Packaging third-party plugins with your WordPress theme

wordpress theme plugins

Many a time I’ve been involved in building a custom WordPress theme, which relied or benefited from some plugins being installed and activated.  I’ve always had an ad hoc solution to the problem, with my own installation scripts, WP-CLI mockery, etc. “Packaging third-party plugins with your WordPress theme using TGM Plugin Activation library” covers a much more elegant solution.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it does look very promising for my next WordPress project.

11 Highly Underrated Plugins for WordPress

I came across this list of 11 highly underrated plugins for WordPress.  I wouldn’t go as far as call of them highly underrated, as some of them are rather highly rated.  But that’s not the point.  I wanted to share the list especially for these three:

Alex King Rememberances

I’ve just discovered some sad sad news.  Alex King, one of the bigger people in the WordPress community for years, is fighting a stage 4 cancer battle.  Alex is well known for a few things, most notably for his design of the Share icon, his contributions to WordPress core, and his work as a founder of Crowd Favorite.

I’ve never met Alex or spoke to him directly, but his work is a constant inspiration.  From the early days, when I was promoting WordPress as a flexible platform for web application development, I used his work for powerful examples.  I’ve also built projects using Carrington Core framework.  This blog ran both Carrington Blog and FavePersonal themes for quite some time.  I’ve used Capsule for a while to manage my code snippets and project notes, and I’m sure I’ll use it again.  I’ve used (and still using) quite a few plugins that he was involved with – Social, Twitter Tools, Old Post Alert, Delink Comment Author, and others.  I’ve been an occasional reader of his blog.  And, of course, like anyone else using WordPress, I’ve benefited from his work.

The time has come to return a favor.  Alex is compiling some information about his work and career for his 6 year old daughter to learn more about him.  So if you met Alex, communicated with him, or benefited from his work – take a couple of minutes to share your experience.  He well deserves that.

To Alex: thank you for all your work.  It’s inspirational and educational.  Stay strong!

Efficient Image Resizing With ImageMagick

ImageMagick is one of my favorite tools ever.  I’ve used for years for a whole lot of different things – from simple image resizing, through animation generation, to palette manipulation.  And still, I don’t really know it that well, so when I see articles like this – “Efficient Image Resizing With ImageMagick“, I get excited.  Not only it gives you a better way of doing things, but it also explains the path of how to get there.  From a simple command like:

convert input.jpg -resize 300 output.jpg

to something as advanced as this:

mogrify \
  -path OUTPUT_PATH \
  -filter Triangle \
  -define filter:support=2 \
  -thumbnail OUTPUT_WIDTH \
  -unsharp 0.25x0.25+8+0.065 \
  -dither None \
  -posterize 136 \
  -quality 82 \
  -define jpeg:fancy-upsampling=off \
  -define png:compression-filter=5 \
  -define png:compression-level=9 \
  -define png:compression-strategy=1 \
  -define png:exclude-chunk=all \
  -interlace none \
  -colorspace sRGB \
  -strip INPUT_PATH

What’s even more exciting is that it looks like this optimization will make its way into WordPress 4.4, together with some other improvements for the responsive images.

Super cool!

A Curated List of Tech Podcasts

It’s been a few month since I reviewed my podcast subscriptions.  Driving over 150 kilometers every working day gives me plenty of time to readjust my tastes and preferences.  Just doesn’t leave me too much time to actually do something about it.

Podcasts are easy to subscribe to.  Once you find the ones you like.  Finding the ones you like takes forever though.  Here’s where WP Tavern’s post “Awesome Geek Podcasts: A Curated List of Tech Podcasts” comes in handy.  Cause it provides not one, but two lists of podcasts:

  1. The best WordPress podcasts ultimate list
  2. A curated list of Awesome Geek Podcasts.

And while I’m familiar with many on that list, there’s a tonne of those that I haven’t heard, or heard about.

Any other recommendations?

This website uses cookies

I’m running Google AdSense on this website to help me get a few cents for the hosting bill (it’s literally cents, not millions of dollars, like some of you apparently think).  Google now in compliance with EU Cookie Law requires publishers to have the cookie warning.

Please ensure that you comply with this policy as soon as possible, and not later than 30th September 2015.

If your site or app does not have a compliant consent mechanism, you should implement one now. To make this process easier for you, we have compiled some helpful resources at

Usually, I don’t care about these things, or avoid them all together.  But since we are facing similar issues at work, I decided to run with it and see how it works and if it has any affect at all.

Gladly, I didn’t have to do any work at all.  The good folks have already implemented the Cookie Law Info plugin for WordPress, so that’s what I have now.  You have the choice to either accept the cookies, or leave the site.  I’m not going to fish out each cookie one by one and explain what it does.  Nobody cares. And if you do, you are probably here by mistake anyway.

WordPress 4.3 “Billie” is out

The brand new and shiny version 4.3 of WordPress is out, bringing more bells and whistles to Customizer, formatting shortcuts to the editor (looks like Markdown made its mark), and more.

I’ve upgraded and also switched this site to Twenty Fifteen theme, just to see how it all works.  No coding customization done yet – only whatever is available through the mouse clicks.

WordPress Plugins GitHub Mirror

WordPress Plugins GitHub Mirror (or on GitHub):

Say hello to fully automated GitHub mirrors of every plugin in the plugin repository. These aren’t your typical plugin Git repositories. These mirrors can be used for fast, efficient, and automated plugin updates using Composer, and don’t require “sync scripts” or separate Subversion checkouts for plugin development. They also offer a way for plugin developers to make the move to Git even while others continue working on the same plugin using Subversion uninterrupted.


Impressive, and quite useful.