Footnotes

The call for speakers for the first WordCamp Asia 2020 has been announced, with only English speakers being accepted for the initial year. The deadline is September 25th. 🏕️


Denis Žoljom announced a new release of the Theme Sniffer plugin and the WPThemeReview coding standards. 👃

Theme Sniffer is a plugin that applies custom sniffs for PHP_CodeSniffer to verify that your theme adheres to WordPress coding conventions. Those conventions are specified by the official Theme Review Team coding standard, WPThemeReview.


If you build WordPress themes, check out this post on how to add and test skip links for accessibility.


Justin Tadlock showed off some work involving SVG background pattern options in the WordPress Customizer:


Jason Bahl has announced that WPGraphQL for Advanced Custom Fields will be available for free now. The plugin will also be submitted to packagist.org so it can be included in projects using Composer.

If you haven’t had the chance yet to listen to Jason on Syntax.fm, I highly recommend it.


J. Michael Ward has some ideas about the approaches you can take to structure your WordPress plugin projects. He shares including his coding philosophy with examples for plugin bootstrap files and class file organization.


David Ryan has written several tutorials to help developers get comfortable with WP-CLI and custom WP-CLI commands even if they haven’t worked much with the command line before.

Pascal Birchler‘s Introduction to WP-CLI is a great place to start learning WP-CLI too. 👨‍🏫


There’s a first time for everything, and Bolaji Ayodeji has written a short guide for a first-time setup of Git.


OSTraining has published a series of tutorials and a new book on CSS Flexbox. Their latest title is about local development with DDEV. 📚


Joshua Wold explains from a design perspective how WooCommerce widgets are being converted into Gutenberg blocks. A lot more work goes into this than you might think!


Back in 2000, Jacob Nielsen proposed that elaborate usability tests are a waste of resources. It’s often discussed and sometimes questioned advice, but Nielsen’s test data on testing is hard to dispute.

“The best results come from testing no more than five users and running as many small tests as you can afford,” he found. But, if you want to to discover all the usability problems, “you need to test with at least 15 users.” That said, “The ultimate user experience is improved much more by 3 studies with 5 users each than by a single monster study with 15 users.”

This more recent article from Nielsen is worth a read too if you are introducing changes to a user interface. “Any time you release a new user interface design, you’ll get complaints,” he warns.

That’s simply because “users don’t like to learn different ways of doing things,” and there’s nothing you can do to change it! 😡

What you can do is reduce the amount of change you inflict on users at one time.


Greg Rickaby at WebDev Studios wants you to give AMP a second look if you tested it out and set it aside. Greg brings you up to speed on what’s new and aims to debunk a few common myths about AMP.


Scott Jehl shares the simplest way to load CSS asynchronously using a simple HTML approach: link to the stylesheet with the media type attribute set to print. Then use the onload to apply it to all media types once it’s loaded. Scott’s explanation and discussion of some alternative methods is outstanding. 👍


If you use or work with Microsoft Teams, then this new WordPress plugin from João Ferreira might be of some interest.


ServerPilot announced in June that they are launching a new hosting automation service called HostLaunch. It’s meant to be a “platform for operating a modern web hosting company.”

It’s a “customer-facing portal for your users to create their own accounts, log in, purchase servers, and manage their PHP and WordPress applications on those servers.”

HostLaunch plans to go live in August. 🛫


Laravel Vapor, a full-featured serverless management and deployment dashboard for PHP/Laravel powered by AWS, was recently announced. Features include on-demand auto-scaling with “zero server maintenance.”


Seth Godin discusses his picks for the five best books on marketing. 📚


Unraveling the JPEG is a deep (and nicely illustrated) dive into the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) image format from Omar Shehata at Parametric Press. 📸


If you like trying out new open-source CMS applications now and then, check out Django-based Wagtail, which Mozilla and Google are using. Wagtail is designed for headless deployments where the frontend pulls content from the CMS with GraphQL queries.


Video and Podcast Picks of the Week

📹 Here are my recommendations for video watching this week:

  • Shail Bala Tripathy explores how communities are built and what it takes to start a WordPress community from scratch. This is a talk Shail gave recently at WordCamp Kolkata 2019 where she has been a co-organizer.
  • Sam Singer, the Lead Software Engineer at TechCrunch, shows how their “Extra Crunch” feature was built using WordPress.
  • Alex Young has another “Crash Course” video, this time on headless WordPress with WPGraphQL, ACF, and React.

🎙️ Here are two new (to me) podcasts I’ve been listening to lately:

  • Fullstack Health is a new podcast focused on physical and mental health in the tech industry. The first episode includes a discussion with Jamund Ferguson and Kari Ferguson, co-organizers of the AnxietyTech conference.
  • This interview with WPEngine‘s Jason Cohen over at the Indie Hackers podcast offers a lot of insight. Jason talks about missteps, successes, and how it’s hard to learn from either of them as a founder. He also reveals that it took 2.5 years for WPEngine to reach 1,000 customers!