A couple of weekends back I had the great pleasure of speaking at WordCamp Melbourne. I spoke in the WordPress user stream and gave a talk entitled ‘Know Enough to Be Dangerous. It was essentially an introduction to editing HTML, CSS and PHP in a WordPress site for those who had possibly never looked at code before. (Why not check out some resources and my slides). After my talk I reminded of a couple really important points/techniques that I really should have included in my talk (thanks to @jenmylo and another person whose name I didn’t catch). They’re both ways of making the sorts of tweaks I was talking about in a much safer way. To help you do things in the safest way possible – I thought I would cover a little about both of them here.
One of the major parts of my talks (with a small warning) was Cowboy Coding – or editing files directly on the server. I offered up a few safety measures (backing up everything when you touch it) – but it’s still pretty poor practice. The good news is there’s a much better way to handle editing your site’s theme.
One of the major problems with editing your theme directly is the theme upgrade process. If an update becomes available for your theme (and is installed) it overwrites all of the theme files – taking all your lovely new changes with them. So unless you want to re-tweak every time you upgrade – there needs to be a better way.
Luckily WordPress has a great little piece of functionality called Child Themes. These are themes you can create that make amendments and changes to another theme (referred to as the parent theme). The theme contains ONLY the tweaks you make – so when the parent them is updated – all your tweaks will still remain in place.
It IS a couple of additional steps in the process – but more than worth it to ensure the valuable changes you make are future proof and won’t disappear.
A tweak to the site has been in the works for a little while. This weekend I’m away speaking at WordCamp Melbourne, and I figured it was a great time to bite the bullet and launch.
Over the weekend I went to see World’s Apart, the feature film put together by Cirque du Soleil. Needless to say it was an amazing film. Visually spectacular, full of whimsy and bursting at the seams with astoundingly talented (and fearless) performers. And yet in the midst of enjoying the spectacle – it made me think of the web.
I’m super stoked to announce that I’ll be speaking at WordCamp Melbourne at the end of April this year. I’m even more excited at the stellar lineup of other people I’ll get to hear speak while I’m there!
I’d like you take a moment and think of all the different screens you look at every day. Particularly those you might use the internet on. Even being conservative, you might think of a computer monitor, your phone, maybe your television, and possibly some sort of tablet device.
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