When the url of a published post is updated in WordPress, the previous url slug is saved into a meta key called _wp_old_slug and a 301 redirect is created automatically. In most cases this is exactly what you would want to happen, but there are rare cases where it can cause a problem.
I hit an odd edge case when upgrading to WordPress 4.4 on WP Engine. At some point the slugs for two WooCommerce products had been swapped, so the _wp_old_slug for ‘product-1’ was ‘product-2’, and ‘product-2’ was ‘product-1’. This should have caused an infinite redirect immediately, but for some reason those rules were ignored until the WordPress 4.4 upgrade. Continue reading →
The JetPack plugin makes it easy to add share buttons to posts in WordPress. With a little custom code it’s also possible to track how often the share buttons are clicked and which URLs are being shared.
If you have you have a lot of user accounts for subscribers (or customers if using WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads), you might find these functions useful for blocking access to the dashboard and simplifying logins. Continue reading →
WordPress has a button in the editor for adding blockquotes to a post. But what if an author wants to add a citation? Unfortunately, it’s not possible without a little HTML knowledge.
This is a problem I’ve thought about a bit when designing DevPress themes (what markup should I be styling for?), but it’s also come up on a few client projects recently. Citations are a pretty common use-case, and it would be great if they were easier to add.
Command line scripts can be excellent tools for fetching and quickly parsing data from an external API.
I recently wrote a script that allows you to search Zendesk tickets for a specific query term, and then returns a list of all associated e-mails. It’s something that’s impossible to do through the Zendesk UI (without a ton of clicking and copying), but really useful.
When developing WordPress sites I generally have three environments: live, staging, and local. Since I like my staging environment to be a very close replica of production, I frequently overwrite the database and files in staging. This is especially true when working with a host like WP Engine that has one-click staging environments.
However, when the database is overwritten in staging, there’s a generally a few settings that still need to be different from production. For instance, with WooCommerce sites, I may need to deactivate SSL and put Stripe into testing mode.
Occasionally I’ll also need to deactivate certain analytics plugins or third-party API integrations like MailChimp.
After making these updates manually for months, I finally moved to a programmatic update routine for many of my sites. The code basically just checks which environment we’re in. If it’s not production, it checks if the settings have been updated yet. If not, it makes the updates. Continue reading →