In this video we create some of the base templates that most WordPress themes use (index.php, page.php, single.php and archive.php). To learn more about how WordPress loads templates, you can read this article in the codex.
01: Setting up a Local Environment
This is the first lesson in the WordPress Theme Development Course. In this video we cover how to set up a local development environment for WordPress using Local by Flywheel.
If you already have a local development environment set up that you like (using Vagrant, MAMP, Valet, or something else), feel free to skip to the next video. There’s nothing in this series that requires you to use a specific development environment set up. Continue reading
Working on a Theme Development Course
I just started work on video course for learning WordPress theme development. It’s designed for folks who are familiar with using WordPress and would like to start building themes professionally (for clients or for their own work). The plan is to release the entire video series for free.
Since the focus is on professional development, I’ll be covering developer tools as much as actual theme development. Introducing topics like local environments, version control and build tools all together as it relates to WordPress themes will (I think!) be really useful for new developers getting up to speed.
If you or a friend has been looking to move into WordPress theme development, get on the mailing list and I’ll let you know when the first video is available.
Sign Up to Get Notified When the Course is ReadyContinue reading
How to Modify the Look of a WordPress Site with CSS
If you want to make a few design tweaks to a WordPress theme (and don’t see an option for it in the Customizer), you’ll likely need to use some custom CSS. Thankfully, WordPress has a great built-in Custom CSS module that allows you to safely add CSS code or override existing styles. This gives you almost unlimited design control over a site!
This video explains how to find the selectors in your theme using the Chrome developer tools and then add your own custom styles in WordPress.
Create a WordPress Admin with Code
A few times I’ve gotten into a situation where I have access to WordPress files (via SFTP or other means) but I’m otherwise locked out of the site (my user hasn’t been created or was accidentally deleted). In those cases, the quickest option is generally just to create a new admin user with code.
If I know which theme is active, I’ll generally just drop this code into the bottom of functions.php for that theme, refresh the site once or twice in the browser, and then delete the code (important: make sure to delete it!)
Adding Estimated Read Time to a WordPress Post
Ever since Medium popularized the concept of the read times on articles, I’ve been seeing it as a design element in more WordPress projects.
Getting a great estimate for average read time is complicated, but if you just need a blunt tool for calculating it, you can use:
amount of words in the post / average reading speed
According to Medium, people read about 275 words per minute. Medium also adds 12 seconds for each inline image, but I didn’t get that fancy.
Here’s the snippet:
To output the read time in your post, use something like this:
If you prefer to use a plugin, there’s a few around. This snippet is mostly borrowed code from Reading Time WP, which is also on GitHub.
Prevent WordPress Emails in Stage or Local Environments
When you’re developing a WordPress site locally or testing in staging, you’ll generally want to prevent the site from sending out emails to customers or users.
I’ve noticed that a number of other WordPress developers are fans of MailHog (great write up by Jonathan Christopher), but in many cases it’s easier if you don’t have to install anything additional on the server.
I use two plugins to block and then log emails:
“Disable Emails” prevents the emails from sending from WordPress, and “Email Log” is able to capture their contents in case you need to view them.
Since I sync my production environment to staging and local quite frequently, I have a script in my theme that activates these plugins when it detects the new environment.
Automatic Accounts on WooCommerce Checkout
There are a lot of good reasons to require a customer account on checkout:
- It’s easier for customers to manage their orders and get support.
- It’s for customer to purchase again (all their details are saved).
- It’s easier for store manager to track life time value of customers.
However, the checkout process for first time customers should still be as seamless as possible. This is why I like to create accounts automatically if the email hasn’t been used before. WooCommerce has this functionality built-in. Continue reading