Ernie Leseberg

Random writings on software & product development, running, business and anything else

Tag: WordPress (page 1 of 2)

Shame On Me

I have let this site slide. Not just in new content but also keeping the site up to date with new versions of WordPress etc.

My history with WordPress goes back a long way. I have built both commercial and non commercial sites with it. Developed plugins and themes, and helped many others get sites up and running. These days I am a lot less hands on and my contact with what has been happening in the WP world has declined.

With all the angst over Gutenberg and WP 5.0 I left this and a couple of other sites on WP 4.9.x. I have been getting questions over the new editor from some non technical site admins who had hit the update button and been confused and frustrated by the changes they found. So it was time to catch up given 5.2 is now out. Gutenberg is fine. It’s a little different but pretty functional. I’m yet to see massive advantages or disadvantages of it.

What I have been underwhelmed by is the Twenty Nineteen theme. I have nothing against minimalism but this theme just leaves me cold. Lacks customisation, and some of the fonts and the footer. Hmmm. Maybe I need to use more imagery and it will look better. More likely I will go find something else.

I’m even a little tempted to see what else is out there in CMS land.

UPDATE 18/5: I ended up switching to the Hemingway theme.

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.

Change of Theme

The TwentyTwelve theme for WprdPress is not officially out yet, but you can get it by SVN.

It’s a really nice clean responsive theme. I have taken it as the base for this site. At this time there is little difference, but I will gradually yweak it to be exactly as I want.

MAWA site to WordPress

I have recently completed work and handed over the keys to the updated Masters Athletics Western Australia (MAWA) website. It has moved from static HTML to the latest WordPress. The aim was to make updates easier for less technical users and allow multiple content updaters.
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WordPress custom upload directory

On a site with multiple content types and various types of files being uploaded, I wanted to keep these uploaded files in a more organised manner rather than simply dumping in uploads or a year and month based parent directories. WordPress filters to the resue.
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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.

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.

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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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.

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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