We don’t always realize how much we’re actively learning in our day to day work. We’ve gotten so used to the daily grind of web development, that perhaps finding answers to “gotchas” or successfully troubleshooting a problem, is something we celebrate with a fist bump in the air before we move on to the next thing. What helps me keep this blog going is taking a few seconds to write those discoveries down in a draft. While small, each new bit of knowledge levels me up. I want to share some of those with you today as quick WordPress tips.
The great thing about these 10 quick tips, are that they can be absorbed in this one read. No in-depth tutorials, no lengthy explanations – just small bits of knowledge that hopefully help you grow the same way they’ve enabled me to grow.
Half of these tips are for HTML or CSS, the other half, WordPress functions that I’ve found handy during front-end development. Let’s start from the quickest tips down to ones that require a little more explaining.
It’s been half a year since I joined the 10up team and I’ve been learning so much about the CMS I love so far. Working with a company where I can continue my WordPress adventures full time has been a rewarding experience. I’ve met new people, dived into open source, and made new discoveries in WordPress. Since it’s long past due for a new post here on RachieVee, I’d love to share 10 WordPress things I’ve learned working with 10up – a mixture of newly discovered tools, techniques and functions!
Spoiler alert, I’ve written more than ten and there are front-end related things too. Confession, I just wanted to use the whole 10 things with 10up title.
WordCamp NYC came to town this past weekend on Halloween! There was candy, costumes, cupcakes, and of course – awesome speakers! It was a great way to gather a new list of influential people to follow on Twitter and a new reason to hoard all the free swag. If there’s anything I learned from last year’s WCNYC, it’s that WordCamp is only getting better. I’ve learned a lot and a lot has changed since the last time I attended a WordCamp. I’d like to share that experience along with a late Halloween treat for those who may have missed the event.
Obvious, not so obvious hint – speaker slides list! Grab your leftover candy and let’s get to it.
WordPress Hooks are hard. We always hear the word “hooks” being thrown around and it’s one of those things that make sense, but then it doesn’t.
I’m sure that there may even people reading this right now, and not entirely sure what I mean by hooks. That’s okay. Before I go on with this post, they look like this. These are two examples I pulled from the Twenty Fifteen Theme in functions.php.
Still confused? No worries, it took me a while too. In fact, I can’t say that I completely know all there is to know about WordPress hooks even now, even after writing, “The WordPress Hooks Firing Sequence“. WordPress is the kind of thing that the goal isn’t to learn it all, but to learn it in levels for your purposes. It’s such a deep system, deeper than most people imagine, and I’ve found that once I’ve obtained an understanding of one concept, there is always more to learn. Each concept I learn serves as a foundation for what I learn next.
Hooks didn’t click for me until about a year ago. I too, was copying and pasting various solutions offered by the all knowing Google or Stack Overflow into my WordPress theme. I hadn’t truly understood what was happening when I dropped these snippets of PHP in and the world that would open once that understanding happened.
As much as I’d like to sit here and try to explain what hooks are, if there’s one thing I can say from experience, is that understanding comes in layers. In other words, there is no one mind blowing resource that is suddenly going to make it click. Or maybe it will, depends on the person I guess. For me, however, it took several readings, videos, and diving into WordPress code before the ah hah moment hit.
Knowing that it took a combination of resources and methods for me to learn WordPress hooks, I’d like to pass them onto you. These resources will hopefully bring that fuzzy definition of hooks into focus, even if it’s in layers. In addition to these 10 resources, I’d like to share 2 methods that worked for me. Everyone learns differently and at their own pace, but perhaps sharing my experience will help someone along.
I’ve been focusing on accessibility in my recent WordPress posts, both as an interest and what feels like an obligation ( refer to my about page ). Web accessibility is becoming a deeper subject to learn the more I research it. I’m beginning to understand why we have experts that get paid specifically to focus on that area. Tackling web accessibility on your site doesn’t have to feel overwhelming however, which is why I’m aiming to learn one aspect at a time in my WordPress series.
In the meantime, if you’re here learning along with me, here are 23 resources for learning about web accessibility. Hopefully they’ll help clarify as much for you as they are doing for me. Enjoy.