Page builders and multilingual WordPress websites

WPML.org, the web home of the WordPress Multilingual Plugin runs this blog post about the upcoming support for WordPress page builders.  Apart from the good news themselves, there are some insightful results of the survey that the team did, trying to understand who uses page builders and how.  I found the stats on which page builder solutions people use the most interesting:

q2-which-page-builder

At work we are primarily using Divi (when we are not building our own themes), but we’ve also done a few sites with Enfold.  I’ve also seen Avada in the wild.  But I can’t tell you which ones are better, because when it comes to using page builders, I’m mostly not involved.  These tools are so awesome these days that they can be easily used by a non-technical person.  Which is exactly what we do ;)

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.

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!

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.

Trying out Flounder

I’m trying out the Flounder WordPress theme for my blog.  It’ll take a few moments for me to configure everything, so please don’t get annoyed just yet.  Theme options are fine, but it looks like I have a few issues with custom post types, which aren’t matching my previous theme (Favepersonal).  I’ll update this post once I’m done – that’ll be the time to report the issues.

 

Update (April 9, 2014, 01:47am): most of it works now.  There are still a couple of small quirks for me to fix, but feel free to let me know if you see anything wrong.

WordPress themes : Houston

I’ve covered the simple, but very functional p2 theme for WordPress, that helps one to create an Intranet  in five minutes or so.  One thing that p2 lacks a bit though is eye-pleasing beauty.  It’s simple and functional alright, but it’s not much to look at.

It turns out that people all around the globe were working to solve this  problem, mostly with a variety of child themes.  Today I came across one such project – Houston.

houston screenshot

 

Now I can’t wait to try it out on one of my upcoming projects.

WordPress Themes : Flounder, with Colorful Post Formats

Via WPTavern I came across Flounder – a free WordPress theme with colorful post formats.  This looks rather awesome for use in personal blog, like mine.  Have a look.

flounder

The colors are customizeable and the theme is responsive, as any new theme should be.  Here is how it looks on different screens:

responsive-flounder

 

I’ve installed it and tried out with WordPress’ Live Preview functionality – it looks pretty good.  There are a few things that I’ll need to fix if I am to use it.  Namely, the archives list, which has an item for each month in history, and the menu with a few submenu items.  The archives would work for a younger blog, but mine span from October 2001, which makes the archives list way too long.  Maybe switching to years instead would be a better option.  And the main menu looks ugly when there are a lot of submenu items.  Gladly, WordPress menu editor makes it trivial to change.

There also seems a slight variation on post formats between Flounder and Favepersonal – the theme I’m currently using.  For example, the Video post format doesn’t display a video on the homepage.  But, once again, these are trivial to fix, albeit with an SQL query rather than with a graphical user interface.

WordPress plugin repositories

WPTavern covers an interesting early stage development of WordPress plugin installations directly from GitHub source code repositories.  Here is a quick video on how it works:

That got me thinking.

WordPress.org provides an API for plugins checks and updates.  WordPress software allows a plugin to overwrite the location of the repository.  But it still doesn’t seem to cover all the bases.  What if I want to install plugins from several repositories now?  Say – the official WordPress plugin repository, GitHub, and my personal or corporate repository.  There might be a way, but it seems tricky and non-standard.

I’ll look more into it, of course, but I think there should be a standardized way to setup WordPress plugins (or even themes) repository, and add it to a list of repositories that WordPress checks for updates.  Something along the lines of YUM and APT in Linux.