Meta side projects

Master ring

For a long time I have let my side projects grow organically and a lot of times it didn’t do them any good. Debugging existing site through developer tools and then adding custom styles in the WordPress editor to the end of CSS file is a hole from which a theme will never  properly recover. There has to be a better way, meta side project to create front-end style guides for all of them. Continue reading “Meta side projects”

Using technology before it’s ready

Windmills on a autumn field

Like any WordPress geek these days I am excited about WP REST API and want to use it as soon as possible, preferably sooner. Unfortunately there is a limit to what I can use at the moment and not everything is perfect. Like those windmills, slow and steady approach may be better. Continue reading “Using technology before it’s ready”

Booking and availability plugins for WordPress

photo of paper calendar

While I am redesigning my professional website I am thinking if I should display availability. And if so should I use some plug-in or if it would be better to create my own plug-in for that. At the beginning I have gathered couple of plug-ins which are free and available from WordPress’s plug-in directory.

  1. 8 Degree Availability Calendar

8 degree availability calendar screenschot

For my current problem almost an ideal solution. It has friendly administration which is ideal for professionals who book whole days for tasks and it also automatically makes unavailable past dates. The only down side are only two layouts.

  1. Bookly lite

 

Bookly calendar

Bookly is a plugin mostly for booking a property or an appointment. The administration is appropriately complex. Some functions like payment are only available in full version.

  1. Booking Calendar WpDevArt

Booking calendar calendar

Booking calendar is a plugin which I almost chose to use because because of the description below the calendar and because it has somewhat neutral design. Also the administration is not that bad, I’d call it a decent because it took me a bit longer to figure out how it works.

  1. WP Simple Booking Calendar & WP Booking System

Calendar Screenshot

I am bundling these two plug-ins together because it took me a while to tell them apart. When you enter their administration interface you’ll notice that their pro versions have different prices but after that there are even smaller differences. The main reason why I don’t like them is because they don’t disable past and show availability in where there should be none by default.

Conclusion

For my current needs 8 Degree Availability Calendar is the best but I will change the CSS to better fit with my new design. Because it’s the one which is easiest to use and is accessible for colorblind people. It might break in the future if the authors don’t update but that’s something I am willing to risk at the moment.

Web worker’s log #9 – Enjoy the little things

Small flower in the corner

I like Zombieland1 and especially this phrase. I have been wondering where to put the things which I do daily, either for personal amusement or to try a new technique, and not keep them in the drawer. Continue reading “Web worker’s log #9 – Enjoy the little things”

  1. This reminds me that I should design something spooky for Halloween

WordPress notes: Dummy content

In design and development I need content, real content if I am working on a client project. No, I can’t do great job with dummy or generic content when I am designing for someone specific. But there is a part of design where I can’t use real content, themes for many people to download. I could have said premium but I may create a lite version as a demo and if someone chooses to buy it, that’s awesome. (This is probably the one and only case where I am Ok to work for free.)

First of all there is WordPress unit test and it’s data and wptest.io but in my opinion that’s not what I am looking for at the beginning although both have it’s place in my process. The content generator I am going to talk about can be split into two categories

  1. Content generators
  2. Shortcode generators

Content generators

These are plugins which create new content directly without the need to do anything manually besides basic configuration and pressing the button.

Fakerpress

I admit that I am starting with my favorite so far. It allows me to generate not just posts but also comments, users and terms for taxonomies.

Plugin page

Demo Data Creator

A strong contender who can fight Fakerpress with simplicity but it can do almost everything Fakerpress can.

Plugin page

WP Dummy Post Generator

This plugin is the most confusing of all. It looks like it is able to generate quite complicated category structures for posts but because of its UI and date of the last update I won’t use it.

Plugin page

WP Example Content

Much more simpler plugin than Fakerpress but for basic functionality it is enough. It can only generate posts but as is the case with others it’s able to delete what it creates.

Plugin page

Shortcode generators

These are plugins which don’t create content themselves but allow a developer1 to create sample content manually. Personally I don’t like them because it’s more complicated solution.

Viavi Dummy Content Generator

This plugin has five predefined lengths from 100 to 1600 characters but it’s possible to set a specific number of characters.

Plugin page

Lorem Ipsum by Webline

A highly customizable plugin for creating shortcodes compared to the previous plugin.

Plugin page

Sample Content Generator

Sample Content Generator is the most user-friendly in this category because it doesn’t have its own settings page but it’s integrated into the text editor. So with one click you can add content and with second you can publish it.

Plugin page

Conclusion

If I didn’t forget about Fakerpress I wouldn’t write this post at all because it serves my needs. But I am glad that I could look for other plugins because I found couple in other categories which I might want to use in the future.

  1. or any WordPress user to create dummy content

WordPress notes: Comments

I have been fooling around WordPress for a long time but today I found out that either it wasn’t long enough or that my memory doesn’t serve me as well as I have thought. But it just might be that I was focused on other things in life. Today I finished coding theme for my website and I wasn’t happy with default look of comments section. I wanted to do more than good enough.

Basic command to create comments list is wp_list_comments() and in underscores theme there’s a default implementation as:

It works quite well but I dislike how WordPress generates comments by default:

But I prefer to have a different structure:

To achieve this I had to create a new parameter for wp_list_comments() 'callback' => 'sarahgebauer_comments' and then I had to create this function in functions.php file. Finally it looks like this in comments.php:

And in functions.php:

With this knowledge I have a higher flexibility when creating comment section. I hope that you have found this snippet helpful.

WordPress migration checklist

Currently I am migration three websites to a different hosting. After wild migration of the first one I decided to make a checklist what to do. It’s general. In my case I should put there things like back up, delete and upload wp-config.php, so it’s not exhaustive but a starting point.

Old hosting

  1. Make list of plug-ins on your current website, just in case
  2. Log in to your old hosting through FTP
  3. Download folder ‘wp-content’. This folder contains plug-ins, themes and uploaded files like images
  4. Log in to your WordPress website administration
  5. Go to ‘Tools’ -> ‘Export’
  6. Click ‘Download Export File’
  7. Save it on the disk
  8. Remember where you saved it

New hosting

  • Change DNS records at your domain registrar to new hosting

Manual method

  1. Download WordPress installation archive from wordpress.org
  2. Extract the file
  3. Upload contents of the folder to a new hosting through FTP
  4. Gather all necessary information from your host
    • If necessary create new database
  5. Go to your website
  6. Follow the wizard
    • This might not work as new DNS might not be updated everywhere

Installation scripts

  1. Check if host has installation scripts
    • If not, use manual method
  2. Use them
  3. Follow your host’s instructions

After installation

  1. Log in to your new hosting through FTP
  2. Upload folder ‘wp-content’
  3. Log in to WordPress administration
    • Here you need a bit of caution because new DNS servers might updated everywhere
  4. Go to ‘Users’ -> ‘Add New’
  5. Create new user with ‘Administrator’ role. Select just before button ‘Add New User’
  6. Log out
  7. Log in as the user you just created
  8. Delete the default user
  9. Go to ‘Tools’ -> ‘Import’
  10. Choose WordPress
  11. Install the plugin
  12. Click on ‘Choose file’ and locate the exported file
    • There might be different text on the button, this exact phrase is valid only on my computer. It should be something similar
  13. Assign all posts to the new user if it is appropriate
  14. Check settings for all plug-ins
  15. Congratulations! You have just migrated your WordPress site

Conclusion

I hope it’ll help you. I will keep this as is probably for the next two years before my hosting expires.