Customizing the Author Box using the Genesis Theme

Permutations Using Python

I had some consulting work come in – task was pretty straightforward, then again what
exactly is “straightfoward.” In software though, nothing is ever “straightforward”, though
that word gets used a lot to describe something pretty close to being straightforward but not
exactly so.

Alright anyway, I was working off a Genesis theme. Themes, templates, architecture. I think
these terms are all synonymous, the keyword really here is architecture. There are some bad ones,
good ones and terrible ones. Genesis in my opinion is pretty good. But what qualifies as “pretty good”, really? For starters I’d say architecture that is lightweight, modularized, and loosely coupled. Architecture where we can inject new features seamlessly.

I was working on enabling an author box on a blog page, on every single blog post – so this was to be a global implementation for a blog. It’s been a while since I’ve worked with Genesis themes but good news is there’s a pretty big community around it and chances are I would be running into a frequent feature.

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WPEngine, Nginx and htaccess

WPEngine, Nginx and htaccess

Redirects can get hairy sometimes – sometimes you get a nice clean canvas of directives, sometimes it’s messy and undocumented. Whatever the case, you’re dealing with an .htaccess file. One wrong move and you can crash your site
or worse yet a clients site. So before anything else make sure you have FTP access and you create a back up of their existing .htaccess file. Don’t even be tempted to do it through Yoast – even though they allow you to edit the .htaccess file right through WordPress. I’ve seen it happen and it isn’t worth it.

So you’ve got the .htaccess file – you’re going down line by line. It can look like a jungle at times – you’ll see caching stuff, some 301 redirects, some permission stuff.

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The Genesis Framework

The Genesis Framework

I’ve been running into the WordPress Genesis theme as of late. It’s not your standard wordpress theme when it comes to modifying template files. Genesis is actually a framework, that would be a better way to describe it. Genesis frameworks extend their functionality, allowing developers to customize their WordPress site.

The Genesis framework is built by Studio Press – I’m quite impressed with their work actually, it sounds like a solid framework I just need to learn more about it. So I dove right in – I scoured the internet for some learning material and a good list came up. This can only take you so far though – the best way to really learn is actually do it yourself, so that’s what I’m gonna do.

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Mobile-Friendly Test by Google

Mobile-Friendly Test by Google

Googles’ rolled out with a new tool – Mobile-Friendly Test. At first I was a little skeptical about it like I am with any new thing – I question things before I start trusting it. It’s not that I’m resistant to change, that would be a bad thing – change is good. Change is growth.

In my consulting work, I noticed there has been a high demand for using this tool – mainly marketing agencies looking to further audit and optimize their client websites. A visual audit just isn’t good enough, meaning the obvious isn’t so obvious anymore just by visually testing a site on a mobile device. There’s a difference between how we see it and how Google sees it and let’s face it – Google owns everything. Sometimes I feel like Google is the AI (that’s going to take over the world) everyones been talking about.

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WordPress – Advanced Custom Fields

WordPress – Advanced Custom Fields

Advanced Custom Fields (Official Site), this plugin is way too awesome not to mention. I’ve run into this WordPress Plugin (Plugin Page) over a dozen times in the course of my development work – I started realizing how powerful, flexible and stable this Plugin really is.

If you’re looking to add “Advanced”, “Custom”, “Fields” to your pages as the name suggests you’ll find a slick easy to use interface. Simply add the fields you want for your pages.

WordPress (backend) – Advanced Custom Fields Options

I myself thought I was all done – In this second step you’ll have to get your hands dirty with some PHP. Yeah this might be a little daunting if you aren’t tech savvy but you’ll be thankful you did, this all sounds cliche but for real practice makes perfect.

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WordPress AMP Plugin Errors due to New Relic Javascript Injection

Wordpress AMP Plugin Errors due to New Relic Javascript Injection

I was working on a high profile website under a big name and they had me implement the AMP plugin a couple months ago.

Pages were working great on mobile thanks to the WordPress AMP Plugin. Then after three months that’s when a bunch of errors started showing up on the Google AMP console and I later learned that these errors were very common.

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WordPress links with hashes and disabling a links normal behavior

WordPress allows for the creation of custom links within the Menu’s area. I like this feature, it has been around for years.

I use it sometimes to create internal and external links but there are cases where I wanted them disabled. In this case and as you may have experienced – a custom link requires a value. It’s pretty common to just put a hash “#” as a value.

Something like href=”#”. This however will cause the element to behave normally as it should – there’s nothing wrong with that except it will cause your page to “jump” back up to the top of the page which can be annoying for visitors.

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WordPress – Removing AMP Plugin

AMP for WP - Removing AMP Plugin

I’m actually big fan of this wordpress plugin despite the bugs. The authors of this plugin I can tell have been working hard in fixing existing bugs and there are a lot of them, not an easy task. As a developer myself I know how wild code can get, so I give these guys mad respect and credit.

AMP for WP

Recently I was tasked with removing this plugin for a site. Disabling and removing the plugin was just the first step. The final step was to implement a redirect that would automatically redirect these amp urls to it’s respective non-amp url – leaving this as-is would be bad for SEO. And the client would not be happy to see their google rankings go down. So let’s take care of this.

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