Software Development

XML uploads in WordPress

By default the WordPress media uploader does not permit the uploading of XML files, but this is easily modified.

add_filter('upload_mimes', 'custom_upload_xml');

function custom_upload_xml($mimes) {
    $mimes = array_merge($mimes, array('xml' => 'application/xml'));
    return $mimes;
}

Add this in your themes functions.php file or in a plugin. The function name [custom_upload_xml] can be changed, but just make it consistent. The same technique can be used to allow other file types to be uploaded.

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Software Development

Jigoshop v1.0 beware

Jigoshop recently released v1.0 of their WordPress e-commerce plugin. Beware the upgrade from the existing version is far from smooth. This was found out the hard way when a client updated their site. Tax calculations, featured products shortcode and products out of stock are just some of the errors encountered.

There are fixes in the support forum, but I would suggest waiting for v1.01 at a minimum.

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Work

Flowerella – New Site

The website for Flowerella is now live. Flowerella services the area around Gordon in the north of Sydney. It is part an online flower shop, and also information about the great work they do for functions and weddings.


The site is built on WordPress, and uses a modified version of Jigoshop to handle the online shop. The site design was done by Matt and I turned it into a WordPress theme. Not the most complicated WP site, with pretty standard plugins and a custom type to handle the testimonials.

Best of luck Flowerella.

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Web, Work

WooCommerce – No Thanks

WooThemes LogoSo WooThemes have released v1 of WooCommerce an ecommerce plugin for WordPress. This is a fork of the Jigowatt ecommerce plugin Jigoshop. Given the GPL licensing of the code the fork was legally fine, but I found the whole process ethically dubious. The reason for the fork seemed to be purely for financial gain given their own attempts to create an ecommerce plugin had failed and they could not come to a commercial agreement with Jigowatt or at least 1 other similar plugin development group.
Jigoshop LogoI have 1 site about to go live using Jigoshop, but another in early stages of development. It would be derelict of me not to at least check out WooCommerce for the sake of my client.
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Work

And Another Door Opens

So as previously posted I am leaving McCann, leads to the search for a new developer position.
Luckily I have found a new Senior Web Developer position with Australasian Medical Publishing and I am really looking forward to it. It is a 12 month contract where I will be working on a project that is consolidating a number of sites from a variety of platforms to running on Drupal. My experience with Drupal is limited and not recent (around v 4.x), but data conversions are something I have plenty of experience with and at least 1 system is WordPress which I know very well these days.
There will be a steep learning curve around Drupal, but I have always liked a challenge. And I have heard plenty of good about Drupal in terms of flexibility and power that it will be interesting to compare to WordPress and Joomla which I have worked with in more recent times.

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Business, Work

Clarity of work focus

It has been over 5 years now since I went and sent up a company so I could work for myself. In that time it has ranged from very lean to actually having to say no to work. There was a short detour back to perm work but in reality their painted picture was better than reality.

Lack of clear direction

One mistake I can readily admit over these years is a lack of clear direction. At times the business has been part:

  1. Full service web company
  2. Hired gun contractor / freelancer inside other organisations
  3. Web site content with income from advertising
  4. Web site services with pay for use

Number 2 has been by far the most successful in a monetary sense with the others suffering from being a small fish in a big wide sea. This is not to say the time spent on them has been wasted. I have learnt a lot about business models, promotion & marketing amongst other non technical skills. But it did have me wearing too many hats, and results suffered because of this.

Current Focus

Over the last 6 months I have consciously been moving to a situation where the company structure is purely to support my freelance software development. No more trying to build the next big thing by myself or compete for small fry work from small companies where the dollar cost seems more important than the benefit that can be derived from their web presence.
The core skills are still developing in a Linux / Apache / MySQL / PHP environment. Working with customising WordPress as a CMS has become much more prevalent, and I have been putting effort into taking my front end web skills around javascript and jQuery to another level. I still like to use my skills working with relational databases.

For the Future

A few ideas for the future.

  • Finding & working with other skilled professionals on a project by project basis. Whether they be a project manager, graphic designer, marketer or other developers.
  • Writing more here and sharing some of what I have leant from a technical perspective.
  • Releasing more code when I am in a legal position to do so under a free license. I have lots of custom WordPress plugins and modifications to other plugins that others should find useful.
  • Understand more about non relational databases
  • Learn and do more development for mobile platforms
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Software Development

WordPress Custom Post Types

WordPress is best known as a blogging engine, but new features in recent releases and the ability of plugins to add functionality have made WordPress a viable CMS (Content Management System) for sites.

WordPress 3.0 added ‘custom post types’ which allows a developer to define new types of content in addition to the 5 inbuilt types. No longer will posts or pages need to be twisted into shape by use of custom fields or lots of PHP coding. Don’t let the name ‘custom post types’ have you believe the new content is just an extension to WordPress posts. The more correct title is ‘custom content types’.

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