Articles, Reviews

WP Calypso First Impression

WP Calypso is the newest addition to Automattic’s open source projects. It took both the WordPress and the web communities by storm this week — everyone is talking and writing about it now. But what it really is? Does it deserve the attention it gets?

I was surprised when I first heard about Calypso on Monday. Even more, plenty of questions started to pop up in my mind, namely:

  • How does it relate to WordPress.org?
  • How is it different from WordPress.org?
  • How can I use it on my self-hosted WP blog?
  • Why should I care? It’s an Automattic’s project after all.

…and some others, especially more technical ones. Well, I’ll do my best and will explain “everything” in today’s article. Have a nice read!

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Articles, Reviews

Learn React + Flux at Udemy for free + more React goodies

React is everywhere. Everybody is talking about it. Companies are migrating their front-ends to React. Applying for a JavaScript programmer position? Better to know React then!

In all seriousness, React is an awesome library for building UIs. If you use Facebook, then you have already seen it in action — the whole chat is written in it. But what is it all about? Well, I’ve written about it very briefly before (link, link). The Internet is full of articles describing its prowess. However, there are plenty of people who prefer watching videos, listening to an experienced developer explaining it, instead of having to spend weeks of hard reading. And I got something special for you. Two things actually.

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Articles, Reviews

Front-end development with WordPress

Although WordPress is created in PHP, nowadays, a lot of themes and plugins make use of JavaScript to create feature-rich, responsive, client-side sites. Some go as far as to use WordPress only as a store of data, making the whole site a single page (SPA) and everything in JavaScript. The WP REST API project, which simplifies the communication between front-end and back-end of a WordPress-powered site, helps this trend quite a lot. Although there are plenty of sites and tutorials describing how to create SPAs, for newcomers it is a jungle of tools, frameworks, libraries and other stuff. In this article, I’ll give you an overview of the current state of front-end web development and describe my story of how I got to use them. For more in-depth texts, follow the links and Google the technologies.

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Articles, Reviews

Building high quality sites with Bedrock

WordPress sites have a bad reputation of being not professional and not following programming best practices. It is a relic from the past when users had only FTP, no ssh access and a direct consequence of trying to appeal to masses. Many of these complaints are valid and when building a site bigger than a simple blog, it is wise to use something more advanced. Luckily for us, people at roots.io1 have started a project called Bedrock which aims to solve this issue.
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Articles, Reviews

EasyEngine — all in one server configurator

To me, building WordPress sites and applications is mostly fun — from listening to client’s requirements to showing her the finished site. This process, though, consists of one important, but not very fun part: deployment. Using a cheap hosting solution, with no WordPress optimizations, might work for some but when you want to be sure your client won’t complain of slow site, you need to go for something like Pagely or WP Engine. But that’s expensive. A lot of clients can’t afford that. “Well”, you say, what about buying a VPS server from DigitalOcean and setting it up? In case you are an expert Linux administrator and have a few free days, it will work just fine. For the 99.9% of us, the solution is much simpler. Use EasyEngine to configure the server for you, in just one click (or key press)!

easyengine logo
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Articles, Reviews

Hosting Review: DigitalOcean

When it comes to the time of choosing a server hosting provider for our WordPress site, we end up with zillion of various options, ranging from bare-bones Linux-based web server to a managed hosting with optimizations and everything. The first step is to realize our budget, abilities and needs:

  • Do we have money for this server?
  • Are we able to configure it to the point of seamless working?
  • Do we really need all its features?

DigitalOcean.com is a relatively cheap, straightforward to configure (for small and medium-sized WordPress sites) and feature-rich server provider company. Here is a short review of my experience with using DigitalOcean and a referral link with 10$ of credit for you at the bottom of the page.
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Articles, Reviews

Themify Flow First Impression

After writing a short review of LayersWP theme builder, I got contacted by Nick La of Themify.me to do a similar review of their new, free and open source theme builder Flow. I’m always excited about new technologies. Theme builders are no exception. Playing with Flow for a while, I got really enthusiastic about it. However, deep down I’m a programmer so I had to put my feelings aside and carry out an honest testing.

In this review, we’ll talk about Flow in brief, see how it works under the hood, perform a load testing to measure its performance and discuss its source code.

Flow in brief

Flow, similar to other theme builders, enables us to create and stylize post/page templates with a simple dragging and dropping of various modules on their front-ends, i.e. you take a “Text” module, write some text into it and put it under the post’s title — reload the post and see the difference. A picture is worth a thousand words (figure 1).

Figure 1: Flow intro

Figure 1: Flow intro

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Articles, Reviews

Tools for better writing

Although writing articles on your blog is not directly related to WordPress development, it helps you in many aspects. Similar to having a multitude of tools empowering your programming endeavors, having some of them while writing an article can make your task easier and the result better, especially if English is not your mother tongue. In today’s post, I’m going to describe some of them. Read More