Category Archives: Software

Hosting Your Own WordPress Development

WordPress is a great platform for managing content, but what if you have a specific idea of functionality other than just information that you want your website to serve? As an example, your idea is to turn your website into the goto community for people comparing their progress or milestone data. You are now extending your content management platform in several aspects.

  1. The data it collects is no longer reliant on what you alone will submit. You need to collect additional fields of information for your website database.
  2. It has some other processing capability, able to compare data and call up information relevant to individual users. Now you’re in the development realm of actual programming and running queries.

WordPress has several plugins that you can adapt to work together to create these kind of Web 2.0 features. An example of the type of interactivity would be creating a booking calendar that reserves consultation time, and also confirms with an automated email to you and your new lead.

At some point you may find that generic plugins just don’t work well enough to tailor to your exact needs or those of your client. You’ve probably found work-arounds with different plugins that give you what you need but sacrifice the upgradabilty of the WordPress platform due to odd Javascript conflicts. I’ve also found when you’ve added so many plugins, the back-end of the website can start to get heavy and clunky to operate. Today I’m going to take a look at the best recent insights into tinkering with your own hosted WordPress plugin development.

Starting with a tutorial series with 1st Web Designer:

In the first part of our WordPress Plugin Development Course for Designers we learned about the importance of WordPress plugins for designers and its base structure. Today we are going to talk about the core WordPress functions…

I included part 2 of the series because it gets into the nitty gritty of the coding and is far easier to follow than the wordpress codex.

 

I spend a lot of time building WordPress plugins. Here are some of my thoughts as they related to building WordPress plugins for both fun and profit.

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

Thank you Tom! He mentions he doesn’t build themes because that is more to do with the layout of the site. Functionality, the software part of your website is something that users will often pick and choose regardless of the theme.

 

I’ve written a few plugins for jQuery and WordPress over the past few years, but mostly for specific projects or my own personal use. The first time I released a plugin (Hashgrid for WordPress) for…

Juliana Payson‘s insight:

As Morgan states, don’t go with free hosting plans in case you lose all your hard work. He’s learned from experience the value of legacy code storage and peer support in places like GitHub.

If coding is not your thing, take a look at the approaches mentioned by Morgan and Tom. You’ll realize that to undertake such a project means you need to start defining exactly what you want your site functionality to do. If you can define your problem, you’ve completed the biggest communication hurdle between coder and procuring an interactive WordPress website.

This is something I personally would love to learn more about, but never have the time code myself. I could potentially be a client of a WordPress Developer. If you can send over tips on what would make me a better client, please do hit me up with Google Plus comments and suggestions for our audience to learn from.

 

40 years of Unix history

Old dedicated serverUnix is probably the grandfather of all operating systems, widely used on dedicated servers and workstations, and has spawned a variety of different official and unnofficial* versions. Many of us have fought with the command prompt as it constantly blinks away, every so often mocking our efforts with that unmistakable error sound. Love it or hate it, the Unix operating system is one of the most important pieces in the history of computers.

Starting in 1969 as a yet-to-be-named operating system developed by a handful of AT&T employees for a DEC PDP-7 minicomputer. During the 70s and 80s, the academic circles had their influence on Unix and eventually led to the BSD variant of the OS originating from UC, Berkeley. Designed to be portable with multi-tasking and multi-user capabilities, there are a few concepts that characterize a Unix system like plain text data storage, a hierarchical file syste, and a large number of software tools. Together, these concepts are dubbed Unix Philosophy.

With servers and workstations and their operating systems becoming more and more complicated, it’s interesting to go back and see how it all started with something so (relatively) simple. For a complete 40-year timeline of Unix, please visit this article.

*Only systems fully compliant with and certified to the Single UNIX Specification are qualified to use the UNIX trademark; others are called Unix system-like or Unix-like.

New Ubuntu 9.04! Codenamed “Jaunty Jackalope”

Ubuntu 9.04

Ubuntu has released its lastest version codenamed “Jaunty Jackalope”. I usually tend to wait for Autumn releases of Ubuntu, however I decided to join the band wagon and see what all the fuss is about.

In previous versions of Ubuntu it was pretty difficult to see the changes between the different versions. Usually the changes were made to the kernel or a tweak that went visually unnoticed. However with Jaunty Jackalope the look and feel has been polished, and the speed at which the new OS operates feels to have been given a new boost.

Download yourself a copy here!