Meeting Notes 10-09-2014

Connie asked a question about disabling comments on individual pages. Andy showed us how to do this on a single post and page; and on future posts. Enabling/disabling on a single post or page can be found under the Discussion area. When your post or page does not display a Discussion area, enable it under Screen Options.

Ann Marie asked about FTP/SFTP. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. SFTP is Secure File Transfer Protocol. Andy showed how to change to a SFTP connection in filezilla. Why SFPT? FTP sends info over the internet without encryption. SFTP is FTP over SSH – basically its an encrypted FTP. A more secure approach to file transfer.

Ann Marie asked about creating a “dev” subdomain. A “dev” subdomain ( creates an area for your development hidden from visitors to your website. We talked about subdomains. Another approach is to use an “Under Construction” plugin to hide your site content during development unless logged in as an administrator. One plugin discussed was Ultimate Under Construction.

We talked about the value of blogging. We talked about using a feature of MailChimp to automatically periodically send out Blog posts to your email list.

Connie shared that she uses The Events Manager calendar and that it has the capability to accept event registrations.

We looked at a security concern and we talked about two security plugins –
Sucuri Scanner, iThemes Security.

Meeting notes 8-14

Connie from Buffalo-Niagara Gardening had a small issue with image sizes. In areas where thumbnails should’ve been loading, larger images did. They scaled down correctly, but users were downloading full-size images, only to see them at less than 100px wide. Andy found that this was because a featured image was not chosen on some of the articles, so the theme then defaulted to the first image within the article. Using the featured image, the correctly sized images began loading.

Security Discussion

We spent some time duriing the meetup discussing some basic security issues and plugins to alleviate them. First was making sure to not use ‘admin’ as a username on your site. If you did, make a new administrator level user and delete the old user named ‘admin’. Terry mentioned being careful about your nickname, as hackers can target that. We also talked about changing the location of the Login and Admin Panel urls, to help with brute-force login attempts by unwanted bots or people. iThemes Security has a setting for this as well as many other security suggestions and features. We also took a look at the Sucuri Security Free Plugin for some malware checks and hardening.

Notes from 6-19-14 Meetup

This month we had a small, discussion-heavy meetup. During our discussions we hit on how to continue to grow the group, easy ways to jump into WordPress without feeling overwhelmed and more.

@AndyStaple demonstrated the picture element, and the picturefill polyfill that lets you use it today. WordPress is great for this as it can auto-create many sizes of images as you upload one.

Ben and Marek both presented some specific problems with a couple of their sites. Marek had two WordPress sites, and wanted to move the user information from one to the other so we walked step-by-step through doing so in phpMyAdmin (bordering on an advanced topic, but it was worth it). Ben has a bug in a bit of code that doesn’t allow guests to see a post type and we haven’t sorted that one out yet.

Notes from 5-8-14

The first half-hour of the meeting we discussed some WordCamp Buffalo 2014 ideas.

Easy WP_Query’s

@AndyStaple showed a very simple, yet handy website that lets you easily get code for WP_Query’s called the WP Query Generator.

UB Students building WP Themes

Next, @djlicata discussed a neat project his class at UB was working on, which in short was teams of 6 students building websites for non-profit companies in the area. One of the final steps was making these designs into WordPress themes and overall it was a success despite some common stumbling points that many hit when first building custom WordPress themes.

What Theme File?

Scott demonstrated this is a neat little snippet of code to show what theme template file is loading for the page you’re on.

This show what template page was used.
add_action('wp_head', 'show_template');
function show_template() {
global $template;

Page-Preview Plugin

@empireoflight demonstrated his nifty little plugin built to display small previews of posts/pages in WordPress via Shortcodes. Check it out on Github: Page-Preview.

Notes from 03-27-14 Meetup

At this month’s User/Blogger Meetup we had an in-depth talk about Images and WordPress. Hitting on many of the aspects of images and how WordPress handles them.

First, we demonstrated the typical flow to upload images and add them to your post or page. Showing the different linking abilities with the direct link to file, or the link to the attachment page which embeds the image within the “container” of your websites design. We looked at how to change your image size choices (Settings → Media), and that if you change these they don’t affect previously uploaded images, without using a plugin—Regenerate Thumbnails by Viper007Bond is a great choice and I use this myself. It hasn’t been updated recently but works fine in all my use-cases.

We also took a look at the built-in Photo Editing features, and most everyone was frustrated with the bad User Interface of much of these functions. The Cropping, Ratio Functions, and having to Save, then Update can be confusing for even advanced users and a huge pain point for the normal user.

Notes from 03-13-14 Meetup

This month we went over the basics of jumping into WordPress Theme development and built a very minimalistic Theme with a few files.

Discussions on the positives and negatives of using a Theme “Framework”, or going another route a Starter Theme like Bones, Roots, or Underscores. Andy & Ben build from the ground up, while others in the room preferred frameworks like Genesis.

During the live-demo of building the theme we also talked about using a Theme Wrapper, which is a way to use a more DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) philosophy and save you time later in development. More details can be found at Scribu with detailed information and instructions.

A github repository with the steps we got through of the theme from scratch.


Developer/Designer meetup

  • Walker class to only show part of a menu-Chris will give code to Jen
  • Responsive code
    • responsive nav -plugin for 1 level of menu nav on responsive
    • smaller than 800px, just serve 1. if larger, generate smaller images and use css/media queries to serve lower res images.
    • sidr javascript menu generator
  • Woothemes: Chris Recommended “canvas” theme from woothemes, for woocommerce.
  • Child themes: mainly for Genesis fw
  • Ben left for kids broken arm

Notes from 1-16-14 meetup

Scott brought up a bunch of attacks on his site, mainly the dreaded DDoS/brute force stuff. Scott presented on security plugins, including:

  • “better wp security” has a “hide backend option” that will hide the wp-admin, redirecting the user to a 404. Make sure your .htaccess file is writeable!
  • looked at sucuri scanner
  • wordfence
  • You should change the admin username from “admin”. Scott showed how to do this with phpmyadmin.
  • Don’t use wp_ as the table prefix.

Scott looked at woocommerce as an ecommerce plugins; using it for user level based pricing.

Andy did an extensive overview of git version control. Thanks Andy!