Tag Archives: WordPress

Improving a system: Different types of WordPress admin pages

In a previous article, we saw how to design a system for WordPress admin pages. The article was an excellent resource for anyone looking for a system to solve that specific type of problem. But it was only a starting point. (That said, you should take the time to read it before reading this article.)

All that we did was convert code from another article into the WordPress admin page system. We didn’t look at any other use cases besides the ones covered in that article already. But the reality is that there are a lot of them.

For example, the article only looked at how to add submenu pages. But there are other types of admin pages besides that one. The admin page system should be able to handle them all.

This is one of several advanced use cases that you might encounter with the WordPress admin page system. That’s why the system as we saw it so far is a great place to start. But handing these uses cases like different types of admin pages might be necessary depending on the kind of project that you’re working on.

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How I marketed and published a niche WordPress book

A few weeks ago, I released my first book “Discover object-oriented programming using WordPress“. The book had $11,040 in sales during its launch week. This went above and beyond the expectations that I had for how well the book would do. (I would’ve been ecstatic if it’d made even half of that.)

But before I go any further, I want to do a small preface. What I am going to talk about isn’t anything that I really figured out myself. All that I did was read a lot of what others had done and then tried to do it myself in my own authentic way. (That last part is super important though!)

I’m especially thankful to Nathan Barry and his book “Authority“. (Sadly, he doesn’t sell just the book anymore.) I’m also super grateful to Paul Jarvis who’s inspired me to have my own quirky voice through his newsletter. He and Justin Jackson (not the basketball player!) taught me that marketing didn’t have to be this slimy thing if you were authentic about it. (Justin has a course on marketing for developers.)

That’s also why I’m taking the time to write down all my thoughts about this experience while everything is still fresh. (Much like my year in reviews.) I was only successful because other people shared how they approached marketing and self-publishing a book. I want to do the same by sharing as much information as I can for anyone interested in marketing and publishing their own book.

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How to approach object-oriented programming with WordPress

I gave a talk on object-oriented programming with WordPress at WordCamp Miami 2019. This is the companion article that I wrote for it. If you’re just looking for the slides, click here.

You’re a WordPress developer who wants to use object-oriented programming in their next project. You’re already familiar with concepts like inheritance. The issue is that you’re not sure how to apply those concepts to design classes that feel useful.

This isn’t something to feel ashamed about! In fact, it’s a common problem when trying to use object-oriented programming with WordPress. It’s hard to know how to design classes that work well with WordPress. (That’s why this site has so many articles dedicated to that topic.)

But why is this so hard to do? Well, there are a few things going on. And together they create this situation that makes using object-oriented programming with WordPress complicated.

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Designing a system: WordPress admin pages

In a previous article, we saw how to design a class to represent a WordPress admin page. The article was an excellent resource for anyone looking to design a class to solve that specific type of problem. But it was only a starting point.

For example, we used the settings API to handle forms. But the settings API doesn’t quite do the job for every use cases. For those other cases, you’re going to need to manage the submission of a form yourself.

But to handle these different use cases, we’re going to need a more solid foundation. So we’re going to take the work that we did to design our admin page class, and we’re going to take it one step further. We’re going to design a whole system for WordPress admin pages.

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Introduction to WordPress acceptance testing

As a WordPress developer, the topic of testing isn’t something that we hear about that often. And, if we do hear about it, it’s more often than not just one specific type of testing: unit testing. (That’s even the one that I’ve thought first!) In fact, it’s not uncommon to associate testing with unit testing because of this.

But software testing is an enormous field. There are a lot of different types of testing. While they might not all be as useful as unit testing, they still all serve a specific purpose.

That said, there are other types of testing that are as useful (or almost as useful!) as unit testing. Acceptance testing is one of them. It’s especially useful if you’re a plugin or theme developer.

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How do you start unit testing existing WordPress code?

A lot of us have heard about unit testing. Out of all the different types of testing (and there are a few!), it’s probably the better-known one. It’s also the most common form of testing used with WordPress.

In the past, we’ve looked at how unit testing works with WordPress. That said, knowing how unit testing works is one thing. This knowledge doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to get started with it in your projects.

Some of us work with existing code bases. It could be a plugin, a theme or a whole WordPress site. How do you take the fundamentals of unit testing and apply them in that context?

This is a tricky question to answer, but it’s also an important one. Most of us will not start using unit testing in a vacuum. We’re going to start using it with one of those existing code bases.

This brings with it its own unique sets of challenges. It also means that you need to have a strategy for them. This will help make this transition smoother for you.

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Continuous deployment to the WordPress directory with CircleCI

Note: This article focuses on how to continuously deploy a plugin using CircleCI. But you can also use everything discussed here with a theme as well.

As developers, we all have our preferred tools and distinct way of working. That’s why it’s not uncommon for us to write about it or create scripts to set up our work computers. But the one tool that most of us tend to agree on is using git for version control.

That said, if you’ve ever had a plugin or theme on the WordPress directory, you know that it doesn’t use git. It uses subversion. That’s a problem for a lot of us because we don’t want to have to deal with both.

While there are a lot of resources out there to deal with this problem, it also presents us with an opportunity. We can use this problem to build a continuous deployment workflow for the WordPress directory. This will allow us to not worry about this aspect of WordPress plugin development anymore.

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Designing entities using WordPress custom post types

Custom post types are one the most powerful features of WordPress. You can use them to save any type of data that you want in the wp_posts table. Most plugins that build complex features on top of WordPress (e.g. WooCommerce) rely on them.

But custom post types aren’t just useful for developing new features on top of WordPress. They also allow us to rethink how we use object-oriented programming with WordPress. And, as we’ll see, this is an important step in your journey learning object-oriented programming with WordPress.

That’s because having a different view of custom post types will expand your object-oriented design horizons. They’ll help you build new types of classes that you might not have considered before. And this can be a game-changer when creating larger object-oriented plugins or themes.

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Getting started with continuous integration and WordPress

I gave an introduction to continuous integration with WordPress at WordCamp San Diego 2018. This is the companion article that I wrote for it. If you’re just looking for the slides, click here.

Writing high-quality WordPress code is hard to do. It requires constant effort on our part and good self-awareness to know when we slipped up. But, if your business has any sort of success (which we all want!), you’re going to work with more and more people. And many of them are likely to touch with your code.

This is going to put a strain on your development processes. It becomes harder to maintain a certain level of code quality. And you’re no longer the only person making code changes. You’re now part of a team, and you need a way to standardize all of the things you once did on your own.

That’s goal of continuous integration. It lets you automate your different development workflows. This ensures that the quality of your code stays consistent.

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Designing a class to represent a WordPress meta box

In a previous article, we discussed how to design a class representing a WordPress admin page. This was important because almost every plugin or theme needs an admin page. But this isn’t the only common thing that plugins or themes add to the WordPress admin.

Another one of those is the meta box. If you’re not familiar with meta boxes, they’re the draggable boxes that you see on the post editing screen. It’s quite common for plugins and themes to add post-specific functionality through them.

This makes them a good topic to discuss with object-oriented programming. (Is there really a bad topic to discuss with object-oriented programming!?) And, as we’ll see, meta boxes have a lot of in common with admin pages. This means that designing a class to represent them will be a lot like what we did for admin pages.

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