In the last week – I have updated a number of out of date WordPress sites for clients. Some were running WordPress before version 3 (which came out in June 2010 – over 2 years ago). Others were only a point release or two behind. Many clients are nervous about updates, while others want to update every six months. In reality – not keeping up to date should make you more nervous about updating your site and scheduled updates – while they sound nice – do not always work.
Thankfully the reason for all the recent updates were not because of any hacks – the important lesson here is that it is essential to update as soon as possible. Not only will your site be more secure but updating a point release at a time is a lot easier than updating a site from several versions back. Things change, code improves, other code depreciates. Updating your version of WordPress is a lot less painless when you do it often and regularly vs. in an emergency because of a hack.
While updating WordPress is essential – so is keeping up to date with plugins. I recently was brought in to assist with an upgrade which had an outdated version of WordPress along with over 40 plugins that were out of date. (Yes – 40). While most people often “do not want to rock the boat” with plugin updates – these updates are also essential. Plugins also contain security updates which are important.
If you are serious about your web presence – take some time to update WordPress and the plugins as the updates come out. If you are concerned that an update might break some custom functionality – create a backup first and then update. If anything goes wrong – you can always go back to what you had right before the update. If you do not want to worry about updates – consider moving to a WordPress host like WP Engine – who will take care of WordPress updates for you.
I have been working with Topspin for a few years now and recently worked with them to create our theme “Lucidity Catalog” – with their artists in mind. Check out the recent Lucidity Catalog blog post I put together for them on their developers’ blog.
There are many times when you need to show or get the top most (root) parent category in WordPress – regardless of how many subcategories you might be deep. I have used this logic for page navigation (highlight the top parent tab) – as well as within some custom loops/sidebar code.
They way to do this:
// get parent category slug $parentCatList = get_category_parents($cat,false,','); $parentCatListArray = split(",",$parentCatList); $topParentName = $parentCatListArray; $sdacReplace = array(" " => "-", "(" => "", ")" => ""); $topParent = strtolower(strtr($topParentName,$sdacReplace));
To test this you can simply put it in your header and echo out $topParent and you will see the “slug” of the category.
If you want to see the category name and not necessarily the slug – you can simply echo $topParentName.
We recently finished a project where we had to create a PDF on the fly of the user’s filled out application (~12 pages of data) so they could keep a copy. To do this – I looked at a few libraries out there and then ended up using HTML_toPDF. I had used another script from the same guy who put together HTML_toPDF and thus prompted me to use this one as well. The script works great and our client is very happy. If you ever need this capability – check out HTML_toPDF!
We have recently updated our portfolio and made it available. All of our recent web development work is now available for visitors and potential customers to look at.