The Right Way to Customize a WordPress Plugin

Video: I presented on this topic at WordCamp Dayton 2014. It’s very common for developers to customize and extend existing plugins to fit their own needs, which is one of the great advantages of using open-source software. They often do it by making their changes directly to the plugin, though, which creates a security vulnerability […]

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Security Reward for new Google Authenticator Plugin

I just released a new plugin into the WordPress.org repository, and am fairly confident that it’s secure, but since it modifies some of the default login behavior, I’d love to get some extra eyeballs on the code. To that end, I’m offering a $150 Amazon.com gift certificate* to anyone who can find a significant vulnerability. By “significant”, […]

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Reusing P2’s ajaxUrl Short-Circuits Other AJAX Requests

I just spent awhile tracking down some odd AJAX behavior that was puzzling me, so I thought I’d share the solution. I was working on a plugin to extend P2 and my AJAX requests were always responding with -1. After a lot of digging and some trial-and-error, I figured out that it was happening because I was […]

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WordPress’ Insularity and Architectural Shortcomings

Even though a huge fan of WordPress and have chosen to develop for it exclusively, there are still some big areas where the underlying architecture is out of step with modern development practices. Mike Toppa just wrote a great response to that “Dire State of WordPress” article that’s been going around, where he defends WordPress […]

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How WordPress Saves Lives: Freedom, Hope and Custom Post Types

Paul Clark’s presentation at WordCamp Phoenix 2013 is a must-watch for any developer who’s interested in using technology to advance human rights and social justice. He describes how his team used open-source technologies to help a human-rights organization in Burma manage their information in ways that have a direct impact on their mission and the lives […]

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The Social Dynamics of Open-Source Contributions

Diaries of a Core Maintainer #6: A Tale of Two Developers makes some insightful points about different approaches towards contributing to open source projects, and how collaboration and social dynamics can play a big role in whether or not the contributions are accepted. It’s written by a Drupal dev, but I’ve seen the same things […]

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Notices are Errors

One of my big pet peeves with WP plugins and themes is that so many of them trigger PHP notices and warnings by failing to check if array indices exist before referencing them, or checking if a file exists before including it, etc. It may seem trivial, but even if you don’t care about the […]

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Using Singletons in WordPress Plugins

Eric Mann and Mika Toppa have been creating a interesting conversation about the use of the Singleton pattern within WordPress plugins. Eric started it with his article in defense of the pattern, and then Mike wrote a thoughtful response. Both make compelling cases for their position, and both avoid the teenage dickery that often accompanies […]

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Creating Object-Oriented WordPress Plugins That Implement MVC

I’ll be giving a presentation at the Seattle WordPress Developers Meetup tomorrow about how to write WordPress plugins that are both object-oriented, and implement the Model-View-Controller pattern.

If you plan on attending, you can follow along with the slides and download the lab files.

Grandchild Themes in WordPress

It’s not possible to create grandchild themes in the same way that you create child themes, but you can use a plugin to dequeue/enqueue stylesheets and scripts, and also override the locations of the main query templates.

It’s obviously not the ideal solution, but there are cases where it may be the least-bad one.

Preventing a Plugin from Automatically Updating

In an ideal world you’d never have to fork a plugin, because developers would always make their plugins extensible with hooks, just like WordPress itself does. But unfortunately that’s not usually the case, and it’s sometimes necessary to directly modify a plugin to make it do what you need. In those cases, you want to […]

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