Interview with a friend and admin of Advanced WordPress Facebook group. He shared his story of being a pilot and then a WordPress developer. He is currently working with iThemes.
There are few people who are destined to teach and guide the mankind to the glory of success. Even though they get so many opportunities where they can earn more and live a privileged life, but they follow their devoted passion and eternal love for teaching, the most sacred profession of all. I have met people in my family who have completely dedicated their lives to education. Today, I have the honor to interview Chris Wiegman, who is a passionate and an inspirational teacher, a role model in the truest sense of the word. He is a real epitome of unparalleled professionalism, who loves his work to the core. He practices what he preaches. Chris is currently working at iThemes. He is handy with the security of their plugin. He is also one of the many admins of Advanced WordPress, the most interactive WordPress group on Facebook.
In this interview, he has shared his valuable ideas and personal interests and much more. Enjoy reading!
Cloudways: You are working with iThemes.com. How is life with them? What are your core responsibilities as a developer?
Chris Wiegman: They’ve been great. I completely focus on working on iThemes Security which is exactly what the plugin needed to move forward
WCSF is just around the corner and I'd like to organize a meetup of members of the community on Sunday 26th and chat WordPress, publishing and how can managewp.org further help the content landscape of the WordPress community.
I suggest something towards at the end of day on 26th.
Please RSVP here.
Drinks are on me!
I did a lot of driving today that produced a lot of thoughts. Whats your take on the subject?
Before going into the topic I wanted to explain the context. I am currently driving from Seattle to San Francisco, where I will arrive to the WordCamp San Francisco event which ManageWP is a sponsor of. The beautiful and scenic Pacific Highway 101 is a true inspiration for a busy mind. At one point in the journey, I started contemplating about WordPress and how huge of an impact it has on my life and lives of many other people that I know (please click the images to enlarge and see what kind of breath-taking nature inspired me).
Before going into a theoretical exercise to answer my own question I wanted to reflect on the current state of things. Talking with people involved with WordPress I’ve heard a lot of interpretations of how they believe WordPress is currently governed.
Many think WordPress is being governed by Automattic which is formally wrong. Automattic is a private company in charge of WordPress.com, VaultPress and several other products.
Many also think that there is some kind of a democratic process (ie. ‘voting’) in place. Although many questions regarding the future of WordPress are discussed at events like WordCamps and especially WordPress Community Summit, there isn’t
Managed WordPress hosting is the thing nowadays, with various companies offering plans for smaller and large-scale websites. Recently, BrightByte Studio launched their own hosting service called Tap. They claim to have reinvented WordPress hosting. I reviewed Tap WordPress hosting and highlight the features and current limitations.
Managed WordPress hosting is the thing nowadays, with various companies like Kinsta, WP Engine or Pagely offering plans for smaller and large-scale websites. They focus on speed, security and ease-of-use. Recently, BrightByte Studio launched their own hosting service called Tap. On their website they claim to have reinvented WordPress hosting. Of course that made me curious, so I had a look at their offering and why it’s different than other providers. Tap’s focus is on instantly available hosting for all users for an inexpensive price. So inexpensive that their lowest price is £0 – zero, nada. For this you get an instantly configured WordPress website with few limitations. The only drawback is that your site is only available under a subdomain like mynewblog.thisistap.com. For a custom domain you need to be a Tap Pro user, which costs £9/month.
I went on and signed up for their free plan, where I already noticed one drawback. The maximum allowed password length is only 16 characters. As I’m using 1Password to generate my passwords, which are usually around 40 characters long, this limitation is a bit annoying. Of course you can still have very secure passwords with 16
As usual, there's a few nuggets of wisdom from Chris Lema. His 'hope is not a strategy' mantra shows up subtly. A short read well worth a couple of minutes.
Starting and growing a successful business requires focus, hard work, and a great deal of industry knowledge. Understanding how to select and appeal to a target market, increase efficiency, and grow revenue are just a few of the important facets that should be considered. To bridge this knowledge gap, hiring a third-party consultant to improve your company’s business strategy is a great option. For some strategic insight into business development we reached out to Chris Lema — CTO & Chief Strategist Crowdfavorite and speaker, coach, and daily blogger.
Q: How did you start?
A: From 1997 until 2006 I worked in five software startups in San Francisco. I loved startups and found myself, towards the end of that period, coaching a lot of other startups. Most of the time we were talking product strategy, team formation, and fundraising. But every one of them needed a website. Initially it would be some simple HTML, but over time I wanted to support them without supporting them. So I wanted a content management solution (CMS) that would let them edit their own site. And while I started with a product called DotNetNuke, I quickly found WordPress one weekend in 2005 and started using it. My first
Bad code written well. Hijack a plugin function, let it continue to work, this lets malicious code have a long life span before anyone notices.
Most authors of website malware usually rely on the same tricks, making it easy for malware researchers to spot obfuscated code, random files that don’t belong, and malicious lines injected at the top of a file. However, it can become difficult when the malware is buried deep within the lines of code on normal files. Why is some malware harder to spot than others?
An attacker’s primary goal is to retain access to an infected site, so they go to great lengths to hide their access methods. There may be hundreds of malicious files that are easy to find. As long as the attacker can regain access, ultimately reinfecting your website, it doesn’t really matter how clever they are in hiding the payload. It’s why it is so important to place extra emphasis in identifying the access vector, most often known as a backdoor.
Hijacking legitimate functions inside plugin files
Recently, we came across strange malware deep within a file, and hidden in an unusual way. The malicious code was hijacking a legitimate function inside the CForms plugin.
At first glance, this plugin file seemed benign because the flagged piece of code was not obviously malicious. On closer inspection, the original plugin function
Suzette Franck is an evangelist in true spirit. A friend and mentor who is answering to my queries since my career with the WordPress community started. I am honored that she shared her life story with me.
There are only few people who can claim to be Evangelists. They actually deserve this title due to their relentless passion, enthusiasm, dedication, everlasting love, long years of hard work, and experience. When it comes to WordPress, you can find many people, who have dedicated their lives fully to the community and growth of WordPress. Their invaluable experience, their love for WordPress makes them the real Gurus of the industry. I’m honored to have interacted with one of the most experienced WordPress developers, Suzette Franck, an Evangelist in the truest sense of the word. She is a good friend and remains a source of inspiration for me throughout my WordPress career. Suzette has developed hundreds of WordPress websites and has participated in the numerous WordCamps all over the world. Currently she is working as Front End Developer at WebDevStudios.
Suzette keeps herself updated on the current issues of WordPress. In our discussion with the community on WordPress 4.0 on Twitter, she shared her interest in the new media library grid view and plugin icons. She is highly active on social media forums. You can always count on her when it comes to seeking help regarding various WordPress
Frequently asked questions & helpful links about the WordPress REST API, as well as slides from my talk on using the REST API at Tallahassee Code Camp 2014.
Today I will be presenting at Tallahassee Code Camp 2014 on WordPress’ new RESTful API. My slides are embedded below: Be sure to read my articles in Torque for more information on using the WordPress Rest API.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is This A Plugin, A Feature of WordPress or What?
Over the last two years, most big features of WordPress have been developed as plugins before being merged into WordPress itself. Right now the API is a plugin, that will *hopefully* be merged into WordPress core in version 4.1 or 4.2.
It is totally functional and committed to not breaking backwards compatibility. The “plugin as a feature” development model has a lot of advantages over working with patches to core only, One of those advantages is that you can easily use the feature while it’s under development. The other is that even if it doesn’t make it into core, it can still be used as a plugin.
Isn’t It Part of JetPack?
JetPack has its own RESTful API. Here’s a good slide breaking down the pros and cons of the JetPack API. JetPack’s RESTful API runs on WordPress.com’s servers, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your needs and worldview on decentralization. The fact that
AffiliateWP (a Pippins Plugins plugin) experimented with A/B testing to see if visitors converted more when having the chance to "demo" the plugin or not. The results were clear that the non-demo visitors converted better. Interesting read and surprising result.
Several months ago we announced that a new, live demo was available where you could test out AffiliateWP in a sandbox environment. This was a fun, exciting way to show off AffiliateWP to potential users, and it made it easier for users to decide whether they wanted to commit to making a purchase. Or that’s what we thought.
The demo has not been online for a couple of months now due to some technical difficulties, but while it was running, we collected some really interesting data.
When it was first launched, we decided to run some A/B tests to see if we could accurately determine whether visitors to the site were more likely to become a paying customer if given the opportunity to test out a live demo of the product.
The results were quite interesting.
For the duration of the test, we collected statistics from about 10,000 visitors to the site. When landing on the site, each visitor was given one of two versions of the site:
A version with prominent links to the live demo
A version with no links to or mentions of the live demo
For each of the 10,000 visitors, we tracked several key actions across the site:
We tracked each time a visitor clicked on the Get Started Now buttons
It happens regularly, that WordPress themes or plugins show errors - either produced by the theme or by the user itself. Here is a collection of the most common errors WordPress users experience - and of course the solution to overcome these errors.
WordPress is the favorite blogging platform and content management system for millions of people, but there are still those webmasters who give up on WordPress due to having difficulties with activating certain WordPress themes, and plugins. It’s not uncommon to see themes produce errors and issues that can be hard to deal with. The WordPress official support forums are always full of bloggers looking for help with something related to the inner workings of WordPress. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common errors that bloggers are experiencing, and also we will take a look at the solutions of overcoming these errors. WordPress is great because it’s so simple to use and understand, but it’s totally understandable when people without prior experience need some help.
WordPress Syntax Errors
Parse error: syntax error, unexpected $syntax in /var/www/blog/wp-content/themes/site/functions.php on line 1337
The syntax error is quite easy to deal with, it usually occurs when you’re trying to use either an older version of a theme, or you’ve tried to modify the code of your theme – which ultimately led to the error. Now, you’ve got several options to deal with this:
Gravity Forms is doing five for the future (Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of the WordPress open source project, suggested that WordPress-centric companies should aim to utilize 5% of their company resources toward contributing back to the project)
Matt Mullenweg, the co-founder of the WordPress open source project, suggested that WordPress-centric companies should aim to utilize 5% of their company resources toward contributing back to the project in a blog post published at the end of September. It spurred a lot of conversation and some controversy in the WordPress community. What do we think of the idea? We think it's a great idea and we're going to find ways to do just that.
Starting today we are moving forward with having the Gravity Forms support team contribute 5% of their time to contributing back to the WordPress project by assisting WordPress users on the WordPress.org support forums.
Our user support team currently consists of Rob Harrell, Chris Hajer, Richard Wawrzyniak and Samuel Aguilera will devote 5% of their working hours to assisting users and helping make the WordPress.org support forums a better place.
This is a first step towards Rocketgenius contributing to the WordPress project on a weekly basis. We plan on contributing to the WordPress project much more than this in the future and encourage other WordPress-centric businesses to do the same.
In the grand scheme of things 5% is very little and we plan on
This article introduces the next stage in native mobile app building with WordPress, brought to you by AppPresser.
Reactor is a re-imagining of the app building process. With a specific focus on integrating WordPress content, Reactor allows you to build higher quality mobile apps more easily. Sign up for more info at http://reactor.apppresser.com What is Reactor?
When we created AppPresser, it had a great response right away. We knew that with almost 25% of the internet using WordPress, some of those businesses would want mobile apps.
AppPresser allowed them to essentially put their website into an app, and access native device features. It was a breakthrough technology.
After getting feedback for almost a year, we realized our customers wanted more from AppPresser. They were asking for better performance, offline capabilities, and more native features.
Around the same time, a couple of fortuitous things happened outside of AppPresser. The Ionic framework came on the scene, and set a new bar for hybrid app performance and quality. Utilizing angularjs, they rebuilt a new experience from the ground up, and it blew us away.
Later in the year, the WP API released a stable version 1, which signified a huge leap forward for using WordPress as an application framework.
We started experimenting with these
If you’ve been playing around with WordPress for some time, then chances are that you’ve been in a situation where your WordPress site won’t connect to your database. You get a message such as – “Cannot establish connection to database."
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If you’ve been playing around with WordPress for some time, then chances are that you’ve been in a situation where your WordPress site won’t connect to your database. You get a message such as – “Cannot establish connection to database”.
Have you ever been in such a situation? Well, if you have, don’t worry. It’s fairly easy to fix.
These types of problems are very common in WordPress and fall under the WordPress database connection error category. In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the ways to fix it. Each problem is grouped under a heading and sorted in the order of probability of occurrence.
Word of Caution
Before you attempt to fix this, you must perform a full backup of your WordPress installation. This must be done manually. You need to backup the:
WordPress installation directory and
The WordPress database
If you don’t know how to go about it, contact your hosting support and ask them to perform a manual backup.
WordPress Database 101
Before we get started let’s go through some of the basics of a WordPress database.
WordPress uses a database to store all your posts, pages, tags, categories and other data
Images, music and other files
This guide provides a step-by-step explanation of how to install Akismet — a spam prevention plugin!
When you first install WordPress, you’ll find that you already have two plugins installed: Akismet and Hello Dolly. Hello Dolly — a fun and rather lyrical plugin developed by WordPress founder, Matt Mullenweg — displays random lyrics from the song ‘Hello Dolly’ in the upper, righthand corner of your dashboard (see image below). And that’s all it does. For you budding plugin developers, however, this is a good plugin to study in regards to proper form and WordPress quality code.
In this article we’re not going to focus on Hello Dolly, but rather we are going to discuss the ins-and-outs of Akismet.
What is Akismet?
Akismet is a free plugin included with your WordPress install, which is designed to help prevent comment spam. And what is comment spam you might ask? Well quite simply, it’s those pesky comments that have nothing to do with the content you’ve posted. If you leave your WordPress site unprotected for a period of time, you’ll soon be inundated with spam for fake Rolex watches, pre approved mortgages, or cheap Viagara. And I’m guessing you don’t really want any of that showing up in your comment threads.
Akismet is such a popular service that it’s been integrated into other content
Nick Roach and the Elegant Theme Staff at it again with another ground breaking Social Sharing Plugin, Monarch that have 7 different integration area that can be mixed matched customised and tracked wow!!!
Social Media is the lifeblood that keeps the internet glowing, and Social Sharing lets you harness that activity and use it as a positive force for your business. We wanted to build a plugin that empowered WordPress users to foster a vibrant community; to get more shares, more followers, and to do so in a...
No doubt! WordPress is the best and easiest blogging software. But we might don't know about it's some features and hacks that helps us to publish new post without doing too much things.
Let me take a wild guess. Your days aren’t exactly overflowing with free time.
You dedicate as many hours as you can to your blog, but it never seems enough.
If only you could spend more time on the stuff that really matters.
Like writing. Or researching. Or connecting with other bloggers.
Surely you must be able to save a little time somewhere.
Well, how about WordPress?
As a blogger you camp out in WordPress for hours, even days.
But are you really working as quickly, efficiently and productively as you could?
Probably not, right?
Of course, you could always research a few nifty shortcuts. But that will take time – which is exactly what you don’t have.
Fortunately, you can undo any time-wasting habits with these little-known WordPress hacks.
Each one is guaranteed to help you wring every last second out of your blogging routine.
Simple Hacks That Still Feel Like Super Powers
1. Go full-screen for zero distractions
To write as efficiently and effectively as possible, you need zero distractions.
Problem is, the standard WordPress editor has a ton of them.
The simple solution is to switch to full-screen editor, which gives you a stark-white canvas to work from.
The essential formatting
Using Laravel's Blade template engine for theme development. Intuitive and cool.
= One Happy Developer
Cutlass is a Wordpress Starter Theme with the power of Laravel's Blade templating engine included, allowing you to develop Wordpress sites more quickly then you ever have before. It includes HTML5 syntax, Bootstrap and Font Awesome by default.
Special Thanks to Mikael Mattsson and the Team at Roots for making the Blade Wordpress Plugin and the Roots Starter Theme respectively
Laravel’s Blade templating engine for even quicker WordPress theme development
Bower for front-end package management
Tons of useful functions and theme activation thanks to Roots
Create themes quickly with the power of Laravel’s Blade
Pure honesty combined with awesome nuggets of experience and insight. Add a Gary Vaynerchuk vid, we have a winner
If you’ve been following me for a while, you might catch an undertone of hustle and hard work are at the core of my message. It might be because I started working at the family business during the 5th grade or that launching a product any business aint easy.
I do what works for me and I don’t subscribe to the if you build it they will come model — in fact — no one person should. There are, however, those that get by using a systemized formula. Product fit + SEO + PPC + Heatmaps = .037 conversion rate, multiplied by the market index divided by the sun’s position = blah blah blah.
If that works for you, God bless you.
If you’re looking around at your industry and you’re trying to figure out “how to make it” you’re going to need to put in the work. You need to be you. You need to be confident and today’s video from Gary Vaynerchuck crushes that point.
A PSA from GaryVee
(remember, I told you so)
Started at the 2:38 mark, Gary answers a question from a listener:
How do very new & small channels gain a following when people don’t interact & we get like 5 views on our video and 3 r from us.
I know I get this question a lot.
I’m sure some of you reading this are thinking the same thing and
Are niche WordPress conferences like Pressnomics or the upcoming LoopConf a sign that we need more niche WordCamps or do specialized WordPress conferences make more sense outside of the WordCamp umbrella?
One very useful thing I’ve come to understand about attending a WordCamp is the need to specialize, to find my niche. This is something that’s been emphasized time and time again at WordCamp sessions. Taking that excellent advice is a part of the reason that, when I go to a WordCamp, I attend very few talks, as very few of them apply to me. Of course, I’ve also learned that there is more to a WordCamp than just attending talks. The last WordCamp I went to, WordCamp DFW, I only went to one talk besides the keynote — an incredible speech by iTheme’s Corey Miller. I had a great time hanging out with other WordPress professionals and helping new users at the Happiness Bar.
As WordPress grows, it will only become more and more difficult for WordCamps to cater to every attendee. The more niches that organizers have to please, the less content there is for each of those niches. This is why more niche WordPress conferences are popping up outside of the WordCamp umbrella — like Pressnomics, Prestige Conference, and the upcoming LoopConf, just to name a few. In addition, product-family conferences are starting to occur as well. At the Pods Foundation, where I work, we just
In a lot of ways, I’m a front-end developer who happens to work with WordPress. I’m far from an expert on the back-end, but I know my way around. My guess is there are lot of developers out there like me.
I wrote a whole article on how to approach coding themes as a front-end developer, so I won’t go into too much detail here. The only thing I’ll say is that it is important to start theme development in pure front-end code, an HTML prototype that is fully built out, before moving to integration with the WordPress API.
Why? It allows you to work out exactly how your site’s front-end is going to work. Without having to worry about PHP, you can integrate your own build process, determine your performance budget, and test out interactions and design. It also prevents you from avoiding ideas that you think WordPress can’t handle. In the end, you can use WordPress to do just about anything, and
When one of the plugins you have installed on your WordPress is vulnerable to an SQL injection, hackers could create administrator accounts for themselves if you didn't change the default WP database prefix.
There are several WordPress hacks and tweaks you can apply to your WordPress to improve its security. One of the most popular tweaks is to change the default WordPress database prefix. You can change the WordPress database prefix manually or automatically with a WordPress security plugin. Whichever method you use makes no difference, although I recommend you to do it manually. If something goes wrong you can easily revert all the changes and troubleshoot any issue you might encounter. Like with any other WordPress hack, some people are a bit sceptical about changing the WordPress database prefix. Does it really work? Is it worth implementing? In this WordPress security article I will explain just that; how does the changing of the WordPress database prefix improve the security of your WordPress and help you contain the exploitation of an SQL Injection vulnerability should your WordPress be vulnerable to it.
SQL Injection Vulnerability – Back to Basics
Let’s start by first briefly explaining what an SQL Injection is. In short an SQL Injection gives the attacker the ability to inject SQL code through an input accessible by visitors (both visible or not) and have it executed by the database
Want to leave a lasting impression? Improve your refund process and leverage the peak-end effect to turn negative experiences into positive.
The correlation between your refund policy and customer satisfaction is stronger than you might think. “It was OK, except for the ending.”
Have you ever heard that said about a movie? It’s a common review of movies that have great special effects, an outstanding cast and good action scenes, but mediocre endings. The last five percent of a movie can completely change a viewer’s entire experience.
Now think about your customer service experience.
You’ve built a great product and created an awesome website to represent it. You even offer phenomenal support when users need help. But when a user asks for a refund, you get emotional and stop caring. Guess which part of that experience your customer is going to remember?
We as humans have a selective memory about our experiences, as explained by the cognitive memory bias known as the “peak-end rule.” This effect suggests that people seem to perceive not the sum of an experience, but how it was at its peak, and how it ended. We often spend all of our energy making the best first impression, but pay very little attention to the end of an experience.
By optimizing our refund process, I have been able to convince dozens of customers to purchase
The Wordcamp Europe 2014 presentation by Jaquith on leaving behind the staid Apache + cPanel world of hosting for the modern, lean and mean hosting stack
WordPress runs just about anywhere. Not all of these ways are equal. In this talk we say goodbye to Apache cPanel hosting and investigate how to leverage a modern hosting stack and use clever caching tricks to make WordPress absurdly performant and scalable.
WordPress is known as a top blogging platform, but one of the major components of blogging involves the use of images. It’s common practice now to populate blog posts with plenty of images to keep visitors engaged. Featured images can appear as thumbnail images that accompany a blog post title and description on a blog’s homepage.
WordPress is known as a top blogging platform, of course, but one of the major components of blogging involves the use of images. It’s common practice now to populate blog posts with plenty of images to keep visitors engaged. Because let’s face it: paragraph after paragraph of densely-packed text isn’t all that appealing. In fact, it looks like work.
Still, you have a number of options in how you present images in your posts. You can insert a standard image, of course, but you can also create and insert a gallery. Some themes support sliders that display several images on rotation. And while all of those are good options, if you want to make sure third-party sites pick up on your images, the featured image is where it’s at.
What Are Featured Images?
Okay, so you know how when you visit a blog and the main page will often have post excerpts on it? That is, the page will typically show a list of blog post titles with accompanying snippets and photos. These thumbnail images are more often than not put in place by the Feature Image function.
Before we move onto the more nitty-gritty details of featured images, let’s talk about a few of their most common features:
Featured images can appear