WebDevStudios Dances the Calypso

Recently, Automattic (the company behind WordPress.com) released a pure JavaScript version of their website hosting and creation service in the form of a formidable desktop app called Calypso.

The new WordPress.com codebase moves WordPress away from MySQL and PHP. It’s built entirely in JavaScript, and communicates with WordPress.com only using a REST API. This means the new WordPress.com is a browser-based client for their API. Calypso uses a thin layer of Node.js on the server to build the initial web page, and much of the logic is run in the client as a Single Page Application (SPA) along with other web technologies.

Other services, like Twitter, run as web based applications that consume an API. Calypso is WordPress.com meeting its software brethren on the playing field. The thing to note here–and what makes WordPress different than Twitter–is that there is no self-hosted Twitter. WordPress.org will benefit significantly from its .com counterpart disrupting itself by going full JavaScript. The WP-API project is the catalyst that is pushing WordPress to be what WordPress would be if it was built today, casting off its shackles of backwards compatibility.

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Getting Started with WordPress Hooks

It is well-known that WordPress is one of the most popular Content Management Systems available for building and maintaining a website. While a big part of that success is due to the ease-of-use, another big part of that is the wide variety of themes and plugins that are available to make WordPress do just about anything you can think of. What gives plugins and themes their true power is the Plugin API, which is a set of Actions and Filters, collectively known as Hooks, that are embedded within the core WordPress codebase. The goal of this post is to demystify the WordPress Hooks and enable you to start diving in and using them.

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Loading the Optimal WordPress Object Cache Implementation

Out of the box, WordPress has pretty great support for external object-cache implementations. Even its built-in object-caching helps WordPress be more performant and avoids redundant non-performant function calls and DB lookups.

One of the challenges we have faced at WebDevStudios is the way WordPress handles including/loading an external object cache and determining whether the default implementation is used. I won’t go into all the details, but the part we have had issues with is the fact that if there is an object-cache.php file in the wp-content directory, WordPress assumes an external object cache exists and it should not include or perform its built-in object-caching implementation.

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WordCamp New York: WDS is on its way!

WordCamp NYC, WordCamp NYC 2015, WordCamp, WordPress events, WordCamps East Coast, WebDevStudios, Rami Abraham, WordPress developers, WordPress experts, WordPress how-to, WordPress learning

WordCamp New York is right around the bend–October 30th-November 1st, 2015! We’ll be enjoying the glorious East Coast autumn and we’re ready to celebrate Halloween with a bunch of fantastic WP folks.

Although I find it hard to believe that any of our regular readers are unfamiliar with WordCamp (come on, now!), for those of you that are completely green: WordCamps are events held all over the world where WordPress nerds unite to share their skills, insights, and learn a whole lot from a bunch of other smarties.

We’re gonna be there! Rami is speaking and I’ll be running around as well. Make sure you catch Rami’s presentation (details below) and say hi to both of us! We’d love to meet ya.

As per usual, here are the details on what you won’t want to miss:

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Lisa Sabin-Wilson’s ManageWP AMA

ManageWP, Ask Me Anything, AMA, Lisa Sabin-Wilson, WordPress for Dummies, WordPress for Dummies author, WebDevStudios, eWebscapes, WordPress business, WordPress professionals

Last week, Lisa did ManageWP’s Ask Me Anything. There were some fantastic questions about WordPress (and some thorough razzing over football). While we were super excited about this before it happened, we had no idea we’d see such thoughtful questions!

In case you missed it, here’s a snippet:

RYAN: Given that you’ve worked in web design/development since 2003, what 3 things do you know now, that you wish you knew when you got started?

LISA: 3 things I wished I knew in 2003 when I first got started….

I was pretty green to web development back then, with only about 3 years of some serious tinkering with CSS and HTML markup prior to the release of WordPress. It took me a long time to really understand WordPress core, primarily because I didn’t have a good base knowledge of PHP. I think I could have achieved more things in my development work and emerging career back then if I had a better fundamental understanding of PHP and the logic behind it. CSS & HTML came pretty easy to me, and even the hierarchy of WP themes and the template tags were pretty easy to understand – but I was stymied for a good amount of time in any real custom features until I had a better understanding of how it all worked.

Second, I wish I had been more prepared for running my own business. These days, everywhere I look on the web there are resources, training and advice for new entrepreneurs in internet tech, particularly in the WP community. But back then, I either was not looking in the right places or it just didn’t exist – so I made it up as I went along and learned some of the hard lessons not through the benefit of someone else’s experience, but because I went through each challenging step of it myself. It was exciting and actually quite fun, looking back – but I think I could have progressed quicker with the help of some of the fantastic resources I’m seeing out there today.

Third, I wish someone would have told me how difficult it was to write a book about technology! I really do enjoy it, a lot – and over the years have learned so much – but it’s quite a challenge to write a book about software that is constantly changing and evolving. Most often, the software is changing as I am writing. If someone had sat me down back then and said “Lisa, this is going to be really challenging” – it wouldn’t have changed my mind about doing it, I just would have, maybe, felt better prepared for the road ahead of me, which might have softened some of the frustrations and stress I experienced about it early on.

If you want to read more excellent questions for Lisa, as well as her responses, you can check out the thread here. Cheers!

Basic WordPress Terminology: What the Layperson Should Know

WordPress 101, WordPress terminology, WordPress beginner, WordPress tips, WordPress dictionary, WordPress definitions, WordPress how-to, WordPress tutorial, WordPress for Dummies, WebDevStudios

WordPress proudly touts its user first design for ease of use, but on other end of the spectrum are the website owners. Even the owner of a simple website is instantly barraged with the seeming jumble of terms, acronyms, and phrases that make up a typical WordPress installation. An experienced WordPress website owner may not give a second thought to this jungle of words, but a new WordPress website owner may be daunted by terms like ‘taxonomy’ and ‘shortcode.’

Here at WebDevStudios, we commonly work with newcomers to WordPress and non-technical stakeholders that do not have time to trek through the jungle of jargon, so we have put together a helpful list of some of the most common terms a website owner may run into.

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Engaging in Your Local WordPress Community

One of the best things about working with WordPress is the large community that you can participate in. If you’re new to WordPress, experiencing this community in a tangible way can seem daunting. The goal of this post is to help you find ways to participate in both your local portion of the WordPress community, as well as the global community.

There are numerous ways to engage with other people who are working, or who want to work, with WordPress. Here are a few that we will cover:

  • WordPress Meetups
  • WordCamps
  • Online groups

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The Custom Post Type UI Million Download Celebration

Custom Post Types UI, WebDevStudios, WebDevStudios plugins, WordPress plugins,

In the spring of 2013, I was moved into a “Plugin Czar” position within WebDevStudios. This meant that I was now in charge of the support, maintenance, and development of many of our free plugins available on our WordPress.org account.

Custom Post Type UI is one of our many plugins, and undoubtedly our most popular one. So popular, that it is the first WebDevStudio plugin that has reached one million downloads with an active install count above 200,000. Not only that, but it maintains a 4.6 out of 5 stars rating with an impressive 87 5-stars at the time of this writing. This is quite an impressive feat to achieve since Brad Williams first tagged version 0.1.0 five years ago.

Lord of the Rings Meme.

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