How to develop your own WordPress CRON job properly and ensure it actually runs

Hello! In this post we will be walking through how to interact with the WordPress Cron system. We will delve into how to establish your scheduled jobs properly using the built-in WordPress cron system, with no other external interactions such as the OS cronjob system. This will be useful for WordPress plugin developers as in order to develop a plugin that utilizes reliable scheduled tasks, you need to accommodate many different types of web hosting environments. What is CRON? In linux, this would be a command line utility that allows the end user to schedule jobs to run at specific days and times on a repeating basis. You can write your own script and have the operating system run it on a nightly basis. Systems Administrators use this often for things like backups, integrity checks and a wide array of use cases. What is WordPress CRON? Taking the same concept […]

How to make Woocommerce more enterprise friendly

Hello! After Working with WordPress and Woocommerce for a while, watching it grow and evolve over time, there are some constraints that we have been encountered over the years in particular with larger enterprise projects. WordPress appeals to a massive audience (43% market share to be exact). In this massive appeal, the WordPress development community has to make careful decisions in order to balance the needs of the majority of users with the unique demands that enterprise implementations may have. The most common requirements for enterprise WordPress sites would be : Redundancy, Deployment, Testing/QA and Security. All of these requirements are closely tied together in one way or another but they are all limited or hindered by the way WordPress is fundamentally designed. This can usually be accommodated with standard static WordPress sites. The moment you delve into the e-commerce world with Automattic’s Woocommerce, you run into problems. Why Woocommerce […]

How to push your single post or page content with this new WordPress plugin

Hello! There is quite a bit of documentation with how to scale your WordPress site for enterprise. Additionally there are quite a few enterprise WordPress hosting solutions that allow you to “stage” your content on staging sites with automated methods to push or clone the staging site (once an internal approved process gives the thumbs up perhaps) to the live / production website. These systems are great and not only sanitize and streamline the publication process of your website, but also increases the security and containment of any issues that may come up with your website. The live site can be further locked down and restricted as a result of this type of process because people (administrators, contributors) no longer need to be logging in and interacting with the live production website. All of it can be done on a more private staging site. For many people this type of […]

How to import your Zoom Webinars into WordPress as custom content

Hello! Now, more than ever, companies businesses and individuals are leveraging web based collaborative tools like Zoom. Whether it be for company meetings, training sessions or sales seminars, the idea is to use video conferencing technology to replace in-person interactions. Zoom has emerged as a leading player, being positioned favourably at the right point in time to offer reliable video conferencing services for a variety of uses. One of the more common requests as web development agency, is to integrate the ability to “import” Zoom webinars for a business into their website. What once may have been an Eventbrite integration has now transitioned to a remote model of interaction. At Shift8, we have created a WordPress plugin to pull Zoom webinar events into WordPress as custom content. This can then be manipulated by your theme or a custom post grid perhaps. Why would you want to import Zoom Webinar’s into […]

How to scale your WordPress site for enterprise level redundancy

Hello! It often becomes a requirement for certain levels of clients to ensure service level agreements for uptime and redundancy are kept. What does this mean? Well we want to ensure that a particular site can withstand a single point of failure, which usually means we would need to expand the services across multiple endpoints. This is not a new requirement and usually is not something one would consider for small or even medium sized businesses because the costs essentially skyrocket because at this level of redundancy you need someone to design the infrastructure, roll it out, manage it, monitor it and then you need infrastructure resources such as multiple servers , load balancers and similar services to ensure this type of redundancy is kept. The purpose of this post is to walk you through, in technical terms, how to roll out a WordPress site using industry standard best practices, […]

How to bulk update all WordPress pages or posts

Hello! Sometimes its necessary to perform mass or automated actions against your WordPress content. Reasons for this can vary, but in our scenario there was a bug in a plugin relating to translated content via WPML where afte a fix / plugin update was applied, resolving the content errors was as simple as re-saving an existing post (with no changes). Normally this wouldn’t be a problem but what if your site has over 1,000 pages or posts? Doing those one at a time , or even via the “Quick edit” method can be tedious and resource-taxing (both in-person and server resources!). Alternatively, what if you needed to update a byline in the post content, or standardize a title format for your posts? The reasons can vary again ,but I thought it might be helpful to include an automated process using a method called “bootstrapping” WordPress. What this really means is […]

How to optimize and speed up your WordPress site

Hello! What a topic : how speed up your WordPress site. There are so many elements and factors that contribute to site speed, it is my intention to cover each area that contributes or affects overall site speed, specifically with a WordPress site. Being the most popular CMS in the world means that all sorts of people are using WordPress for all sorts of reasons. Having a fast performing site has been proven to improve things like overall sales with e-commerce as well as bounce rates with end-users visiting your site. People tend to not have patience to wait around for websites to load these days, and Google has recognized that and will prioritize sites organically that render faster than others. This is a tricky endeavour because some of the issues that may be contributing to underlying slowness may be pointing you in the wrong direction in terms of a […]

How to transition your Toronto business online

Hello! Without a doubt, the covid-19 pandemic has caused a massive disruption to the global economy including a fundamental shift to how small, medium and large enterprise businesses can conduct their day-to-day operations. The impact of social distancing and other quarantine strategies as dictated by the various health regulatory bodies have had a staggering impact on brick-and-mortar businesses without a doubt. This shift, albeit temporary or more longer term, has put an onus of importance on establishing or improving an online presence. Many grocery stores, butchers and other essential retail businesses have transitioned to an online e-commerce ordering system to accommodate the ability to delivery grocery and goods to their customers. Having an online business can be the deciding factor as to whether you can actually continue operating as a business. Your front doors to your showroom may be closed, but your customers still will be able to browse and […]

How to sanitize and reset all WordPress user accounts with linux shell scripting and wp-cli

Hello! There are several key best practices insofar as how to deal with security intrusions, including but not limited to restoring from backups on a clean server. In this article, I will be going over how to create an automated shell script that completes the following actions across multiple WordPress sites on your linux server : 1. Sanitize user and group permissions 2. Sanitize WordPress core admin and include files 3. Update WordPress Core 4. Update All installed plugins 5. Iterate through all WordPress user accounts and reset the passwords The above actions can be implemented as part of a broader security policy when dealing with shared hosting environments where you are hosting multiple WordPress sites. I will touch on each of the above items including the shell script snippets that are required to implement each. At the bottom of this article I will share the entirety of the shell […]

What is good web design?

Hello! Trends in web design have come and gone over the years, however there have been some recurring indicators that have manifested as good web design in different iterations as styles change, web development technologies change and the internet changes. CSS, HTML and Javascript frameworks have all come a long way in terms of front end development and the tools that the different technologies bring to the table that allow us to implement modern, interesting, artistic, clean and beautiful websites. But what makes good design? That’s the million dollar question! At Shift8, we have offered web design in Toronto for hundreds and hundreds of businesses across all niche markets. Each marketplace or industry has their own unique challenges, however there are common elements and expectations that we have noted happens for the most part across almost all of our projects. I will attempt to break down these challenges in order […]