What I Wish I’d Known When I Started–WordCamp Orange County 2016

This morning, I delivered an extended version of this talk, which I first presented at WordCamp Winnipeg 2015. This session explored WordPress functionality that new developers often overlook, as well as some “gotchas” about Core behavior. As a 90-minute workshop, extensive discussion was encouraged, and successful–so much so that I only made it about halfway through the slides. But, as I said at the outset, the slides were more a suggestion to guide the discussion.

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Getting Started with SSL–WordCamp San Diego 2016

As part of today’s admin track at WordCamp San Diego, I delivered a talk titled “Getting Started with SSL.” My intent was to demystify the terminology and process involved with securely delivering traffic. I described my talk this way:

Revelations like Edward Snowden’s about NSA spying, and Google’s announcement that it will begin considering a site’s HTTPS status in its rankings, led to a lot of talk about moving websites to secure connections. Similarly, the rise in ecommerce, and the simplicity with which one can accept payments online, has increased the need for sites to be available securely. With so much terminology that’s likely new, often very similar, and rarely more than a stream of initialisms, this entire discussion can be very intimidating. I’ll clarify basic terminology, offer some reasons why it’s worthwhile to secure a site whenever possible, and share several solutions to cover everything from simple to enterprise needs.

While securing a site can be intimidating at first, the recent introduction of Let’s Encrypt (https://letsencrypt.org/) significantly simplifies the process for most sites. Many hosts have introduced support for this service, which I’ll discuss before delving into options for sites and circumstances that aren’t suited to Let’s Encrypt.

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What I Wish I’d Known When I Started–WordCamp Winnipeg 2015

I’m presenting today at WordCamp Winnipeg. My talk is titled What I Wish I’d Known When I Started and I described it this way:

WordPress provides many convenient functions, perhaps too many. All too often, new developers reinvent the wheel, as the cliche goes, when Core already has a function or utility to accomplish the same. Five years on and thinking back to when I started building WordPress plugins, I could’ve saved a lot of time and avoided a lot of anxiety if I’d known where to look.

Slides are available at https://speakerdeck.com/ethitter/what-i-wish-id-known-when-i-started; video will be posted as soon as it’s available. I’ve also embedded the slides below.

A copy of the slides along with their presenter notes is available at https://slides.ethitter.com/wcwpg-what-i-wish-id-known/slides-with-notes.pdf.

From URL to Query–WordPressDC Meetup

Tonight I’ve been invited to present my talk, From URL to Query, to the WordPressDC meetup group. I recently gave an introductory version of this talk at WordCamp San Francisco, and tonight’s version is a more-detailed expansion akin to the version I’ve presented at past WordCamps. I’ve described the talk as follows:

Ever wonder what process WordPress undertakes when someone visits your site? Or how it translates that nice permalink to the database query that ultimately delivers the content your visitors requested? Or what it takes to load the appropriate template from your site’s theme?

In this talk, I’ll walk through WordPress’ loading process and shed some light on the various APIs used. I’ll also discuss how these APIs work together to make the software function.

Slides are be available at https://slides.ethitter.com/from-url-to-query-wpdc/. If the session’s recorded, I’ll embed the video once it’s available.

From URL To Query–WordCamp San Francisco 2014

WordCamp San Francisco is today, and I’ve been invited to present a five-minute lightning talk as part of this afternoon’s program. Drawing from my longer talk of the same name (given at past WordCamps), From URL to Query describes the process WordPress undertakes to deliver the right content for each URL.

Ever wonder what process WordPress undertakes when someone visits your site? Or how it translates that nice permalink to the database query that ultimately delivers the content your visitors requested? Or what it takes to load the appropriate template from your site’s theme?

In this talk, I’ll walk through WordPress’ loading process and shed some light on the various APIs used. I’ll also discuss how these APIs work together to make the software function.

Slides from today’s presentation are at https://slides.ethitter.com/from-url-to-query-wcsf/. The complete deck is also available at https://slides.ethitter.com/from-url-to-query/.

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WP_Rewrite Isn’t As Scary As You Think–WordCamp Vancouver 2013

I just finished my presentation at WordCamp Vancouver 2013 entitled “WP_Rewrite Isn’t As Scary As You Think.” My intent was to reduce the fear surrounding WP_Rewrite in the hope that more developers will be able to leverage the API in their code. I described my talk thusly:

Everyone wants pretty URLs on their sites, and WordPress provides a powerful system to support this. Behind the magic of the Permalinks settings page is WP_Rewrite, an API terrifying to many developers.

Like most of WordPress, the Rewrites system isn’t limited just to internal use, and understanding how the API works lets developers build powerful tools atop the platform. We’ll start by discussing what happens when you set a permalink structure through the dashboard and how WordPress uses that to query for content. We’ll then explore how you can add custom rewrite rules, both with and without an understanding of regular expressions. By the end of this session, you’ll know what actions and filters are available to tweak rewrite rules, how endpoints enhance your code, and how you can leverage this powerful API to deliver a better user experience.

Proposed as a 45-minute presentation, I was offered a shorter slot instead. As such, the talk isn’t as in-depth as I described it, but it still provides a good primer for those unfamiliar with WP_Rewrite.

Slides from the talk are available at http://slides.ethitter.com/wp-rewrite-isnt-scary/. I’ll embed the video as soon as it’s available.

Year in Review

I experienced two notable milestones last week. It’s been a year since I joined Automattic, and I’ve been without a permanent home for the same duration. During this year, I’ve visited a new country, met innumerable incredible people from both Automattic and the WordPress community, attended fourteen (14!) WordCamps and spoken at seven (7!), and taken over as lead of Team Custom. I’ve flown in excess of 100,000 miles and spent at least seven months away from my Boston-area home base.

What a great experience I’ve had and a wild year it’s been! I have no desire or intent to settle down any time soon, and going forward, will be posting more about my nomadic experience  at Get Transient along with Siobhan McKeown,  Hanni Ross, and guests.

The Power of WordPress’ Roles and Capabilities–Portland WordPress Meetup

At tonight’s Portland WordPress meetup, I’ll present a combined version of my two talks on WordPress’ Roles and Capabilities system. I’ve given these talks before, most recently at WordCamp Toronto 2012 and WordCamp Toronto Developers 2012.

So those in attendance can follow along, below are the slides I’ll use as part of the discussion:

My appearance at PDXWP was described as follows:

WordPress’ roles seem simple enough on the surface, but behind the Administrator, Editor, and the other default roles is a powerful system that can be customized extensively. For April’s PDXWP Developer’s meetup, Erick Hitter, Lead of Team Custom at Automattic, is joining us to talk about WordPress roles and capabilities.

While some have said that other CMS’ have an advantage when it comes to security and customizing capabilities, Erick will demonstrate that that isn’t true. Starting with a walkthrough of how to modify existing roles and create new ones, he will then cover how to leverage custom roles in WordPress code. Finally, he will wrap up with a discussion of some powerful filters that will prove WordPress has a roles and capabilities system that is as flexible as the popular competitors often touted as having superior implementations.

Lastly, here’s the recording:

From URL to Query–WordCamp Miami 2013

Today at WordCamp Miami, I reprised my latest talk, From URL to Query. I’ve now given this talk at WordCamps Phoenix, Atlanta, and Miami; the latter two presentations are an expanded version of the original talk delivered in Phoenix.

Briefly, this was the intent of my talk:

Ever wonder what process WordPress undertakes when someone visits your site? Or how it translates that nice permalink to the database query that ultimately delivers the content your visitors requested? Or what it takes to load the appropriate template from your site’s theme?

In this talk, I’ll walk through WordPress’ loading process and shed some light on the various APIs used. I’ll also discuss how these APIs work together to make the software function.

Slides are available at http://slides.ethitter.com/from-url-to-query/.

I’ll link to the video once it becomes available. The recording of the WordCamp Phoenix iteration is available in the meantime, but isn’t as in-depth as what I covered in Atlanta or Miami.