I’ve started using DeployBot to manage a lot of my code deployments. It works great if you develop custom themes for clients and keep your repositories in hosted version control (like GitHub or BitBucket).
I generally work in a “staging” branch (when I’m working solo), which auto-deploys to the staging environment. I trigger deploys to production with commit messages to the master branch, i.e. “Version 1.2.2 [deploy production]”.
One really nice feature Deploybot added recently is the ability to run build tasks on a cloud server before transferring via SFTP to the final destination. This means you can keep generated assets (sass files, minified js) out of your git repos, which keeps the committed changesets cleaner and avoids generated code conflicts when working with teams.
The only issue I had when using build tasks with deployments was this occasional error “DeployBot failed to establish or maintain connection to your server.” I found if I added “rm -rf node_modules” as the last step in the build, that resolved the issue. It also sped up the deploy and kept those files off the destination server.
A site I’ve been working on had a list of “recent posts” displaying underneath the main content. The feature used a WP_Query loop to display an image, title, and author link for each recent post.
The client wanted to update this to use a “related posts” algorithm instead, but didn’t want to change anything else about the design or display. That got me curious if it would be possible to fetch the IDs from the Related Posts module in JetPack, but then run them through WP_Query to output the existing custom markup. Continue reading →
However, I started experimenting with a single control and thinking through how that could be implemented.
Issues with Current Implementation
Trac is a great place to find feedback on a particular WordPress feature, and there were a number of suggestions for background enhancements:
A single control generates all the field markup (image, repeat, size, attach, position)
The control also saves an attachment ID if a setting is defined (making it easier to generate alternate sizes)
At the moment, six settings need to be registered (with their defaults and sanitization) if all the fields are going to be displayed. This still feels like a lot of syntax and I’d like to simplify it further- perhaps by saving all the data into a single serialized array for the theme_mod or option setting that is registered.
It also doesn’t address cropping, alternate UI ideas, or retina- mainly just because I haven’t had a chance to explore it yet. But it does have support background-position-y (added to the position field) and background-size (new select field).
I’d love for other people to take a look at this control and give me any thoughts, feedback, or pull requests. You can find the Custom Background Control on GitHub along with all its documentation.
I am completely new to PHP unit testing, but I decided it was time to learn after discovering a critical bug in a small WooCommerce extension I had built for a client.
The extension I built added a feature that allowed administrators to limit specific coupons to new customers only. I had done some manual testing and made sure that new customers could use the coupon and existing customers could not. But there was a logic bug I missed that prevented existing customers from using any coupons, even ones that did not have the “new customer” restriction.
After finding the bug, I knew there were several use cases I would need to check every time an update was made to the plugin:
New customer should be able to apply a coupon
New customer should be able to apply a coupon with a “new customer” restriction
Existing customer should be able to apply a coupon without a “new customer” restriction
Existing customer should *not* be able to apply a coupon with the “new customer” restriction
Obviously, checking this manually each time would be rather tedious- which is why I turned to unit tests. Continue reading →
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.