Practical WordPress Development
By Tom McFarlin
Practical WordPress DevelopmentDec 02, 2021
What I Know Now
The rest of this stuff is a list of advice from what I know now I would tell myself (or someone else just entering the industry) if I were just getting started.
Know Your Strength, Hire Your Weakness
Weaknesses aren't always languages or areas of a stack that you don't know. They can areas in which you do know but could be stronger or areas in which you can't control, like time.
Play By The Rules and Be Careful What You Write
If you're going to write about WordPress, determine about which you primarily want to write. Is going to be less subjective material more opinionated material? You get to pick the game you want to play. But when you do that, know the rules, play by them, and be careful what you write.
You Should Write About Your Work
Despite the fact there are more resources that ever for learning how to accomplish what it is you want to accomplish within WordPress, it’s less common to find someone who is facing the same problem under the same constraints with the same voice you have.
Write about your work. Include the problems you’re solving, and the thought process that’s going into their solutions. Though you may be describing a common problem, you’ll be describing them from your perspective.
Where to Start With WordPress Development?
Finding your niche can be tough and you shouldn't expect it to happen quickly. So this raises the following question: Where to start with WordPress Development?
WordPress Then, WordPress Now
What advice would I give to those who are new to the WordPress economy what advice would I give my former self?
In the Season 1 finale, I update you on what's going on with my family, what I'm up to, and answer a plethora of questions including:
- What are your favorite plugins that you use on all of or your most essential sites?
- Where do you begin at getting started with the Codex?
- Do you like using Bootstrap when building sites or applications?
- What is the recommended approach for replacing the WordPress administration area?
- What advice do you have for unit testing, integration testing, acceptance testing, or any other types of testing?
- What is your opinion on Docker?
- What do you do site speed optimization for a site or application built on WordPress?
- What is life like working remotely, being involved in fitness, being involved in sports, and your life in general?
- How do you stay organized and productive during the workday?
I also share some of the questions that have been submitted that I didn't answer.
- What are your thoughts on WordPress 5.0 and the Gutenberg Editor?
In the answer, I touch on the nature of new technologies, React, why this is something developers and engineers should be excited about, and the reason why I don't focus much on the social nature of changes in the technology industry.
PHP, UI, UX, A11Y, APIs (Oh My!)
I talk about what's going on at home as we get ready to welcome our third kiddo into the world, I briefly touch on music and fitness in the blistering Georgia heat, and then shift gears to answer the following questions:
- With the upgrade of PHP to 7.0 coming in new year, what changes could WP make to make the code base better? Could you spell out some that would make breaking changes?
- How can intermediate WordPress developers improve their competency?
It's a slightly longer episode than usual but the questions were good so I was glad to spend extra time answering them.
Events and Competence
In this episode, I recap my experience and thoughts of WordCamp Atlanta and talk about WordSesh 2019.
I also answer the following questions:
- What are some recommended PHP design patterns that are useful for WordPress theme and plugin development?
- How important is blogging in developing WordPress skill-competence?
Code Reviews (That's Alright)
In this episode, I talk a little bit about what's been going on regarding my current work in the WordPress economy, a heads up on WordSesh, and I answer the following question:
I noticed that you and some other WordPress developers tweet about code review of each other code. I'm interesting are you working as freelancers on the same project or different one? Are you asking each other to check your code or it's a requirement from the client? Who is paying for code review?
Oh! And for those of you who are fans of rock and roll, I talk about a trip I took a couple of weeks ago to Tupelo, Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee if for no other reason than just the fun of it. I hope that's alright with you. 🎸 😎
It's a Trilogy (with Models and Music)
We're up to three episodes - a trilogy, if you will of the show. In this episode, I adjust the format again to focus more on questions and less on personal rants.
I answer the following:
- What do you recommend in terms of design patterns when writing WordPress plugins?
- What does your music playlist look like a typically productive day?
And I end the episode with a short discussion on Do Not Disturb and Screen Time and how I use these features, in iOS, to further improve time management.
It's a Foundation
In this episode, I talk a bit about time management (and why there are things about it others don't talk about as much). I chat about what I'm currently reading, listening to, and I answer the following the question:
What factors do you take into consideration when deciding between PHP various frameworks such as Laravel, WordPress, Symfony, etc.?
In my answer, I share why I dislike the word "framework" and why I think we should be more precise in our terminology.
Turn Up the Signal
In this episode, I talk about what the show is going to be about and I answer the following question:
How can WordPress developers focus on deep work, and avoid the noise which occasionally surrounds the community?