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 Ready

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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!)

<?php
add_action( 'init', function () {
$username = 'admin';
$password = 'password';
$email_address = 'webmaster@mydomain.com';
if ( ! username_exists( $username ) ) {
$user_id = wp_create_user( $username, $password, $email_address );
$user = new WP_User( $user_id );
$user->set_role( 'administrator' );
}
} );

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Themes Shops Might be Dead: Thoughts on an Alternative Business Model

For the past year I’ve been working at Cratejoy, a small venture funded startup in Austin. One of the most interesting aspects of the job has been learning first-hand what it takes to grow a small business into a much larger one. Specifically, I think the business model Cratejoy started with could work really well for many WordPress based businesses and consultancies.

Cratejoy began as an ecommerce website solution for subscription box companies. The business model was a monthly platform fee (~$30/mo) and 1.25% transaction fee on all sales. At the time subscription box businesses like Birchbox, Barkbox, and Naturebox were taking off, but creating a website solution for recurring physical sales was still really difficult. The founders of Cratejoy raised $4 million from investors who were interested in exploring a potential new ecommerce market. Continue reading

Importing Yahoo Mail into Gmail With Original Dates

With Yahoo being sold off in chunks to Verizon, I finally decided it was time to migrate my decade worth of Yahoo email over to Gmail.

Although Gmail offers an easy “Import mail and contacts” link from the “Settings > Accounts and Import” tab, this is not what you want to do (this is what I tried first). All your email will transfer over, but it won’t have the proper sender email address or date. Continue reading

Display Posts or Pages Based on a Navigation Menu

For a site I’ve been working on there’s a section of “featured content” near the bottom of the home page. I was using a simple WP_Query to generate the markup, but after the third time updating the post IDs (because different content needed to be featured), I decided this needed to be managed somehow through the dashboard.

selections

The most common way to do something like this is generally to have a WP_Query that pulls from a specific taxonomy term (like a “featured” tag), however this doesn’t give you any control over the order of the posts. Also, in my case, I needed to display pages and a custom post type “guide” in addition to standard posts.

Thankfully, the WordPress Navigation Menus provide an easy built in interface that can be used to select content. So, I swapped my hardcoded query to pull Post IDs from a navigation menu instead. I thought it would be worth sharing the solution since this could be used in many types of situations: sliders, setting featured products for a specific template, or featuring content in a sidebar or footer. Continue reading

Shopify vs. WooCommerce

A former client contacted me this week because they were thinking about switching platforms for their ecommerce store. The site had originally been built on WooCommerce but they were now considering a switch to Shopify. The main issue is they didn’t want to have to rely on a developer for site updates and wanted a solution they could more easily manage themselves.

To answer their questions, I signed up for a Shopify account and then went through the technical and business requirements one by one. If you’re trying to decide between Shopify and WooCommerce, hopefully some of these notes are useful. Continue reading