I recently attended the South Florida WordPress Developers Meetup in Davie. I wanted to re-cap some of the very useful pieces of tidbits that Michael Schofield presented at the meetup. He has a very easy way of presenting information. Michael does not hesitate to dig into the deep details of WordPress. I left the meetup feeling very happy armed with all the useful information he presented.
- You can create your own barebones theme by visiting underscores.me. This same website is also used to generate the base TwentyEleven, TwentyTwelve and TwentyThirteen themes that come bundled with the default install of WordPress. At a minimum, a theme can function with just 2 files: index.php and style.css. Michael did a great job at explaining each of the files with the theme. He dissected the code and did easy demos to explain how these files fit into the big picture.
- the_excerpt() function is used to display a 255 word excerpt of the blog post. However, this can be problematic if the post has a lot of non-text material in the beginning. An example could be images, special HTML formatting etc. In that case, you can use “get_the_excerpt()” alternatively. This function will strip out all the HTML before printing.
- How does WordPress determine which page to show? Here is a helpful infographic that shows how WordPress determines the correct template file to invoke. You can also find a simpler Black and White version of this Template Hierarchy at https://codex.wordpress.org/Template_Hierarchy
- For developers, a very useful tool that they can use for quick testing and validation: www.codepen.io. As Michael demonstrated the use of this tool live, I was fascinated with its power. Michael did a quick demo of how to create a Triangle using only CSS and also rotated the triangle. Very Cool indeed!
- Another very useful resource (one that I did not know existed) is the ability to test which CSS mechanisms are compliant with which browsers. www.caniuse.com to the rescue. THis will allow you to test which CSS clauses are compliant with each browser. A nice matrix shows you the answer easily.
- Also, dont forget the WordPress Codex.
Thanks to this meetup group, I was able to learn quite a few pieces of useful advice that we as developers find very pertinent. I will start using some of these resources in the future.