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NetTuts.com:
More Tips for Best Practices in WordPress Development
July 25, 2014 @ 09:18:09

NetTuts.com has published a few more WordPress tips and best practices to help you get the most out of your WordPress-based application.

Welcome to the second part of the series. In the first article, we explained the WordPress Coding Standards, how to avoid namespaces collisions, comments in the code, and some basic security tips. Today, we are going to go a bit deeper and write some more code and learn some techniques to improve performance and security of our plugins.

They look specifically at when you should include your scripts and styles, formatting Ajax calls and working with filters and actions. Code snippets are included with each point with links to some other resources for some of the topics to provide more information.

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wordpress bestpractices development ajax scripts styles filters actions

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/articles/more-tips-for-best-practices-in-wordpress-development--cms-21013

NetTuts.com:
Running WordPress on OpenShift Part2
July 14, 2014 @ 13:22:52

NetTuts.com has posted the second part of their series about getting WordPress up and running on a RedHat OpenShift cloud instance. In part one of the series they looked at OpenShift as a whole and created the initial application. This part focuses more on setting up the right environment and getting WordPress installed using their rhc client tool.

In this tutorial, we will dive deeply into OpenShift to understand the custom build and deployment process. We will also learn the command-line tool for logging and troubleshooting when our application is down. [...] We did almost all of those tasks using the web interface which is great and very convenient; however, in addition to the dashboard, OpenShift offers a powerful client tool call rhc client.

They guide you through the installation of the command-line client (rhc) as a Ruby gem and include the results of the "help" command. They include example commands showing how to: ssh into the instance, deploy the application and add more functionality to prepare for the WordPress install. There's also some information about environment variables and creating a custom build process to deploy WordPress correctly.

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openshift tutorial install configure wordpress environment commandline

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/running-wordpress-on-openshift-part2--cms-19947

NetTuts.com:
How To Display Post Meta Data on a WordPress Post
July 11, 2014 @ 10:44:41

NetTuts.com has a a recent tutorial showing you how to show the metadata from a posting in WordPress right along with the other post data.

During the course of the series, one of the things that we did in order to help demonstrate the object-oriented principles as well as some of the features of the WordPress API was build a plugin. Specifically, we built a plugin that allowed us to view all of the post meta data associated with a given post within the WordPress dashboard. [...] Since that particular post was written, I've received a number of different questions one of which has been how do we take the data displayed in the dashboard - that is, the post meta data - and display it on the front end of the web site. In this article, we're going to take a look at extending the plugin such that we can display the data on a single post page.

To display the data, they actually extend the plugin they've already made. They start with some of the issues of this method (and the data itself) that you might run into during the development. They create a "public" directory to store the cached metadata in and a manager class to handle the functionality. The class loads the data and uses output buffering to capture the data. A public hook is defined to call the "display" action on each page load and the results are passed out to the view.

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wordpress metadata plugin extend tutorial action

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-display-post-meta-data-on-a-wordpress-post--cms-21658

Envato:
The Future of WordPress
July 10, 2014 @ 13:14:07

On the Envato blog there's a recent post that covers some of the future of WordPress resulting from some discussions at a recent Future of WordPress panel from the WP Think Tank.

There's one thing that we can all agree on: the future of WordPress is bright. Outside of this, the ever-passionate WordPress community is a hotbed for debates on where WordPress should go from here. With 22% of websites running on WordPress, a vibrant open-source community, amazing themes and plugins and a developer-friendly mindset, WordPress is stronger today than it has ever been. So what's next?

Their list includes changes touching just about all parts of the application including plenty of UI updates, a continued focus on backwards compatibility a shift towards plugin-driven development. This would allow new features to be installed as plugins when they're ready rather than modifying the core package. There's also some emphasis being put on making it work for "more than just blogging" and push towards more enterprise-level acceptance.

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Link: http://inside.envato.com/the-future-of-wordpress/

NetTuts.com:
Running WordPress on OpenShift An Introduction
July 09, 2014 @ 11:07:47

On the NetTuts site today there's a new tutorial that wants to help you get WordPress installed on OpenShift, the platform-as-a-service offering from RedHat that includes full PHP support.

OpenShift is a very good platform for running a WordPress site. PagodaBox and AppFog fair for hosting PHP applications for free; however, PagodaBox is quite slow, and has a hard limit of 10MB of MySQL for free plan. AppFog no longer supports custom domain on their free plan. You can also run PHP on Heroku, but it's a bit on the slow, as well. OpenShift solves all of above problems: It's fast enough, offers a free custom domain, offers large disk space, and a significant amount of MySQL storage.

They start by introducing some of the features OpenShift offers and the basics of what it includes in the free plans. They then walk you through the full process to getting an account set up and creating the environment for the WordPress install:

  • Sign Up for an Account
  • Setup Your Publish Key
  • Get Your WordPress Up (includes code changes if porting an existing installation)
  • Use Your Own Domain
  • Setup phpMyAdmin

They also offer some tips post-installation to help keep things up and running (monitored), enabling remote SSH access and using SFTP to connect to the application if there's a need.

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openshift tutorial install configure wordpress paas

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/running-wordpress-on-openshift-an-introduction--cms-20058

SitePoint WordPress Blog:
Speed Up Your WordPress Site
July 08, 2014 @ 10:08:34

Some advice has been posted over on the SitePoint WordPress blog with some tips for speeding up the performance of your WordPress site using both internal changes and some outside testing tools.

As one of the top user experience factors, website performance is more important than ever. Website speed and performance on mobile devices is particularly important, with a rapidly growing number of visitors accessing the web via smartphones and tablets. While WordPress is very easy to get up and running, making your site speedy requires a bit more work, and is an ongoing process. In this article we'll cover why speed matters, and offer some practical advice for how to speed up WordPress. Improving performance takes a lot of trial and error, but it's great fun!

They start the post with a few reasons why speed matters to your application and its users (including higher conversion rates). The show you how to run a basic speed test using the Google PageSpeed Insights and profiling the performance using the P3 (Plugin Performance Profiler). The post then gets into some of the factors that make an impact on your site's performance including the hosting provider configuration, choice of theme and number of plugins. They recommend some simple steps like minifying assets, caching or using CDNs to host the assets and make their load faster.

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wordpress speed performance tips

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/speed-wordpress/

NetTuts.com:
How to Use New Relic With PHP & WordPress
April 15, 2014 @ 11:43:04

The NetTuts.com Code blog has posted the second part of their series showing how to use the New Relic monitoring service in various kinds of web applications. In the previous article they looked at using it in a Ruby application, but in this new post it's all about PHP.

Today, we will look at how to monitor a PHP application using New Relic. More specifically, we will set up a basic WordPress installation and get some performance data about it, in the New Relic dashboards. [...] With the PHP version of the agent, the environment is a lot more important, as the agent is installed and lives on the box where the application will be deployed, rather than being part of any particular app.

They use an EC2 instance for their example, but the steps can be applied on other systems. They help you get the needed software installed, validate they're correctly configured and do a basic setup of WordPress. Next up is the steps to install the New Relic "newrelic-php5" software and get it fully installed. They also include the updates you'll need to make to your Apache configuration to configure the New Relic instance and how to keep the agent up to date.

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newrelic wordpress tutorial configure install

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-use-new-relic-with-php-wordpress--cms-20465

Dougal Campbell:
mysql vs mysqli in WordPress
March 07, 2014 @ 10:59:52

In his latest post Dougal Campbell shares his findings from a bug he was having with a plugin in WordPress. It revolved around the use of mysql or mysqli and errors being thrown to his logs.

The plugin had previously worked fine (it generates a sidebar widget), and I wasn't actively working on my site, so I wasn't really sure when it had quit working. In the course of debugging the problem, I discovered that the plugin was throwing warnings in my PHP error log regarding the mysql_real_escape_string() function. As a quick fix, I simply replaced all of those calls with WordPress' esc_sql() function. Voila, problem fixed.

He was interested in why this worked, though, and went digging in the code. As it turns out, the WordPress code tries to determine which mysql extension you have support for. As it turns out, his installation fit the "mysqli profile" so the "mysql_real_escape_string" wasn't available. To the WordPress users out there, he suggests esc_sql or $wpdb->prepare() instead.

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mysql mysqli wordpress escape string extmysql

Link: http://dougal.gunters.org/blog/2014/03/06/mysql-vs-mysqli-wordpress

Johannes Schlüter:
On rumors of "PHP dropping MySQL"
February 24, 2014 @ 13:44:21

There's been some rumors floating around about the possibility of PHP's MySQL support going away in upcoming versions of the language. In his latest post Johannes Schlüter tries to bring a bit of clarity to these rumors and what's actually being removed.

Over the last few days different people asked me for comments about PHP dropping MySQL support. These questions confused me, but meanwhile I figured out where these rumors come from and what they mean. The simple facts are: No, PHP is not dropping MySQL support and we, Oracle's MySQL team, continue working with the PHP community.

He suggests that the confusion might have come from the recent changes to "soft deprecate" the oldest ext/mysql functionality and warn users against using it in their applications. He talks about the history of MySQL support in PHP and one project that removing it could adversely effect (WordPress).

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mysql support remove rumor extmysql deprecate wordpress

Link: http://schlueters.de/blog/archives/177-On-rumors-of-PHP-dropping-MySQL.html

SitePoint Web Blog:
Is Ghost Really a WordPress Killer?
November 13, 2013 @ 11:19:32

The WordPress platform has become one of the de-facto standards when it comes to blogging and content management sites. In this new post, though, SitePoint wonders if a new competitor in the market is enough to unseat WordPress from its high ranking - Ghost.

When someone mentions the term blogging platform your mind likely brings up thoughts of WordPress, or maybe Blogger.com. It did, didn't it? While those two platforms have clearly carved out a respectable slice of the world's blogging population, there remains a void left unfilled. This gap in platforms was largely created by the incredible popularity and growth of the blogging world itself. [...] This new entrant goes by the stealthy moniker Ghost. A fitting name really, given it's unapologetic focus on no­frills web publishing.

They go through this new tool, spotlighting some of the features it offers and the extensibility it offers (complete with screenshots). While Ghost is a Node application (unlike its PHP counterpart) it's still relatively easy to get up and running. They do admit, however, that the title of the article is a bit inflammatory. Ghost and WordPress have different target audiences and widely different feature sets, but in the blogging realm, Ghost provides an interesting alternative.

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ghost wordpress blog overview tour simple

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/ghost-really-wordpress-killer/


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