The Week in WordPress: 4th Week of October, 2012

The ThemeShaper WordPress Theme Tutorial: 2nd Edition” is the new upgrade of ThemeShaper’s super popular WordPress theme development tutorial. It now contains new code samples, better practices, and, well, you just have to take a look yourself. It’s very comprehensive.

The WordPress Settings API” is a comprehensive, clear guide by Konstantin Kovshenin. This should be the go-to page for my Settings API learning in the future.

Cliff Seal shares his WordPress development process.

Key Differences Between Validation and Sanitization” is a good development article, too. I’m more surprised that it’s published on the WordPress.com VIP blog, there’s one new feed to subscribe to for me.

Utilizing User Roles In WordPress” is a Smashing Magazine article, so there’s a good chance that you’ve heard about it already. Instead of, you know, reading about it just now from a small WordPress blog. But anyway. Have a look.

The Week in WordPress: 3rd Week of October, 2012

@pippinsplugins shared a nice plugin find: “Uploads by Proxy“. During development, we often both have a local version in our computer and a live version somewhere on the web. This plugin helps by synchronizing the images in content/wp-uploads on both version. When used, our local version can use images uploaded in the live site without having to download them first.

Pete Schuster shares his WordPress CSS setup. It seems to become a trend to not use style.css as the main place to store a theme’s styling. Instead, enqueue function is used to load various styles for better modularity.

Tom McFarlin writes his strategy to use LESS in WordPress.

Client Oriented WordPress Development” ebook launches.

The Week in WordPress: 2nd Week of October, 2012

WordPress Theme Demand Still Strong“, reports WPHub.

How to Scan Your WordPress Site for Potentially Malicious Code” by WPBeginner.

Over at Smashing Magazine, Siobhan McKeown writes a massive post about common WordPress malware infections.

In “Welcome to the Post-CMS World“, Benjamin Balter shares his experience and findings after converting his site from WordPress to Jekyll.

How to do damn near anything with WordPress” is a massive, bookmark-worthy resource list by Stephanie Leary.

Tom McFarlin writes his about development practices and coding standards in “Going Above and Beyond the WordPress Coding Standards“. There’s bound to be an idea or two you can use there.

Finally, WordPress 3.5 beta 2 is available.

The Week in WordPress: 1st Week of October, 2012

First up, a very concise plugin debugging flowchart by @scribu.

WordPress Themes: XSS Vulnerabilities and Secure Coding Practices” by Tony Perez of Sucuri.

Using LESS with WordPress” by Noel Tock of happytables fame.

A bookmark-worthy “Migrating WordPress Websites” workflow by Bill Erickson. Even the first step is smart.

What WordPress Theme Developers Can Learn from Twenty Twelve” by Konstantin Kovshenin. An in-depth write up about the features inside WordPress’s default theme of the year from a developer perspective.

Building the WordPress plugin“, by Matt Kelly, a Facebook Engineer who develops the Facebook for WordPress plugin.

Finally, Tom McFarlin has been writing great WordPress articles, have a look. A few sampler: “Writing WordPress Code – Clean but Not Clever“, ”

How I Organize My Files When Developing WordPress Themes“, and “Five Suggestions For Writing Better JavaScript in WordPress“.

The Week in WordPress, 4th Week of September, 2012

I Don’t Use Custom Post Types In My Commercial WordPress Themes“: Mike McAlister sells themes (and he sells tons of it), yet he doesn’t use CPT feature for his themes. His argument is that there are cases where using Post and Page is simpler to handle user’s content. Selling commercial theme is one such case, and he hasn’t had any problem with his users from that decision.

Why I’m Against Placing Custom Hooks in WordPress Themes“: Tom McFarlin disagrees with the practice where themes create their own custom template hooks API. The comment section reveals in interesting movement called the “Theme Hooks Alliance“, an effort to standardize how developers add hooks to their themes.

My WordPress Theming Inspiration“: Ian Stewart loves really old Blogger templates. ;)

WordPress Workflow Tips: Using Subversion Externals for Plugins, Themes and Core“: Konstantin Kovshenin writes a tutorial where we can use WordPress-hosted theme/plugin Subversion repositories in our projects.

More Internationalization Fun“: Otto’s sequel to his great internationalization article, “Internationalization: You’re probably doing it wrong“.

The Week in WordPress, 3rd Week of September, 2012

Treasure Hunting In WordPress Core.” Learning about core code as a way to find existing solutions to coding problems we might encounter.

Brian Krogsgard’s “Mac and Web based tools for WordPress Theme Development” is a nice peek to his development process.

Filtering the Options API in WordPress.” Could be useful.

Lastly, a tutorial on displaying a different menu for different user roles and capabilities.

Bonus: if you’re in the mood for some drama, head over to this ThemeForest forum thread, where Justin Tadlock, Carl Hancock and Pippins Williamson (among others) talk about the lack of WordPress best practice usages among some of the sellers there.

The Week in WordPress: 2nd Week of September, 2012

WordPress 3.4.2 is out. It’s a maintenance and security release, so better be upgrading if you haven’t yet.

Here’s an article on Forbes about the history of WordPress and Automattic. I always find Automattic to be a company that does the right thing, for the most part. Seems to be a great working place, too. Matt Mullenweg wrote his thought about that article as well.

Making of: BillErickson.net Redesign“. Bill Erickson wrote some of the best WordPress tutorials out there, and the website recently got a redesign from well-known designer Rafal Tomal. The article reveals a detailed look into his redesign process.

The Ecology of WordPress Plugin Development” is a well-written article about making your code ecosystem-friendly. The lessons should apply both for plugin and theme development.

5 Common WordPress Issues and How to Fix Them” is a quick read, good to know the solution for each of these.

Problems with themes on ThemeForest, are problems with themes“. Japh Thomson, WordPress Evangelist at Envato, addresses the problem us developers often find when working with themes bought from ThemeForest. The discussion in the comment section is especially worth reading.

Ultimate WordPress Custom Post Type Tricks Roundup“. Title says all.

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The Week in WordPress: 2nd Week of November, 2012

Ghost, Rethinking WordPress. Also don’t miss the discussion over at Hacker News.

For The Aspiring Professional WordPress Developer is a collection of good advices for those wanting to be a WordPress pro.

Recently I had the task of cloning a WordPress site both to my local server and to another development server that I host. The Duplicator plugin has been a massive help for me, makes cloning really simple and fast. Highly recommended.

Classy Plugins

Eric Mann uses classes in his non object-oriented WordPress code. Here’s why.

Playing Nice with the “the_content” Filter

This great article could be useful if for some reason you have a need to filter the_content in your theme.

Google Goes After Links In WordPress Themes

New post from the Search Engine Roundtable: Someone “…received a response from Google to a reconsideration request that the only way his site will be reincluded in Google is if he removes all or most of the links in those WordPress themes.” The problem is that those links are in the form of sponsored links on footer (a practice I saw a lot in the past, not so much in the present).

I don’t think it will be easy, or even possible, to do what Google requested. If a theme contains an upgrade notification feature it might be possible to do, but even then the users might choose not to upgrade.

Secondly, if this is true, I wonder whether Google differentiates between credit links (“Designed by…”) and sponsored links. I would say they should, but then again I’m not a SEO guy.

Theme Options Gallery

New favorite blog: Theme Options Gallery by Konstantin Kovshenin, discussing “the best (and the worst) theme options screens around”. Loving the in-depth article and discussions already available there.

Dive into Responsive Prototyping with Foundation

Pretty safe to say that if it shows up on A List Apart, it’s going to be the de facto standard. Time to learn some Foundation.

Google HTML/CSS Style Guide

Couple of days ago we got Starbucks’ style guide, and now here’s another by Google. I think the interesting thing is the rule to “\[o\]mit the protocol from embedded resources“. So instead of typing <script src="http://www.google.com/js/gweb/analytics/autotrack.js"></script>, they recommend to type <script src="//www.google.com/js/gweb/analytics/autotrack.js"></script> instead (without the http part). Never heard of that before.

“I Woke Up but My Server Wasn’t There”

Robb Shecter’s WordPress site got popular overnight thanks to Reddit and went down immediately. The interesting aspect is that the site was new and it’s on a relatively high-powered server. The author then found that the theme he used in particular was doing too many (47!) server requests at a time, and the site ran along very well after switching back to Twenty Eleven.

I think it’s an important read for any theme developers out there.

Read the story here

Modern Web Development – Part I: The Webkit Inspector

A superbly detailed article, part one of a series about web development toolchain.

Crayon Syntax Highlighter plugin

I’ve always been on the hunt for that perfect syntax highlighter plugin. Currently I’m using WP-Syntax, which does its job very well. However I’ve just found this plugin called Crayon Syntax Highlighter, which could be a good contender for the best WordPress syntax highlighter plugin out there.

It looks good, and I like the little toolbar on top of the code box, with the small icons. Additionally, it also offers a lot of customization options. Lastly, it seems to support the same pre tags to wrap the code, similar WP-Syntax, so if I do make the switch, my old codes will still be highlighted correctly.

Starbucks Style Guide

The Starbuck website has its own style guide, accessible for public. I think its a neat idea, wouldn’t it be cool if themes have their own style guide? Pretty sure it will be helpful both to users or developers alike, if time consuming to write.

Also, I wonder what they use for the various toggles panel on the top right corner like on this page. It shows background, baseline, boxes, can be used to change windows size as well. Looks like it’s custom coded, imagine how super useful it can be if it’s a jQuery plugin.

NHP Theme Options Framework

I love theme options frameworks. And I want you guys to check this new framework called NHP. It passes my “does its UI look like the rest of WordPress enough?” test (screenshots here), it has tons of field types, and even offer validations, too.

Can’t wait to test and probably use it too in my to-be-released theme hint hint

What Dev4Press thinks WordPress needs…

This post at Dev4Press outlines what MillaN, its author, thinks would be a necessary addition to WordPress.

Based on the comments, it appears that a lot of people agree with this list. Some of the items mentioned can be achieved with plugins (e.g Tax Meta Class to add meta data to taxonomy items, Custom Post Types Relationships for, well, creating custom post type relationships), so expect there to be a bunch of debates about what should and shouldn’t go to the core.

I like his list, but I disagree with his assessment that we don’t need new core themes. We do, especially to bring about the standard for how a theme options should be designed. This is the aspect that desperately needs to be standardized. Different theme companies and individual theme designers have their own idea of how the theme option UI should look, and it’s hurting the users.

Upgrading from WordPress 1.5

I recently spotted this interesting Ask Metafilter thread where user gd779 tries to find a way to upgrade his old, WordPress 1.5 install. One of the answer is pretty detailed:

I think the right approach is going to be:

  1. Do a full backup of your WordPress files
  2. Do a full database backup (mysql dump using phpMyAdmin or similar)

Then, from your 1.5.2 install:

  1. Upgrade to 2.0
  2. Upgrade to 2.5.1
  3. Upgrade to 3.0
  4. Upgrade to 3.3.1

It is quite fascinating thinking about the solution to this. There’s an official Codex page called Updating WordPress, but it doesn’t seem to go that far back in time.

Smashing Special: What’s Going On In The WordPress Economy?

Siobhan McKeown wrote this awesome, birds-eye view of the whole WordPress economy. Make sure to read this two-part article so you know what’s up with WordPress and identify what opportunity lies ahead.

I agree with Matt’s prediction on that article:

I think the next big opportunity is around agencies and consulting—there will be five to six companies as large as Automattic, just providing high-end consulting and services to the large customers who are adopting WordPress en masse.

Start with Part I of the article.

Automatic responsive images for WordPress

The one issue with creating responsive web design is in displaying images, especially getting the most appropriate size in a particular screen size. One solution for it is the Responsive-Enhance jQuery plugin. It works by loading small-sized images by default, then checks the screen size and loads the bigger version if necessary.

According to its creator, Josh Emerson:

This results in a faster perceived page load speed, but a slower actual speed. I’m happy with this solution as I care more about perceived speed than actual speed.

This tutorial by Keir Whitaker takes the whole thing further by teaching us how to apply Responsive-Enhance in WordPress.

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