Developer’s Custom Fields 2.0 – a rewrite

Together with Adrian Toll, I’m starting to plan a new, mostly rewritten version of the plugin Developer’s Custom Fields.

Despite the obvious power and sophistication of plugins such as Advanced Custom Fields, we both prefer the lighter, more developer-friendly style of our own plugin. And while the proposed metadata UI for core seemed promising for a while, it seems to have stalled for now, or at the very least slowed down considerably. So, we’ve decided to revamp to give this plugin a healthy lease of life until a rival solution does a better job for us.

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Letting go of Force Strong Passwords

For a while now, I’ve been using the Wordfence plugin to add extra security to my WordPress sites. Since this plugin includes (among other things) the ability to force users to choose strong passwords, I’ve stopped using my own plugin, Force Strong Passwords.

Because of this, I’ve decided to transfer it to someone else. Jason Cosper has kindly stepped up. Jason’s a senior engineer at WP Engine, who I gather use the plugin on their network. With this vested interest in the plugin, I trust it’s in good hands.

Force Strong Passwords multisite support

I no longer use my WordPress plugin Force Strong Passwords, since that functionality’s included in Wordfence. However, the plugin is quite popular, and one aspect of it that has suffered due to my lack of experience is multisite support.

On GitHub, Damien Piquet has submitted a simple fix in a pull request, which I’ve accepted. I’m not in a position to properly test this, so if anyone uses Force Strong Passwords on multisite installations, please grab the code with this commit and test away. Providing no issues arise, this will soon be released on

Comments will be closed here – please give any feedback via GitHub.

Offline documentation

Did you know that every individual Google search you do has half the carbon footprint as boiling a kettle? That data centres have now overtaken aviation as a global source of CO2 emissions? Dale Lately highlights these and other discomforting facts in his excellent piece on the Baffler, which explores the deception we engage in when we believe digitisation is ‘etherealising’ us all away from messy material problems.

Of course, on carbon emissions, the only real solution is global action co-ordinated by those entrusted with power. But reading these stats reminded me of something I tried to get into the habit of using, but didn’t – the offline documentation browsers Dash (for Mac) and Zeal (for Windows and Linux).

Together with the Dash plugin for PhpStorm (which adds a keyboard shortcut to search either Dash or Zeal), I’m now set to quit boiling the endless kettles that get pointlessly boiled in an average day’s coding.

Setting the image crop position in WordPress

Here’s a nice addition to WordPress, which I missed in last year’s 3.9 release. Now, when you define an image size with add_image_size, instead of just saying ‘soft crop’ (keep proportions) or ‘hard crop’ (fit to area), you can now also pass an array to define where you want a hard crop to attack the image from. For example:

add_image_size( 'custom-size', 220, 220, array( 'left', 'top' ) );

The first element in the ‘crop array’ can be ‘left’, ‘center’, or ‘right’; the other can be ‘top’, ‘center’, or ‘bottom’. Nice!

As an image size bonus, here’s what I came up with recently when I wanted all WordPress image sizes to be controlled via custom theme code (not just the custom sizes).

Anyone know their way around the WordPress 3.5+ media upload API?

Version 1.0 of the Developer’s Custom Fields plugin is in development. I’d hoped that the core Metadata UI API would have made progress enough for me to revamp DCF in light of the new core functionality, but that’s not looking likely. DCF 1.0 won’t be a major update, but I’m hoping to get some significant things sorted out.

The most important, I think, is getting the file field type working with the new (well, introduced in WordPress 3.5) media upload API. It’s pretty much there, but I’m looking for some help with it. Does anyone know the media upload API well?

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Multiply WordPress posts in testing

Very often while building a WordPress site, I need to see how a layout works with a load of posts. Maybe 4, maybe 40. In any case, it’s tedious creating dummy content.

There’s a number of dummy content dumps out there to use, but often we’re working with custom post types and we need particular custom fields working right.

This bit of code will allow you to add a particular argument to the query (WP_Query, get_posts, etc.) to artificially multiply or repeat the posts returned.

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