up for the first two events, but we are still looking for help in planning, speaking, sponsoring, or just showing up and having fun.  Let me know if you’d like to be involved.

Find us online at MilwaukeeJS.org

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