Barry Hughes WordPress Developer

Hello there, thanks for visiting!

I’m a software developer based on beautiful Vancouver Island with a particular interest in web-based open source software like WordPress. I’ve helped to build, test, manage and support a diverse range of online projects and, when the mood takes me, I share thoughts, tools, links and whatever else might take my fancy right here on my blog.

Lifetime licensing in the WordPress ecosystem

11 December 2017

With no particular facts and figures to hand to back this up, I’m going to suggest that most commercial WordPress plugins and themes now employ one of the following funding models:

These are not mutually exclusive and there is an amount of mixing and matching that commonly happens. There are also other strategems, such as a lifetime licensing model — pay once and receive access to support and updates for the entire lifetime of the product.

Bolting new views on to The Events Calendar

6 December 2017 (updated 6 December 2017)

The Events Calendar is a useful calendaring plugin for WordPress providing a number of default views (list, month and day views) through which visitors can browse published events.

Sometimes those default views are all you need — they are well crafted and look great out of the box in most cases. Other times, in order to make those calendar views really mesh with the active theme (or with other facets of a project), some stylistic changes may need to be made via custom CSS or by altering the HTML output.

That’s great and the process for doing so is pretty well documented, but an alternative approach I wanted to explore was to take an existing view and use it as the foundation for an entirely new view with a look and feel all of its own. In other words, instead of customizing list view (for example) I wanted to leave it as it is and simply use it as the foundation for a new view that would run side-by-side with it and act in a very similar way, but look quite different .

Vivaldi: sync settings

29 November 2017

Vivaldi is one of my favourite browsers … in fact, it is my favourite browser.

Though it’s based on some well established technologies the project itself is newer and has had less time to mature than, say, Firefox or Opera – so there are a few rough edges. What it offers though is the potential for near-unbounded customization of the browsing experience and the minor wrinkles that exist are not enough to stop me from being excited and engaged by everything else it offers.

One thing I – and I think a considerable number of users – have been waiting on is support for secure sync (of passwords, bookmarks, etc) and so it was really exciting to hear that progress has been made and sync has landed in a snapshot.

WordPress, Nginx and missing get/query data

1 November 2017

Hit a curious problem lately where PHP was unable to “see” the query args being passed in via the URL … in other words, the $_GET superglobal was mysteriously empty when it should not have been.

In this specific scenario, I was looking at a view generated by a plugin which was designed to return a list of posts. Various query args could be applied to this view in order to filter the list, but in my case – in the context of my local dev environment – it stubbornly refused to do so. The URL looked a lot like this example:

https://local.site/custom/view/?param=1&param=2

(That arguably unnecessary trailing slash at the end of the path, by the way, is a result of WordPress and its canonical redirect behaviour.)

Editing submitted custom attendee data

1 August 2017

Event Tickets Plus is a WordPress plugin you can use to sell tickets for events.

Part of its feature set is a natty bit of functionality called Custom Attendee Meta, which lets organizers collect arbitrary bits of data from attendees. For example, it can be used to gather information such as t-shirt sizes or special dietary requirements … and so is incredibly useful for many events.

At time of writing, though, it does not yet allow the site admin to edit the submitted data. So, if Tom Thumb comes along and buys a ticket to an event and incorrectly gives his t-shirt size as medium then sends the site owner an email requesting they update this to extra large, the site owner is out of luck — they’re going to have to come up with some other system for recording this change (unless they poke about and make changes directly within the database, something often best avoided).