WordSesh 2 Is Live Right Now

WordPress Online ConferenceHave you heard of WordSesh? The online streaming WordPress conference (which is totally free) is currently streaming live right now for WordSesh 2!

WordSesh has two tracks with 58 amazing speakers:

Don’t miss out enjoying this event live. The sessions are recorded, so you could watch them later, but joining in on the chat room and tweet conversations make WordSesh a very special event.

Writing Secure WordPress Code

A few weeks ago I gave a presentation at WordCamp Europe on writing secure WordPress code. The methods I described in my presentation are extremely important when writing code for WordPress. Whether you are a theme designer or a hardcore plugin developer, you should follow all of these security measures to verify your code is as secure as possible. My presentation slides are below:

WordCamp Europe Is Next Week!

Next week I will be attending and speaking at the first ever WordCamp Europe! The event takes place October 5th-7th in Leiden, Netherlands. WordCamp Europe is going to be an amazing event with a insane amount of awesome presentations.

WordCamp Europe 2013 SpeakerI will be presenting on Writing Secure WordPress Code. I’m scheduled to be the last presentation on Saturday at 17:15. I’ll be covering tips and functions available in WordPress that can help you keep your code as secure as possible. Whether you’re a plugin developer or build themes, it’s extremely important to understand how to secure your code from hacks and exploits.

As awesome as this event is going to be, I’m just as excited to see many of my friends at the event. The Attendees list is a who’s who of WordPress awesomeness. I have so many European friends in the WordPress community that will be in attendance so I can’t wait to hang out!

If you’re attending WordCamp Europe make sure you track me down and say hi!

Free WordPress Security Webinar Today

I’ll be hosting a free WordPress Security Webinar Thursday, September 26th at 4pm EDT. The webinar was organized by SiteGround and is available free for anyone to attend. I’ll be hosting the webinar with my WebDevStudios Co-Founder Brian Messenlehner.

If you run a WordPress website and want to learn how to keep your website safe from exploits and hacks, make sure you register to attend!

Do You Want Professional WordPress Plugin Development Second Edition?

Recently I’ve been thinking about my book Professional WordPress Plugin Development, and whether there’s enough demand for a second edition.

Over the years I’ve received some amazing feedback from readers, many of whom have since released plugins on WordPress.org after reading the book. The book is an amazing resource for anyone creating custom plugins in WordPress, from beginners to experts alike. I use the book on an almost daily basis to refresh my memory on proper techniques, functions, and hooks to use when building plugins.

The original Professional WordPress Plugin Development was written for WordPress 3.1, which was released over 2 years ago. The book is still the highest rated WordPress development book on Amazon, with a solid 5-star rating.
pro-wordpress-5-star-reviews

I have two questions for you:

  • Do you want to see a second edition?
  • What would you like to see in a second edition?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

How To: Create a Network Only Plugin in WordPress

If you’ve ever created a custom plugin in WordPress, you should be familiar with the standard plugin header code. The information set in your plugin header is displayed under the Plugins admin menu in WordPress shown below:

wordpress-plugin-header-example

There is a lesser known piece of information that can be defined in your plugin header that tells WordPress to only show your plugin on the WordPress Multisite Network Plugins page. This will hide your plugin from being displayed and activated at the site level in WordPress Multisite. To only allow your plugin to show at the Network Plugins level, simply add this one line to your plugin header code:

Network: true

Easy, right? Let’s look at an example comparing a standard plugin header with a network only plugin header.

Standard Plugin Header:

/*
Plugin Name: My Awesome Plugin
Plugin URI: http://webdevstudios.com/support/wordpress-plugins/
Description: This is my extremely awesome WordPress plugin
Version: 1.0
Author: Brad Williams
Author URI: http://webdevstudios.com
License: GPLv2
*/

Network Only Plugin Header:

/*
Plugin Name: My Awesome Plugin
Plugin URI: http://webdevstudios.com/support/wordpress-plugins/
Description: This is my extremely awesome WordPress plugin
Version: 1.0
Author: Brad Williams
Author URI: http://webdevstudios.com
License: GPLv2
Network: True
*/

Using this method you can be sure your WordPress plugin will only be network activated in Multisite.

The First WordSesh Was a Huge Success!

wordsesh-badge-speakingWordSesh, the first ever 24 hour free live streaming WordPress event, took place just a few short days ago. I had the privilege of helping organize and run the event with Scott Basgaard and Chris Cochran. The event was a huge success that featured an epic list of presenters from the WordPress Community.

Below are a few of the presentations that I enjoyed the most:

DradCast Kickoff Episode

Dre and I hosted a special WordSesh kickoff edition of the DradCast hosted by Scott Basgaard. We had a great time discussing how WordSesh was thought up, the logistics behind organizing an online only event, and some fun WordPress news.

Scoping Projects to Avoid Stress, Headaches & Angry Mobs

Lisa gave a great presentation on scoping projects for clients, which is a topic any entrepreneur can benefit from. She shares her experience with a client and ways she could have made the project run smoother by creating a detailed proposal and spec upfront.

WordPress Plugins, Code, and the Ecosystem in General

Brian and Pippin present on plugins and the ecosystem around them. They both have a wealth of knowledge that all WordPress plugins developers could learn from.

Everything & anything you’ve ever wanted to know about BuddyPress & bbPress

John’s presentation on BuddyPress and bbPress is a fun walkthrough on the history of both projects. John discusses the initial releases, journey to their current state, and also touches on the future of both BuddyPress and bbPress.

The best part of WordSesh is that all presentations are available online! To view any of the amazing videos visit the WordSesh YouTube page. Also be sure to follow @WordSesh on Twitter for updates on future events.

WordSesh proved that an online only WordPress event is something the community not only needs, but absolutely loves. Stay tuned for WordSesh 2!

How To: Get the Current Logged in User ID in WordPress

When developing custom themes and plugins for WordPress there are times you will need to get the logged in user’s ID. There are a few different ways to accomplish this, but I’m going to show you the easiest method. To get the user’s ID you’ll use the get_current_user_id() function like so:

$current_user_id = get_current_user_id();
echo 'Your User ID is: ' .$current_user_id;

The get_current_user_id() function will return the currently logged in user’s ID, or 0 if a user is not logged in. Another popular method, which requires a bit more code, is the get_currentuserinfo() function. The method I described above actually uses the wp_get_current_user() function, which is a wrapper for get_currentuserinfo(). So using get_current_user_id() is just a faster method for retrieving the same data. This function was added in WordPress 3.0 as part of the Multisite code merge into WordPress.

To learn more about the get_current_user_id() function check out the Codex article or consult the WordPress core.

WordSesh Starts Tonight with the DradCast

wordsesh-badge-speakingWordSesh, a 24-hour live streaming WordPress event, starts tonight with a special edition of the DradCast! The show starts at 8pm EDT ( 0:00 UTC ) and will feature the WordSesh organizer, and my good friend, Scott Basgaard.

This is the first ever online-only WordPress event and I’m very excited to be a part of it. I’d love to see more events like WordSesh in the future and I absolutely think we will. Overall there is very little overhead for an event like this, with the biggest cost being the time it takes to organize.

If you’re looking for something fun to do this weekend (and honestly who doesn’t want to hang out with a bunch of nerds on a Friday?) you need to check out WordSesh. If you can’t make the live event don’t worry, all presentations are being recorded via YouTube so you can watch them back at your leisure.

I will see you tonight!

My Favorite WordPress Premium Plugins

Over the years I have used a lot of WordPress plugins. From free, to paid, chances are at some point in my WordPress career I’ve probably tried it. Below is a list of my current favorite premium plugins for WordPress.


Gravity Forms – Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past 3 years, you’ve probably heard of Gravity Forms. Arguably the most successful premium plugin, Gravity Forms is hands down the best WordPress plugin for content and submission forms of all types. Not only is Gravity Forms amazingly easy to create contact forms, it does so much more. One of my favorite uses for GF is to create a form for content submission. A visitor to the website can easily fill out the form fields and that data is submitted and saved as a post or custom post type entry. This includes the post categories, metadata, images (including setting it to a featured image) and more.

That’s just one small example of what this extremely powerful plugin can do. You can even extend the feature set using a number of Gravity From add-ons. Since its release, I have never built a WordPress site that wasn’t using Gravity Forms.

BackupBuddy – One of the first tips you hear when learning how to use a computer is save often and make backups. Running a website is no different. How would you feel if you lost all of the content you’ve created on your WordPress site over the years? One word, terrible.

BackupBuddy is the leading automated backup plugin for WordPress. You can easily create a schedule backup (nightly, weekly, monthly, etc) to generate a full (database + files) backup of your WordPress website. The backup generated can also be sent offsite via FTP, Email, Amazon S3, Dropbox, and more. What good is a backup if it’s stored on the same server as your website, right? If you are serious about your WordPress website, make sure you have solid backups using BackupBuddy.

WP All Import – A lesser known premium plugin that I absolutely love is WP All Import. If you do a lot of content migrations into WordPress, like I do, stop everything you are doing and go buy this plugin. WP All Import makes it incredibly simple to import data into WordPress from a CSV or XML file.

The plugin features a nice drag and drop interface to map the data to the appropriate fields in WordPress. You can easily import content, metadata, taxonomies, images (which are side-loaded to the post created), dates, and more. WP All Import also features some more advanced features like support for processing massive import files, recurring imports, updating existing imports, and filtering data based on specific criteria. This plugin has literally changed our process for migration projects to WordPress.

Soliloquy – If you create a lot of websites using WordPress, chances are you’ve also tried a lot of different sliders or rotators to feature content. Well your search for the best WordPress slider has ended, enter Soliloquy. ( Side note: This is the one plugin on this list I can never pronounce correctly :P )

This premium plugin, is in my opinion, the best WordPress slider on the market. Not only is it dead simple to use, but is completely responsive out of the box. The plugin allows you to create an unlimited number of sliders using a custom post type. You can easily embed those sliders in your posts, pages, or in a sidebar using the included slider widget. Not only does Soliloquy support images, as you would expect, but it also fully supports videos as well. This plugin also features a nice set of add-ons to integrate additional functionality into Soliloquy.


There you have it, a list of my current favorite premium plugins for WordPress. To be fair, this isn’t an exhaustive list of every premium plugin I use, but these are the plugins I use most often.

As an added bonus, every premium plugin I listed here is licensed under the GPL software license, which is the same license WordPress is released under. If you use any of these plugins (and I think you should be using all of them) I promise you will not be disappointed.

You probably also noticed there are no affiliate links in this post. In the words of Don Davis “I don’t want to make any money. I just love to sell guns plugins.”