Last weekend, at WordCamp Europe in Sofia, Siobhan McKeown gave an excellent talk about the fundamental principles that underpin WordPress. For me, the most essential one is freedom. Being an open source Content Management System, WordPress is both “free as in beer” and “free as in speech”. And while the former has probably been a big factor in WordPress’s amazing growth, it’s the latter that we should all really be thankful for.
More A fifth of the web now runs on Freedom
Last weekend, Björn and I spoke at WordCamp Netherlands, and while preparing the presentation I figured that one of the things I was going talk about would probably work as a WordPress plugin. It’s been ages since I last released a plugin, mostly because there’s a solution out there for almost everything you can possibly run into. This specific little fix however proved to be an exception to that rule.
More New WordPress plugin: RT Filter Page List
The fourth edition of WordCamp Netherlands took place last weekend, and I had the pleasure of speaking at this wonderful event. With Björn Wijers, I talked about the intranet project we were involved in at the Dutch tax office (Belastingdienst).
More WordCamp Netherlands 2014 slides
WordPress is often accused of being slow, and you can definitely get it to grind to a halt if you try. But in true WordPress fashion, it also comes with interesting building blocks that helps speed it up to all the way to ludicrous speed. WordPress is like Lego, and I’ve been playing with a couple of interesting new bricks that promise to seriously improve performance.
More Experimenting with Memcached and Batcache
On October 5th, 6th and 7th, I attended the first ever WordCamp Europe. As I’ve come to know them, WordCamps are usually city-based WordPress events where developers, designers and bloggers meet to listen to talks, discuss the future of WordPress and – of course – party. In many ways, WCEU was no different. Except for scale. Around 700 people attended, from all over Europe (and far beyond).
More WordCamp Europe 2013
Ever since pages got added to WordPress in version 1.5, wp_list_pages has been the way to get a list of pages. In the pre-widgets era, it used to be coded into pretty much every theme’s sidebar or header to generate the site’s menu.
Nowadays wp_list_pages is at the heart of the Pages widget, and it’s perfect for blog-type sites with a modest number of pages. But if you’re using WordPress as a CMS, and most of your content is written as pages, using wp_list_pages can cause serious performance issues.
More Taming wp_list_pages
As a long time member of the WordPress community, I go to a lot of WP meetups, WordCamps and other WordPress-related gatherings. Often, people will pull out their laptops and start hacking away together. It’s a great community. What strikes me as somewhat odd however, is that the majority of those laptops are usually MacBooks. Now of course, everybody is completely welcome to use whatever type of computer they prefer, but to me there’s something strange about this situation. A WordPress developer with a Mac is a little like a church-going atheist.
More The WordPress-Apple Paradox
Ever since tags were introduced in WordPress 2.3, people have wanted to add tags to pages, not just to posts. For years now, Page Tagger has allowed you to do so. It’s a great plugin, and I’ve used it often. However, since it was created, WordPress has made it a lot easier to add tags to pages, and that new approach has some significant advantages.
I’ve been working with Bjorn Wijers on a project that uses Page Tagger, and we’ve found it to have some small – but pesky – issues. Bjorn gradually improved and simplified the code, and sent patches to the plugin’s author. Most of those changes are now part of Page Tagger, but Bjorn has decided to also release his own plugin.
More New WordPress plugin: Tag Pages
The previous two years, I’ve helped put together a WordPress meetup in Amersfoort. While this was fun to do, it didn’t really make sense, because I do not live in (or even really near) Amersfoort. As a result know very little about essential things like venues there. It looks like this year, local WordPress people will take over “their” meetup, and I’ve been thinking about setting up a brand new one in “my” 035 area of The Netherlands.
Ideally, I’d like to do something that’s a little more informal than the Amersfoort ones were, and probably also more frequent. If there’s anyone who’d like to help organize, speak at, or simply attend such a meetup, please let me know in the comments. Oh, and despite the little joke I pulled with the logo, I’m hoping to keep it as low-key and relaxed as possible. Suit and tie entirely optional, perhaps even frowned upon :).
One of the biggest, and most useful additions to WordPress in recent years has been the introduction of Custom Post Types. Before CPTs, all the content in your site needed to either be in pages or in blog posts. If your site needed a lot of different types of data, you’d typically use categories (or even tags) to tell them apart. I’ve seen (and probably built) examples where “products” and “news” were post categories, and the site’s front-end would continuously filter out one of the two. In hindsight: madness.
Since the introduction of Custom Post Types, it makes sense to declare separate types for different types of data. When doing so, there’s a crucial argument (passed to the register_post_type function) called “supports”. This argument tells WordPress which post features should be available for the new post type. This allows you to mix and match various features. No need for an excerpt? Require a “featured image”? Need custom fields? No problem. But there’s a catch.
More Custom Post Features could make WordPress even more flexible