Roger Wilco – space janitor extraordinaire and the everyman hero of the Space Quest adventure game series – has a lot to teach us about problem solving.
The Infinite Monkey Exercise is a way to plan your projects using an iterative, scalable approach to blue-sky thinking based on the infinite monkey theorem.
I work remotely, but I don’t work from home – coffee shops are my preferred working environment. Here are a few tips that I’ve learnt from my experience of doing this for the past few years.
Earlier this month, I chaired a panel at WordCamp Cape Town that was all about contributing to WordPress. As I wasn’t answering the questions on the day myself, I thought I’d pick out a few of the interesting ones and answer them here.
The other day I posted about showing plugin developers appreciation and how it’s actually really easy to do. The problem, as was pointed out to me, is that writing reviews, donations, etc. are all only accessible from the plugin page on the repo and there’s no quick way to get there from the WordPress dashboard. All is not lost, however! It is possible to add custom links to the plugin list table alongside the default links that point to the author’s website and the plugin details page.
So you’ve published your awesome plugin and it’s been downloaded a few times. What next? How do you push things to the next level? How do you make it more attractive to potential users? Here are five tips that I’ve learnt over the past couple of years.
Plenty of posts have been written about setting up a local development environment for WordPress, but when I moved to a new Macbook (running OS X Yosemite) I couldn’t find a post that contained all the instructions I needed. After some searching I got everything up and running and thought it would be worthwhile to share my process and tools here for posterity.
At WordCamp Cape Town 2014 I presented a workshop on building your first WordPress plugin. It was a pleasure to share my experience with everyone who attended the workshop and, as I promised at the end of the workshop, here are a few links regarding what we learnt.
With WooCommerce 2.1 having just been released, you’ll find that a number of functions that you have been using in your plugins and themes have now been deprecated in favour of better and more aptly named functions. Here is a simple function that checks if a site is running the specified version of WooCommerce or higher.
I put together a .gitignore file that will exclude all WordPress core files from your repo so that only your themes and plugins will be uploaded – this works recursively, so that it will ignore all the copies of WordPress you have in the sub-folders of the repo.
I’ve been working on a lot of plugins lately – many for my work at WooThemes and a few for my personal projects – and over time I have developed a standard code base from which I start any of my new plugins. I decided to share that code base here.
It’s a common problem with a dozen different solutions – if you’ve ever needed to add a ‘select all’ checkbox to a form in order to make your users’ lives easier then you’ll have searched for a simple way to do it. If you’re using jQuery here’s a very simple method.
When building a plugin that has its own settings page, it’s often handy to create a link to the settings page straight from the Plugins list – this saves users the time it takes to find where exactly your plugin appears in the admin menu. Here is a simple code snippet that creates the settings link for you – all you need to do is tell it where to go.
The other day I was working on a project that required me to extract a numeric ID from the current page’s URL. The problem was that the ID could either be at the end of the URL string or in the middle, depending if there were any parameters added on or not. Here is how I worked around the problem by looping through each character of the string.
I recently learned a handy little trick for tracking what companies do with your email address when you sign up for their newsletters, or enter a competition, or they find some other way to sucker you in to giving them your personal information. The only requirement for being able to do this is to have your own domain.