Category Archives: Server Administration

Don’t Hard Code WP-Content Directory!

Plugin development tip of the day!
DO NOT HARD CODE wp-content Directory!

I made this mistake not realizing how many people change that directory as a security precaution.

Alternatives

The best alternative is probably the WP_CONTENT_DIR in my opinion. You can also use WP_CONTENT_URL, depending if you want a relative path or a full url.

Examples:
Here is an example of each followed by the output code:
<?php
echo WP_CONTENT_DIR;
echo "<br />";
echo WP_CONTENT_URL;
echo "<br />";
?>

/var/www/html/jafty.com/public_html/wp-content
http://jafty.com/wp-content

So now you know!

Want more? Here are some other ways to get similar paths or directories  from within a plugin file:

<?php
echo "<br>";
echo plugins_url( 'myscript.js', __FILE__ );
echo "<br>";
echo plugins_url();
echo "<br>";
echo plugin_dir_url(__FILE__) ;
echo "<br>";
echo plugin_dir_path(__FILE__) ;
echo "<br>";
echo plugin_basename(__FILE__) ;
?>

The above would output the following lines if it were ran from a plugin on jafty.com:

http://jafty.com/wp-content/plugins/jafty_plugin_tester/test_code/myscript.js

http://jafty.com/wp-content/plugins

http://jafty.com/wp-content/plugins/jafty_plugin_tester/test_code

//var/www/html/jafty.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/jafty_plugin_tester/test_code/

jafty_plugin_tester/test_code/wp_content_url.php

EDD Instant Updater WordPress Plugin

The EDD Instant Updater WordPress plugin is a plugin I created while working with a custom WordPress plugin that needed to have instant update notifications while using Easy Digital Downloads(EDD). EDD comes with it's own updater class, but it uses the default WP standards which means you have to wait up to 12 hours after you push an update to get the notice in the WordPress dashboard! With the EDD Instant Updater plugin, you no longer have to wait, the plugin update notices come to you instantly! No more delays!

Interested? Contact Ian L of Jafty.com by email at linian11@yahoo.com for more information.

How to Fix Max File Upload Size on Godaddy and Other Shared hosting Accounts

I ran into this problem using WordPress today where I reached the max upload size on my client's Godaddy server on a shared hosting account. If you get this error in WordPress, while uploading a file, by the way, it's probably a max file size issue:

Error: 1

That's all it said! So it took me a few guesses to figure out what that "Error: 1" message meant.

How to increase the Max File Size Setting in Cpanel

1 - go to your site's Cpanel by going to yoursite.com/cpanel and log in with the user and password your hosting provider provides for you. You should see this when logged in:

cpanel1

2) scroll down until you see the "Select PHP Version" link in Cpanel that is circled in the below image and click on it:

cpanel1b

3) That will take you to the PHP version selection page. Then click the link in the upper right corner of the page that you see circled in the below image:

cpanel2

4) Clicking the "Switch to PHP Options" link in the above image will take you to a PHP settings page. Look for the upload_max_filesize setting that you see circled in the image below and set it to something higher than 2M according to your individual needs:

cpanel3b

5) After you change it from "2M" to something higher as needed, click the "Apply" button directly to the right of the dropdown and then be sure to also click the "Save" button near the bottom-left of the page as well and then you are done!

PHP WordPress Large background Importer Code

My wonderful client wanted me to add a .CSV importer that imports posts into a Custom Post Type(CPT) in large quantities of around 10k to 50k at a time.

What a standard WordPress site can handle

From my experience building plugins and importers for WordPress over the past 20 years, I have learned to expect trouble if you try to import anything more than 4k to 5k posts into WP at a time. The main requirement for the importer that I am building now is that it is able to import 20k posts in under 15 minutes. Not too difficult, but a challenge none-the-less because the average WP site will timeout after the first 4k posts on average. I also wanted to accomplish this goal without using any bloated PHP Que libraries or Worker Libraries, so I'll be developing it completely from scratch, just like a grown up!

Step One, Break Large File into Smaller Chunks

The first thing I did while developing my large WP file import feature, was to handle the issue of having a huge .csv file with 20 thousand posts saved in it. What do you do? What I did was wrote a PHP script that reads in that huge file and breaks it up into manageable chunks and saves each chunk to its own separate .csv file. Kind of simple really, this is the easy part!

I created a file named file_split.php to handle this portion of the importer's code. Here are the contents of that file:

<?php
$chunk_size = 2000;//size of ea. chunk file given in the no. of lines written to the file(excluding the first line with headings that will be at the top of ea. chunk file created).
$max_files = 0;//it will stop after writing this many files, set to 0 for no limmit
$u = $uploadpath;//"double_accounts-test.csv";
//read a file line by line:
echo "<p>Opening $u to spit it into chunks......</p>";
$file = fopen($u, "r") or exit("Unable to open $u!");
//extract the first line from the file:
$first_line = fgets($file);
//Output a line of the file until the end is reached:
$i=0;
$ii=0;
$iii=0;
$chunk=$first_line;
while(!feof($file) &&($iii < $max_files||$max_files==0)) {
$i++;
$ii++;
$line = fgets($file);
//echo "$i) $line<br>";
//add line to lines that get written to files:
$chunk .= $line;
//once we get to chunk_size lines, write a new file
if($ii == $chunk_size){
$iii++;
//echo "<h3>Chunk #$iii:</h3>";
//echo $chunk;
//create dynamic filenames:
$fn = ABSPATH."wp-content/plugins/YOUR-PLUGIN/temp/chunk$iii.csv";
//echo "Writing file $fn....<br>";
$fh = fopen($fn, 'w') or die("can't open $fn file to overwrite");
fwrite($fh, $chunk);
fclose($fh);
$m = "<span style='color:green'>Chunk Written to $fn</span><br>";
//reset $ii var back to zero:
$ii = 0;
//empty the $chunk var and add first line to top of file content($chunk)
$chunk=$first_line;
//echo "<hr><span style='text-align:center;color:orange;font-weight:bold;width:100%;margin-right:111px'>End File #$iii</span>$m<hr>";
echo $m;
//add the file name to the fnames array:
$fnames[] = $fn;
}//end if $ii = $chunk_size
}
fclose($file);
//if $ii is greater than 0 and less then chunk_size, then there was a left over chunk at the end, so write it to a file too:
if($ii > 0 && $ii < $chunk_size){
$noof_files = $iii+1;
$fn = ABSPATH."wp-content/plugins/YOUR-PLUGIN/temp/chunk$noof_files.csv";
echo "Left over chunk of $ii lines remains, so writing it to final file named $fn....<br>";
//echo "Writing Final file $fn....<br>";
$fh = fopen($fn, 'w') or die("can't open $fn file to write final chunk!");
fwrite($fh, $chunk);
fclose($fh);
echo "<h3 style='color:green'>FINAL Chunk Written to $fn! DONE chunking $u file! Total files created: $noof_files</h3>";
//add final file name to fnames array:
$fnames[] = $fn;
}else{
echo "Wow! We broke even with no left over chunk of less than $chunk_size lines, so finished writing files! Final file is $fn.<br>";
}

?>

Put the file_split.php file up for now. We will include it in another file later when we have the rest of our import feature code written. You can test file_split.php easy enough by

Delete Entire Folder with PHP Code

Today, I had to write a block of pure PHP code to delete an entire folder full of files, sub-folders and more files from a server. This particular job was for a WordPress plugin, but the code I used is not specific to WordPress and can run just fine outside of WordPress or inside a WordPress plugin. The only requirement is an up to date PHP installation for this code to function as intended.

<?php

$path = ABSPATH.'wp-content/plugins/cultivate-crm/test';
$dir_arr = parse_dir($path);
global $darr;

function parse_dir($path){
static $cntf = 0;
global $darr;
$d = dir($path);
while (false !== ($entry = $d->read())) {
$filepath = "{$path}/{$entry}";
//Check whether the entry is a file or folder.:
$fof = $entry;
    if($fof != "." && $fof != "..") {
    $cntf++;
    $fof = $entry;
    $file_type = filetype($filepath);//get file type.
    $file_size = filesize($filepath);//get file size.
    echo "$cntf) $fof<br />Type: $file_type<br />Size: $file_size<hr />";
    if($file_type=='dir'){$darr[]=$filepath;parse_dir($filepath);}else{echo "Deleting $filepath....<br>";unlink($filepath);}
    }//end if is file etc.
}//end while going over files in excel_uploads dir.
}//end parse_dir PHP function by Ian L. of jafty.com

$c = count($darr);
echo "$c empty directories remain...deleting them now....<br />";
$rdarr = array_reverse($darr);
foreach($rdarr as $dr){
    rmdir($dr);
    echo "Folder $dr deleted!<br />";
}
//and finally remove the test folder:
$test_folder = ABSPATH.'wp-content/plugins/cultivate-crm/test';
rmdir($test_folder);
echo "Folder $test_folder deleted!<br /><p style='color:green'>Now all temporary folders have been removed from the server!</p>";
?>

Make sure you set your path variable at the top of the script correctly and if you are not in WordPress, replace ABSPATH or set a new PHP constant named ABSPATH and it will work as it is. Since the above code deals with deleting files permanently from the server, I must insist that you use it at your own risk! Be careful because one wrong path entered into this function can destroy your entire file system if you don't know what you are doing!

MailChimp API

I've been doing a lot of work with the MailChimp API lately and figured it would be good to have a page dedicated to it here for future reference because it's not very well documented online anywhere else... Hoping this will help some people who also have to use MailChimp's API.

Understanding MailChimp Lists and the API

If you've ever dealt with MailChimp, you know that it is based on lists which can be segmented, grouped and managed all from the API as needed. Next I will demonstrate how to get a list of MailChimp lists and information on each list that exists.

Getting MailChimp List Information from API

Here's the code I created to get all MailChimp Lists and information on each list from the MailChimp API using PHP code:

<h2>MailChimp List Info:</h2>
<?php
//Get API key :

$mcAPIkey ='Enter_your_own_API_key_HERE';
//get info regarding MC lists
//use following url 'https://usX.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists'

$dc = substr( $mcAPIkey, strpos( $mcAPIkey, '-' ) + 1 ); // datacenter, it is the part of your api key - us5, us8 etc
$args = array(
     'headers' => array(
        'Authorization' => 'Basic ' . base64_encode( 'user:'. $mcAPIkey )
    )
);

$response = wp_remote_get( 'https://'.$dc.'.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/', $args );
$body = json_decode(wp_remote_retrieve_body($response));

$rcode = wp_remote_retrieve_response_code($response);
$tot_itms = $body->total_items;
echo "Response code was $rcode ...$tot_itms items found!<br /><hr />";
echo "<pre><code>";
print_r($body);
echo "</code></pre><hr />";
?>

The above code would return something like this for a MailChimp account that has one saved list:

MailChimp List Info:

Response code was 200 ...1 items found!


stdClass Object
(
    [lists] => Array
        (
            [0] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => xxxxxxxxx
                    [web_id] => xxxxxx
                    [name] => List Name
                    [contact] => stdClass Object
                        (
                            [company] => Company Name
                            [address1] => 1001 Your Road
                            [address2] => 
                            [city] => Adolphus
                            [state] => KY
                            [zip] => 42120
                            [country] => US
                            [phone] => 
                        )

                    [permission_reminder] => You signed up to learn more about how our team can better serve you.
                    [use_archive_bar] => 1
                    [campaign_defaults] => stdClass Object
                        (
                            [from_name] => First Last
                            [from_email] => your_email@domain.com
                            [subject] => 
                            [language] => en
                        )

                    [notify_on_subscribe] => 
                    [notify_on_unsubscribe] => 
                    [date_created] => 2018-02-25T02:01:38+00:00
                    [list_rating] => 0
                    [email_type_option] => 
                    [subscribe_url_short] => http://eepurl.com/dBXF4r
                    [subscribe_url_long] => https://yourcompany.us13.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=bf405c1xxxxxxxxb48df64c3&id=xxxxxxxxxx
                    [beamer_address] => us13-5df785xxxxx-xxx@inbound.mailchimp.com
                    [visibility] => pub
                    [double_optin] => 1
                    [marketing_permissions] => 
                    [modules] => Array
                        (
                        )

                    [stats] => stdClass Object
                        (
                            [member_count] => 3
                            [unsubscribe_count] => 0
                            [cleaned_count] => 0
                            [member_count_since_send] => 5
                            [unsubscribe_count_since_send] => 0
                            [cleaned_count_since_send] => 0
                            [campaign_count] => 2
                            [campaign_last_sent] => 
                            [merge_field_count] => 4
                            [avg_sub_rate] => 1
                            [avg_unsub_rate] => 0
                            [target_sub_rate] => 0
                            [open_rate] => 0
                            [click_rate] => 0
                            [last_sub_date] => 2018-04-28T20:26:38+00:00
                            [last_unsub_date] => 
                        )

                    [_links] => Array
                        (
                            [0] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => self
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/edxxxxxxxxx
                                    [method] => GET
                                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/Response.json
                                )

                            [1] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => parent
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists
                                    [method] => GET
                                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/CollectionResponse.json
                                    [schema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/CollectionLinks/Lists.json
                                )

                            [2] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => update
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/edxxxxxxxxx
                                    [method] => PATCH
                                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/Response.json
                                    [schema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/PATCH.json
                                )

                            [3] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => batch-sub-unsub-members
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/xxxxxxxxxx
                                    [method] => POST
                                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/BatchPOST-Response.json
                                    [schema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/BatchPOST.json
                                )

                            [4] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => delete
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/xxxxxxxxxxxx
                                    [method] => DELETE
                                )

                            [5] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => abuse-reports
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/xxxxxxxx/abuse-reports
                                    [method] => GET
                                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/Abuse/CollectionResponse.json
                                    [schema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/CollectionLinks/Lists/Abuse.json
                                )

                            [6] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => activity
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/xxxxxxxxx/activity
                                    [method] => GET
                                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/Activity/Response.json
                                )

                            [7] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => clients
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/xxxxxxxxxxxxx/clients
                                    [method] => GET
                                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/Clients/Response.json
                                )

                            [8] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => growth-history
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx/growth-history
                                    [method] => GET
                                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/Growth/CollectionResponse.json
                                    [schema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/CollectionLinks/Lists/Growth.json
                                )

                            [9] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => interest-categories
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/xxxxxxxxxx/interest-categories
                                    [method] => GET
                                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/InterestCategories/CollectionResponse.json
                                    [schema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/CollectionLinks/Lists/InterestCategories.json
                                )

                            [10] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => members
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/xxxxxxxxx/members
                                    [method] => GET
                                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/Members/CollectionResponse.json
                                    [schema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/CollectionLinks/Lists/Members.json
                                )

                            [11] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => merge-fields
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/xxxxxxxxxx/merge-fields
                                    [method] => GET
                                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/MergeFields/CollectionResponse.json
                                    [schema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/CollectionLinks/Lists/MergeFields.json
                                )

                            [12] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => segments
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/xxxxxxxxxxxx/segments
                                    [method] => GET
                                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/Segments/CollectionResponse.json
                                    [schema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/CollectionLinks/Lists/Segments.json
                                )

                            [13] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => webhooks
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/xxxxxxxx/webhooks
                                    [method] => GET
                                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/Webhooks/CollectionResponse.json
                                    [schema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/CollectionLinks/Lists/Webhooks.json
                                )

                            [14] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => signup-forms
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/xxxxxxxxxxxx/signup-forms
                                    [method] => GET
                                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/SignupForms/CollectionResponse.json
                                    [schema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/CollectionLinks/Lists/SignupForms.json
                                )

                            [15] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [rel] => locations
                                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists/xxxxxxxxxxx/locations
                                    [method] => GET
                                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/Locations/CollectionResponse.json
                                    [schema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/CollectionLinks/Lists/Locations.json
                                )

                        )

                )

        )

    [total_items] => 1
    [_links] => Array
        (
            [0] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [rel] => self
                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists
                    [method] => GET
                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/CollectionResponse.json
                    [schema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/CollectionLinks/Lists.json
                )

            [1] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [rel] => parent
                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/
                    [method] => GET
                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Root/Response.json
                )

            [2] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [rel] => create
                    [href] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/3.0/lists
                    [method] => POST
                    [targetSchema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/Response.json
                    [schema] => https://us13.api.mailchimp.com/schema/3.0/Definitions/Lists/POST.json
                )

        )

)

How to Count Iterations of a PHP Function

I find myself having to do this all the time! I need to know how many times a function is running and for some strange reason, I almost never remember how to do it correctly. That's why I am posting this simple trick on my blog, so others can find it easily and so I can look at how I did it next time I need to do it again!

Here's a simple example to illustrate the need here:

<?php
function runMe(){

$i = 0;

$i++;

echo "$i<br>";

}

//If you were to execute the above function in a loop like this:

for($x=0;$x<10;$x++){

runMe();

}
?>

The output of the above would be:

1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1

Not what you wanted? or expected? Often we need it to output something like this instead:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9...

Static Variable to the Rescue

In comes what is know in PHP as Static Variables.  Here's a quick code example that should make you understand how they work:

<?php
function countRuns(){

static $c = 0;

$c++;

echo "$c<br />";

}

//Then, Executing the countRuns function in a for loop will increment the number printed ea. time:

for($x=0;$x<10;$x++){

countRuns();

}
?>

If you were to run the above tested code in your browser you would get the following output:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

That's what I was looking for! okay, so that's how it's done. I hope this helps someone else besides me.

 

 

Learning WooCommerce API Manger

What is WooCommerce API Manger?

WooCommerce API Manger is used to secure your software with API License Key activation, deactivation and automatic updates of WordPress plugins and/or themes. However it can also be used for some applications outside of WordPress as well, but we will be talking mostly about how to use it with a custom WordPress plugin.

Prerequisites

You need to at least make sure you have at least PHP Version 7.00. Here's how you can check from the linux command line:

php -v

Type the above command and press enter and you should get results that look similar to this:

php-v

 

Alternative Solution to WooCommerce API Manager

You may have noticed this article isn't complete. That is because I decided to go with a different system for selling WordPress plugins on my site with API keys, WooCommerce didn't provide the level of support I needed and their documentation was poor. I discovered Easy Digital Downloads which was much simpler to deploy. Easy Digital Downloads(EDD) in combination with the EDD Software Licensing add-on and the EDD Instant Updater for plugins that I developed myself, became the ultimate solution for selling WordPress plugins outside of WordPress.org. If anyone is interested in how I did it, email me at linian11@yahoo.com and I can assist you.

 

 

WordPress Custom Post Type Meta Box with Form Validation

So I'm going to cover a lot in a little time in this tutorial so pay close attention and you'll learn fast I hope.

add_car

What You'll Learn

  • How to create a simple WordPress plugin
  • How to create a custom post type in WordPress
  • How to add custom fields to a custom post type
  • How to add meta boxes to wp-admin
  • How to save custom post type's custom fields
  • How to handle form validation for custom meta boxes
  • How to display errors in wp-admin

So while it might seem like a lot to cover, I will demonstrate all of the above points with a simple WordPress plugin that adds a custom post type to WordPress and validates the user's input.

Here are the steps you'll follow:

  1. Start a new plugin
  2. Add a new custom post type
  3. Add meta boxes to a custom post type
  4. Add WordPress Error Handler Functions
  5. Write PHP Function to Save Custom Fields Data Meta Boxes

Step One - Start a new plugin

Create a folder on your desktop, pick a name for your plugin and name the folder accordingly. Lets say for the purpose of making this tutorial, we'll name our plugin "Cars" so we created a folder named "cars" on our desktop. Then add a php file named cars.php and make enter the proper comments at the top of the cars.php file so WordPress will recognize your new plugin. Here's how I did it:

<?php
/**
 * Plugin Name: Cars
 * Plugin URI: http://jafty.com/blog/crash-course-on-wordpress-plugin-development/
 * Description: A custom Car plugin developed for WordPress car websites.
 * Version: 0.0.1
 * Author: Ian L. of Jafty.com
 * Author URI: http://jafty.com
 * License: GPL2
 */

?>

Feel free to change the name , Plugin URI, Description, etc to fit your desires.

Step Two - Add a Custom Post Type

Next we need to add code to cars.php that will create a new Custom Post Type or CPT in wordpress. Here's example code to create the cars CPT:

//Add cars Custom Post Type:
add_action('init', 'create_cars_cpt');
function create_cars_cpt() {
    $labels = array(    
      'name' => _x( 'cars', 'cars' ),
      'singular_name' => _x( 'car', 'cars' ),
      'add_new' => _x( 'Add New car', 'cars' ),
      'add_new_item' => _x( 'Add New car', 'cars' ),
      'edit_item' => _x( 'Edit car', 'cars' ),
      'new_item' => _x( 'New car', 'cars' ),
      'view_item' => _x( 'View car', 'cars' ),
      'search_items' => _x( 'Search cars', 'cars' ),
      'not_found' => _x( 'No cars found', 'cars' ),
      'not_found_in_trash' => _x( 'No cars found in Trash', 'cars' ),
      'parent_item_colon' => _x( 'Parent car:', 'cars' ),
      'menu_name' => _x( 'cars', 'cars' ),
   );
   
   
 $args = array(
      'labels' => $labels,
      'hierarchical' => false,
      'description' => 'cars',
      'supports' => array( 'title', 'author' ),//author adds the author metabox to cars CPT add car/edit car screens.
      'public' => true,
      'show_ui' => true,
      'show_in_menu' => true,
      'show_in_nav_menus' => true,
      'publicly_queryable' => true,
      'exclude_from_search' => false,
      'has_archive' => true,
      'query_var' => true,
      'can_export' => true,
      'rewrite' => array('slug' => 'car'),
      'map_meta_cap'  => true,
   );

    register_post_type( 'cars', $args );
    //flush_rewrite_rules();
}//end create_cars_cpt function

Simply add the above code in green to your cars.php file after the comment area but before then closing PHP tag and save the file.

Step Three - Add simple Meta Box to Our Plugin

Here is my code for reference which you may copy, paste and change as needed:

//Add the Cars Meta Boxes:
add_action( 'add_meta_boxes', 'add_cars_metaboxes' );
function add_cars_metaboxes() {
add_meta_box('create_car_metabox', 'Car Information', 'create_car_metabox', 'cars', 'normal', 'high');
}
      
//############################## Function to create the meta box: ########################
function create_car_metabox($p='') {
global $post;
// Noncename needed to verify where the data originated
echo '<input type="hidden" name="eventmeta_noncename" id="eventmeta_noncename" value="' .
wp_create_nonce(plugin_basename(__FILE__)) . '" />';

$car_year = get_post_meta($p, '_car_year', true);
$car_make = get_post_meta($p, '_car_make_time', true);
$car_model = get_post_meta($p, '_car_model_time', true);

if(isset($post->ID)){
//get post meta for car:
$car_year = get_post_meta($post->ID, '_car_year', true);
$car_make = get_post_meta($post->ID, '_car_make_time', true);
$car_model = get_post_meta($post->ID, '_car_model_time', true);
}//end if post ID is set

//add HTML for meta box form fields:
?>
<div style="float:left">
<span class='field-head'>Car Year:</span> <select name="car_year">
<option value="none">Select Year</option>
<option value="1990"<?php if($car_year=="1990")echo " selected";?>>1990</option>
<option value="1991"<?php if($car_year=="1991")echo " selected";?>>1991</option>
<option value="1992"<?php if($car_year=="1992")echo " selected";?>>1992</option>
</select>
</div>

<div style="float:left">
<span class='field-head'>Car Make:</span> <select name="car_make">
<option value="none">Select Make</option>
<option value="Ford"<?php if($car_make=="Ford")echo " selected";?>>Ford</option>
<option value="Chevy"<?php if($car_make=="Chevy")echo " selected";?>>Chevy</option>
<option value="Dodge"<?php if($car_make=="Dodge")echo " selected";?>>Dodge</option>
</select>
</div>

<div style="float:left">
<span class='field-head'>Car Model:</span> <select name="car_model">
<option value="none">Select Model</option>
<option value="1990"<?php if($car_model=="1990")echo " selected";?>>1990</option>
<option value="1991"<?php if($car_model=="1991")echo " selected";?>>1991</option>
<option value="1992"<?php if($car_model=="1992")echo " selected";?>>1992</option>
</select>
</div>
<?php

}//end create_car_metabox function to create car tabs

Paste the above code in your cars.php file right after the last line of PHP code but before the closing PHP tag.

Step Four - Add Error Handling Functions to Your Plugin:

Now we need a couple quick functions to handle errors later on, so copy and paste the following code into your cars.php file next just after the last code you added from step three above:

//Next we need two simple error handling functions:
//Error handling function for use with save_car_data function below it:
add_action('admin_notices', 'handle_car_errors');
/**
 * Writes an error message to the screen if error is thrown in save_car_data function
 *
 */
function handle_car_errors() {
  //If there are no errors, then exit the function
  if(!( $errors = get_transient('settings_errors'))) {
    return;
  }
  //Otherwise, build the list of errors that exist in the settings errors
  $message = '<div id="acme-message" class="error below-h2"><p><ul>';
  foreach($errors as $error) {
    $message .= '<li>' . $error['message'] . '</li>';
  }
  $message .= '</ul></p></div><!-- #error -->';
  //Write error messages to the screen
  echo $message;
  //Clear and the transient and unhook any other notices so we don't see duplicate messages
  delete_transient('settings_errors');
  remove_action('admin_notices', 'handle_car_errors');
}

function car_error($slug,$err){
    add_settings_error(
        $slug,
        $slug,
        $err,
        'error'
    );
    set_transient('settings_errors', get_settings_errors(), 30);
}//end car_error function by Ian L. of Jafty.com

Step Five - Save Meta Box Data in WordPress

Now that we have our error handling functions ready, we can write in our function to save the data. You can copy and paste my save_car_data function and it's action hook as follows:

//############### SAVE ALL ABOVE METADATA FROM META BOXES HERE: ##################
//hook to save the meta box data:
//add_action('save_post', 'save_touchpoint_data');
add_action('save_post_cars', 'save_car_data');
    
function save_car_data($post_id) {
    //get the car post's title title and verify it first:
    $ti = get_the_title($post_id);
    //if the title is blank, throw an error:
    if($ti=='')car_error('title_missing','Oops! You forgot to enter a title. Please enter a valid car title and click the update button.');

    //save the car's year:
    //first make sure they picked a year:
    $y = $_POST['car_year'];
    if($y == 'none'){
        car_error('missing_car_year','Opps! You have not selected a year for the car. Please select a year and click the update button to save it afterwards.');
    }else{
    update_post_meta($post_id, '_car_year', strip_tags($y));
    }
    
    //save the car's make:
    //first make sure they picked a make:
    $y = $_POST['car_make'];
    if($y == 'none'){
        car_error('missing_car_make','Opps! You have not selected a make for the car. Please select a make and click the update button to save it afterwards.');
    }else{
    update_post_meta($post_id, '_car_make', strip_tags($y));
    }
    
    //save the car's model:
    //first make sure they picked a model:
    $y = $_POST['car_model'];
    if($y == 'none'){
        car_error('missing_car_model','Opps! You have not selected a model for the car. Please select a model and click the update button to save it afterwards.');
    }else{
    update_post_meta($post_id, '_car_model', strip_tags($y));
    }
}//end save_car_data function

That's all there is to it! Copy and paste the above code into your cars.php file just before the closing PHP tag and save the file, then upload the entire cars folder to your site's plugins directory and navigate to wp-admin and click on "plugins" then find your new plugin and click "activate" to activate it and you will see the new custom post type, "Cars" appear in the main wp-admin nav that runs down the left side of the page.

Screen Shots:

Here is what it will look like if you just try to click on "Publish" when adding a new car without entering any values into the add new car page at all:

errors

Below is what the add new Car screen looks like:

add_car

Summary:

There you have it! A simple plugin with everything you need to get you started creating your own custom post types in WordPress that include custom fields, meta boxes and even error handling code! A WordPress beginner's dream! Good Luck with your next theme or plugin!

Developer’s Guide to Working With Contact Form 7

Today, I had the unfortunate pleasure of working with Contact Form 7. I must admit that it was a little refreshing to see such an under-developed WordPress plugin for a change. I've gotten used to the over-developed monstrosities of today, but CF7 is truly bare-bones when it comes to functionality. It does on basic task and, I assume, does it well, since its such a popular WordPress plugin today. Contact Form 7 allows you to set up a contact form on your website that will email specific information you set up in the form to collect. It is supposed to be simple and sometimes it is. If it works the first time out of the box, you're one of the lucky ones. I had issues. The issues I had were not necessarily the plugin's fault, however, they could have saved me some time with more complete documentation regarding what to do when it fails. My issue ended up being that PHP mail function wasn't functioning, so I downloaded an SMTP plugin to resolve the issue before continuing to develop the code in this guide.

How to retrieve information submitted in Contact Form 7 Forms

The goal of this guide is to teach you how to retrieve data submitted in CF7 forms and work with it in a plugin or from your functions.php file if you prefer it that way.

Why Retrieve Data from Contact Form 7 Forms?

There are a lot of good answers to this question, but it basically depends on your individual needs and desires. The best answer perhaps is to save the form data in a database or log file because CF7 doesn't store any data from form submissions! I've heard there are plugins or add-ons for CF7 that enable CF7 to store it's data in a database, but for the sake of learning how to retrieve data, we won't be using one of those plugins today. Actually, we won't even store the info in a database. Everybody should know how to do that if they are advanced enough to be attempting this guide, so we will save form data to a log file instead, just because, as far as I know, there is no guide available that tells you how to do that as of the time I am writing this guide.

Okay that's enough on why, you can think of your own reason why....let's get to the how!

Retrieving Data From CF7 Forms

The first thing we need to accomplish is to hook into the form when it is submitted somehow. I've found that the action hook named "wpcf7_before_send_mail" works great for this purpose. Here is how to use wpcf7_before_send_mail:

add_action( 'wpcf7_before_send_mail', 'process_contact_form_data' );
function process_contact_form_data( $contact_form ){

}

...that is your basic action and call back function set up. Now all we need is to add some code inside of the empty process_contact_form_data function. We need to gather data submitted in the Contact Form 7 form, so let's look at how we can do that, shall we?

An integral class used in retrieving form data since CF7 Version 3.9 is known as the "WPCF7_Submission" class which includes the "get_instance()" method used to fetch data arrays. To be complete you should check for the class and then use get_instance() to fetch the data like this:

function process_contact_form_data( $contact_form ){

if (!isset($contact_form->posted_data) && class_exists('WPCF7_Submission')) {
    $log .= "posted data set and class exists!\n";
        $submission = WPCF7_Submission::get_instance();
        if ($submission) {
            $log .= "submission exists!\n";
            $formdata = $submission->get_posted_data();
        }
    }

}//end process_contact_form_data function

What the above code does is puts the posted form data into an array named $formdata. To get a specific form field's data you need to use the field's name attribute as a key to the $formdata array. For example, if you used the default CF7 form setup, you would access the submitted name, email, subject and message like this:

$name = $formdata['your-name'];

$email= $formdata['your-email'];

$subj = $formdata['your-subject'];

$name = $formdata['your-message'];

The above code would go inside the above function just before the closing bracket, then you'll need code to write those variables to a log file as we discussed earlier. The basic code to write to a file from PHP looks like this:

$myFile = "/complete/path/cf7_log.txt";
$fh2 = fopen($myFile, 'a') or die("can't open file to append");
$stringData = "form ID: $form_id\n name:$name\n email: $email\n $log\n\n";
fwrite($fh2, $stringData);
fclose($fh2);

Okay! Now we just have to put all the pieces together inside the process_contact_form_data PHP function inside of your plugin file or functions.php file. To keep things safe, I suggest making your own little plugin for this, so that's what I'll do next, create a single file plugin that simply writes CF7 form data to a log file inside the plugin's main folder. Let's call our plugin CF7_logger.

You can easily make the plugin described by piecing together the code snippets in this guide, or you can purchase the entire tested and debugged version from me by emailing linian11@yahoo.com. Good Luck!

 

WordPress Permalinks Not Working

I had this issue today after migrating a WordPress website to a new server using backupbuddy and wanted to post the quick solution here in case it might help anyone else as it did me. It can sometimes take hours to solve simple problems like this. This fix applies to apache2 servers that won't work with WordPress permalinks when they are set to something like "Post Name" as mine were. I'll post two simple solutions that will fix most situations when this happens:

Save Permalinks

The first thing you want to try is simply going to wp-admin and clicking on "settings/permalink" and selecting the correct setting if not selected already and clicking the "Save Settings" button to re-save the settings(even if they were correct), Then refresh the page where links failed before and try them again. If that didn't work and you are on a Apache or Apache2 server, move on to the next fix below.

Edit Config File

Next try going to etc/sites-available and find the file named after your site which will look something like example.com.conf and open it for editing either using VI editor from command line or by downloading to your desktop and editing with note pad. My file that failed to work had the following content:

<Directory /var/www/html/dev.jafty.com/public_html>
    Require all granted
</Directory>
<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName dev.jafty.com
    ServerAlias www.dev.jafty.com

    ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
    DocumentRoot /var/www/html/dev.jafty.com/public_html

    ErrorLog /var/www/html/dev.jafty.com/logs/error.log
    CustomLog /var/www/html/dev.jafty.com/logs/access.log combined
</VirtualHost>

The problem was right up at the top where you see the line:

      Require all granted

I simply added the following two lines above that one line and saved it to my server then restarted the server from command prompt with:"service apache2 restart" and the permalinks began working! Here are the two lines to add above "Require all granted":

        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
        AllowOverride All

Then simply save the file and restart your server and try permalinks again and they should work! The final .conf file should look like this:

<Directory /var/www/html/dev.jafty.com/public_html>
        Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
        AllowOverride All
        Require all granted
</Directory>
<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName dev.jafty.com
    ServerAlias www.dev.jafty.com

    ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
    DocumentRoot /var/www/html/dev.jafty.com/public_html

    ErrorLog /var/www/html/dev.jafty.com/logs/error.log
    CustomLog /var/www/html/dev.jafty.com/logs/access.log combined
</VirtualHost>

Hope that helps! Good Luck!

 

How to Clone a MYSQLI Table From Command Line

Here are the two commands you can run from the Mysqli Command Prompt to successfully clone a database table. In the example we will name our tables new_table_name and old_table_name where old_table_name is the table we wish to clone. This is the best way I have found to-date to create a backup of a mysqli table from the command line:

CREATE TABLE new_table_name LIKE old_table_name;
INSERT new_table_name SELECT * FROM old_table_name;

Be sure to enter line one above and press enter, then do the same with the second line.

Get Current Plugin’s URL with and without a Trailing Slash

This quick WordPress tutorial will demonstrate how to get the plugin folder path to your plugin from within a plugin file. We are building a plugin named WP-PW-sync in our examples and the code in question will be inside a the main plugin file named WP-PW-sync.php, but could be in any file within the plugin's folder(WP-PW-sync folder). I will  demonstrate two methods for getting the current plugin's directory path, one that includes a trailing slash at the end of the URL and one that does not.

NOTE: if you want a path instead of a URL(/var/www/example.com/path instead of http://www.example.com/path), then skip down about half way down this page to the section regarding paths instead of URLs.

How to Get Plugin URL Without a Trailing Slash

To get the current plugin's url without a trailing slash, I often use the plugins_url WordPress function like this:

$pluginURL1 = plugins_url('',__FILE__);//this plugin's URL without trailing slash

So, if I then typed "echo $pluginURL1;", it would output something like:

http://example.com/wp-content/plugins/WP-PW-sync

Note that the plugins_url function takes two parameters and is typically used for other uses when using the first parameter as I will explain below.

plugins_url parameters:

plugins_url($path, $plugin);

$path
(string) (optional) Path to the plugin file of which URL you want to retrieve, relative to the plugins or mu-plugins directory or to $plugin if specified.

Default: None
$plugin
(string) (optional) Path under the plugins or mu-plugins directory of which parent directory you want the $path to be relative to.

Default: None

How to Get Plugin URL Including the Trailing Slash

To get the current plugin's URL with a trailing slash at the end, I typically use the plugin_dir_url WordPress function like so:

$pluginURL2 = plugin_dir_url(__FILE__);//this plugin's URL with trailing slash

Then if I were to type "echo $pluginURL2;" it would output something similar to this:

http://example.com/wp-content/plugins/WP-PW-sync/

plugin_dir_url Parameters:

The plugin_dir_url WordPress function only has one parameter:

plugin_dir_url($file);

$file
(string) (required) The filename of the plugin (__FILE__)

Default: None

Notice the / at the end of the URL, that's the only difference in the two examples above.

Next we'll go over how to get a path instead of a URL!

How to Get the Current Plugin's Path with Trailing Slash

Okay, maybe you don't want a URL, but a path like "/var/www/example.com/wp-content/plugins/your-plugin/ instead. If so, you're in the right part of the tutorial! Here's how to get your current plugin's path including a trailing slash at the end from within the main plugin file, WP-PW-sync/WP-PW-sync.php(in out example case):

$pluginPATH = plugin_dir_path( __FILE__ );//this is the plugin's PATH with a trailing slash at end

If you were to add "echo $pluginPATH;" to your script, it would output something similar to this:

/var/www/public_html/wp-content/plugins/your-plugin/

plugin_dir_path function  parameters

The plugin_dir_path function only takes a single parameter, $file:;

plugin_dir_path($file);

$file

(string) (Required) The filename of the plugin (__FILE__).

How to Get a Plugin's Path Without the Trailing Slash

Unlike at the top of this tutorial, when we were working with complete URLs, there is not a separate WordPress function for with and without the trailing slash, so I like to incorporate the use of the untrailingslashit function to get the path without the slash at the end like so:

$pluginPATH = plugin_dir_path( __FILE__ );//this is the plugin's PATH with a trailing slash at end
$pluginPATH2 = untrailingslashit($pluginPATH);//this is the plugin's path without the trailing slash

Now if we were to add "echo $pluginPATH2;" to our script, it would out something like this:

/var/www/public_html/wp-content/plugins/your-plugin

Notice that there is no longer a slash at the end of the output in the above case.

It is also noteworthy that the untrailingslashit function can be used to remove a slash from the end of any string, so it has many other uses other than simply removing the slash from the end of the plugin's directory path as we have done here. HAPPY CODING!

 

 

How to Figure Out Relative Humidity with PHP

Today, I had to calculate relative humidity using PHP and I have documented my findings below:

First, let's just use an example situation where we have a temperature of 60.1 and a dew point of 42.7, both in Fahrenheit, so...:

dew point in Fahrenheit: 42.7

temperature in Fahrenheit: 60.1

1) The first step is to convert to Celsius using the following formulas
Tc=5.0/9.0*(Tf-32.0)

Tdc=5.0/9.0*(Tdf-32.0)

Formulas explained:
Tc=air temperature in degrees Celsius, Tf=air temperature in degrees Fahrenheit

Tdc=dewpoint temperature in degrees Celsius

Tdf=dewpoint temperature in degrees Fahrenheit

Notice: If your temperature and dewpoint are in degrees Celsius, you can skip step 1 and proceed to step 2.

answer for equations:
Temp in Celsius: 15.61

Tc=5.0/9.0*(Tf-32.0)
5.0/9.0*(60.1-32.0)
5.0/9.0*28.1
0.5555555555555556 * 28.1 = 15.61111111111111

dewpoint in Celsius: 5.94
5.0/9.0*(Tdf-32.0)
5.0/9.0*10.7
0.5555555555555556 *  10.7 = 5.944444444444444

2) calculate saturation vapor pressure(Es) and actual vapor pressure(E) in millibars:
NOTE: first line is the equation and the subsequent lines represent one step solved at a time:
Es=6.11*10.0**(7.5*Tc/(237.7+Tc))
Es=6.11*10.0**(7.5*15.61/(237.7+15.61))
Es=61.1 ** (7.5*15.61/(237.7+15.61))
Es=61.1 ** (117.075/253.31)
Es = 61.1**0.4621807271722395
Es = 6.6907349413770067935260257174923

E=6.11*10.0**(7.5*Tdc/(237.7+Tdc))
E=6.11*10.0**(7.5*5.94/(237.7+5.94))
E=61.1 ** (7.5*5.94/(237.7+5.94))
E=61.1 ** (44.55/243.64)
E=61.1 ** 0.1828517484813659497619438515843
E = 2.1211957981192776150462474985589

3)  Once you have the saturation vapor pressure and actual vapor pressure, relative humidity(RH) can be computed by dividing the actual vapor pressure by the saturation vapor pressure and then multiplying by 100 to convert the quantity to a percent:
RH =(E/Es)*100
RH =(2.1211957981192776150462474985589/6.6907349413770067935260257174923)*100
RH = 0.31703479762758596814611114744566 * 100
RH = 31.703479762758596814611114744566%
SO... Humidity is 31.7%

And note here that ** means to the power of. I figured I'de clue anyone in that is as ignorant is I was when I had to figure it out.

How to Search and Replace File Names

A lot of times I am required to rename large quantities of files according to various rules. Sometimes this task can take hours to complete. Today I had a job requiring me to rename all files in a program that contained "xi" with "nap". The program had thousands of files in a dozen different directories. It would have taken days for me to go through them all manually and replace ea. occurrence of "xi" in the file names with "nap", so I tested several tools to help me do the job. The most capable tool I found was named simply "ReNamer" and can be downloaded from:
https://www.den4b.com/products/renamer

I downloaded the "portable" version of ReNamer version 6.7 Here is a screenshot of ReNamer's simply UI:
ReNamer

How to Download and Open ReNamer for First Use

First things first, so here is how to get started:

Use the link https://www.den4b.com/products/renamer to download the portable version of ReNamer and it will download a zip file to your PC. Place the file on your desktop and right click it and select "Extract All". Windows will extract the files and probably open the folder for you. Then click on renamer.exe to start the app. You will see the UI as in the above image. I like using this portable version because it is very light-weight and can be used on any PC. When I'm done using it, I simply delete the entire unzipped folder but I save the .zip folder I downloaded so I can use it again when needed and it doesn't waste any space on my PC when it's not in use. Next time I need it, I simply extract the files again and use it. Then I delete the folder when done again.

Find and Replace Text in File Names of Many Files at Once

It is easy as pie to use too! It only took me a couple of test runs to achieve the renaming rules I needed to do the job at hand. Just  click where it says "Click here to add a rule" and add a rule. I needed to find and replace text in the file names, so in my case, I clicked on "replace" in the left panel so the add rule screen looks like this:

renamerules

 

All I had to do was simply enter "xi" in the "find" field and "nap" in the "replace" field and click the "Add Rule" button to save your new rule. Then all you have to do is drag the folder containing all the files you want to rename into the UI as in the first image above, where it says "Drag Your Files Here". Then it gives you a preview of what files it will rename. Once you are happy with how it's doing the renaming, click the "Rename" button in the upper right corner of the UI and it will rename all of the files just like it showed you. If you have tested any of the other features of this tool, please comment below and describe your experience!

Enabling Multiple Domain Names and Sites on Apache2 Server

Today I set up a new server and I am documenting exactly how to set up multiple domain names, sub domains and websites on a new Apache2 Server. I am using Ubuntu, but I believe these directions are similar for any Linux Apache2 web server.

Pointing your domain or sub-domain

It is a good practice to point your domain name or sub-domain first, before you set it up on your server which I'll cover afterwards below, so let's go ahead and point our domain. Whether you are using a new domain name or a sub-domain on one of your existing domain names, the process is similar for pointing the domain name or sub domain name to your server IP address. You will need to go to your domain management console and create a Type "A" record. This will normally be done in your DNS provider's advanced DNS settings or zone file settings. Use the following settings to create two new records:

  • Name: if there is a name field, enter the domain name or sub-domain name(most require you to follow the domain with a "." so for my sub domain I entered "subdom.jafty.com.".
  • Type: "A" for both records.
  • Hostname field: enter "www" in the first record and "@" in the second.
  • Destination IPv4 address(sometimes just called Address): Use your server's IP address for both records.
  • TTL: use "14400" for both records.

That should be enough information for you to figure out how to create your two host records on just about any platform, but if your platform differs, ask your provider for assistance or google the providers name followed by DNS instructions or "How to point a name with Provider Name". You are creating two similar records, one for WWW and one for @. That way visitors of your site can access with either www.example.com or just example.com. The Hostname of @ makes the record for the domain without "www" in front of it. If your provider's DNS settings do not include the Host or Hostname field where we put either www or @, then you probably need to create two records with different names instead. For example, name one record "example.com." and name the other "www.example.com.". If you're using a sub domain then name one "sub.example.com." and the other "www.sub.example.com." You don't really need a www record for sub domains usually, but you can use one if you want, it won't hurt anything and might help some users find your site.

Steps to adding  a second domain name to your server

Here I am going to explain how I set up a sub domain as as second domain name pointing to a second website on my Linux/Apache2 web server:

Note: My first site was already set up in var/www/html. Most people prefer to set up multiple websites under the var/www directory, but to keep things simple, I'm going to use the var/www/html folder and not var/www. It really makes no difference. It's just a preference.

  1. Create your directory structure for your new website that will reside on your new domain or sub-domain. I'm creating a sub domain like subdir.jafty.com, but these directions are the same as if I were using just jafty.com instead. First, create the directory /var/www/html/subdir.jafty.com. Then create /var/www/html/subdir.jafty.com/logs and /var/www/html/subdir.jafty.com/public_html. If you are logged into FileZilla as root, you can create these from there, otherwise log in with putty and create them using the sudo command.
  2. Create your log files. Simple make two empty files named access.log and error.log and upload them to the logs folder you created in step one above.
  3. Create a VHOSTS file named after the domain or sub-domain followed by .conf, so in my case, I'd name my file subdir.jafty.com.conf. THen copy and paste the  content below under the heading "VHOSTS Example File Contents" into it then change all instances of my sub-domain name with your own domain or sub domain and upload that file to /etc/apache2/sites-available.
  4. Next, use the a2ensite tool from the Linux command line to finalize the new site with the following command(replace example.com with your domain or sub-domain):  sudo a2ensite example.com.conf
  5. Reset apache2 with: sudo service apache2 restart

VHOSTS Example File Contents

<Directory /var/www/html/planner.jafty.com/public_html>
    Require all granted
</Directory>
<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName planner.jafty.com
    ServerAlias www.planner.jafty.com

    ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
    DocumentRoot /var/www/html/planner.jafty.com/public_html

    ErrorLog /var/www/html/planner.jafty.com/logs/error.log
    CustomLog /var/www/html/planner.jafty.com/logs/access.log combined
</VirtualHost>

Automating the process of setting up domain names and sub domains

If you have to do this often or alter DNS records often and create lots of virtual hosts, you should probably look into automating the process. I provide such a service and have done so for several of my clients. What I do is create a simple user interface in a secure admin web page on your own server where you can simply enter the domain name or sub domain name into a form field and press GO and it does all the above work for you! A real time saver if you have to do this more than once in a great while! IF you are interested in this service, contact me, Ian L. of Jafty.com for a fast, free quote by email or Skype. My email is linian11@yahoo.com and my Skype name is ianlin11. Or use the contact link on this site.

Summary

That is how you do it!

Understanding ARIA Click Button to Show or Hide Content Example Code

Understanding ARIA

ARIA stands for "Accessible Rich Internet Applications". Also known as the WAI-ARIA standard, it is a standard developed to help coders to provide proper semantics for custom widgets and to make them accessible, usable, and interoperable with assistive technologies for people with disabilities. To be clear, ARIA doesn't add functionality to an object. It adds roles and states that assist in identifying the intent and state of an object. However, usually JavaScript code is still needed to add any dynamic action to that object. I state this clearly at the top of this post because at first, I was under the impression that ARIA also added certain functionalities to HTML objects and was seriously disappointed when I found out otherwise. For example, when ARIA is used on a button that hides and shows content in a div, it only defines the roles and states of the button and corresponding div. JavaScript is still needed to do that work of hiding and showing the div in question.

Example Code

Here is an example of correctly implementing ARIA controls when making a button that hides and shows a div on the click of your mouse. It also binds the space bar and enter key to the div as well, so pressing either of those keys toggles the visibility of the div as well. Without any further ado, the code:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<meta charset="UTF-8" />
<title>Aria Examples</title>
<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/3.2.1/jquery.min.js"></script>

<style>
div.topic {
    display: none;
    margin-bottom: 1em;
    padding: .25em;
    border: black thin solid;
    background-color: #EEEEFF;
    width: 40em;
}
</style>
</head>
<body>

<p class="button">
    <button id="button1" class="buttonControl" aria-controls="t1" aria-expanded="false"><span>Show</span> Topic 1</button>
</p>

<div id="t1" class="topic" role="region" tabindex="-1" >
    Topic 1 is all about being Topic 1 and may or may not have anything to do with other topics.
</div>

<script>
$(document).ready(function() {

   var hs1 = new hideShow('button1');
  // var hs2 = new hideShow('button2');
  // var hs3 = new hideShow('button3');
  // var hs4 = new hideShow('button4');
 
}); // end ready()

//
// function hideShow() is the constructor for a hideShow widget. it accepts the html ID of
// an element to attach to.
//
// @param(id string) id is the html ID of the element to attach to
//
// @return N/A
//
function hideShow(id) {

   this.$id = $('#' + id);
   this.$region = $('#' + this.$id.attr('aria-controls'));

   this.keys = {
               enter: 13,
               space: 32
               };

   this.toggleSpeed = 100;

   // bind handlers
   this.bindHandlers();

} // end hidShow() constructor

//
// Function bindHandlers() is a member function to bind event handlers to the hideShow region
//
// return N/A
//
hideShow.prototype.bindHandlers = function() {

   var thisObj = this;

   this.$id.click(function(e) {

      thisObj.toggleRegion();

      e.stopPropagation();
      return false;
   });
}

//
// Function toggleRegion() is a member function to toggle the display of the hideShow region
//
// return N/A
//
hideShow.prototype.toggleRegion = function() {

      var thisObj = this;

    // toggle the region
    this.$region.slideToggle(this.toggleSpeed, function() {

      if ($(this).attr('aria-expanded') == 'false') { // region is collapsed

        // update the aria-expanded attribute of the region
        $(this).attr('aria-expanded', 'true');

        // move focus to the region
        $(this).focus();

        // update the button label
        thisObj.$id.find('span').html('Hide');

      }
      else { // region is expanded

        // update the aria-expanded attribute of the region
        $(this).attr('aria-expanded', 'false');

        // update the button label
        thisObj.$id.find('span').html('Show');
      }
    });

} // end toggleRegion()
</script>
</body>
</html>

Thank you oaa-accessibility.org for providing me with enough knowledge to create and use the above example! They have the best example code for ARIA usage that I could find online after many Google searches. See their complete list of example ARIA examples at http://oaa-accessibility.org/

ARIA and WordPress

I noticed ARIA controls for the first time in the header.php file for my WordPress theme. I was trying to fix a mobile navigation menu and thought couldn't find the code that makes the menu appear on mobile devices when the button is clicked and thought ARIA had something to do with it. I was basically wrong. ARIA code was only present to mark the navigation menu and make it's role and states readily accessible. It is after all an accessibility feature.

Summary

So ARIA and the WAI-ARIA standard are used to enable more accessible HTML markup for disabled people. While it is a great initiative, it doesn't add much dynamic functionality to your HTML objects, JavaScript is still needed for that. ARIA combined with HTML, CSS and JavaScript can be used to make accessible web pages more user-friendly.

Get IP Address from Domain Name

Domain name:

Returns the IP address associated with the domain name you enter into the form. It will return a list of IP addresses if more than one is associated with the given domain name.

NGINX New Site Creation and Server Configurations

Today I'm going to share with my readers my list for manually creating another website on one of my NGINX servers. I am partially logging this here for my own reference as I often look for these directions I keep stored in a .txt file on my laptop. Wherever you see text in green in this post, it will indicate that the text is to be entered as a command at the command prompt in Linux.

Step by Step Directions to Add a New Site on NGINX Servers

1) Sign into Linux server using an application like Putty (Windows) or Terminal (Mac):

Login with root user and password if possible, otherwise login with the user and password you have and remember to use sudo commands(purring sudo before each command line command)

2) Create the website directory (for example, your_new_site.com):

mkdir -p /var/www/your_new_site.com/public_html
mkdir -p /var/www/your_new_site.com/logs

3) Change the ownership of the directory to the web user:
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/your_new_site.com/public_html
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/your_new_site.com/logs

4) Create the web site config file. To do this, you can simply copy the config file of an existing site and then make the required changes. For example try this command but change the existing_site to your own existing website on your server:
cp /etc/nginx/sites-available/existing_site.com /etc/nginx/sites-available/your_new_site.com

5) Edit the new config file to replace with the new site’s values:

nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/your_new_site.com
Edit the line that reads: root /var/www/existing_site.com/public_html to be the current domain name.
Edit the two server_name instances to be the new domain name.
Edit access_log and error_log paths for new domain name
Save the file by hitting Ctrl-X, then Y and then Enter.

6) Enable the new site in NGINX:

ln -s /etc/nginx/sites-available/sandiboudreau.com /etc/nginx/sites-enabled/

7) Restart NGINX:

service nginx restart

9) Create the database and user.

mysql -u root -p
your_password
create database database name;
(note: I often create the db and user with the same name as the domain name. That makes it easy to remember. However, MySQL users are limited to 16 characters. so if the domain name is longer, I truncate both in some fashion. Just make sure theu match.
grant all on your_new_site.* to 'your_new_site' identified by 'secret_password';
(the last part is the password. just make up a hard one - record this where only you can find it, you’ll need it with the restore)
quit

8) Copy your new website files into the public_html folder with your sFTP client and your site is up and running!

Using PHP to create an NGINX SITE MAKER

I used the above knowledge to create a Site Maker tool that does all the steps for you. All you have to do is enter a domain name. Email me if interested at linian11@yahoo.com

Summary

So, this isn't too hard if you have something to reference such as the above cheat sheet. Once you get used it doing it, it is really easy. However if it's too complex, you can do what I did and make a tool to do it for you. Even if it's not too difficult, the tool saves you time if you add a lot of sites to your NGINX server as I do. Email me if you have interest in such a tool and I can custom build you one for your server! linian11@yahoo.com is my email.

How to Remove Slugs for a Custom Post Type in WordPress

So, back in the day, not to long ago, one could remove slugs in a CPT(Custom Post Type), simply by adding the following line to the arguments array when calling the register_post_type function:

'rewrite' => array('slug' => ''),//NOT THE SOLUTION!

However, that no longer works as of WordPress version 4.7.?, so I put together the following two function from various other solutions I've seen. This solution works for a single post type or multiple post types. I am publishing it because I haven't seen any elsewhere that could handle more than one CPT at a time. I wrote this to remove slugs for two CPTs, but you could us it for one or as many as you want, the two functions are as follows and can be added to functions.php or, as I do, to a plugin file, below the register_post_type functions:

<?php

//Two functions to remove slug from team_member and event CPTs:
function remove_evil_slugs($post_link, $post, $leavename) {

    if('team_member' != $post->post_type || 'event' != $post->post_type ||'publish' != $post->post_status) {
        return $post_link;
    }

    $post_link = str_replace('/' . $post->post_type . '/', '/', $post_link);

    return $post_link;
}
add_filter('post_type_link', 'remove_evil_slugs', 10, 3);

function  parse_evil_slugs($query) {

    if(!$query->is_main_query() || 2 != count($query->query) || !isset($query->query['page'])) {
        return;
    }

    if(!empty($query->query['name'])) {
        $query->set('post_type', array('post', 'team_member', 'event', 'page'));
    }
}
add_action('pre_get_posts', 'parse_evil_slugs');

?>

Those are the two functions that accomplish the goal. Simply replace all occurrences of "team_member" and "event" with the names of your own custom post types. If you use any rewrite rules in the args parameter for the register_post_type function, comment it out. For example if you see anything that looks like this:

'rewrite' => array('slug' => ''),

or

'rewrite' =>false,

...either comment it out of delete it all together from the function that creates the custom post type(CPT).

Update 3-27-2017

I've noticed that on some servers, the above solution no longer works, so I was able to program a new solution for NGINX servers. If your server is not an NGINX server, I found a solution here that should work for all even though it is a bit outdated: https://github.com/jonbish/remove-slug-from-custom-post-type. The code below is code I wrote based on that link but updated for nginx servers:

<?php
class JAFTY_CPT_SlugKiller{
    
    static $_s = null;
    private $htaccess_tag = 'SLUG KILLER REMOVE SLUG RULES';
    
    public function __construct() {
        $this->rewrite_rules();
        
        add_action('wp_insert_post', array(&$this, 'post_save'));

        add_filter('post_type_link', array(&$this, 'remove_slug'), 10, 3);
        
    }
    
    
    static public function init() {
        if (self::$_s == null) {
            self::$_s = new self();
        }
        return self::$_s;
    }
    
    static public function flush_rewrite_rules() {
        $jafty_o = self::init();
        $jafty_o->rewrite_rules(true);    
        //$jafty_o->add_rules_htaccess();
    }

    public function post_save($post_id) {
        global $wp_post_types;
        $post_type = get_post_type($post_id);
        foreach ($wp_post_types as $type=>$custom_post) {
            if ($custom_post->_builtin == false && $type == $post_type) {
                $this->rewrite_rules(true);
                //$this->add_rules_htaccess();
                flush_rewrite_rules();
            }
        }
    }
    
    public function remove_slug($permalink, $post, $leavename) {
        global $wp_post_types;

        foreach ($wp_post_types as $type=>$custom_post) {
            if ($custom_post->_builtin == false && $type == "team_member") {
                $custom_post->rewrite['slug'] = trim($custom_post->rewrite['slug'], '/');
                $permalink = str_replace(get_bloginfo('url') . '/' . $custom_post->rewrite['slug'] . '/', get_bloginfo('url') . "/", $permalink);
            }
        }
        return $permalink;
    }
    
    public function rewrite_rules($flash = false) {
        global $wp_post_types, $wpdb;
        foreach ($wp_post_types as $type=>$custom_post) {
            if ($custom_post->_builtin == false && $type == "team_member") {
                $querystr = "SELECT {$wpdb->posts}.post_name
                                FROM {$wpdb->posts}
                                WHERE {$wpdb->posts}.post_status = 'publish'
                                        AND {$wpdb->posts}.post_type = '{$type}'
                                        AND {$wpdb->posts}.post_date < NOW()";
                $posts = $wpdb->get_results($querystr, OBJECT);
                foreach ($posts as $post) {
                    $regex = "{$post->post_name}\$";
                    add_rewrite_rule($regex, "index.php?{$custom_post->query_var}={$post->post_name}", 'top');            
                }
            }
        }
        if ($flash == true)
            flush_rewrite_rules(false);
    }
    
    
    private function add_rules_htaccess() {
        global $wp_post_types;
        $suffix = get_option('jafty_permalink_customtype_suffix');
        $write = array();
        $htaccess_filename = ABSPATH . '/.htaccess';
        if(is_readable($htaccess_filename)){
            $htaccess = fopen($htaccess_filename, 'r');
            $content = fread($htaccess, filesize($htaccess_filename));
            foreach ($wp_post_types as $type=>$custom_post) {
                $rewrite_rule = (!empty($suffix))
                            ? "RewriteRule ^{$custom_post->query_var}/(.+)/\$ /\$1\.{$suffix} [R=301,l]"
                            : "RewriteRule ^{$custom_post->query_var}/(.+)/\$ /\$1 [R=301,L]";
                if (strpos($content, $rewrite_rule) == false && $custom_post->_builtin == false)
                    $write[] = $rewrite_rule;
            }
            fclose($htaccess);
        }else{
            add_action('admin_notices', array(&$this, 'compatibility_notice'));
            return;
        }
        
        if (!empty($write) && is_writable($htaccess_filename)) {
            $new_rules = '# BEGIN ' . $this->htaccess_tag . PHP_EOL;
            $new_rules .= str_replace('$', '\\$', implode(PHP_EOL, $write)) . PHP_EOL;
            $new_rules .= '# END ' . $this->htaccess_tag;
            if (strpos($content, "# BEGIN {$this->htaccess_tag}") === false) {
                file_put_contents($htaccess_filename, $new_rules . PHP_EOL . PHP_EOL . $content);
            }
            else {
                $pattern = "/# BEGIN {$this->htaccess_tag}.*?# END {$this->htaccess_tag}/ims";
                $content = preg_replace($pattern, $new_rules, $content);
                file_put_contents($htaccess_filename, $content);
            }
        }else if(!is_writable($htaccess_filename))
            add_action('admin_notices', array(&$this, 'compatibility_notice'));
    }//end add_rules_htaccess function

    
    public function compatibility_notice() {
        global $wp_post_types;
        $rules = '';
        foreach ($wp_post_types as $type=>$custom_post) {
            if ($custom_post->_builtin == false && $type == "team_member") {
                $slug = str_replace('/', '', $custom_post->rewrite['slug']);
                $rules .= 'RewriteRule ^' . $slug . '/(.+)$ /$1 [R=301,L]<br />';
            }
        }
        
        echo '<div class="error fade" style="background-color:red;"><p><strong>Remove Slug Custom post type error!</strong><br />.htaccess is not writable, please add following lines to complete your installation: <br />'.$rules.'</p></div>';
    }
}//End JAFTY_CPT_SlugKiller class to remove slugs from team_member CPT

//actions and hooks for above class to remove slug from team_member CPT:
add_action('init', array('JAFTY_CPT_SlugKiller', 'init'), 99);
//the following two lines make it so you don't have to manually go to settings/permalinks and re-save settings for links to work:
register_activation_hook( __FILE__, array('JAFTY_CPT_SlugKiller', 'flush_rewrite_rules') );
register_deactivation_hook( __FILE__, array('JAFTY_CPT_SlugKiller', 'flush_rewrite_rules') );
//END CODE TO ENABLE NO SLUG FOR team_member CPT

?>

The above code can be added to a plugin file or your themes functions.php.

NOTE: although the above code hasn't been thoroughly tested on non-nginx servers, it should work if you un-comment the two lines that call the add_rules_htaccess function. Simply do a search for "add_rules_htaccess" and remove the "//" before it in two occurrences and this code should work on any server as long as your .htaccess file is writable.