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Category: WordPress

The WordPress Hooks Firing Sequence!

All right, so big questions for WordPress hooks. What hooks exist for use? And what is the WordPress hooks firing sequence?

As in, what order do WordPress hooks fire within their actual context?

There are two resources, the WP Hook Database by Adam Brown and WordPress’ Code Reference to search for hooks. These two are great, but for someone still testing the waters in learning these concepts, it’s pretty overwhelming. Just imagine someone trying to learn the English language and you hand them the English dictionary.

What is all this? There’s just so much here, how do I know what words to use? How much of this do I need? Where do I even begin? And of course, alphabetical order isn’t going to help unless you converse in alphabetical order, right?

The same can be said for the above mentioned resources for hooks. They’re handy if you’re already familiar with hooks and/or if you have a true understanding of how WordPress builds itself in the background.

And so I thought to myself, maybe if I knew what hooks happen all the time in WordPress’ routine processing, and in what order, that might be a good starting point. A piece of the dictionary versus the whole doggone thing. Turns out I’m not the only person thinking this way. There doesn’t seem to be a unified and updated resource to the hook sequence, their definitions, and which ones happen depending on their environment.

So, I figured, if I had this resource, then I can start learning the language effectively – as in, the language of WordPress hooks. If said resource doesn’t exist – maybe it’s time I make one.

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WordPress Generated Classes and Why You Need Them

Ever hear of WordPress generated classes? Know where they are and what they do?

Odds are, if you are a past version of me, you might be removing them without realizing. You might also be underestimating why keeping them is important.

Whether you’re building a site with Sass, integrating a framework like Foundation 5, or building a custom theme from scratch, you will need these classes.

Why? Well, I’ll tell you. Current me has learned from past me. Okay – I’ll stop saying that because I’m confusing myself…

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Accessible Links by the Handbook

WordPress has this handy theme review handbook. On my quest to learning about accessibility, the requirements in this handbook seemed the next logical step. Since accessible links have been an overwhelming topic for me, learning requirements first give me a head start in addition to learning about making links accessible via context.

The handbook has three required rules for accessible links:

  1. Keyboard Navigation: Visible focus states
  2. Link Text: Screen reader text
  3. Skip Links

We’ll go over all three in this post. This post is on the lengthy side, but it’s all pretty easy to pick up. What’s difficult is making these techniques a habit in your everyday coding. That, I think, is what takes practice. This post also assumes you’re familiar with basic Css and comfortable with minor edits in theme template files.

Time to dive into our WordPress themes!

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An Intro to Accessible Links

I confess. I reached a point in my learning accessibility journey that I became overwhelmed by how much there is to learn. My intention was to start a few posts about links, but there is just so much about accessible links, I didn’t even know where to start. I became discouraged.

Here I am again though, and I’m back on it! I’ve decided that I can’t tell you everything there is to know about accessible links in one post. I can, however, at least introduce the concept and offer resources to wonderful people that have written great things already.

In this post, I’m going to focus on why accessible links matter, how to know if our links are accessible and what we can do right now in our text-editors. Text-editor changes are what’s helping me ease into the concept of accessible links – hopefully it will be helpful to you as well.

Those wonderful people and resources will be sprinkled throughout for those eager to dive into making the most accessible links ever!

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Beware of the WordPress Appearance Editor!

Update 8/22/2017: Looks like the appearance editor is in the process of getting a makeover – finally! My post below still has some accuracy, but I’m glad to see some of the issues being resolved to make code editing easier.


Avast me hearties! There be dangers lurking in the WordPress Appearance Editor!

Okay, okay, before you roll your eyes and abandon this post, I just wanted to share something. It occurred to me on my morning commute as I was handwriting new content aimed for beginners. I had to get myself in a mindset of what it was like diving into WordPress files for the first time again. Re-calling a greener Rachel lost in a labyrinth of files, desperate to complete the small task of changing a font color and not knowing where anything was – I realized that during this learning process, there was one adversary I encountered time and time again.

Said adversary stalled my progress in learning. In fact, it scared the heck out of me a few times whenever it caused the white screen of death before I even knew it was called that.

This adversary is the appearance editor on the dashboard. Thinking back on what I knew back then ( and didn’t know ), having this tool in my hands at the time only served to confuse me, discourage me, or give me impressions of WordPress that weren’t correct.

Here’s why I feel that way and why this tool should be approached with caution.

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